Center for Sales Excellence

Founder of the Center

Bernie MorenoBernie Moreno, President
Bernie Moreno Companies

In 2018, then chair of the Cleveland State University Board of Trustees Bernie Moreno established the Center for Sales Excellence within the Monte Ahuja College of Business with a substantial gift to develop programming and operations.

Bernie Moreno’s distinguished career as a car dealership owner in Cleveland began in 2005 with the purchase of one small, underperforming Mercedes-Benz dealership on the city’s West Side. In just one year, the reborn North Olmsted dealership earned a coveted “Best of the Best” award from Mercedes-Benz and would go on to win that award for 10 consecutive years, something no other Mercedes-Benz dealer has accomplished. Over the years, Moreno would grow his business from a single dealership into an impressive collection of luxury dealerships across several states, and would become the largest volume luxury dealer in the Midwest. In 2015, Bernie Moreno Companies made their first non-automotive acquisition,, Cleveland’s leading online printing and marketing company.

Moreno attributes the success of his business to a deeply held belief that the car shopping, buying and ownership experience should be positive and memorable. This belief is shared by all company associates who go above and beyond to provide exceptional client service. For five years, The Bernie Moreno Companies have been named among the “Best Places to Work” by The Plain Dealer.

Moreno has been widely recognized for his success and contributions to the community. Moreno was named the Distinguished Business Executive of the Year by Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland in 2014, and was named the Hispanic Dealer of the Year at the 2015 Detroit International Auto Show. In 2011, Moreno won the Midwest Region Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young as well as the TIME Magazine/Ally Financial Dealer of the Year Award for the Greater Northeast Ohio Region (one of only 50 dealers awarded annually). He also was recognized as the 2011 Northeast Ohio Hispanic Entrepreneur of the Year.

Bernie Moreno Companies is committed to improving the social and economic well-being of the communities in which they operate and have a culture of community engagement that includes volunteerism, philanthropy, non-financial support, and the civic engagement of their team members. Moreno himself serves in leadership capacities with many educational and charitable organizations including Cleveland State University (Board chair), Cuyahoga Community College Foundation (Board vice-chair), The Cleveland Foundation, The Greater Cleveland Partnership, Destination Cleveland, Ohio Business Roundtable, Young Presidents Organization, and The Fifty Club of Cleveland. Additionally, at the request of Ohio Governor John Kasich, Moreno served as co-chair of the Opportunity Corridor Inclusion Advisory Committee and as a member of the Governor’s Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations.

Moreno was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to the United States at age five, becoming a U.S. citizen at age 18. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, he began his career in the automotive industry with the Saturn Corporation. Moreno then quickly rose through the ranks to become vice president for New England’s largest automotive dealer, where he was responsible for corporate training, online marketing, and launching new acquisitions.

When the workday is over, Moreno returns to his home in Westlake, Ohio, for his “most exceptional experience of all”—spending time with his wife and four children.