2017 Pacemaker Awards to honor local entrepreneur, outstanding UT business students

April 6, 2017 | Events, News, UToday, Alumni, Business and Innovation
By Bob Mackowiak

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation and the Business Engagement and Leadership Council will recognize both business and academic excellence during their 54th annual Pacemaker Awards Friday, April 7, at the Inverness Club.

Receiving the 2017 Business Pacemaker Award is Brent L. Cousino, acting chief operating officer and chief financial officer for VentureMed Group. VentureMed is a medical device startup company based at ProMedica Innovations in Toledo. Its first product was approved by the FDA last year, and sales have begun in Europe and the United States.


He is also CEO of Browning Cousineau Corp., a private advisory firm founded in 2012 focused in the health-care industry. He serves on the advisory board of Principle Business Enterprises in Bowling Green. From 2012 to 2015, he served as CEO of IRISense LLC, a biomedical device startup at UT Innovation Enterprises. During that time, he also served as assistant for business outreach and engagement for then UT College of Business and Innovation Dean Thomas Gutteridge, as well as an entrepreneur-in-residence for UT Innovation Enterprises.

Cousino co-founded the CPA firm of Nachtrab, Cousino, O’Neil, Treuhaft & Co. in 1984 with a primary focus on the health-care industry and led a merger with Plante Moran in 1997. He went on to build a national feasibility consulting practice and retired from Plante Moran in 2012.

Active in community service, Cousino is a member of the Mercy Health – Toledo Market board of directors, a seven hospital region of Mercy Health, and serves on its strategy development committee. He is involved in Toledo Rotary and the Young Presidents’ Organization. He also has served in numerous board leadership capacities over the years; these include the UT Alumni Association, Imagination Station, Lott Industries, Sunshine Communities, St. Michael’s in the Hills, and the Young Presidents’ Organization Maumee Valley Chapter.

A 1978 UT alumnus who graduated with a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting, Cousino received a Student Pacemaker Award in 1977 and in 1997 received the Outstanding Accountant Award from UT’s Beta Alpha Psi Chapter. In 2000, he was named to the Sylvania Schools Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. He lives in Toledo with his wife, Pam, and they have two sons who live in Washington, D.C.

“Recipients of the Pacemaker Award over the past five decades read as a Who’s Who of current and legendary business leaders in the Toledo region,” said Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation, “and Brent Cousino certainly belongs in that impressive roster. The Pacemaker Award is the College of Business and Innovation’s highest honor, recognizing individuals for outstanding achievement in business, as well as contributions to the community and the University.”

Student Pacemaker Awards are presented to UT College of Business and Innovation graduate and undergraduate students for their outstanding academic achievement, University and community service, and leadership.

The 2017 student Pacemakers are: Master of Business Administration — Alejandro Vera; Executive Master of Business Administration — Abul Faiz Ahmed; Master of Science in Accountancy — Malachi Benesh; Accounting — Dana Breese, Jessica Knepper; Finance — Jordan Spellis, Elizabeth Bates; Information Operations Technology Management — Abdulmonem Alfadhel, Brad Spelman; Management — Jesseca Perkins, Hala Abou-Dahech; Marketing/International Business — Grant Horlamus, Gabriella LeMaster; Applied Organizational Technology — Teresa Rodriguez, administrative assistant in UT Undergraduate Admission; and Dean’s Recipient — Patrick Ryan.

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