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Issue Date: April 2008

The Influentials: Michael DeAloia

Senior director of business development, FIT Technologies

In between showing off his iPhone, throwing out bons mots like “I’m totally juiced about it” and heralding the arrival of his radio show, Michael DeAloia paints a vibrant, seductive picture of the Cleveland in which he lives and thrives: more jobs, a focus on tech and a $100 million future for FIT Technologies, the IT services company he works for. He’s a ball of manic energy, wild eyes and wild ideas. There’s always a three-stage reaction, he says: First his ideas are quietly discounted. Then they’re violently opposed. And, finally, their success becomes self-evident. The former city of Cleveland tech czar points to the Idea Center’s evolution into a technology hub, a grand, hopeless scheme he begged for in the final months of the Jane Campbell administration. He got it, and today there are 300 tech workers in the building. It’s a shining star in the Cleveland-as-tech-hub concept. So is each of the 36 tech companies he’s lured inside the city limits, bringing 1,000 new jobs to Cleveland. “I’m very stubborn about getting things done,” he says. “I ask for forgiveness later.”

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