Facilitators

Next Generation Institute

Overall, facilitators add value and inspire participants to take action, specific steps in the journey of generational transition. The program is not designed for the transition plan to take place over the seven month period. Rather, the sessions become “tools in the toolbox” to review as the family makes progress on this journey.

Facilitators are also "cheerleaders” to encourage participants to make attendance to the sessions a key priority, complete assignments between classes, and develop a pace of progress in developing their plan.

About your facilitators

Headshot of Rick Blum

Rick Blum

513-702-8730

Rick has been an NGI Facilitator since 2011. After graduating from Notre Dame and serving as a Naval Officer, Rick began his career at his family’s business, Kirk & Blum, as a Sales Engineer in 1972. Kirk & Blum produced industrial sheet metal products, air pollution control systems on a design/build basis, and installed them. Rick became President of Kirk & Blum, succeeding his retiring father, in 1982. By the mid 90s, it had become the largest company of its kind in the U.S. In 1999, K & B was owned by Rick, his two brothers who were active in the business, and three sisters who were not actively involved. Working with their Advisory Board, the family decided that the best solution to their succession issues was to sell the company. The company was sold to Ceco Environmental, a publicly traded company, in December of 1999. Rick became the President and Chief Operating Officer of Ceco and his two brothers continued at K & B. He served as Ceco’s President until January 2011. Since then he has served on a number of private company Advisory Boards. 

Headshot of Bill Cloppert

Bill Cloppert

513-241-8313

For the past four years, Bill has been involved with NGI as a facilitator and family guide. Bill is a hands-on business counselor with experience in a variety of industries, with a particular focus on wholesale/distribution. He has recommended and assisted in the development of deferred compensation agreements, buy/sell agreements, projections, and business planning for numerous clients. Bill is involved in estate and tax planning for key members of client management teams. He served as Managing Director of Barnes Dennig from 1988 – 2011, leading the firm through significant growth to become the fifth-largest CPA firm in Greater Cincinnati.

Bill currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Xavier University in the Accounting Department and has taught various financial courses in the MBA program since 2013. He has also served on the Advisory Board for a local company since 2015. Bill earned a BA in Accounting from Xavier University and the EXMBA in 2013. Since 1974, he has been a member of Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, Bill was Chairman of the Freestore Foodbank Foundation Board from 2008-2015, serves on the Board of Executive Advisors at Williams College of Business at Xavier University, and has been a mentor for business majors at Xavier since 2003.

Headshot of Todd Eppert

Todd Eppert

513-543-7271

Todd joined the NGI team during the 2019-20 season as a Facilitator and Family Guide. He began working as a Transition Guide in 2020. His expertise includes operations leadership, leadership development, strategic planning and implementation, continuous improvement, team building, coaching, and succession planning.

Todd has a Bachelors in Science, Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University and an MBA from Thomas More College. He served in a number of leadership roles during his 23-year career in small to mid-sized manufacturing businesses including VP of Manufacturing roles at IPC Power Resistors/Post Glover and Skilcraft and COO at Senneca Holdings. He has worked with continuous improvement teams, improved operational performance, and developed leaders. Another key focus was helping his teams through a merger and multiple acquisitions, with most of his time spent on the integration efforts. Todd realized there was a significant gap with family-owned businesses seeking to transition leadership to the next generation, forcing them to sell. He left the corporate structure in late 2017 to follow his passion of developing people, coaching, and mentoring.

Headshot of David Kiihnl

David Kiihnl

(513) 257-7710

David Kiihnl is president of David Kiihnl & Associates which specializes in developing sustainable business strategies, implementing successful succession plans, and providing advice to presidents and owners of mid-size and small companies. Adding to his 12 years of corporate leadership experience, David gained firsthand entrepreneurial knowledge as president/owner of Loth Inc. - a rapid growth company providing Steelcase office furniture and related services to companies in the Cincinnati and surrounding markets. During this time David also served two consecutive terms as a board member of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the first Steelcase Dealer Council. For over 10 years David has volunteered at the Goering Center's Next Generation Institute.  As the leader of the 20-plus volunteer facilitators, he recruits, trains and coaches these volunteers for the important role of assisting family businesses in generational transition. David currently serves on four boards of privately held and family businesses.

Headshot of Gus McPhie

Gus McPhie

513-530-0499

A.J. “Gus” McPhie has been an NGI facilitator for 8 years. He is a retired senior executive with international experience and a broad management background in both large public and small privately held family businesses. Gus has a variety of knowledge that he has picked up throughout his career; 18 years of marketing at Procter & Gamble, 12 years in general management and related responsibilities as President of two small privately owned companies, and 13 years as a management consultant, primarily in family-owned businesses. Over the years, Gus has been involved in leadership roles in volunteer organizations, which today is the Gardner Center in the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute. 

Headshot of David Miller

David Miller

513-556-5648

David joined the Goering Center in February 2018 as the New Member Engagement Director after spending over 30 years in various Executive, Operations, and Sales leadership roles in the local media space under both public and private business ownership structures. Most recently, he was one of the Managing Partners and COO with CBD Media LLC & Kith Media LLC, a $120MM local media company serving small, private and family-based business enterprises in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, and the States of Alaska and Hawaii. Prior to Kith Media LLC, David spent 12 years as the V.P. of Sales and Marketing Operational lead for a Private Equity roll-up.  He was a member of the Managing Board of Directors for CBD Media LLC.

A senior leader with extensive Senior leadership experience within both public and private business ownership structures.  He has strong implementation skills and is a problem-solver and business builder through collaboration." A strategic and analytical leader managing with clear sense of purpose and entrepreneurial urgency. Adept at organizing and leading Operations, Marketing and Sales teams in early-stage, aggregation and late-stage business cycles.   Experienced negotiating and structuring strategic partnerships in Production, Manufacturing and Distribution functional areas.  He has also setup Business Process Outsourcing relationships in India and Caribbean markets.

The combination of his deep Operational experience, proven ability to work with external Advisory teams and internal stakeholders and nuanced in program management establishes the necessary foundation for organizational transformation, improving operational efficiencies and business platform aggregation.

Headshot of Jim Miller

Jim Miller

513-252-8555

Since 2013, Jim has consulted with high net worth families and family businesses in defining issues surrounding intergenerational wealth transition and developing the communication systems that enable families to stay together. He is also an implementer for the Goering Center’s Business Boards Institute.

Jim began his professional career as a tax accountant at international CPA firm, Arthur Andersen, where he served closely held and family-owned businesses. In 1989, Jim was admitted as a partner and developed a leadership position in advanced estate and wealth transition planning. Jim left Andersen to develop his skills in the investment business before he was recruited to run a single family office in 2001. The family had successfully monetized several operating businesses prior to Jim joining the company, but they continued with another startup medical device enterprise in which he was involved.

Headshot of William Mueller

William Mueller

513-847-8478

Bill has over 40 years of experience in healthcare, with 35 of those years in senior management roles in acute care and physician practice management.  He is a Senior Advisor for Workforce Strategic Advisors, LLC, focusing on leadership development, operational efficiencies, labor management and quality improvement.  Bill has led a variety of projects including operational performance turnarounds, implementation of major clinical information systems, and major building projects incorporating strong operational knowledge and experience with change management skills.  He has developed a strong passion and expertise in leadership development and executive coaching.

Bill serves on a number of Boards of Directors, and Advisory Boards for both for profit and non-profit entities.  He is an Adjunct Instructor in the University of Cincinnati, College of Pharmacy Masters ’of Science in Leadership degree program, and is a Facilitator and Family Guide in the Next Generation Institute of the Goering Center.  Bill consults as a Leadership Coach, and is contracted as a Transition Guide for family owned businesses in the Cincinnati area.  He has served on a number of community-based boards including Oregon Economic Development Foundation, East Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce, Oregon School Foundation Board and the Sacred Heart Home in Oregon, Ohio.

Bill holds a Bachelor of Science, Pharmacy Degree from the University of Cincinnati, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio.  He has been published in a number of professional journals.

Headshot of Julie Stewart

Julie Stewart

513-382-1295

Julie currently serves as an NGI facilitator and family guide. She is a results-driven professional with extensive experience in strategic partnership development, operational excellence, and business development from startups to a Fortune 500 global HealthCare Enterprise. She has a consistent record of positioning organizations for success, growing new business into high performing units through strong operations, and building highly accomplished teams dedicated to delivering stellar results.

With over 20 years of experience, Julie has led large teams, managed a diverse P&L, driven growth and developed innovative programs and services. She has initiated several successful startups and led her teams through complex acquisitions and integration. While serving as a Division Vice President, Julie’s team created the largest strategic partnership at DaVita involving multiple physician groups and complex healthcare systems and laid the foundation for the company’s first strategic partnership involving 4 different competing investment entities. Julie brings a broad understanding across healthcare delivery systems including hospital, physician, and community-based care settings. Julie is at her best when she is developing tomorrow’s great leaders, driven by the belief that people and relationships drive organizational success. Julie earned her Master in Health Administration from Duke University and her Bachelor in Business Administration from Marshall University. She serves on the Board of Advisors for Ghent Manufacturing, HealthWorks, and as a Board Trustee for the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Greater Cincinnati.

Headshot of Rik Vonderhaar

Rik Vonderhaar

513-225-8092

During the last four years, Rik has been involved with the Goering Center as an NGI facilitator, moderator of four Executive Roundtables, Business Board Member for four companies, and a Family Guide for two transitioning businesses. His most recent position was Vice President at Champion Window. Rik has broad based experience and skills in: interpersonal communications, marketing/advertising, pricing, sales management, competitive intelligence, financial statement analysis (P&L responsibilities), operations, customer service, strategic planning, and manager recruiting. He has taught and trained several functions including: selling skills, customer service, body language, negotiating, and personality types.

Rik has authored a newly published book on value selling: In The Absence Of Value, All That’s Left Is $$. He is currently working as a volunteer and consultant to organizations serving the business community of Cincinnati. Rik received 2018 Mentor of the Year Award by the University of Cincinnati Center for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (CEC).  He has also taught the Fundamentals of Personal Selling class at UC for the last two years.

Rik Vonderhaar earned a marketing degree from St. Joseph’s College, after receiving a basketball grant-in-aid and the Wall Street Journal Award for senior with the best GPA in the business school. He earned an MBA from University of Cincinnati, which he completed in 10 months while being a Teaching Assistant. He has 41-plus years of sales and marketing experience with six companies, two being Fortune 500. Rik is retired now, but still actively applying his skills and experience.