Advisory Board

  • Albert Adams
    BakerHostetler; Graduate of Harvard Business and Law School
    Albert Adams

    Albert Adams is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Law School. He joined BakerHostetler in 1977, became a partner in 1984 and served as a member of its governing body between 1993-2014. He practices in the business, real estate and corporate areas with special emphasis on the structuring and financial aspects of business transactions. He has represented ten entities in connection with their initial public offerings, served as general outside counsel to two public funds and eight public companies and has been lead lawyer in hundreds of billions of dollars in various real estate and other transactions.

    Mr. Adams has also served as a director of seven public companies, including five real estate investment trusts, and numerous private businesses. In his capacity as a public company director, he has chaired three nominating and governance committees, two compensation committees and one audit committee. He has also been a board member or trustee of a number of community and charitable organizations, including the Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Karamu Playhouse, Learning Disability Associates, the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Center for Families and Children, the Greater Cleveland Roundtable, the Corporate College (a division of Cuyahoga Community College) and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

  • E.J. Burke
    recently retired KeyCorp senior executive.
    E.J. Burke

    E.J. Burke retired from KeyBank in 2019 after numerous senior executive roles including Co-President of Key Community Bank with primary responsibility for KeyBank’s Commercial and Private Banks as well as KeyBank Mortgage. During his 19-year career at KeyCorp, Mr. Burke served in a range of leadership roles including Head of KeyBank Real Estate Capital, KeyBank Community Development Lending and responsibility for Treasury Management, Foreign Exchange, Derivatives, Public Sector, and Institutional Asset Services groups during his tenure.

    Mr. Burke was a member of KeyCorp's Executive Council and Executive Leadership Team, as well as a trustee of the KeyBank Foundation.

    Prior to joining KeyBank, Mr. Burke was president and a founding member of Kansas City-based National Realty Funding, LC - a master, primary and special servicer as well as an originator/seller of commercial mortgage loans for securitization - that was acquired by KeyCorp in 2000. Prior to co-founding National Realty Funding in 1997, Mr. Burke was Program Director for Midland Commercial Funding, a division of Midland Loan Services, LP. Midland Commercial Funding was a national commercial mortgage conduit that Mr. Burke developed for Midland. Prior to joining Midland in 1993, Burke held various commercial lending positions in Oklahoma City and Kansas City since 1978.

    Mr. Burke graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Science degree and Oklahoma City University with a Master of Business Administration. He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.

    Mr. Burke served as a Director of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and was elected Chairman of the association in 2014. Mr. Burke has also served as a director of various Cleveland based not-for-profits. Currently, Mr. Burke is a Director of the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, based in Buffalo, New York.

  • Sally Gries
    is the Founder and Non-Executive Chairperson of Gries Financial Partners.
    Sally Gries

    Sally Gries is the founder and Non-Executive Chairperson of Gries Financial LLC, a multi-family office and wealth management firm for high net worth clients, foundations, and institutions. She and her associates provide comprehensive, total objective financial and investment advisory services.

    An avid reader of the Wall Street Journal as a young teenager, she entered the male-dominated financial field in the late 60’s after graduating from Northwestern University. A decade later she started her own company. She has the distinction of being the founder of the first female-owned registered investment advisory (RIA) firm in Ohio.

    Ms. Gries is a founder and Chairperson of Fieldstone Associates Inc., a real estate investment advisory firm that provides a diversified private real estate investment approach for its clients. Real estate transactions since 1980 have included primarily direct investments in development, value-add and existing cash flow projects. Property types have included multi-family, industrial, warehouse, senior living, college residential, self-storage, office and shopping centers. Projects have been geographically diverse in the United States.

    She is a member of PIMCO’s RIA Investment Advisory Board. She has served on corporate boards, both public and private, and currently serves on three private corporate boards. She is a trustee of the Gries Family Foundation and The Cleveland Foundation where she is the chairperson of the investment committee that oversees their $2.2 billion endowment.

    She has been dedicated to serving the community through not-for-profit board leadership service over the years. Currently, she is a trustee of The Cleveland Foundation, The Holden Arboretum, and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. She is a Life Trustee of Hawken School and Emeritus Trustee of Case Western Reserve University. She is an active member or chair of the investment committees of several major institutions.

  • Mary Beth McCormick
    most recently, served as Executive Director of the Center for Real Estate at Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.
    Mary Beth McCormick

    Mary Beth McCormick most recently served as Executive Director of the Center for Real Estate at Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. Ms. McCormick has extensive experience in real estate, capital markets and corporate governance. She was a Senior Advisor with Almanac Realty Investors, LLC from 2010 to 2016 and previously served the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System for 16 years, most recently responsible for directing the then $64 billion fund’s real estate investments.

    Ms. McCormick has held leadership positions with a variety of national and regional real estate associations, including Chair of the Pension Real Estate Association. She has also served as a director on the boards of several public and private REITs and real estate operating companies. In addition to serving as Executive Director, McCormick was a Senior Lecturer at the Fisher College of Business. She is a member of the Urban Land Institute, PREA, NAIOP and ICSC, past president of the Columbus Commercial Real Estate Women and has a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from The Ohio State University.

  • Randell McShepard
    is the Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Talent Officer for RPM International Inc.
    Randell McShepard

    Randell McShepard is currently employed as the Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Talent Officer for RPM International Inc., a chemical coatings/paint company headquartered in Medina, Ohio.  In this post, he is responsible for managing external and governmental affairs, leading the corporate philanthropy program, facilitating corporate purchasing initiatives and coordinating executive leadership development activities.  

    An active community and corporate leader, Mr. McShepard is currently serving on several boards in Northeast Ohio including The Cleveland Foundation, Destination Cleveland and Taylor Oswald LLC.  He is Co-Founder and Chairman of PolicyBridge, a public policy think tank serving the Northeast Ohio region, and Co-Founder of the Rid-All Green Partnership, a thriving urban farm and environmental education campus in Cleveland’s Lower Kinsman neighborhood. He also currently serves as a member of the Cuyahoga County Citizens’ Advisory Council on Equity, which was established in 2020.

    Mr. McShepard’s previous community/civic leadership roles have included:  President of The Union Club of Cleveland, Chairman of the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Investment Board, Chairman of the Manufacturing Advocacy Council of the National Association of Manufacturers, Chairman of the Sisters of Charity Foundation, Vice-Chairman of the Fund for Our Economic Future and Vice-Chairman of Business Volunteers Unlimited.  He has also served as a Trustee for the George Gund Foundation, Baldwin Wallace University, The City Club of Cleveland (Foundation Board) and United Way of Greater Cleveland.

    Randell is a lifelong resident of Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School, Baldwin-Wallace University (BA) and Cleveland State University (MS).

    Among his many honors, Mr. McShepard was inducted into the John F. Kennedy High School Hall of Fame and has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of Cleveland State University and Baldwin Wallace University.  He was also recognized as a “C-Suite Champion” by Crain’s Cleveland in 2019.  He is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland and remains active at his home church, St. James AME Church in Cleveland, where he serves as Chairman of the Steward Board.

  • Robert C. Smith
    is an investment management expert with 40 years of experience in investing, finance, accounting, and business management.
    Robert C. Smith

    Bob is Partner and the Market Leader of the Cerity Partners Cleveland, Ohio office. He serves on the firm’s National Partner Development Committee and Leadership Team. Bob has more than forty years of experience in investing, finance, accounting, and business management.

    Bob joined Cerity Partners in October 2016 when Cerity Partners merged with Spero-Smith Investment Advisers. Previously, Bob was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Spero-Smith. Bob joined in 1993 as President, Chief Investment Officer, and co-owner with Founder, Karen Spero.

    He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Accounting) degree from Ohio Northern University and holds a Masters of Business Administration (Finance) from Duquesne University. ONU has awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration for his years of service as Chair of the Board of Trustees and other civic leadership roles.

    Bob is deeply committed to civic engagement and has received numerous awards and recognition for his leadership. He was recently appointed to Chair the JobsOhio Board by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. He has been inducted in the Ohio Foundation for Independent Colleges’ Hall of Excellence as well as the Association of Ohio Commodores. He has served in leadership roles on numerous boards and investment committees of corporations and non-profit organizations including Encova Insurance, Ohio Northern University, University Hospitals of Cleveland and Team NEO. Several elected officials have also appointed him to boards of public entities, including the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the Ohio Oil & Gas Commission, the Port of Cleveland and Chair of the Ohio Broadcast Educational Media Commission.

  • Richard P. Stovsky
    formerly a Vice Chairman at PwC.
    Richard P. Stovsky

    Mr. Stovsky retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in June 2018.  He joined PwC in August 1983, and held positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as a Vice Chairman. 

    Mr. Stovsky serves on the Board of Directors of Encore Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:  ECPG), Olympic Steel, Inc. (NASDAQ:  ZEUS), several privately-held companies, and non-profit organization Boards of Directors/Trustees including The 50 Club of Cleveland Executive Committee, The Cleveland Museum of Art Executive Committee, The Cleveland Orchestra Executive Committee, The Cleveland Foundation, Bluecoats of Cuyahoga County Executive Committee, and University School.  Mr. Stovsky is a Certified Public Accountant and licensed to practice law in Ohio. 

  • William B. Summers, Jr.
    was with McDonald Investments Inc. for more than 35 years, serving as Chairman from 1998-2006.
    William B. Summers, Jr.

    In June of 2006, after more than thirty-five years, William B. Summers Jr. retired from McDonald Investments Inc., having served as Chairman since 1998. He previously served as President and CEO of McDonald Investments, an independent public company listed on the NYSE, prior to the sale of the company to KeyCorp in 1998.

    Summers joined McDonald & Co. as an intern in its Municipal Bond Department in 1971, a year before graduating from Baldwin-Wallace University. In April 1975, he was named a General Partner of McDonald & Company, the youngest partner in the firm’s history, and in 1980 he was named Partner-in-Charge of Municipal Trading and Underwriting. In 1984, he became Executive Vice President in charge of Institutional Fixed-Income Sales, a post he maintained until October 1988, when he was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of McDonald & Co. Investments, Inc. In April 1989, Summers was named President of McDonald & Co. Securities, Inc. and McDonald & Co. Investments, Inc. In January 1994, he was named Chief Executive Officer of McDonald & Co. Securities, Inc. and McDonald & Co. Investments, Inc. Summers was named Chairman of McDonald & Co. Securities, Inc. in August of 1995. In the fall of 1998, while CEO, McDonald & Company Investments, Inc. was sold to KeyCorp, and Summers became an Executive Vice President of KeyCorp, Chairman of Key Capital Partners and a member of the KeyCorp Management Committee, positions he held until 2000, when he retired from executive management.

    Summers has been active in a wide range of securities industry activities.  In March of 2006 he concluded service as a member of the Board of Executives of the New York Stock Exchange, having served previously as a Director of the NYSE from 1998-2003  Summers served on the National Association of Securities Dealers (now FINRA) Board of Governors from 1989-1992 and was elected Chairman of the Board in 1991.  He also served as a member of the NASDAQ Stock Market Board of Directors from 1992 – 1994 and as Chairman of the Board in 1994. He is also as active and involved in a host of civic and charitable activities.

    Presently, Summers serves on the Board of Directors of RPM International, Inc. and Integer Holdings Corporation (formerly Greatbatch, Inc.). He has served as a national judge for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards from 2011-2013 and inducted into the Northeast Ohio Business Hall of Fame in 2013.

    Summers resides in the Cleveland suburb of Rocky River with his wife Pam and three children.

One Cleveland Center
1375 East 9th Street Suite 2880
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Phone: 216-453-8080