"The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it."
-Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies
Lee McMannis is currently an Entrepreneur-in Residence at Kent State University's Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation. He is also the owner of Performance by Design, a business consulting firm.
Born in Akron, Ohio, Lee leads an entrepreneurial family. He resides in Hudson, Ohio with his wife Sandra, an attorney/entrepreneur, and his son, Andrew. His oldest son, Phillip, a recent Boston University graduate, has degrees in Marketing and Entrepreneurship and resides in Boston.
To fund his education at Kent State University (BBA '70), Lee started a business distributing automotive racing equipment. After graduation he joined the family business, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires, a company which designed, developed and marketed high performance, race and specialty 4x4 tires and wheels. In 1983 he was named CEO, increased revenue from $1M to approximately $40M, and expanded the distribution system globally to include more than forty countries. After becoming the sole shareholder through an LBO, he orchestrated the sale of the company to Cooper Tire, a Fortune 500 multi-national. Today, the business is Cooper's highest profit business unit.
Mr. McMannis, a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, is the holder of two patents. He has served as a Director of the National Tire Dealer and Retreaders Association and President of the Private Brand Tire Group. A member of the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association for 36 years, Lee currently serves on the Wheel and Tire, Sport Compact Racing, and Light Truck Accessories councils and helps develop the entrepreneurial spirit in others. He tries to give back to his community as an Ambassador at the Cleveland Clinic, a member of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and a Boy Scout Troop Committee Chairman in Hudson.