Team NEO Names Jim Clay Chairman of the Board


CLEVELAND, April 20, 2015 — The governing board of directors of Team Northeast Ohio (Team NEO) announced that Jim Clay, chairman and CEO of Westfield Group has assumed the role of chairman for the region’s business attraction, growth and technology-based business development organization. He succeeds Ward J. "Tim" Timken, Jr., chairman, chief executive officer and president of TimkenSteel Corporation and David T. Abbott, executive director of The George Gund Foundation, who served as interim co-chairs during the organization’s transition to begin to implement the regional strategy.

"Jim knows Team NEO well and was instrumental in the process which led to its consolidation with NorTech," said Timken. "His leadership will be valuable as the organization leverages its new strengths to help accelerate the pace of job creation in northeast Ohio."

"It is an honor to take on this role," said Clay. "I am committed to working with this dynamic board to help our region to compete globally."

Timken and Abbott step down after acting as co-chairs for the Regional Competitiveness Council (RCC) and interim co-chairs for Team NEO. They were instrumental in leading a steering committee that recommended a new regional economic competitiveness strategy to accelerate northeast Ohio job growth. Both will continue to serve on the board and provide their leadership and experience to the organization.

"We are tremendously grateful for Tim Timken’s and Dave Abbot’s leadership and guidance during a period of significant change and growth for Team NEO," said Team NEO’s Interim CEO Grant Goodrich.

About Jim Clay
Jim Clay is the Chairman and CEO of Westfield Group, a customer-focused insurance and banking group of businesses headquartered in Medina County. In business for more than 167 years, Westfield is an active participant in a variety of non-profit, business, civic and philanthropic organizations that support the social and economic development of the entire region.

During Mr. Clay’s 35-year career with the company, he has played a role in nearly every aspect of the business, from a successful career as an insurance underwriter, to president of the insurance operation, to eventually taking the reins as CEO. Under Clay’s leadership, Westfield’s surplus exceeded $1.9 billion, the most in the company’s history. Recently, Westfield announced that Mr. Clay will retire in March 2016, leaving the company well-positioned for the future.

Mr. Clay is a graduate of The Ohio State University. He is a trustee of the Property & Casualty Insurers Association of America and co-chairs the Insurance Industry Resource Council, Ohio’s workforce initiative to support the industry’s domestic carriers. Mr. Clay is active with a number of economic development organizations in northeast Ohio including the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Team NEO and Cleveland’s Playhouse Square Foundation.

About Team NEO
Team NEO is a private-sector, regional collaboration of Northeast Ohio’s major businesses, foundations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and JobsOhio, a private, nonprofit corporation that drives economic development and job creation for the state. Together we work to advance a regional economic competitiveness strategy designed to accelerate job and economic growth and provide opportunities for all segments of Northeast Ohio’s population. To facilitate this growth, Team NEO markets Northeast Ohio to the world and collaborates with its partners and others to attract new businesses, help those that are here grow, and accelerate the pace and impact of innovation in the region. As the regional network partner for JobsOhio, we support the retention and expansion work of our 18 county partners by connecting them, and their client companies, with both state and JobsOhio programs and incentives as well as resources across Northeast Ohio. We use our industry knowledge and connections to enhance innovation among driver industries and to identify and develop emerging technologies and markets where the region has a competitive edge. For more information, visit and

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