JumpStart Inc. has named Gary Shamis of Winding River Consulting as the newest chair of its Board of Directors. Shamis succeeds outgoing chair William Seelbach of The Riverside Co., who recently completed his three-year term and remains a part of the board as chair emeritus.

“Gary is an experienced business leader, a respected community voice and a successful entrepreneur,” said JumpStart CEO Ray Leach. “Having him at the head of our board is an honor for our organization.”

“JumpStart’s ambitious mission requires work across many different disciplines, from venture capital investing and corporate innovation programs, to one-on-one business assistance services and grantmaking to our economic development partners,” added Shamis. “I look forward to helping the organization continue to work to achieve this ambitious mission.”

A 30-year veteran of the accounting and consulting professions, Shamis is well known as a business leader and an innovator—especially in the realm of finance. His industry accolades include being named an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year, a Top Ten Managing Partner Elite by Accounting Today and a Most Admired Peer by INSIDE Public Accounting. He has served his profession within the ranks of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Ohio Society of CPAs, while working with more than two-dozen nonprofits as the leader of many influential boards and committees.

As a thought leader, Shamis has written and edited for multiple industry journals and is the co-author of How to Manage Your Accounting Practice: Taking Your Firm from Chaos to Consensus (2009), Stratagem: Simple, Effective Strategic Planning for Your Business and Your Life (2013) and Building Blocks (2019).

JumpStart has also named two new vice chairs to its Board of Directors.

  • Dr. Ellen Burts-Cooper: Senior managing partner of Improve Consulting and Training Group. The firm provides personal and professional development training, coaching, consultation and team retreats and has been featured in Time Magazine, Black Voices, Smart Business Magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek.
  • Jeanne Coughlin: President of The Coughlin Group, Inc. a firm with more than 25 years’ experience providing family businesses with practical business and succession planning. Coughlin is a certified Stages of Growth Strategist, a One Page Business Plan Implementor and author of, The Rise of Women Entrepreneurs: People, Processes and Global Trends.

Burts-Cooper and Coughlin will now join current vice chair Patrick Pastore, who was recently named as the new regional president of the Cleveland market for PNC Bank. A lifelong Northeast Ohioan, Pastore has spent more than 25 years with PNC, leading corporate banking across Northeast Ohio for the past decade and combining his extensive banking experience with his deep community roots.