What Am I Thankful For This Year? | Calkins Law Firm

What Am I Thankful For This Year?

November 25, 2019

I’m thankful for David Brown!

David Brown, my partner in the Center For Free Enterprise, announced at our sold out meeting last week that he has sold his house in Pepper Pike. He has purchased a new house in Scottsdale and will be flying Southwest soon. How I will miss David, and how I appreciate his many contributions, and his friendship and support over many years.

I met David perhaps as may as 30 years ago. David was/ is married to Sheila, a wonderful woman who happened to have attended Wellesley College with my ex-wife. Looking back, I (somehow) met or was introduced to David because my ex-wife and Sheila had been college chums.

Back then, David and I both worked downtown, and our paths crossed periodically. David partnered with Larry Goddard, who I also knew, to launch The Parkland Group, doing business restructurings and turnarounds. I remember their excellent book, The Turbo Charged Company – I highly recommend it.

A few years later, David split off and launched his own Red Hawk Associates, which continues to exist today and will continue to assist Northeast Ohio and other clients with acquisition searches and other projects going forward. David and Red Hawk have assisted literally dozens of Northeast Ohio businesses, and their owners, over the years.

David ran the Turnaround Management Association for many years, and was adept / proficient at it. Probably for that reason, even though the start up and early stage space was not necessarily David’s focus, I recruited/ roped David into helping with the Ohio Venture Association (of which I was then the President and which need a restructuring or turnaround).

With David’s help, the Ohio Venture Association reached all time record membership. Under David’s leadership, the Ohio Venture Association launched a Venture Summit which was sold out every year that we held it. Heady times. At its peak, and flush with cash generated by Venture Summits, the Ohio Venture Association retained Frank Samuel to explore the possibility of a statewide venture group for Ohio, and out of that effort came Venture Ohio, which continues today. All thanks to David. The Ohio Venture Association collapsed soon after David left the Board (I had also stepped down).

But David wasn’t finished contributing. More recently, David suggested to me that we form a new group to spread the word. To educate people in the generation of wealth through business/ free enterprise and to bring people and ideas and capital together to support the region’s economy. So, a few years ago, David and I launched the Center for Free Enterprise. With David’s inspiration, vision, leadership, and hard work, CFE has hosted over 20 sold out programs and events.

Our most recent program, last week, featured Tim Calkins of The Kellogg School of Business presenting on the subject of his new book, How to Wash a Chicken.Record registrations, record attendance. Thank you again, David.

How is that for contributing? For giving back? For making a difference? David has always been one who sees a need and addresses it. He has vision, he is a leader, but he is also wonderful at the nuts and the bolts, the blocking and the tackling, the all-important follow through. 

Oh and did I forget to mention that long before North Coast Angel Fund launched, David prompted me to meet (with him tagging along) with local centers of influence including Jamie Ireland, Eric Fingerhut, and Ray Leach to promote the idea of a local angel fund, for which we coined the name “North Coast Angel Fund.” David and I attended countless meetings and generated critical support for the project. North Coast Angel Fund still exists, under our chosen name. Thank you, David.

Just a year ago, David, always wanting to help the less fortunate, launched 100 Men Who Care .Just getting going and I hope it can continue to grow despite David’s departure.

It was David in fact who encouraged me to sail my own ship, to launch my own business, which I did a few years ago and which it going quite well(should have done it sooner!) thanks to my clients and referral sources. Thank you, David.

David has been a true friend, always there to listen and to support and encourage and to help.

David heads Southwest but his legacy endures here in NEO, his contributions continue to be a force for good here in NEO. He eaves behind the many lives he has touched in a thousand ways.

Thank you, David.    

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