President Barack Obama visited Cleveland State University with several of his Cabinet members on February 22 to convene a “Winning the Future” forum on small business in conjunction with JumpStart and NorTech. The White House invited 100 to 120 small-business leaders from Northeast Ohio to the forum, including our very own CEO, Joe Kubic, who was invited to attend the event on behalf of The Adcom Group of Companies. After Obama addressed the entire group, he and his Cabinet members participated with the local business leaders in five breakout sessions, including exports, clean energy, access to capital, entrepreneurship, and work force development.
“It was an honor to be invited to the small business forum and to have the opportunity to sit down with President Obama and Cabinet member in charge of the Small Business Administration, Karen Mills,” said The Adcom Group of Companies’ CEO, Joe Kubic. “I felt that the forum was a great success and allowed business owners to share and access new ideas and strategic thinking to support business growth. I was impressed with their organization and message. They seemed genuinely interested in developing policies to support entrepreneurs. On a personal note, it was tremendous experience to sit two seats away from the President for an extended period. Whatever your politics are, it was incredible to get a behind the scenes look at our President. I enjoyed watching his leadership skills in action. He came across as very intelligent, warm and prepared. A highlight of the day is when he thanked me for the success of our organization and for being a catalyst for jobs.”
The trip to Cleveland stems from a drive to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build America’s competitors that Obama described in his State of the Union address, according Karen Mills, “Cleveland was selected for the forum because of its successful small businesses and entrepreneurs who have the potential to grow and create the next 100 or 1,000 jobs.”
The President closed the forum with many thanks to local business owners and answered the ongoing question of the night, why come to Cleveland? Obama said, “Not only are big things happening here but they’re emblematic of what’s happening all across the Midwest and the country. This is a city that was founded on manufacturing, like a lot of cities in the Midwest. And as the economy changed, a lot of people wrote off Cleveland as a shell of its former self. But you’ve been working to reinvent the Rust Belt as the Tech Belt.”