Speakers Network

SME Cleveland is proud to provide information on member speakers who can educate companies/groups on sales, marketing and networking topics. Please contact the speaker directly if you would like to have them speaker to your group.

To be listed in the directory, one must be a SME Cleveland member. Please forward your information to director@smecleveland.com if you would like to be included on the Speaker's page.


Alan D. Strauss, Founder
Sales Concepts, Inc.


Al Strauss is the Founder of Sales Concepts, Inc., a business development firm which helps individual salespeople, sales teams and executives grow and prosper. Al joined the Sandler Training network in 1987 following a sales and business ownership career which has had him on straight commission since 1972.

At Sales Concepts Al has been instrumental in helping thousands of negotiators and sales professionals improve their businesses through training, coaching and consulting on ways to do more paid business at much higher profits, in far less time. Sales Concepts, Inc. also helps sales managers and business owners hire the best possible sales people and sales managers with the fewest possible mistakes through a very objective, analytical process which is taught to the clients.

His clients find him not only entertaining but very thought provoking. To quote a recent attendee of a seminar, "This is the most usable, real world, training I have ever seen. It's making me lots of money, but more importantly it's removed all the pressure of my business." Clients include: Allied Color, Auto-Matrix, Bailey Controls, Citi Corp, Morrison-Knudsen, Nordson, Sandridge Food Corp., S.D. Myers, Sealy Mattress and hundreds of other firms in many diverse industries including manufacturing, distribution, financial services, real estate and consulting.

Sales Concepts is the third company Al has founded and run successfully. In addition to his duties at Sales Concepts Al has been involved with several board positions and charitable organizations. Al has worked with the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries board, served in several capacities within his own church leadership and currently serves on the board of the American Endowment Foundation.


Andy Halko

All companies want to grow and there is never one simple formula. A strategic vision that gets the right people on the bus, aligns your team towards success, drives differentiation in the marketplace, and creates a foundation to scale. A powerful culture and brand strategy drives marketing and sales to turn that vision into both targeted and actionable tactics achieving real top-line growth. Andy Halko has helped hundreds of companies create strategic vision to lead impactful marketing and sales tactics.

Andy founded Insivia - a premier strategic consulting and digital agency - in 2002. He has spoken to over 200 organizations on how to scale business; including, how to develop a strategic vision, as well as, create and implement impactful marketing strategies that integrate with sales tactics. Keynotes and seminars focus on providing tangible value to the audience through unique content, engaging stories, and information people can actually take back and use in their business. Andy keeps audiences engaged with a casual and entertaining presentation that dives into the nitty gritty so that attendees walk away with real knowledge.

"Andy was extremely engaging, and his presentation made me want to surround myself with the ideas he shared about his business, for my business." - Derek Baker

Visit http://insivia.com/speakers to book your next event.


Christine Zust
Zust & Company


Executive/Professional Presence
Presentation Skills

Phone: (440) 777-8373

Christine Zust helps professionals tap the incredible power of positioning. As the author of Everything I Do Positions Me: The Simple Path to Professional Success, Christine's presentations inspire a higher level of professionalism and reaching one's full potential.

Whether it is delivering a memorable keynote address, a content-rich professional development program, coaching individuals or facilitating retreats, Christine does it all with humor and grace. She shares her global experiences through storytelling and fun, interactive programs.

Audiences value her practical tips, tools, and sense of humor. She provides one-on-one coaching to emerging leaders and executives who want to position themselves more powerfully with major stakeholders.

Before starting her Cleveland-based firm, Zust & Company, Christine worked within the chamber of commerce, destination marketing, and urban development industries.

Christine is a Registered Corporate Coach (RCC).

Christine has served as President of SME Cleveland, President of the SME Cleveland Education Foundation, and Regional Vice President of SME National.

Christine's blog posts offer expert advice on professionalism, communication, networking, leadership, and attitude. Her monthly newsletter, Q Tips, is a popular resource for professionals and leaders.


Chuck Fenske
Knoch Corporation

Potential speaking topics:

Business development; construction industry - he could speak about construction management, industry trends, and more specifically, risk mitigation - how to keep your project from going catastrophic


Mr. Fenske is a graduate from The Ohio State University with degrees in accounting and construction management and has a master’s degree in business administration from Case Western Reserve University. He is the current Chairman of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Central Ohio, a member of The Ohio State University Construction Management Advisory Board, a member of Promise Partners (Cleveland, Ohio) and a member of ACG (Columbus Chapter). Chuck resides in Powell, Ohio, with his wife Anjenette and their two sons Reed and Grant.

As a published author, specifically about the science behind business development best practices, Chuck provides insight to improve business development practices.


Dr. Jason Carthen

Are you looking for an exceptional speaker for your next business conference, seminar or event? Then you want Dr. Jason Carthen!

Dr. Jason is an expert in Leadership Development, Motivation and Sales. Known as The Leadership Linebacker™ he is a former professional football player with the New England Patriots who provides Expert Business Insight and Key Leadership Development tools to further your business and help your audience reach their targeted goals!

Jason’s goal is to deliver on your objectives for your meeting, conference or training. He specifically targets how you want people to feel, and what you want them to be able to do as a result of hearing him speak. He can design a program specifically around those objectives and wrap it into one of the most entertaining, fun and high-energy presentations possible. He will come early, stay late, be the easiest, most prepared hassle-free professional speaker you’ve ever worked with – AND promises to deliver a performance that will EXCEED YOUR EXPECTATIONS. For Booking information please go to www.JasonCarthen.com or send an e-mail to Booking@JasonCarthen.com


Holly Mueller

Phone: 330-437-5622


Crisis and reputation management issues - How to prepare a company for the worst - and how to effectively deal with issues in front of the media and local community

Developing and deploying strategic marketing plans, both domestically and globally. Specific to global campaigns - How to execute one holistic brand message in a company's campaign across the world

Executive media relations training - How to work with the media and take control of any interview


Holly Mueller is the owner and chief communications officer at Holly M Communications, a strategic public relations and communications firm. She and her team provide professional communications training and consultation services for clients who need help telling their story – whether it’s through improving their media relations presence, delivering effective speeches and presentations, or providing strategic guidance for both global and domestic marketing campaigns.

Mueller spent the last decade focusing her career on global crisis and reputation management issues, business development planning, and traditional and social media relations strategy. An Ohio native, she studied Public Relations and Spanish at Kent State University. Her diverse work background includes managing global external communications for a $20 billion power management company, helping to lead military affairs for the U.S. Army at Fort Riley in Kansas, and overseeing a public relations department for an advertising agency.


Jeff Nischwitz
Think Again Coaching

Phone: 216.373.7610

Jeff Nischwitz is the Founder of Think Again!™, a speaking and coaching company that helps people accelerate their businesses and their lives. Jeff is a national speaker who speaks on various topics including relationship building, business development, team and company acceleration, client experience, leadership, personal empowerment, and achieving the extraordinary. Jeff has been described as "energizing", "engaging", "inspiring", "authentic" and a "master storyteller" … an experience that many have described as Getting Jeffed! Jeff is also the author of Think Again! Innovative Approaches to the Business of Law (American Bar Association 2007). Jeff's audiences experience the power of relationships, different thinking that challenges them to change, and inspired and unique perspectives on transformational change. Think Again's speaking and training programs include sales and business development, team communication, accountability and execution, and delivering the platinum client experience.


Kordell Norton

Sales Management
Customer "Satisfaction"
(Customer Experiences)
Leadership & Teambuilding
Strategic Planning

Office: 330-405-1950
Cell: (330) 671-1667

One of Kordell's client said, watching Kordell present is like watching popcorn pop . . . without the lid. Engaging, high energy, and humorous, his fast paced and motivating presentations connect with groups who want increase sales, inspiring leadership and powerful customer experiences. The author of 3 books, Norton is a Certified Speaking Professional of the National Speakers Association and is the Past President of the Ohio Chapter.

His consulting firm works with organization internationally like PNC Bank, L'Oreal, American Family Insurance, Microsoft, University Hospitals and others. He has been an adjunct faculty member to more than 7 universities and colleges. A former senior executive with several multibillion dollar organizations in marketing, sales, human resources and organizational development.

His informative material is jam packed with insights and practices that will help grow your organization. As a speaker, he is one who constantly gets the highest marks for his presentations and requests that meeting planners "bring him back . . . but give him more time."


Kristy Amy
Director of Digital Strategy
Smart Business Network
A Marketing Services Agency and Business Publication

Phone: 440-463-2183

Kristy Amy energizes companies with e-Messaging ideas that make a BIG impact. As the Director of Digital Strategy, Kristy Amy works with companies to develop marketing programs that drive people to take action in both print and digital.

Through the use of superior content, Kristy and the Smart Business team implement programs across websites, video, email marketing, social media, custom publishing and more.

Prior to Smart Business, Kristy Amy was the President of OnMark Solutions, an eMessaging Agency. She also earned her digital marketing stripes at Fortune 1000 companies such as Lubrizol, American Greetings, AT&T, and NCR.

Kristy's claim to fame, "I worked on some of the first intranet sites back in the early 90's before that word even existed."

About Smart Business

Let Smart Business develop your story to drive results across digital, print, events and more!

With a history of content, Smart Business offers your business three ways to put content to work for your business development. 1. Our agency services offer your company access to professional resources to develop print, digital and video content that drives results. Let us demonstrate results for your business development needs. 2. Our print publication, Smart Business Magazine, reaches the senior decision makers of medium and large organizations. We can position your expertise in our magazine which reaches thousands 3. Need to make new contacts? Our networking events bring the business community together for lunches and evening cocktails to make the business connections that drive new opportunities.


Marvin Montgomery
The Sales Doctor!

Motivational Speaker
Professional Sales Training Specialist

Phone: 216-509-0281

As an experienced keynote speaker and professional sales training specialist Marvin Montgomery has assisted hundreds of organizations improve their productivity. In doing so, he has earned widespread national recognition and praise. It stems from Marvin's informative, practical and stimulating programs that reflect his basic philosophy: preparation and practice are the keys to sales success.

For over 30 years, people who have heard Marvin speak or who have participated in his training programs consistently praise him.

Marvin speaks from experience. As director of sales for one of the country's largest jewelry-chain leaders, Marvin trained over 1,200 associates in 95 stores. With that background, he has applied his compelling training to the benefit of employees of all industries that are providing a product or service to their customers.

During Marvin's captivating presentation, you will learn the Professional approach to customers and the ten sales tools necessary to be successful.

It's not the same old sales training message. After listening to Marvin, you will never again use outdated training methods of "trial and error" or "learn by doing."

Among his many accomplishments are:
  • Over 30 years of sales training experience
  • A consistently outstanding track record-stock boy to training director
  • Two years as Vice President of The Robinson Group, a consulting and venture capital firm
  • Since 1990, President of his own firm, Marvin Montgomery & Associates
  • Author of Practice Makes Perfect: The Professionals' Guide to Sales Success (Available on video/Audio Cassette)


Marilee MacAskill
Dale Carnegie

Human Relations
Customer Service


Marilee has been a trainer and training consultant with Dale Carnegie Training since 1995. She has won two international sales awards and worked with hundreds of businesses in northeast Ohio in professional development for their greatest asset -- their people. Marilee is passionate about helping people grow their skills and overcome fears. Her workshops are fun and interactive, as well as team-building.

Nancy M. Valent
NMV Strategies
New Market Value Strategies for Your Business

How to Develop Your Brand to Be Powerful
Super Charging Your Public Relations
What to do with the Media when a Crisis Strikes
Presenting in a Digital World


Nancy provides consultation in directing the marketing, branding, communications and public relations challenges for companies seeking to build, manage and/or recapture their industry leadership positions. In addition to her extensive knowledge in brand development, she has experience in the communications handling of plant explosions, chemical spills, gas leaks, company espionage and disgruntled employees.

Nancy has trained more than 300 executives and middle managers in proactive media awareness in critical steps to take when a crisis develops and the reporters are calling and knocking on the door.

In addition, Nancy's coaching and training include facilitating focus groups on branding and market analysis to assist clients in defining trends and perceptions. She also is an affiliate instructor at the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management where she conducts executive seminars on Crisis Media Relations and Business & Marketing Strategy: Creating Actionable Plans. She has also conducted executive seminars at Cleveland State University and Lake Erie College.


Norm Friedman


Norm has been conducting presentations and leading workshops on writing in the workplace since 1997. Popular topics include secrets to all-star emailing, keys to clarity and brevity, insights into common errors and misunderstandings, and tips on writing with greater finesse and impact.

In more than 30 years as a writer and communications professional, he has written countless ads, speeches, business letters, brochures, news releases, and other materials—from humorous scripts to memorial resolutions. His freelance articles have appeared in the New York Times, Plain Dealer, and other publications.

In 2012, Norm published 100+ Instant Writing Tips, a brief handbook based on his years of observation as an editor, writing coach, and workshop leader. In 2014, he launched a weekly blog that also highlights common errors and commonly missed opportunities to write with greater precision.

Norm earned a B.A. in psychology from Miami University and an M.A. in communications from Ohio State. His website, www.normfriedman.com, provides information on his presentations, blog, and other communications services.

Phil Stella
Effective Training and Communications

Sales Presentations & Pitche
Workplace Presentations
Business Writing
Interpersonal Skills

(As a professional speaker, Phil doesn't generally speak for free. However, he does deliver occasional pro bono presentations for targeted professional organizations.)

Phil Stella is a valued resource for business leaders who want to communicate confidently. He empowers them to communicate more concisely, credibly and confidently in the workplace when they present, write, interact with colleagues or customers or network. They value his insight and perspective as a consultant, trainer or executive coach.

He has been a very popular speaker for client and association events around the country for over 20 years. Locally, he has spoken at SME/University, the COSE Small Business Conference, HR Star Conference, Heights Regional Chamber Business Breakfast Series and Lake Communicators. Phil is the COSE MindSpring editor for Networking Strategies and a senior faculty at the Cleveland Campuses of the University of Phoenix and DeVry University. An award-winning writer, he has authored over 300 articles in a variety of local and national business and association printed and electronic publications.