Lab Week 2018 - June 10-15, 2018 Apply Now

Executive Committee

Marie Graf

Executive Director

Marie spent ten years of her life selling dinosaurs, the stars in the night sky, environmental awareness, health education and furry little animals - all at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. As an award-winning, results-oriented marketing, communications and development professional, she developed and implemented strategic plans for shopping malls all across the country; for national, regional and local non-profit organizations; and for neighborhood businesses right here at home. She has been recognized for her work with numerous awards over the years: PRSA Silver Anvil, PRSA Bronze Anvil, PRSA Lighthouse Award, PRSA Cleveland Rocks Award, International Academy of Visual Arts, Communicator Award, Sales and Marketing Executives Distinguished Sales and Marketing Executive Award, and three Emmy's for television documentaries.

Award-winning, results-oriented communications, marketing and development executive with proven track record for providing sound strategic direction. A natural team leader with strong people skills and expertise in public relations, advertising, special events, fundraising, business development, B2B and B2C marketing, sales training, market research analysis, video production, online media, social media marketing. Industry proficiencies include: commercial real estate, shopping centers, hospitality, museums and nonprofits.

Peter J. DeRooy

Asset Value Advisors, LLC

Pete has spent over 30 years in Finance and Accounting serving in various executive roles in the mortgage banking, specialty retail and other financial service related industries. Through Asset Value Advisors, LLC, he provides financial, operational and organizational consulting to start-ups and rapidly growing organizations.

After his daughter attended the LAB program in 2004, Pete joined the Advisory Board. Since then he has served as Board Treasurer and Chairperson of the Finance Committee until becoming Board Chairperson in October 2016. In addition to his board involvement, Pete has also been both a day chair and presenter during LAB week.

Robert A. Velotta

Past Chairperson
Cohen & Company

Rob is a Certified Public Accountant and Partner with Cohen & Company, where he provides tax and business consulting services to a wide variety of investment advisors and the funds they manage. His client based includes mutual funds, exchange traded funds, hedge funds, private equity funds, and family offices and range from start-up businesses to some of the biggest investment company complexes in the world. He is also a frequent speaker on tax issues specific to investment industry.

As a 1994 graduate of Learning About Business, Rob has experienced the first-hand impact that Learning About Business has on its students, readily acknowledges the significance the program had in cementing his interest in a business career, and continues to notice the same enthusiasm that Learning About Business students have as he did over 20 years ago. In addition to his devotion to his family and career, and involvement with Learning About Business, Rob also serves as a Board Member for the Greater Cincinnati Mutual Fund Association, member of the Investment Company Institute Tax Advisory Committee, John Carroll University Accountancy Advisory Board Member, and frequent volunteer for Junior Achievement.

Matt McCue

Vice Chairperson
McCue Design Group

Matt is the founding partner of McCue Design Group, LLC a landscape architecture firm located in downtown Willoughby. As a registered landscape architect in OH, PA, and KY, Matt has provided all ranges of design for both public and private sector clients. He has been a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects for 20 years.

A 1991 L.A.B. alumni, Matt went on to graduate from the Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University with a B.S. Landscape Architecture. In 2005, he founded his firm to provide sustainable design solutions with exceptional client service. As a life-long resident of Northeast Ohio, he enjoys giving back to the community through involvement with Learning About Business. In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his family and enjoy the outdoors.

Emily K. Dizer


Emily Dizer is the Treasurer for Learning About Business. She has served on the Advisory Board since 2006 and has also been a Day Chair on Thursday of LAB Week for 10 years. Emily is a Certified Public Accountant and is the CFO of WRWP, LLC, a manufacturer of wire harnesses and electrical components located in Twinsburg, Ohio. Before joining WRWP, she was a Manager at a local public accounting firm for 15 years, working with corporate and individual clients to provide attest, advisory and tax services.

Emily has lived in Northeast Ohio for 18 years. She is passionate about relationships and being involved in the lives of others, and working with Learning About Business is a great outlet for that. In her spare time, Emily is usually traveling to spend time with family or getting together with friends. One of her greatest joys is being auntie to 4 nieces and nephews.

Craig Hupp

Program Chair
The Lubrizol Corporation

Craig Hupp has been affiliated with Learning About Business since 1999 in various volunteer and board capacities including business resource, Advisory Board member, program day chair, Advisory Board chair, executive committee member and Program Committee chair. He was born and raised in Lake County and graduated from Eastlake North High School before earning his chemical engineering degree at Cleveland State University. Craig has held a number of technical and management positions in manufacturing, operations and R&D during his 34 year career at The Lubrizol Corporation.

Craig will tell you that following his first experience speaking to a group of LAB students in 1999 as a business volunteer, he was hooked and continues to be passionate about the program.

David Cahill

Finance Chair
Cohen and Company, Transaction Services

A 2007 LAB alumni who began his career at Cohen and Company providing privately-held and non-profit organizations with financial statement attest services. As opportunity would present itself, he transitioned into the Transaction Services group at Cohen and Company, where he now provides buy and sell-side due diligence support in M&A transactions.

David is involved in the community as a member of the Hockey Players in Business professional networking organization and a member of the Young Association for Corporate Growth (YACG). He is an active Certified Public Accountant in the State of Ohio.

Donald Wayne McLeod

Visibility and Partnership Chair

Donald Wayne created PERCEPTIONOLOGY, LLC to enable you to hear the truth as to how others perceive you. Discussing everything from being the "Best Hello" to the "Best Goodbye" you will come to understand the subtle, yet critical, nuances that influence others' perceptions of us.

In addition to his individual and corporate clients, Donald Wayne has served as a facilitator for such nonprofit organizations as SCORE, Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland, Counsel of Small Enterprises, Future Emerging Leaders of Lake County, Toastmasters and Lake Works. He has helped over 4,000 displaced Ohio workers and is also a member of the Business Advisory Committee for Auburn Career Center.

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