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J. Martin Erbaugh Appointed Chairman of New Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation Advisory Board at Kent State University

Posted Oct, 5, 2009

Julie Messing, director of Kent State University's Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (CEBI), has announced that J. Martin Erbaugh has been appointed chairman of the center's new advisory board. As chair, Erbaugh will utilize his extensive business network to identify advisory board candidates and encourage their involvement with CEBI. He will also help guide CEBI in establishing the policies and procedures for board members.

Erbaugh presently is president and CEO of J. M. Erbaugh Co. which deals in diversified investments, real estate and consulting. He founded Lawnmark in 1978, which focused on horticultural services. He served on the board of Lesco Inc. as chairman until 2007, and co-founded Morgan Bank in Hudson, Ohio, and served on its board and as chairman. He also serves on the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and LNB Bancorp.

"Marty is an individual with considerable numbers of contacts in the business community across Northeast Ohio and beyond," says Rick Kolbe, Ph.D., associate dean for faculty for the College of Business Administration. "He will be able to help us engage many individuals in the workings of the CEBI."

Erbaugh expects creation of the advisory board to take some time.

"It may take two to three years to get it structured the way we want it," he says. "We want a large network of advisors to draw on – 50 to 60 from all of the various Northeast Ohio communities that we can get engaged with the program who will be available for speaking in classes and donate time to engage with the students."

Messing says the intent of the advisory board is to provide entrepreneurial experts that will help the CEBI fulfill its mission of providing students with entrepreneurial experiences.

"Exposing students to the thinking of multiple individuals with significant entrepreneurship experience will truly enhance their knowledge and business savvy," she says. "Board members will work directly with students to foster their entrepreneurial dreams by making them a reality. By engaging the business community with the business school, we demonstrate to this group of influential individuals that our programs offer excellent business training and that our students can compete with graduates from any business school." 

Board members will work with students on student-run and student-initiated businesses as mentors, consultants and board members of these businesses, and could potentially become investors. Erbaugh and selected board members will be involved in CEBI events, including the Solomon Lecture Series and the annual Entrepreneurship Extravaganza. 

Entrepreneurs interested in joining the center's advisory board may contact Erbaugh at 330-650-4365 or


Media Contacts:
Emily Vincent, 330-672-8595,
Kevin Brosien, 330-672-8589,