Whether in baseball or the business world, people drive the action. Just ask Cleveland Indians President Paul Dolan ’76 and Beth Holzheimer Potratz ’86, a human resources entrepreneur. They received Gilmour Academy’s Alumni of the Year Award in December at the Headmaster’s Christmas Party in Tudor House. The award honors Gilmour graduates who have distinguished themselves in their personal lives and careers and who have demonstrated leadership and service to the school.
Even before he played middle infield as a Gilmour Lancer, baseball was in Paul Dolan’s blood. With the Cleveland Indians having capped their 2007 season as American League Central Division champs, the Tribe’s President is primed for 2008. After graduating from Gilmour in 1976, Paul did his undergraduate work at St. Lawrence University and earned his law degree from the University of Notre Dame. He specialized in commercial business litigation at Thrasher, Dinsmore & Dolan, where he was a partner with his father Larry Dolan. When his father bought the Indians in 2000, Paul became the team’s Vice President/General Counsel. His brother Matt ‘83, is Ohio State Representative for the 98th District. The Dolans are the third family with Gilmour alumni (along with the Jacobs and O’Neill families) to own the Indians in recent history.
Paul Dolan also is Chairman and Chief Executive of the media company Fast Ball Sports Productions, which operates a regional sports network in Ohio. He is a board member of University Hospitals, United Way, J.M. Smucker Company, and the Great Lakes Science Center. Paul and his wife Karen have two sons – Jack, a fresh-man at Gilmour, and Peter, a sixth grader at St. Joan of Arc School. A Gilmour Trustee, Paul has been active with the Academy’s capital campaigns and Annual Fund, and has been a speaker for Gilmour’s Men’s Club. He received the Gilmour Trophy in 1976, the highest award a student can receive.
Another alum who has seen great success is Beth Potratz, the founder of Bryah HR Strategies. The firm works with corporations and universities to improve human resources practices, to help workers embrace change, and to create strategies to realize corporate goals and objectives. Her clients include ING Americas, Unilever, Nationwide Insurance, Rockwell Automation, Yamaha Motor Manufacturing, and the University of Notre Dame, among others.
After graduating from Gilmour in 1986, Beth earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from Loyola University of Chicago and a master’s degree in labor relations and human resources from Cleveland State University. The alum has held senior positions in human resources, talent management, and change integration. She served as Director of Human Resources Capability for Unilever, where she led its global human transformation project for the firm’s home and personal care business group in North America. At Unilever, Beth also oversaw human resources for process consultation and redesign, facilitation, and organization assessment and design. She has held leadership positions with Rockwell Automation, Asparity Decision Solutions, and Helene Curtis.
A second generation Gilmour alum, Beth follows in the footsteps of her father Timothy, who graduated from Gilmour in 1961 and won the Alumni of the Year Award in 1978. Her sister Megan McNamara graduated from the Academy in 1987, followed by her brother Tim in 1989. Beth and her husband Jeff have two daughters, Bridgette and Sara. She has taken a leadership role with Gilmour’s alumni outreach events in Chicago, was a class representative for the 2001 alumni reunion, and has been involved with the Academy’s Annual Fund and capital campaign. She was awarded the Brother Theophane Schmitt Trophy for school spirit as a senior.