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BAC’s History:
Serving Northeast Ohio Since 1956

Business Advisers of Cleveland (BAC) began as a “start-up” over 60 years ago.

Business Advisers of Cleveland (BAC) was founded in 1956 by Mr. Jay Iglauer, a newly retired executive of a major department store.  He wanted to put his experience to work assisting entrepreneurs, so he recruited over fifty retired executives to form the Cleveland Senior Council. Several years later the organization was renamed as Business Advisers of Cleveland.

Since that time, hundreds of BAC volunteers have provided practical advice to thousands of business owners who themselves have created jobs in Northeast Ohio. The fundamental reasons behind BAC’s success have not changed over the years. The key elements for BACs long-running success are:


  • Exceptional volunteer executives who themselves have had careers of business-building, who

  • Serve any business builder or entrepreneur, whether the person is in the idea stage or is managing an existing business, with a

  • Counseling philosophy that provides three-member teams for each client.

The goal is to develop a long-term advisory relationship and grow stable local businesses.

The volunteers who make up BAC’s membership are typically business owners or executives who, upon retiring or finding more time available, are interested in sharing their expertise with the next generation of business leaders.  Some of our members are experts in a specific field; many are generalists who have ‘been there, done that’.


They have all been faced with taking risk, managing unknowns, making mistakes, spending too little, and spending too much.  This interactive and personal service to BAC clients is free, which allows entrepreneurs to engage attorneys, accountants, or technical experts more efficiently with clearly defined problems.  In addition, BAC helps entrepreneurs and small business owners at any business stage.   Finally, BAC offers long-term flexibility where initial counseling can evolve into a long-term mentoring relationship.

Embracing the people of Cleveland and the surrounding Northeast Ohio community has been organic to the Business Advisers of Cleveland organization and mission from its inception.  Clients, volunteers, and staff bring extensive and differing backgrounds,  perspectives and experiences to the table, where the mix of ideas leads to innovation and growth.  

“BAC provides me with an opportunity to use what I’ve learned to help committed individuals improve their lives and the quality of life in Northeast Ohio. It is very gratifying to watch an individual grow and achieve and know that I’ve been able to help him/her on that journey.”

Behind Our Success:
  • Mission
  • Volunteers
  • Methodology

BAC’s mission, its volunteers, and its methodology are the
key reasons the organization has been successful in helping entrepreneurs for over 60 years and, why it has been a meaningful experience for its many volunteers.

Economic Impact

The economic impact of BAC’s counseling and mentoring activity on Northeast Ohio has been significant. Through 2021, the efforts of BAC volunteers have resulted in:

  • More than $100 million in additional annual revenues

  • More than 1400 new jobs created

  • Served more than 10,000 clients

  • Over 120,000 volunteer hours

  • Value of hours donated by BAC members in 2020 alone exceeded $750,000

Please join BAC as a volunteer or contribute as a donor to support our work with entrepreneurs.

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