Advisory Board

John Benevides
East Region President, U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management

As President and CEO of Briar Hall, John provides vision, strategic and operational leadership for the firm. He directs all asset management (public and private), financial management, tax strategy and planning, as well as all fiduciary and client services. John also develops and oversees the execution of all financial, tax, and legal strategies at Briar Hall.


John’s background includes more than 25 years of private wealth management and financial services experience. He served as President for Private Wealth Management, East U.S., at U.S. Bank; and as CEO of BMO Family Office, where he directed the activities of CTC myCFO®, BMO Delaware Trust Company and led the ultra-high-net-worth activities of BMO Harris Private Bank. Prior to that, he was co-owner and president of Family Office Exchange (FOX), a private network for ultra-high-net-worth families and family offices. John previously served as a partner and managing director of Financial Services for the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), now Gartner.

John earned both his Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Finance degrees from Johns Hopkins University. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and economics from the University of Maryland. John is a Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (inactive).


John served as a board member and trustee for the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) and the Cincinnati Zoo. He recently served as a board member, chairing and participating on various committees for the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee (CRBC), YPO Cincinnati and the Sinai Hospital System in Chicago. He is the former chairman and executive committee member for the YPO Global Family Business Network.


John splits his time between Chicago and Cincinnati where he lives with his wife Kerry and two of his three children.

Pala Kuppusamy

Pala is an award-winning entrepreneur who has founded three different tech companies.  He currently serves as board member and advisor for startup and growth-stage eCommerce and Analytics companies.  Pala currently enjoys freelancing and is passionate about value creation through sound design and execution of financial and growth strategies.

Pala is also a member of OTAF (Ohio Tech Angel Fund) and has participated in numerous due diligence and investment processes on behalf of OTAF.

Gary Mitchell
President & CEO, Divisions Maintenance Group

Gary Mitchell is the founder, President, and CEO of Divisions Maintenance Group, who provides integrated maintenance services to commercial properties across the country, always delivering on the company’s mission: To produce uninterrupted peace of mind. The business that began in the basement of his mother’s home has become a $250,000,000 company that employs more than 300 people in 40 offices across the United States.  Divisions is a repeat Fast 55 and Inc. 5000 Award winner.

In the community, Gary seeks ways to deliver Divisions’ mission by intersecting with people whose peace of mind has been interrupted by the circumstances of life. Dubbed the “Peace of Mind Mission,” this effort provides relief efforts for families dealing with childhood disease, natural disasters, and more.

Craig Sumerel
President, Bob Sumerel Tire & Service and AAA Car Care AAA Club Alliance

As President of Bob Sumerel Tire & Service and the AAA Club Alliance (ACA), Craig is responsible for creating and executing ACA’s car care business strategy to provide tire and automotive service solutions for the retail segment. With over 80 locations in 11 states ACA’s car care business is one of the largest and most respected in the U.S.  His pride for the business has enabled him to integrate the car care line within ACA. He has implemented training programs, profit sharing, increased efficiencies in the management and shop areas and maximized vendor programs to continually improve grow revenues and net income through organic and acquisition growth. As a high-energy, bottom line focused leader, Craig has an exceptional long-term history of success and a sterling reputation within the industry and local business community.

Craig is also active in Greater Cincinnati civic organizations, including: The Cancer Support Center, Queen City Club, Better Business Bureau of Cincinnati, YPO, and the National Cancer Institute.