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Serving Northeast Ohio Since 1956

Our vision is to be a highly valuable, accessible, and trusted advisory team for first-time and emerging entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio. 

In 1956, Mr. Jay Iglauer, a newly retired executive of Halle Brothers department store, put his experience to work assisting entrepreneurs.  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.  

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Behind Our Success:
  • Mission
  • Volunteers
  • Methodology


Business Advisers of Cleveland exists to improve entrepreneurship, economic development, and job creation in Northeast Ohio. 


Through the volunteer efforts of expert retired business executives, BAC provides free mentoring, coaching, and business advice to start-ups, small businesses, and nonprofits.


  • Integrity: we foster ethical and responsible interactions.

  • Collaboration: we provide team-based advice to build upon each member’s strengths.

  • Responsibility: we impart foundational ethics in problem-solving, innovation, and advice.

  • Service: we approach clients with a service mentality.

  • Respect: we respect our clients’ intention of improving themselves and the world around them. 

  • Excellence: we provide sound, transparent, and expert counsel.

Economic Impact:

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

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