#157: Reilly Berk (Berk Enterprises) — 3rd Generation Entrepreneurship

Lay of The Land

07-03-2024 • 47 minutos

Reilly Berk, CEO of Berk Enterprises.

Founded back in 1946 by her grandparents, Suzanne and Harold Berk, Berk Enterprises boasts a diverse history that began with the creation of the "QuicKill" insecticide and the subsequent founding of Berk Exterminating Company in Warren, Ohio. Evolving, the company expanded its ventures into numismatics, leading to the Warren Coin Shop, and later transformed into Berk Paper and Supply, carrying janitorial products such as tissues, napkins, and paper towels. In 1976, Berk Paper and Supply evolved into Berk Enterprises, when the company underwent transformative changes, introducing innovations like the novelty drinkware line for the concession industry and the Environ product line which consists of earth-friendly alternatives.


Today Berk Enterprises, Inc. maintains an impressive catalog of over 4,000 food service disposables such as plastic cutlery, straws, cups, to-go containers, and much more as they service over 3,000 different customers, including some of the largest restaurant chains, as well as schools, entertainment venues. theaters, stadiums, and fairs, in addition to supplying the nation's largest food service distributors with multiple distribution centers across the country.


Guided by familial dedication, Reilly, who was recently recognized by Forbes as a 30 under 30 in Cleveland, now serves as the CEO of Berk Enterprises, overseeing over 115 employees and with a drive and vision to continue to shape the industry with Berk Enterprises’ legacy, values, and expanding product offerings.


This was a really fun conversation as we unpack what it was like becoming CEO in her early 20s, the history and evolution of the family business, Reilly's perspective on management and leadership, and what is in store for Berk going forward.

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SPONSORS: John Carroll University Boler College of Business || Impact Architects & Ninety

John Carroll University Boler College of Business: https://business.jcu.edu/
As we’ve heard time and time again from entrepreneurs on Lay of The Land — many of whom are proud alumni of John Carroll University —  success in this ever-changing world of business requires a dynamic and innovative mindset, deep understanding of emerging technology and systems, strong ethics, leadership prowess, acute business acumen… all qualities nurtured through the Boler College of Business!


With 4 different MBA programs of study — spanning Professional, Online, Hybrid, and 1-Year-Flexible — The Boler College of Business provides flexible timelines and various class structures for each MBA Track — including online, in-person, hybrid and asynchronous — to offer the most effective options for you, in addition to the ability to participate in an elective International Study Tour, providing unparalleled opportunities to expand your global business knowledge by networking with local companies overseas and experiencing a new culture.

The career impact of a Boler MBA is formative and will help prepare you for this future of business and get more out of your career. To learn more about John Carroll University’s Boler MBA programs, please go to business.jcu.edu


The Boler College of Business is fully accredited by AACSB International, the highest accreditation a College of Business can have.


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This episode is brought to you by Impact Architects. As we share the stories of entrepreneurs building incredible organizations throughout NEO, Impact Architects helps those leaders — many of whom we’ve heard from as guests on Lay of The Land — realize their visions and build great organizations. I believe in Impact Architects and the people behind it so much, that I have actually joined them personally in their mission to help leaders gain focus, align together, and thrive by doing what they love! As a listener, you can sit down for a free consultation with Impact Architects by visiting ia.layoftheland.fm!


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LINKS:

Berk Enterprises: https://berkbrands.com/
Connect with Reilly Berk: https://www.linkedin.com/in/reillyberk/

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Past guests include Justin Bibb (Mayor of Cleveland), Pat Conway (Great Lakes Brewing), Steve Potash (OverDrive), Umberto P. Fedeli (The Fedeli Group), Lila Mills (Signal Cleveland), Stewart Kohl (The Riverside Company), Mitch Kroll (Findaway — Acquired by Spotify), and many more.

Connect with Jeffrey Stern on LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreypstern/

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