Who We Are


Geauga Growth Partnership was established as a private economic development nonprofit partnership, inspired by nearby Ashtabula Growth Partnership and Greater Cleveland Partnership.

It was during a Geauga Economic Leadership (GEL) breakfast meeting at Kent State University Geauga Campus in November 2008, when guest speaker Joe Mayernick, executive director of Growth Partnership of Ashtabula County, caught the attention of area business leaders. Feeling the impact on Geauga businesses from the 2008 economic recession, 25 business and civic leaders met that day to strategize creating a nonprofit that could help Geauga businesses thrive.

Some of the players in the room that day were Frank Samuel, who had been Science and Technology Advisor to the Governor of Ohio from 2000-2007, Geauga County Commissioner Tracy Jemison, Middlefield Bank VP Jay Giles, then University Hospital Geauga Medical Center President Richard Frenchie and others who had a vision for a county-wide business-led economic development organization.

Funded by a start-up grant from the Cleveland Foundation Lake-Geauga Fund, Geauga Growth Partnership was founded in 2010. The goal was to set up programs and processes to enable business growth and prosperity, building upon the County’s remarkable assets. The vision: Leading Business Growth in Geauga County.


Geauga Growth Partnership’s mission is to enhance the economic climate in Geauga County by attracting new business, supporting existing businesses, and preparing the workforce of the future.


Geauga Growth Partnership is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors composed of Geauga County business owners, executives and community leaders.

The staff consists of a team of experience professionals.

Kimm Leininger, President
Monica Bricker-Thompson, Director of Programs
Betsy Covington, Director of Engagement
Kathy Cole, Administrative Manager

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors represent a wide variety of Geauga businesses and community organizations.

Chairman: John W. Epprecht
Vice President, Great Lakes Cheese

Vice Chairman: John C. Steigerwald

Secretary: Richard J. Frenchie
Principal, The Frenchie Group

Treasurer: Stephanie Ronyak
Controller, The Arms Trucking Company

Cliff Babcock
General Manager, Junction Auto Family

Sheryl Clemson
Clemson Towing

Jeff Coy
COO, Kinetico, Inc.

David K. Ford
Vice President, The Federal Improvement Corporation

Jay P. Giles

Jason Glowczewski Chief Operating Officer, University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center

Lee Imhof
Troy Chemical Industries

Tony Madormo
Plant Manager, Covia Holdings / Best Sand Division

Renee M. Nied
Consultant, Economic Development, First Energy Corporation

Matthew Nipper
Senior Vice President – Commercial Market Leader,

Diane Popovich President, Solon Manufacturing

John Solich
Senior Lender, Middlefield Banking Company

Angela Spalsbury
Dean and Chief Administrative Officer – Kent State Geauga

Bonnie Troyer
HR Strategies & Solutions

Charles White
Newbury Business Park

Larry Yoder
Operations Manager,
Sheoga Hardwood Flooring & Paneling