Cleveland, Ohio brush manufacturer Precision Brush was founded by Lloyd Benjamin in 1951. In 1987, his son Jim Benjamin started at the company and worked his way through sales and management until he became company President. These days, Jim works to build business connections with both local companies and those all over the world through his participation in EO, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
EO’s purpose is to engage the world’s top entrepreneurs in learning and growing from interaction with each other, personally and professionally. It is an invitation-only group with the qualification that participating members must be the owner or founder of a business with a minimum of one million dollars in annual sales. The organization has 155 chapters spanning 48 countries and more than 11,000 members. Jim Benjamin is the President of the Cleveland, Ohio chapter.
Jim Benjamin’s work in the local Cleveland EO chapter has him offering pertinent trainings and info sessions to local entrepreneurs at their monthly meetings. Topic examples include boosting Internet research skills, how to put together a strong sales team and a how-to for today’s best hiring practices. Additionally, Jim liaises with the city’s largest companies and banks, introducing his chapter to contacts such as the CEO of Sherwin Williams or the President of the Cleveland Federal Reserve.
On a more personal level, the chapter includes what they call forums, which consist of only six to ten members. These smaller breakout groups are completely confidential and give members an opportunity to share both their joys and their hardships, in life as well as business. “You end up being pretty tight with the people in your forum,” says Benjamin, “sharing all kinds of things that you don’t necessarily feel comfortable sharing with employees and family.”
This give and take with other entrepreneurs at the personal, local and global levels enriches not only the lives of the entrepreneurs involved in EO, but also their employees and communities. “It’s one of the highlights of my life,” Benjamin says.