R. Chad Brenner
President and Director

R. Chad Brenner is the President and founder of Biltmore Trust Company and serves on the Trust and Investment Committees of the Board of Directors. In addition, Mr. Brenner is the Managing Partner of Brenner Kaprosy Mitchell, L.L.P. His principal areas of practice are wealth/estate planning, corporate and real estate law. Mr. Brenner was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1979 and began his career at the law firm of Carney & Broadbent, specializing in corporate and business organizational formation, negotiation of sale and acquisition of real estate and estate planning. In 1989, he ventured out as a sole practitioner focusing on contract negotiation, business divestitures and acquisitions, real estate law and estate and financial planning. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from the University of Miami and earned his J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Kathleen A. McLaughlan
Managing Director

Kathleen McLaughlan is the Managing Director of Biltmore Trust Company and serves on the Trust and Investment Committees of the Board of Directors. In addition, Ms. McLaughlan is a partner in the law firm of Brenner Kaprosy Mitchell, L.L.P., specializing in the areas of estate and business succession planning, and administration. Ms. McLaughlan was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 2004 and began her career at the law firm of Ziegler Metzger, L.L.P., in downtown Cleveland. She graduated with a B.A. from Fordham University in New York City and went on to earn her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.

Michael D. McPhillips
Treasurer and Director

Michael D. McPhillips is the Treasurer of Biltmore Trust Company and serves as a member of the Trust and Investment Committees of the Board of Directors. In addition, Mr. McPhillips is an attorney with Brenner Kaprosy Mitchell, L.L.P. specializing in estate planning, probate and tax law. Mr. McPhillips began his career as a Tax Manager for Hausser & Taylor, LLP in Cleveland. In 1996, he became an Associate at the law firm of McGinty, Gibbons, Hillow & Spellacy, where he specialized in structuring business acquisitions and divestitures, business succession and estate planning services. Mr. McPhillips earned a B.S. from John Carroll University, a Masters of Accountancy with Concentration in Taxation from Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and a J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

John Micklitsch
Vice President and Director

John P. Micklitsch is the Vice President of Biltmore Trust Company and is a member of the Investment Committee of the Board of Directors. In addition, Mr. Micklitsch currently serves as Chief Investment Officer and President of Ancora, one of the largest money managers in Northern Ohio. John manages multi-asset class separate accounts for the firm’s high net worth and institutional clients. Prior to joining Ancora, John was lead portfolio manager for the small cap value strategy at Allegiant Asset Management, the institutional money management division of National City Corporation. During his tenure, he was responsible for assets in excess of $1 billion, including the strategy’s publicly traded mutual fund and separate accounts. In 2003, he joined Fifth Third Asset Management, where he researched and managed small and micro-cap stocks for the firm’s mutual funds and individual accounts. John began his money management career in 1996 at the firm of Robert E. Torray & Company Inc. where he was an analyst and head trader on the firm’s $5 billion large-cap value strategy.

John has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University, an MBA from Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations. In addition to Biltmore Trust Company, he also serves on the board of Baldwin Wallace University and sits on the investment committees of the United Way of Greater Cleveland and Bluecoats Inc.

Cindy L. Steeb
Chairman of the Board and Director

Ms. Steeb is a Senior Managing Director with Clearstead Advisors, an independent wealth management firm headquartered in Cleveland OH which provides financial planning, tax planning, investment management, private family trust company administrative services, family office, and OCIO to private clients and institutions. Ms. Steeb has expertise working with high-net-worth clients, private trust companies and privately held companies to bring creative solutions to complicated estate planning and fiduciary matters. She develops trusting client relationships through her interpersonal skills, strong business judgment and a sensitive approach to family and business dynamics. In working with clients, Ms. Steeb draws on the experience she gained working for families who have experienced a liquidity event, owned a controlling interest in a publicly traded company and operated a privately held business enterprise. Prior to joining Clearstead she coauthored and participated in lobbying efforts to secure passage of the Ohio Family Trust Company Act allowing for both licensed and unlicensed family trust companies in Ohio. Ms. Steeb’s experience has also included forming trust companies in Ohio, Wyoming and South Dakota, and has managed trust companies in Ohio, Wyoming and Delaware.

Thomas Cota

Thomas Cota is PTC Corporate Services/Assistant Legal Counsel (PTC) for South Dakota Trust Company LLC (SDTC) and has worked at SDTC for over a decade. His primary responsibilities include providing regulatory oversight, compliance and corporate support services, as well as application and examination services for private and public trust company clients in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nevada.  He serves on a number of boards and committees of private and public trust company clients and assists with special projects. 

Thomas received a BBA from the University of South Dakota (USD), magna cum laude, double majoring in economics and political science and was a University Scholar. He participated in the University’s Honors Program, and wrote a senior honors thesis entitled: “The Untold Story: How Sioux Falls Became a Major Financial Services Hub.” He graduated with honors from the USD School of Law where he was involved with the Trial Team and Law Review. He is a graduate of Leadership South Dakota. 

Mackenzie M. Nicholson

Mackenzie Nicholson is the Secretary of Biltmore Trust Company. Ms. Nicholson is a paralegal and legal executive assistant at the law firm of Brenner Kaprosy Mitchell, L.L.P. She assists the firm with all aspects of legal and office administration, as well as the day-to-day operations of Biltmore. She received her Associate of Arts degree from Lakeland community College in Kirtland, Ohio, and then went on to earn her paralegal degree. She is also a Notary Public.