Sourcing Alliance Team Members
David J. Akers
Founder, President & CEO, “Professor Akers”
Vice President, “Globe Trotter”
Manager of Operations, “Ohio State Fanatic”
Business Development and General Counsel, “The Car Guy”
Support Center Manager, “The Other Car Guy”
Support Center Representative, “Facilitator”
Support Center Representative, “The Chef”
Marketing Manager, “Master Gardener”
Graphic Designer, “Thrill-Seeker”
David J. Akers, Founder, President & CEO, “Professor Akers”
As the CEO of Sourcing Alliance, David’s passion for analyzing situations and identifying opportunities for business and civic growth is the reason many professionals see him as an innovator. His career is one of consistent innovation in industries ranging from fashion to state lotteries, commercial properties to campaign management, and technology to real estate. David has also created and launched more than a dozen initiatives in the business, civic, and government sectors. In 2004, David formed Collaborent Group, Ltd., a company that develops and markets group purchasing programs to public sector entities. Through this outgrowth of innovation, he created Sourcing Alliance.
Beginning his career in politics, David worked in and out of the national and local political scene for several years. After discovering the political scene wasn’t for him, he made the journey to the civic sector. Throughout his many experiences, there were problems that caught his attention. Naturally, David analyzed the situation at hand and came up with a solution. One of those creations was Bridge Builders, a program designed to help young business professionals get involved in their community. As a member of the first class that graduated from Bridge Builders, David is still heavily involved in the organization today. He also created different organizations such as Lottery for Life™ and EagleCheck Ltd., which helped solve problems he saw in other industries. His natural gift for knowing what is bound to fail or succeed and developing those around him to become better business professionals is very clear through his initiatives in the community and his own office.
David received a B.S. in Marketing and Finance from the University of Virginia’s McIntyre School of Commerce. He is the author and co-author of six-issued patents and serves as a coach and consultant for a broad range of clients. His work has also earned numerous awards and recognitions, including the Social Enterprise Alliance’s 2008 Venture America: Bold Leaders that are Changing the World award. When he is not in the office, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, playing golf, and the outdoors; preferably, camping, hiking, and ziplining.
What is the best piece of advice you have received in your career? “The best piece of advice I received in my career came from Adam Fishman, one of the principals at my first employer following my time in politics. He told me over breakfast, shortly after hiring me, the best piece of advice he had received in his career… “Get involved in i.) a professional association, ii.) a non-profit whose mission you are passionate about, and iii.) a faith-based organization. Work hard, join committees, and show up… before long, you will be in a leadership role in each group. The experiences you have, impact you make, and relationships you build are invaluable in your personal and professional development.” He was right.”
Keith McDevitt, Vice President, “Globe Trotter”
As Sourcing Alliance’s Vice President, Keith is consistently driving the business forward by bridging the gap between customers and suppliers to find the best solution to meet their needs. As he leads and oversees all sales, marketing, and revenue functions, his passion for mission and value flourishes. He shows our partners Sourcing Alliance’s services, the benefits of our methods, and the sophistication of our process. Prior to joining Sourcing Alliance, Keith spent over ten years in senior leadership positions in the consumer goods, manufacturing, and distribution industry. Additionally, he spent another seven years as a franchise business owner/operator and was deeply involved with franchise development.
Keith puts his B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from the University of Rhode Island to great use. He understands how to demonstrate value, as is clearly evidenced by his resumé of sales success. With experience at every level from personal sales to managing sales representatives, Keith is an accomplished professional. When he is not in the office, Keith enjoys traveling and deep-sea fishing. Among his other interests, he enjoys drinking wine, working out, The Grateful Dead, and collecting antiques and art. Keith has lived all over the world, including Europe, California, and several New England States. He is a graduate from The American School of Paris.
Why Sourcing Alliance? “Once I sold my previous business, I was looking to get back into the workforce. Sourcing Alliance gave me that opportunity, while letting me do what I love every day. The variety of different disciplines, from energy to merchant services to office supplies is what excites me about my job. Every day is different and an opportunity to learn something new.”
Regan Cellura, Manager of Operations, “Ohio State Fanatic”
As the manager of operations, Regan is responsible for working collaboratively with management, suppliers, members, and Sourcing Alliance service providers to manage our day-to-day operations, document processes and cross-train other personnel on those processes. Regan began her career working for consulting firms in the financial industry, beginning with D.A. Hudson & Associates. There, she served as V.P. of Administration and Operations; assisting in the financial and custodial management of Pension, Health & Welfare, and Annuity funds. When D.A. Hudson was sold to a larger consulting group, Regan left and took a job in Operations at Winslow Asset Management. After two years at Winslow, she started working in the compliance department as an associate, and briefly as Chief Compliance Officer, before leaving to join Sourcing Alliance.
Regan graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Human Ecology, and a minor in Sociology and Health Education. When she is not working, she loves spending time with her family, reading books, and watching Ohio State Football. She is also a Board Member of the Rita Matteo Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was established in the name of her Aunt who passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. To date, they have awarded over 75 scholarships and close to $100,000 in scholarship money.
Why Sourcing Alliance? “Working with David’s wife at a previous job, I knew how innovative and driven he was. When I was offered the position at Sourcing Alliance, there was no question I wanted to work for and learn everything I could from him. After a long career in an industry I didn’t go to school for, I figured if I was going to make a career change, doing it with an opportunity impossible to pass up, would be the best time.”
Drew Barnholtz, Business Development and General Counsel, “The Car Guy”
Drew Barnholtz brings several years of corporate, entrepreneurial, and law firm experience, focused on regulatory and transactional matters in the public sector, life sciences, health care, and manufacturing industries to Sourcing Alliance. Besides serving as the General Counsel of Sourcing Alliance, Drew is also responsible for developing our Supplier Partner portfolio. His career is rich in the kinds of experience that yield keen insights, good judgement, and a bottom-line business orientation. These skills help him as he works with suppliers that are interested in the programs Sourcing Alliance has to offer.
Drew received a B.A. in History from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law. Before joining Sourcing Alliance, he served as a corporate lawyer and municipal prosecutor. He also has served as Assistant General Counsel at both Invacare Corporation and University Hospitals. When he is away from the office, he loves spending time with his family, exercising, and anything that has to do with cars. He enjoys watching car TV shows, reading car magazines, and attending car shows. He is also a 2nd degree blackbelt in Taekwondo.
Why Sourcing Alliance? “Since my career has surrounded public sector entities and GPO’s for a long time, I knew it was something I wanted to continue. The environment at Sourcing Alliance and ability to network with perspective clients is what had me hooked. I enjoy building those personal relationships and providing profitable opportunities for our potential suppliers.”
John Janota, Support Center Manager, “The Other Car Guy”
Bringing over 19 years of experience to the Sourcing Alliance team, John is responsible for overseeing our Support Center Representatives. These are the people who are on the front lines daily listening, understanding, and helping our members find programmatic solutions to meet their strategic needs and objectives. John began his career in Pittsburgh, PA as a technical recruiter, where he developed a passion for customer relationship management. He then moved into a variety of account management positions for several years, before ultimately finding a position at Sourcing Alliance.
John is a graduate of Mercyhurst University with a B.A. in History. When he is not in the office, he enjoys rowing and restoring vintage sports cars. He enjoys hiring, developing, and nurturing positive, efficient, goal-oriented teams that work closely with senior members of the organization.
Why Sourcing Alliance? “Coming from Pittsburgh, I really wanted to be a part of a positive, forward-thinking company that values teamwork and collaboration. Luckily, Sourcing Alliance does all of that. Together, my team and I are very focused in understanding the needs of our members, so we can uncover new business opportunities for our Supplier Partners.”
Cherie Hassey, Support Center Representative, “Facilitator”
As a support center representative, Cherie’s role is to assist current Sourcing Alliance members in accessing information or solutions to meet current and future needs. She has learned through many years of experience in sales and marketing to listen to the customer and learn about their organizational needs to provide relevant solutions. Cherie’s personal approach enables her to facilitate dialogue between members or prospective members and Sourcing Alliance’s supplier partners, bringing timely, relevant solutions. Through dedicated service, Cherie fosters trusted partnerships that promote member success.
Why Sourcing Alliance? “I used to work in manufacturing, and so much of it was impersonal. I wanted the opportunity to get to know the customer, not just sell them something. Sourcing Alliance focuses on a more personal approach.”
Gary Rose, Support Center Representative, “The Chef”
Gary brings extensive experience in client services to his role at Sourcing Alliance, where he is responsible for engaging with members and public sector buyers to identify the programs that best meet their needs. Gary worked for several years as a debt relief consultant, where he developed a very collaborative, solution oriented approach. He has also been instrumental in the training and development of high-caliber sales teams.
Outside of his client services role, Gary enjoys the creativity of cooking and baking, escaping to the great outdoors, or just getting lost in a good book. He has two adult children. In his free time, Gary volunteers with patients through Hospice of the Western Reserve and Lake Health’s Center for Geriatric Psychiatry.
Why Sourcing Alliance? “I felt very at ease and welcomed during the interview process. The care and time that was spent with me was unprecedented in all my years interviewing with various companies. I suspected immediately that this organization cares for its employees and wants to be part of my success story.”
Ann Csongei, Marketing Manager, “Master Gardener”
Ann is responsible for managing and directing all marketing functions of Sourcing Alliance and having primary responsibility for the branding and messaging of Sourcing Alliance’s value proposition. Ann began her career in San Francisco, California during the emergence of the dot com era. While in California, she spent most of her time working for lead design and web consulting agencies. When Ann made her return to Ohio, she managed marketing and communications at the College of Business at Cleveland State University.
Ann received a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Kent State University and a Master of Business Administration from Cleveland State University. Away from the office, she enjoys listening to live music, gardening and spending time with her husband and daughter. She is also a Master Gardener with The Ohio State University in Lorain County and owns and operates a small commercial cut flower farm with her husband!
Why Sourcing Alliance? “When I was looking for a job to further my career, I knew I wanted the ability to utilize both my graphic and business management backgrounds. I felt the position at Sourcing Alliance was a great fit as the role required both to be successful. I get to manage a great marketing team while still involved in the creative aspects of different content we create.”
Stephanie Harris, Copywriter, “Shopaholic”
Stephanie’s main responsibilities at Sourcing Alliance include collaborating and developing content under the direction of the Marketing Manager. This content on projects ranges from the development of editorial standards to website content, email and direct mail campaigns to keyword search campaigns, and corporate collateral. Stephanie began her career working for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District as a student intern. To build her experience, she went on to be an intern in the Communications and Community Relations Department, before leaving to join Sourcing Alliance.
Stephanie received a B.A. in Journalism and Sociology with a minor in Spanish from Miami University of Ohio. When she is away from the office, she loves spending time with her children, singing with her church’s praise team, trying new foods with her girlfriends, and going shopping! In her free time, she is a freelance website designer.
Why Sourcing Alliance? “As a young marketing professional fresh out of school, I was trying to find a place to jumpstart my career. My job at Sourcing Alliance is more than just a job, the sense of family from everyone is really what drew me in and is why I can see myself here for a long time. The employees and management stop at nothing to help develop and create success for every person.”
David O’Meara, Graphic Designer, “Thrill-Seeker”
As a Graphic Designer, Dave O is responsible for the concept, design, and execution of a wide range of creative solutions, including: conceptual integrated marketing campaigns, printed collateral, website design and development, vector animations, and videos for Sourcing Alliance. Dave O began his career as a restaurant manager. Knowing he would want a change eventually, he decided to go back to school, spending most of his time as the Geology Lab Coordinator at Cleveland State University. After pursuing his first degree, he began his graphic design career at LAND Studio before continuing at Sourcing Alliance.
Dave O received a B.F.A. specializing in Graphic Design from Cleveland State University. In his spare time, Dave O works as a freelance designer and loves to travel wherever possible, commonly avoiding touristy places. Working on his very own bucket list of extreme adventures, Dave O has already gone skydiving, spelunking, rappelling, parasailing, hang-gliding, hiked to deep jungle pyramids, and much more.
Why Sourcing Alliance? “Looking back on my employment journey, I wanted a position that aligned with my career goals, but also challenged me. During the hiring process at Sourcing Alliance, the opportunity was given to not only do graphic design but motion design as well. As someone who enjoys both, I thought it was a great opportunity.”