Team NEO Recognizes Three Individuals for Advancing the Region’s Strategy

Event honors Jim Clay, Bethany Dentler and Deborah Hoover

Team Northeast Ohio (Team NEO) honored three individuals – a business leader, an economic development leader and a community leader – at its NEO Rising: Celebrating Today. Building Tomorrow. event at Embassy Suites in Independence on May 10. The event celebrated the collaboration of regional economic development partners across the 18 counties of Northeast Ohio that worked together in 2017 to achieve or exceed goals set by JobsOhio in four categories: projects completed, jobs created/committed, payroll added/committed and capital investment.

Three individuals – Jim Clay, retired CEO, Westfield; Bethany Dentler, executive director, Medina County Economic Development Corporation; and Deborah Hoover, president and CEO, Burton D. Morgan Foundation – were honored with Team NEO Regional Economic Development Champion Awards for their dedication to the goal of growing Northeast Ohio’s economy.

“We are delighted to recognize Jim, Bethany and Deborah for their leadership in our efforts to strengthen our economy and drive collaboration across our economic development network,” said Bill Koehler, CEO of Team NEO. “They understand that collectively we accomplish more than any single individual or organization. Business, economic development and community leaders are well served by the examples set by our honorees.”

Specifically, the honorees were recognized for the following:

Business Leader Jim Clay, who has served on the boards of organizations including the Greater Cleveland Partnership and Team NEO, and played an integral role in the Regional Competitiveness Council in 2017. He worked tirelessly to better align local strategies to the broader regional strategies and led Team NEO and its partners to their most successful performance year.

Economic Development Leader Bethany Dentler, executive director of the Medina County Economic Development Corporation, was recognized for her longstanding efforts to align local and regional economic development strategies, which led her team and peers in Medina County in assisting 25 companies, which will lead to nearly 700 jobs and more than $200 million in capital investment.

Community Leader Deborah Hoover, who has led the Burton D. Morgan Foundation since 2007, chairs the Bounce Innovation Hub in Akron and serves on the board of the Fund for Our Economic Future as well as national innovation and entrepreneurship organizations, has been pivotal in fostering an innovation economy in Northeast Ohio through outreach to businesses and the development of targeted technology clusters.

About Team NEO

Team NEO is an economic development organization focused on creating jobs for Northeast Ohio’s residents. In collaboration with our partners, it leads the region’s business attraction efforts, supports business retention and expansion work as Northeast Ohio’s JobsOhio affiliate, accelerates the impact of innovation in the region, and aligns strategies and resources within the economic development network to maximize its impact. In addition, Team NEO provides tools to assist employers in attracting talent to the region.

Team NEO is part of the robust Northeast Ohio Economic Development System, providing business decision-makers with access to customized solutions that mitigate risk, foster innovation and accelerate growth through a connected and collaborative ecosystem. For more information, visit