Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Robert Gries is CEO and founder of the Gries Investment Funds. Mr. Gries has over twenty-five years of investment experience. This experience ranges from being a mezzanine lender to real estate to acquiring companies.
The Gries Investment Funds are most recognized for its investment in and growth of Public Power, a deregulated electricity supplier in Connecticut. The company was acquired in 2009 for $13 million, taken public and sold to Vistra Energy in 2019 for $486 million.
In addition to his business interests, Mr. Gries’s family has a longstanding history with professional sports. Mr. Gries’s grandfather was a founding member and owner of the Cleveland Rams in 1936 and the Cleveland Browns in 1946. The family’s minority ownership ended sixty years later in 1996 when Mr. Gries’s father refused to be part of moving the Browns to Baltimore and sold the family’s ownership interest. Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, Mr. Gries served on the board of the Cleveland Browns with his father. Mr. Gries also owned Arena Football teams in Tampa and Orlando and was owner of the Tampa Bay Storm teams when they won championships in 1991 and 1993.
Philanthropy and helping young people are passions in Mr. Gries’ life today. In addition to being an active philanthropist, Mr. Gries has assisted many charitable organizations, including serving as Co-Chair of the Tampa Boys & Girls Club annual fundraising drive in 2018 and 2019 which raised record amounts each year. He has served on many non-profit and civic boards including the University of Tampa, Berkeley Preparatory School and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
Mr. Gries is the owner of OTVA, one of the largest youth volleyball clubs in the country. OTVA currently has approximately 700 young women, ages 10-18, and is ranked #1 in the state of Florida and #3 in the country.
He is also an advisor to Entertainment Revue. The program, established thirty three years ago, has developed many outstanding performing artists. Eight have signed recording contracts, two have been American Idol finalists and several are currently performing on Broadway.
Mr. Gries has run numerous marathons, including the Boston Marathon twice and the New York Marathon, in which he finished with a time of 2:58:52 (many, many years ago).
Today, he remains an active skier and fan of the Backroads biking trips. He has one daughter, Zoe, 23, who was adopted from Wuhan, China