Consultant Profiles...

Thomas J. Assad

Principal / Senior Consultant

Mr. Assad's background consists of a wide variety of business and financial experience including over 15 years in the Investment Banking & Securities Industry. He was Vice President and a General Principal of a Registered Investment and Consulting firm. He served as a Divisional Manager with Dun & Bradstreet in their business credit and reporting division. Mr. Assad was Vice President & Regional Manager for Concord Growth Corporation serving small to medium size businesses in asset based and accounts receivable lending. He was a project manager for Perry Johnson Registrars, a third party audit firm for businesses registered to the ISO 9000/QS-9000 standards.

Thomas directed and hosted a radio program called "Business Talk Live" on WERE 1300 AM in Cleveland, Ohio featuring renowned business and civic leaders. He has written several articles for the business section of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio's largest newspaper, and has been recognized and featured by COSE, Council of Smaller Enterprises, a division of the greater Cleveland Growth Association.

Mr. Assad has held licenses in the Securities, Real Estate, and Insurance Industries. He has owned and operated his own businesses, and is currently a principal in Lazarus & Company LLC.

Patrick H. Plankenhorn

Senior Consultant

Pat is a graduate of Ashland University, and has an extensive Business and Marketing background. He has owned and managed several successful businesses throughout his career, such areas as an Advertising Agency with very notable clients, a Water Treatment & Technologies Company, serving Commercial and Residential clients. Pat understands what it takes to Develop, Build and Sell a family owned business today, and brings with him an insight that can only benefit Lazarus’s Clients.

Barbara Assad

Public Relations / Media Consultant

Barbara brings to the Lazarus Group a vast range of experiences in business as well as the health care industry. She has spent time as a nurse and as an administrator consulting with doctors, hospitals, management staff and insurance companies in the areas of Utilization Review and quality improvement programs in compliance with state and federal standards. Barbara has owned and managed a large commercial landscaping company in Arizona, doing work for such companies as McDonald’s restaurants, Shasta Pools, as well as supplying other local landscapers. Barbara brings to the Lazarus Group an eye for detail in the administration function of the business.

John S. Shaheen


John has an extensive background in the food, beverage and hospitality industry. Throughout the course of his successful entrepreneurship, he has owned and managed two successful fine dining and casual themed restaurants. He is an award winning chef, and is past owner and operator of two State Certified Bartending Schools. John has experience working in corporate America for one of the largest marketing companies in the country. Throughout John’s 41 years experience in the hospitality industry, he has made several professional contacts that would be very helpful to those looking to buy or sell a business. John understands first hand what is involved in the owning, managing and selling of businesses, and brings that knowledge with him to the Lazarus Financial Group.