Our Team

The greatest asset our firm possesses is our people and our strategic partnerships. Serving top leaders and their myriad of transition challenges requires a team of people with specific and proven experience. Those we employ have decades of knowledge in their area of expertise, as most were top tier leaders at high performing organizations themselves.

Our team personally relates to our clients, and the unspoken emotion and personal interest that change and transition can create. We view ourselves as more than Transition Consultants, we’re an extension of the companies we serve. We are proud to introduce you to our team:


Steve Walling

Founder and CEO



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Steve Walling is the Founder and CEO of SJW Strategic Solutions, a multi-faceted business consulting group that specializes in advising businesses and senior executives in transition. The firm is headquartered in Northeast Ohio, but advises clients throughout North America.

Prior to launching SJW Strategic Solutions, Steve was the Chairman of Plasticolors, Inc., a manufacturer of high performance liquid colorants and additive for the plastics and coatings market. He joined Plasticolors in 1990 as Director of Sales and Marketing and became President/CEO in 1995 with the intention of succeeding the Founder. During Steve’s tenure through new product introduction and strategic acquisitions he helped the company establish a strong market position for growth. In addition, under Steve’s leadership Plasticolors spent a great deal of time supporting an environment of employee satisfaction, quality and safety excellence with a critical focus on customer satisfaction. As a result of the company’s ongoing success, in May of 2012 Plasticolors, Inc. merged with Colortrend, The Netherlands, a leading global supplier of liquid colorants. The combined firm has resulted in the launch of the largest independent pigment dispersion platform in the world.

Before joining Plasticolors, Steve held various executive leadership roles with two other well respected Fortune 500 companies. He worked for Owens-Corning Composite Group, and National Standard’s Specialty Products Division. Over his extensive career he has directed the full range of marketing and sales activities including work in the rubber industry, automotive, aerospace and defense, appliance and electronics as well as the communications markets.

In addition to his comprehensive professional experience, Steve was recently appointed as Chairman of Fusion Pointe, a Venture Development Organization and partnership with Jumpstart Cleveland whose mission it is to invest capital and provide technical assistance and mentoring to Southwest Florida's most promising high growth technology early stage entrepreneurs. He is a Founding Board Member of Production Services LTD, Toronto, a leading supplier of camera and lighting equipment to the film and TV industries and Jumpstart, a pre-seed funder of high potential start-up companies in Northeast Ohio. Steve helped found Entrepreneurs EDGE, an organization which focuses on growing mid-sized companies in Northeast, Ohio. He is a sought after board member, and currently serves on the boards of multiple corporations including: Lumitex, a producer of LED lighting technologies; The Reserves Network; and Ashtabula County Medical Center, affiliate of the Cleveland Clinic. Steve has also served in various senior board positions for The American Composites Manufacturers Association. He is the recipient of that association’s President’s Award, one of many prestigious awards he has earned in the industry throughout his career.

Steve is a graduate of Denison University and completed the Graduate Management Program at Wharton, University of Pennsylvania. He has also completed the Owner President Management Program at Harvard University.


Larry Baker



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Larry Baker specializes in guiding and inspiring senior management teams to envision and act strategically in support of their collective objectives and goals. Larry has over thirty-nine years of proven professional experience in senior operations, management and consulting positions for Fortune 500, multi-national companies located across the United States.

His expertise extends into the complex manufacturing and distribution environments that are the lifeblood of today’s successful corporations. Larry possesses a track record of successfully streamlining operations to maximize productivity while simultaneously capitalizing on available opportunities in emerging markets across the globe. He has been able to build both top line and operating income successfully for the companies he has served. Larry now transfers his valuable expertise to leaders and companies alike.

Whether reengineering infrastructure, negotiating acquisitions, managing integrations, process and budget management, market analysis or identifying and addressing the need for operational efficiency, Larry has experience in these areas and more. In addition to his professional experience, he also is an adjunct professor in the MBA Program at Franklin University. Larry has worked for many respected companies over the years including DenAlan Consulting and Ashland, Inc. He spent a majority of his professional career associated with Ashland, Inc. Ashland is a diverse chemical company with holdings in transportation construction, which provides products and services to customers throughout the United States and in over 100 countries worldwide.

Larry is a graduate of Purdue University where he earned his Masters of Science in Industrial Management, as well as his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. He is an alumnus of the Harvard University Program for Management Development and the Indiana University, Ashland Executive Development Program. Larry is a proud retired Officer of the United States Navy.


R. Louis Schneeberger



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Mr. Schneeberger is the President & CEO of Panther Expedited Services. He joined Panther in 2010 as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and was involved in the company’s sale, by private equity firm Fenway Partners LLC, to Arkansas Best Corporation. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer for two publicly traded companies and as Chairman of the Board for another. Mr. Schneeberger has an extensive background growing small, privately owned companies into large public corporations by increasing efficiency, improving organizational structure and generating revenues.



Michael Shaughnessy

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Michael Shaughnessy specializes in assisting current leaders and those aspiring to assume key leadership responsibilities in established and expanding organizations. He brings decades of proven personal leadership experience having been the President of a large national corporation for which he oversaw its recapitalization and eventual sale.

Mr. Shaughnessy was the Cofounder and President of ColorMatrix Corporation, a major supplier of liquid colorants and chemical additives to the thermoplastics industry worldwide. He was involved in the recapitalization of the company in May 2006 with Audax, a financial partner. In 2011, ColorMatrix was acquired by PolyOne of Avon Lake, Ohio.

Currently, Mr. Shaughnessy serves on several non profit boards including The Catholic Community Foundation in the Cleveland Diocese, Notre Dame College, The Western Reserve Land Conservancy, And Greater Cleveland Squash. He is also an active investor in CapitalWorks and Austin Capital, two Cleveland based private equity funds.


Dick Lyles



office: 310.321.7669
mobile: 858.395.8517

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Dick Lyles serves as CEO of Origin Entertainment (A Hollywood movie making company). Prior to his current position he was the CEO of Relevant Radio (A thirty-five station radio network) and The Ken Blanchard Companies® (A training company). He holds seats on several boards of directors.

He is widely known as a corporate troubleshooter and problem solver, whose consulting career has spanned three decades. Dick has worked with clients around the globe in virtually every industry to help solve strategic problems and set strategic direction.

He is a columnist for Pomerado Publishing, and is a best-selling author whose books have been published in more than forty languages around the world. Dick also hosts THE CATHOLIC BUSINESS HOUR, broadcast weekly to more than 200 stations via the EWTN global radio network.

He is a proud graduate of the United States Naval Academy and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior and a Doctorate in Business Administration.