Shawn Riley President McDonald HopkinsMcDonald Hopkins LLC, a business advisory and advocacy law firm based in Cleveland, has elected Shawn M. Riley president, effective Oct. 1, 2016. Carl J. Grassi, the firm’s current president, will become firm chairman and remain on the Executive Committee. When Riley becomes president, Grassi will have served for more than nine years as president, a position that is term-limited.

“This is a carefully crafted transition that has been in the planning stages for quite some time,” said Grassi. “Shawn has been an essential part of our leadership team during my tenure as president. He is dedicated to the success of our clients, our firm and our communities. We strongly believe in collaboration and the transition will be a smooth one.”

Riley joined McDonald Hopkins in 1995. Since 2007, he has served as managing member of the Cleveland office, and as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Riley will lead a firm that has six offices in four states as well as a Washington, D.C.-based subsidiary, McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected for this important and strategic role,” Riley said. “I am excited to build on the firm’s impressive accomplishments under Carl’s leadership over the past nine years.” Since 2007, McDonald Hopkins has doubled in size.

When Riley becomes president later this year, he will have 30 years of experience advising clients on strategic alternatives, including acquisitions, sales, mergers, affiliations, refinancings, recapitalizations, and restructurings. He has counseled boards of directors on meeting their fiduciary duties in a variety of circumstances in many industries.

A frequent author and lecturer, Riley is highly involved in the Greater Cleveland community where he serves as president of the board of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross and on the board of trustees for theCleveland Institute of Music. Riley formerly served on the Great Lakes Theater Festival board. He was a member of the Cuyahoga County Charter Review Commission and is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland, class of 2012. From 2011 to 2015, Riley was mayor of the Village of Gates Mills, Ohio.

Grassi, who joined McDonald Hopkins in 1992, has been in management positions for 20 years. He serves as corporate counsel and business advisor to middle-market and growth companies. Grassi is chairman of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and serves on the boards of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission and BVU, The Centerfor Nonprofit Excellence.

About McDonald Hopkins

Founded in 1930, McDonald Hopkins is a business advisory and advocacy law firm with offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Miami, and West Palm Beach. Our subsidiary, McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies LLC, is based in Washington, D.C. and led by former Congressman Steven LaTourette. McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies is not a law firm and does not provide legal services. For more information about McDonald Hopkins, visit

By Zen Chi

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