One of the big winners from the University of Akron shakedown was an outfit that you've probably never heard of from the Cleveland area. It was mentioned in the Beacon Journal as Trust Navigator LLC. Was I right?
The paper said the company to which the Trustees awarded an $843,000 contract would supply students with "success coaches".
Our curiosity took us further because I have no idea what this is all about. According to its web site, it will give the university one coach for every 150 students, meeting with each one once a month to "redirect" them.
A source who checked this out reported that Trust Navigator is actually three people in Gates Mills. Each is called an ambassador. There's Thomas Roulston, managing partner of Roulston Investment in Cleveland. He also has a compnay dealing with market/investment research. .Ron Reho, the chief operations ambassador is a UA graduate with a real job as interim general manager for Flohr Machine. The third principal is Grace Roulston, an Ohio University graduate with a degree in communication and film studies. (Reho told the BJ that he wouldn't be available to talk until next week.)
Said my source: "I don't know who is doing the actual work. Go figure."
I called Wayne Hill, the UA vice president of marketing, to learn more about whether there was competitive bidding on the job. He would only say there were two bids. And the winner was chosen by a "campus committee". Don't know the second bidder, if in fact there ever was one. Anyone?
There are blind spots all over the campus today. Even Ted Mallo, the counsel to the Board of Trustees, isn't responding to e-mails.
By the way, the LLC that follows the name of Trust Navigator refers to limited liability company. I'm told by a lawyer friend that it means that if the company is sued the operators - eh..ambassadors - would not be liable. Only the company,not individuals, could be fined or something.
So $843,000 for a monthly visit, huh? Do they make house calls? I think I might need some redirection.