MEET MIKE

       Michael Crosby was born and raised in the farm country of Northeast Ohio just north of Youngstown in Trumbull County. Corn and soybeans, black fertile earth, and hard work was part of the life of growing up in Gustavus Township. Mike attended Gustavus Elementary School and Joseph Badger High School. His parents, educators, and the community helped instill within him simple Christian values that have served him well all of his life. He learned to not always take the easy road; it does matter how you play the game because someone is always watching; and treating others how you would like to be treated is essential. He learned the value of a dollar and that ambition, doing right by others, and ingenuity comes with their own rewards.

       Mike has always been ambitious. You’d of been hard-pressed not to find him working when he wasn’t in school. Mike held several jobs during middle and high school, tending to cows and planting and harvesting crops. He even worked in a pizza shop where he prepped food, washed dishes, mopped floors, and delivered pizzas. After high school, he worked as a server, bartender, and coordinator (managerial roles) while attending Youngstown State University and studying Computer Information Systems.

      These jobs taught Mike vital listening skills that are necessary for success.

     Mike moved on to get a retail job, mainly dealing with computers and electronics. Here, he continued to learn how to work with customers to ensure they were getting the right product for their needs but made sure they were satisfied with their purchases – he often set sales records.

        Mike left retail when he had an opportunity to work as a computer programmer for MeetingNet Interactive and Option Technologies Interactive, LLC (OTI). He became a lead programmer and interactive technician for their group response products. Unfortunately, due to the events of 911, his team was eliminated. Later that same year, Mike, Michael Broderick, and Don Arthurs founded Turning Technologies, LLC.

        Turning Technologies, became an Audience Response Systems technology company based in Youngstown, Ohio. Turning products enable presenters to gather real-time response data from any size group. This real-time response facilitates instantaneous group interaction and data capture. Turning Technologies software is used in school classrooms, corporate meetings, surveys, and consulting.

        Turning Technologies had sales of $111k in 2002. The team added two key partners after 2002 - Kevin Adkins joined the team to develop cutting edge hardware to use with our software products, and Tony DeAscentis joined to enhance marketing efforts.
Turning Technologies turned its first profit in 2004 and had sales of $20.6 million by 2006. Turning grew from three to 77 full-time employees in this same period. In 2007, Turning Technologies was recognized as INC magazine’s 500 fastest-growing private software companies, the 7th fastest growing business in Entrepreneur’ magazine’s Hot 500, and was Priority magazine’s Small Business of the Year.

        Mike was a lead architect and programmer of Turning’s software products. As Turning grew, he was responsible for building and establishing policies and procedures in their Customer Service, Shipping, Warehouse, Systems Administration, and Product Management teams. He was also heavily involved in sales, marketing, software/hardware development and worked with the Product Management team on usability to ensure ease of use for our customers.

        Mike was directly responsible for many aspects of their domestic and international intellectual property (IP) protection; He worked with his legal team to establish End User License Agreements, reseller agreements, and patent filings. Mike was responsible for signing and authorizing all of Turning’s trademark applications and worked on several patent filings. Mike held positions of Vice President of Sales Engineering, Vice President of Operations, and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives.

        During Mike’s time at Turning Technologies, he served as a Board Member. As part of Turning’s corporate responsibility to their community, Mike served as a Board Member for Youngstown’s Wick Neighbors initiative.

        Building a company from the ground up was quite challenging for Mike and his partners. They struggled early on, which helped the partners learn perseverance and resolve. This time taught Mike the value of a team, having team members you trust, sharing a unified vision, and appreciation of the different skillsets each possesses. The greatest lesson Mike learned is realizing that he wouldn’t achieve company objectives without a team. The company had many obstacles to overcome while growing; they had to be nimble and quick to respond to market demands. They learned conflict resolution skills are useful between partners, team members, customers, investors, and other associates.

        Mike left Turning in 2009 to pursue the role of a full-time dad to twins - a son and a daughter, and a small grains farmer. Mike has around 200 tillable acres where he grows corn and soybean crops. In 2010, he and his wife, and a few close friends, founded Small Town Neighbors – a nonprofit charity created to help serve families in need in the Joseph Badger School district.
The nonprofit primarily supplies winter outerwear (coats, boots, hats, gloves, and scarves) to elementary students. Also, they sponsor youth sports teams, help students with fees for STEM programs, sports, and other activities to advance their development.

       Working and living in the rural Midwest and helping people in his community has opened Mike’s eyes to many rural community needs.

       Mike embraces small-town values and supports the police, military, border agents, and all of America’s first responders. He will always stand proudly for the American Flag.

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