President & Chief Executive Officer
For avid cyclist, backpacker and adventure travel enthusiast Steve Barone, the founder and CEO of Creative Breakthroughs, Inc. (CBI), starting a company might seem like a relatively modest challenge after pulse-pounding exploits like bungee jumping off of the world’s tallest bridge in South Africa, skydiving in Spain and hang gliding in Hawaii. But growing that company, remaining competitive in a rapidly evolving field and firmly establishing yourself as an industry leader is not for the faint of heart. Largely as a result of Steve’s leadership, insight and strategic vision, CBI has done exactly that: established in 1991 as what was literally and figuratively a garage-based business, CBI has emerged as one of the largest and most respected IT advisory services and network security firms in the nation.
While Steve’s responsibilities as a CEO are focused on finding ways to communicate and execute his big-picture vision for CBI’s future, he has not lost his love of deal making, his enthusiasm for customer engagement and his passionate pursuit of entrepreneurial solutions. An innovator in the field of remote connectivity (at one time Steve operated multiple online bulletin boards out of the back office of the computer store he opened after high school), his passion for experimenting with early forms of what would ultimately become the internet were important influences in a career that has been spent pushing—and tearing through—the technology envelope.
Subsequently, the transition from connectivity to security has been a profound and important one for both Steve and CBI. Way ahead of the game, he led this strategic transition nearly 15 years ago—long before computer security was a hot topic in the IT field—giving CBI a significant leg up in both knowledge and experience on the competition.
A lifelong Detroit-area resident, Steve shows his home town pride regularly—both as an avid fan of the Detroit Lions and Tigers and as founder of local nonprofit known as the Detroit Area Rescue Team (DART). DART is a grassroots nonprofit organization that supports the city’s homeless community by giving time and necessities directly to those in need. Steve’s proven leadership skills and ongoing support of local and regional interests converge in his role as a high school football coach, a passion he has pursued for well over a decade.
Steve attended Wayne State University, and currently maintains certifications in multiple areas of technology. He has served on several global and regional advisory boards for technology companies, including the fourth largest software company in the world, Symantec. Recognized nationally as an expert in network security and risk management, Steve is a frequent speaker at high-profile technology industry events across the country. His creativity and vision have been recognized by Lawrence Technological University, who selected him as a recipient of their Leaders & Innovators Award in 2007.
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Greg Guracech is the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and leads the CBI professional service practice and works closely with clients to develop strategic plans around Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance. Greg has over 26 years of business experience.
Prior to joining CBI, Greg served as Senior Manager and Practice Lead in the Detroit market at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where he was responsible for assisting clients to improve various disciplines including financial and IT remediation and SEC and management reporting. Greg worked closely with clients to develop strategic plans relating to enterprise risk management, Sarbanes Oxley Compliance, treasury management and mergers and acquisitions.
Greg also previously served as the CFO of a Tier 1 Japanese auto supplier’s U.S. operations, where he led the company to a successful QS-9000 certification and assisted in taking the company public in Japan.
Greg received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Detroit Mercy and a Masters of Finance degree from Walsh College.
Executive Vice President of Business Development
As Executive Vice President of Business Development, Dave is responsible for CBI’s marketing, alliance partnership, annuity services / cloud services brokerage and training departments. He plays a critical role in driving solution design and technology innovation, and increases the value of professional services engagements and solutions for CBI and their customers and partners.
With more than 19 years of experience in enterprise IT, technical and business consultative sales, channel development, project management, team building and technical implementation of IT solutions for business challenges, Dave has played a key role in driving the growth and scale of CBI.
Prior to working with CBI, Dave managed a training organization within a technology solutions provider. While there, he served as a trainer, strategist and mentor, while also managing day-to-day sales operations. Dave’s history prior to that was as a consultant and field engineer.
Dave attended Andrews University, where he majored in English and minored in Communications. While working in the micro lab at Andrews, Dave discovered his love of information systems and decided to embark on a career path of technology and information security.
In his free time, Dave serves as a board member and volunteers for the Detroit Area Rescue Team (DART), a grassroots nonprofit organization that supports the needs of the homeless in Detroit. Dave enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, snow-skiing, reading, movies and information security. He is also a member of the Association of Information Technology Professionals and the ISSA North Oakland Chapter.