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Thursday, December 08, 2022

On Thursday, December 8, 2022, Dave Roush, the Vice Chair of Julie Billiart Schools’ (JBS) Board of Directors, received a Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service, presented by Smart Business. Roush was recognized with the Nonprofit Board Executives of the Year Award.

The award, which honors businesses and individuals that make outstanding contributions to their communities, is designed to encourage a charitable environment, recognize creative efforts that make a difference, and demonstrate the ties between the for-profit and nonprofit worlds.

Roush was nominated for the award by Julie Billiart Schools, a network of private, Catholic K-8 schools that serve children with learning and social differences. Roush, who chairs JBS’ Strategic Growth Committee, has played an integral role in JBS’ growth from one campus in Lyndhurst, OH, to four campuses across Northeast Ohio by the end of 2024. He has helped to develop growth strategies and drive an entrepreneurial mindset amongst the board and JBS’ leadership staff.

Dave’s passion for JBS began when his son attended JB Lyndhurst and benefited from the education that he received. In 2012, he joined the JBS Board. Prior to committing to board involvement, Dave served as a member of the JBS Sunflower Society and as an active member of Advisory and Long-Range Planning Committees.

When the decision to expand JB was made, Dave’s experience and understanding of entrepreneurship helped create a path for JBS to follow. This path not only included growth, but also long-term financial sustainability for the network of schools.

“Dave’s willingness to listen, brainstorm, research, and dive into problem-solving are unmatched,” said Anne Jarrad, Julie Billiart Schools’ Director of Advancement. “His creativity is grounded in his ability to strategize, look at all the resources at hand, and come up with a structure and a thought process for opening new schools and expanding our mission. Dave has been an outstanding board member in large part because he is reliable and disciplined about his involvement in JB Schools. This keeps other board members and staff motivated to continue to strive to reach our goal to serve more kids in Northeast Ohio who have social or learning differences.”

The Pillar Award embraces a broad definition of community service. It may consist of charitable giving, volunteerism, pro bono work or other forms of giving back. Service may be limited to a single organization or cause, or spread across numerous organizations and causes. Each nominee is judged based on impact relative to its size rather than overall size of contribution or effort.

“Two of the most important qualities that Dave possesses that have been instrumental to our growth, are his passion for the work that we do and his willingness to take calculated risks,” said Lannie Davis-Frecker, President and CEO of Julie Billiart Schools. “Without individuals with a risk-taking mindset, JB might have remained a single school serving 132 children. Instead, we have a network of three incredibly strong schools with a fourth on the horizon, which will allow us to serve 528 children total. Dave has the will to explore the unknown, including the positive and negative consequences of taking a risk. His passion for our mission drives Dave to explore risks without ever sacrificing the strength or the quality of the educational model that we have built.”

“Over 65 years ago, the Sisters of Notre Dame had the vision and determination to teach the underserved: kids with special needs. They named the school after their foundress, Julie Billiart. Today JB is a K-8 school teaching kids of all faiths, all of whom have learning differences. JB has terrific results, and I’m blessed to be a part of their legacy. I am honored to work with such amazing people and for such amazing children. On their behalf, thank you,” said Roush.

About Dave Roush

Dave is a co-founder and the active investor of JDP Holdings, a private investment company that partnered with Merrymeeting Group to form a technology services business. The investments comprise Merrymeeting’s Technology Group and currently include Staff Trak (a provider of scheduling software to the accounting industry). Through a family office, Dave has investments in Visitor Vetting and Management systems. The family office has invested in and sold several other small technology businesses.

From 2000 to 2009, Dave was the founder and Chairman of Insurance.com, which grew to become the largest on-line auto insurance agency in the United States. Insurance.com pioneered the development of a proprietary network that seamlessly interfaced with up to 15 carriers and outside databases to provide instant, accurate comparative auto insurance quotes enabling consumers to purchase coverage immediately through licensed agents or on-line. Growth was primarily organic. Dave became a passive investor in 2009. Insurance.com is now owned by QuinStreet, Inc.

Previously, Dave’s career spanned nearly two decades with Progressive Insurance. Starting as a Product Manager for the Recreational and Commercial Vehicle businesses, in 1987 Dave was named the first Division President of what became Strategic Alliances. The Division’s mission grew to encompass national distribution of auto insurance through other insurance companies, national brokers, large employers, affinity groups, financial institutions, direct mail and nascent Internet efforts. While sales initially were through agents, Strategic Alliances became the first business unit at Progressive to sell directly to consumers. Dave’s role then expanded to include oversight of independent agency State General Managers with his overall revenue responsibility growing from $13 million to $900+ million. Dave also served on the Progressive Chairman’s Policy Team helping to form and execute strategic and operational initiatives company-wide.

Dave is currently on the Board of PBF Logistics (a NYSE public MLP ticker PBFX) where he chairs the Audit and Conflicts committees) and Julie Billiart Schools (a Catholic primary school focused exclusively on students with special learning needs).

Dave is a graduate of Harvard Business School and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. A CPA, Dave was selected as Ernst & Young’s Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur of the Year for Emerging Business in 2007.

Dave and his wife of 45 years, Marianne, have four adult children. Dave is an avid skier and kayaker.

open-quote Julie Billiart Schools gave us hope after our daughter was diagnosed with a learning disability. At JB, she thrived in the small classes, received necessary therapies, and developed the self-confidence to ask for help when she needed it. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote Julie Billiart Schools has helped my child become a better version of himself. The teachers and therapists at JB really know and understand how to reach children who learn differently. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote My kids love everything about JB and look forward to going to school every day and seeing their friends and teachers. JB is truly a one of a kind school enriching young lives everyday. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote I don’t think I will ever be able to put into words how grateful I am that you saw my daughter for all that she is today and all that she is yet to become. close-quote

Tammie Sommer

open-quote All of the teachers and staff at JB are patient and willing to take the extra time to make sure we, as parents, understand and are comfortable. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote They have all the resources necessary, specialized to the individual learning of each child, and the heart that goes with it. I don't think we would have stayed in Ohio if it wasn't for JB! close-quote

JB Parent

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