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After Year of Rapid Growth, Leading Small Business Advisory Firm Cultivate Advisors Expands Leadership Team 

Cultivate Advisors, one of North America’s largest small business advisory firms, announced that Jeff Rendell has been named Chief Operating Officer. Along with his promotion, Simone Ashkar has moved to Senior Vice President of Operations, Dan Gramann to Senior Vice President of Sales, and Jeremy Round to Director of Human Resources. Additionally, Angi Semler Welch has become Director of 3X, the recently launched boot camp designed to rapidly accelerate growth for business owners with under $500,000 in revenue.

The moves come as Cultivate recorded a year of continued rapid growth, with the company making the Inc. 5000 for the fourth year in a row, with a growth rate of 185% since 2019. During 2022, Cultivate supported more than 900 businesses across the country, with those working with the firm for 12+ months averaging a growth rate of 43% in top-line revenue and 65% in bottom-line profit year-over-year.

Along with the launch of 3X, Cultivate also unveiled a new Performance Training Platform to allow businesses to seamlessly train, organize and drive performance from anywhere and partnered with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Capital One, Newity, and the Exit Planning Institute to bring its industry-leading services to their small business communities. 

“With the stressors of the current economy, never has the need for a small business advisory firm been more important,” said CEO Casey Clark. “Jeff, Simone, Dan, Jeremy, and Angi have all been vital to our success. Their expertise and proven track records will help take Cultivate to the next level and our clients too.”

Rendell has more than 25 years of experience running and advising small businesses. As COO, he will oversee Cultivate’s operations, sales, recruiting, training, and human resources. Before joining Cultivate in 2018, he was with a large franchise company for ten years, where he helped the company grow 3x. 

As Senior Vice President of Operations, Ashkar will work closely with the firm’s 60+ advisors across the country to scale the business for further rapid growth. Prior to joining Cultivate, she owned a residential service franchise, and in seven years, grew her business from operating one unit to managing over 60 throughout the Midwest.

Gramann, a co-founder of Cultivate, brings his institutional knowledge and expertise to his new role as Senior Vice President of Sales, expanding and maximizing the company’s strategic partnerships throughout the U.S. He bought his first home service franchise at 20 and was later asked to train and advise the franchisor’s 600+ employees at its 60 units across the Midwest. He later became a consultant for one of North America’s largest insurance restoration businesses, and the last franchise he engaged with grew 2x in two years before leaving to start Cultivate.

Round is a serial entrepreneur, having owned and operated several businesses in retail, home services, education, addiction recovery, and real estate while advising countless others at Cultivate. He has extensive experience in human resources from his time on Yahoo’s People Team. As Cultivate’s HR lead, he will be responsible for all facets of the department, from attracting, developing, and retaining top talent to managing the company’s corporate culture.

Semler Welch has over 25 years of experience as an advisor, consultant, and business owner in marketing and operations. She brings this wealth of knowledge to her new role as Director of 3X, a 6-week accelerator that equips owners with the fundamentals needed in financials, sales, and marketing to grow their bottom lines. Since joining Cultivate in 2020, Semler Welch has worked closely with her clients to achieve double and triple-digit increases in revenue and profit.

“It’s an exciting time at Cultivate as we build on the strong momentum of 2022,” said Clark. “We have a talented team in place and have positioned ourselves to best serve and support our entrepreneurs on their journeys to success and scalability.”



Cultivate Advisors is one of the largest small business advising firms in North America and has made the Inc. 5000, the list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., four years in a row. With a team built of entrepreneurial-minded advisors with firsthand experience running successful companies, Cultivate has helped thousands of business owners in 160  industries grow through core business skill development and coaching. To learn more about Cultivate Advisors, visit cultivateadvisors.com.


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