Celebrating excellence in mergers, acquisitions and corporate finance transactions.

ACG Cincinnati honors the deals and deal makers as well as the accountants, bankers, lawyers, private equity firms and other stakeholders who initiate, structure and negotiate deals for growing organizations.

About the Deal Maker Program

Now in its 23rd year, the Deal Maker program recognizes outstanding organizations and individuals with proven track records of leadership, innovation and success through the art of the deal. Each of the winners has, in some way, challenged conventional thinking in order to drive growth in their organization and the business community. The program focuses primarily on transactions and growth within the last 18 to 24 months. Prior nominees and honorees include the most prominent and successful companies in the region. Honorees are announced at a grand event, with over 500 senior business leaders attending. The Deal Maker Awards Program is one the most prominent business events in the city.

View Steering Committee Members

Why Participate in Deal Maker?

Your Investors

Heightened profile within the local, regional and national private equity industry

Your Leaders

Personal recognition for leadership excellence for C-Suite executives

Join an Exclusive Group of Honorees

Acknowledgement within the business community for achievement in driving growth


Learn from best-in-class honorees as you network with business leaders

Top Talent

Showcase your company as an employer of choice in the competition for talent

Your Team

Team-building and employee retention by celebrating the achievements of the group


Increased profile with business media and coverage in Business Courier Supplement Enhanced recruiting appeal in a tight market for top finance talent


Marketing exposure to highlight corporate strategic vision and value proposition for customer retention and new sales opportunities

Our Sponsors

Presenting Partner
Gold Partners
Finalists' Sponsors
Silver Partners
Media Partners
Awards Partners
Cocktail Partners

2023 Judges

An independent panel of judges, selected from former Deal Maker Honorees, hear presentations from the companies and nominators before facing the challenging task of identifying this year’s honorees. The strictest standards of confidentiality are upheld and nominations are shared only with the panel of judges. Judges are limited to a three-year term.

Carolyn Micheli

Carolyn Pione Micheli is senior vice president of corporate communications and investor relations for The E.W. Scripps Company.

Carolyn handles long-term communications planning and directs the execution of those plans. She is responsible for the company's image both externally and internally. She works closely with the CEO and directs executive communications, board communications, media relations and employee communications. She also oversees The Scripps National Spelling Bee.

In the investor relations portion of her role with Scripps, she provides counsel to outside analysts and shareholders, executive leadership and the Board of Directors on all investor relations and communications-related issues.

Prior to coming to Scripps, she was communications director for CincyTech, a public-private seed-stage investor focused on startup technology companies in Southwest Ohio. From 1996-2008, she worked as a journalist in a variety of roles, including business editor for The Cincinnati Enquirer. She began her career at The Associated Press in 1991.

She is a member of the leadership team at Saturday Hoops, a program focused on helping underprivileged youth build their self-esteem and set goals, and runs its Huddle program every Saturday from January – May. She serves on the board of the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati and is a member of its Racial Justice Committee, and she is lead trustee of the Scripps Howard Fund.

She is a 1991 graduate of Miami University of Ohio and received a master’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University in 1996.

Ben Fotsch

Vice President, Digital Strategy & Execution, Western & Southern Financial Group

Ben Fotsch is VP, Digital Strategy & Execution at Western & Southern Financial Group, where he leads distribution growth efforts focused on digital platform partnerships.  Prior to this role, Ben was a part of W&S’s corporate development team where he led all strategic VC investments and supported other M&A activity, including W&S’s acquisition of Gerber Life Insurance Company which won a Deal Maker award in 2019.  Prior to W&S, Ben worked for GE Energy in multiple roles in Greenville, SC and Atlanta GA.  Ben has an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Andrew Simon


Andrew Simon is President, Corporate Services & SVP, Locum Tenens at Health Carousel

Health Carousel is a leading workforce solutions company that provides medical facilities across the U.S. with travel nursing, contract physician, and international temp-to-perm services. Founded in 2004, the company has grown to become one of the largest and fastest growing healthcare staffing companies in the United States, growing at 64% CAGR since 2014 and ending 2019 with $303M in revenue. In 2020, Health Carousel was recognized as the 9th largest healthcare staffing company in the country, as well as one of the fastest growing healthcare staffing firms, listed on the Inc. 5000 list, and named as one of the fastest growing companies in Cincinnati. The company has also grown via acquisition with the purchase of Next Medical Staffing in October 2015, Medical Staffing Options in January 2017, Locum Medical Group in September 2018, Onyx M.D. in February 2019, and Lucidity in April 2019.

At Health Carousel, Andrew splits his time between leading Corporate Services & growth, strategy, and operations for the nation's 13th largest Locum Tenens (physician staffing) company

Before joining Health Carousel, Andrew was a Manager in Deloitte Consulting’s Strategy practice working across numerous industries. Previously, he founded and operated a marketing and political advisory company. Andrew also has experience working in venture capital and spent his early career on the campaign trail.

Andrew earned an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a bachelor’s degree from Bates College.

Adrienne Vannarsdall

CFO, River Cities Capital Fund

Adrienne joined River Cities in February of 2008. She oversees the accounting, finance, treasury and human resource functions for the River Cities family of venture capital funds, as well as for the management company, River Cities Management, Inc. In addition, she participates in the investment committee.

Prior to joining River Cities, Adrienne was a Senior Auditor for Ernst & Young. During her time at Ernst & Young, she audited clients of various industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, airline services, coal supply, property management and transportation.

Adrienne was named as part of Cincinnati Business Courier's 40 Under 40 in 2017 and the Cincinnati Chamber's WE Lead Class 11. She serves on the Boards of Directors of I Have Wings and Children's Home of Northern Kentucky. Adrienne is also a member of NVCA's CFO Task Force and the NKY Chamber of Commerce Women's Initiative Group.

Adrienne holds a Bachelors of Science with concentration in Accountancy and a Masters of Accountancy, from Northern Kentucky University.

Charlie Wood

VP – Strategy, Business Development & Investor Relations, Meridian Bioscience

Charlie Wood is Vice President of Strategy, Business Development, and Investor Relations at Meridian Bioscience.  Meridian is a fully integrated life science company that develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes a broad range of innovative diagnostic products and reagents for use in diagnostic products.  Charlie is responsible for corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, business partnerships, investor relations, and corporate communications.  Since joining Meridian, the company has completed four acquisitions and is pending completion of its sale to a Korean consortium for $1.53B.  Meridian was a Deal Maker Honoree in 2021.

Prior to joining Meridian in January 2020, Charlie supported start-ups in the Cincinnati area in a variety of capacities including 80 Acres Farms and Everything But the House.  Prior to moving to Cincinnati in 2017, Charlie spent seven years with Electronics Arts in Corporate Development and Strategic Finance roles, four years with AT&T in Corporate Development, and three years in M&A advisory with C. E. Peterson & Company working on more than a dozen transactions with enterprise values ranging from $5 million to $39 billion.

Charlie earned an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Princeton University and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

2023 Steering Committee

David Kay

Fifth Third Bank


Emma Off

Thompson Hine


Kendra Bach

Wells Fargo

Doug Bolton

Cincinnati Cares/Inspiring Service

Charles Bradley East

MCM CPAs & Advisors

Don Feldmann


Ely Friedman

Von Lehman & Co.

Mark Greenberg

Silverstone Capital Advisors

Patrick Lillie

Wells Fargo

Tony Petretti


Zach Postma

Fifth Third Bank

Brad Russell

Bank of America

Chris Snyder

Huntington Capital Markets

Kelly Snyder

Cincinnati Business Courier

Kristen Sumpter

Robert Half

Marcie Taylor

ACG Cincinnati

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