Bob Slattery is a highly successful entrepreneur and business magnate known for his innovative ventures across various industries. His entrepreneurial spirit reflects a multifaceted leader who continues to shape the business landscape with creativity and resilience.
Post college, Slattery and college roommate, Robert Wolfe bought the Cincinnati Valpak® franchise in 1978, and in time expanded their territory to include major markets in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania becoming the largest independent Valpak franchise operation in the country. Slattery and Wolfe founded franchisor Reach® Magazine in 1983.
In 2017, private equity firm Platinum Equity, a global investment firm with $36B under management and over 350+ acquisitions to date, acquired Valpak from Cox Media Group, effectively becoming one of the largest direct marketing service providers in the United States. Platinum Equity has invested heavily in building a robust, state of the art data and analytics platform with Valpak that collectively reaches 41 million plus curated high-value households monthly, as well as segment and target buyers, reaching more than 110 million consumers primarily through Valpak Blue Envelope household mailers, Solo Mail Postcards, and its digital offering Valpak.com.
Valpak’s My Blue Insights database and analytics platform incorporates thousands of data points across billions of records of internal and external data sources, covering such factors as ongoing purchase behavior, property information, income levels, credit worthiness, household size, demographics, and so much more for brands to identify and advertise to specific audience segments. Marketers can also use its self-service mailing list platform to create their own mailing lists prioritized by rankings, deliverability, and postal rates across 250 million US households.
Slattery owns and operates a diverse group of companies, many in the advertising and media fields. His Slatts Group entity, which includes Valpak, is an innovative, date-driven, omni-channel marketer for local and national advertisers that enhances the way businesses and brands reach and engage consumers. Its data-driven products and capabilities increase marketing efficiency, brand awareness, and sales. As a consumer marketing and media company that sells mass targeted traditional print publications and offers a full range of services to clients, Slatts Group helps businesses grow through a full suite of media solutions, specifically tailored to each client’s needs. Such services include digital advertising, social advertising, promotional print, broadcast media placement, search advertising, and neighborhood marketing materials.
His niche editorial product Housetrends®, an upscale home and garden magazine, circulates in Greater Cincinnati and several other US markets. In 2023, Slattery expanded his portfolio with the launch of Home & Leisure Magazine. This new publication, showcasing multiple editorial features in each issue, boasts distribution to 145,000 affluent households throughout Greater Cincinnati. Home & Leisure is a metrics-driven solution with a superior return on marketing spend.
His entrepreneurial spirit led him to found Perimeter Technologies, Inc., manufacturer/retail sales/and installer of Pet Stop® electronic pet containment fencing systems. Pet Stop holds several key patents in the industry, which has helped it expand coast to coast with over 160 dealers. In 2019, Perimeter Technologies increased its digital footprint with a major expansion and investment into e-commerce under The Extreme Brand. A wide range of digital products are now available throughout the online marketplace, with particular emphasis on Amazon.
Slattery and his son, Bobby Slattery entered the hospitality industry with the creation of Slatts Pub in Blue Ash and 50 West Brewing Company, located inside the historic, and carefully restored, Heritage Restaurant Building. 50 West then expanded their production and distribution, taking over the space across the street formerly occupied by Hahana Beach, quadrupling their current output in their first year of production. In 2018-19, 50 West expanded their distribution footprint throughout Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, Kentucky, Southeastern Ohio, and West Virginia. Look for 50 West brands on retail shelves, including local Kroger stores, UDF, Meijer, Speedway, or your favorite local retailer. Recently, Fifty West partnered with Fleet Feet Cincinnati and Pedego Electric Bikes on innovative retail spaces on-campus, that host a variety of running, cycling, and lifestyle programming.
2020 saw the launch of a brand-new concept called the Fifty West Burger Bar in the space formerly occupied by Pizzelii, during COVID-19. This family-focused venture includes a wide range of programming and activities throughout its expansive outdoor setting, including sand volleyball, pickleball, cornhole, a beer garden, plenty of bike parking, an outdoor dining area, green space for health/wellness/lifestyle classes, dynamic outdoor private event spaces, including three pergolas, and the world’s largest manmade sandbox for kids. The menu features online ordering, takeout, and in-person outdoor dining with an Americana-style menu, starring burgers, hotdogs, shakes, crinkle-cut fries, craft beer, and many other unique menu items. The menu is inspired by the disparate state culinary traditions across Route 50 in a nostalgic, roadside root beer stand-style setting. The Fifty West campus now connects with phase one of the Little Miami Scenic Trail extension, a public-private endeavor with Great Parks of Hamilton County and Columbia Township, completed in July 2020. Slattery designed the Fifty West Burger bar to be scalable, opening their first satellite location, located right on Route 50, in the heart of Chillicothe, Ohio in October 2020. Recently, Fifty West announced their third planned expansion as an anchor tenant in the planned “District at Deerfield” entertainment district in Warren County.
In April 2019 Slattery acquired Shumrick and Leys Distillery, located on Highland Avenue in Norwood, Ohio. He rebranded the company Robert James Distillery, which includes a bar, taproom, production facility, and state-of-the-art iStill Technology. Robert James Distillery’s mission is to streamline, distill, and blend excellent small batch spirits of rum, vodka, bourbon, bourvin, gin, agave, etc. This acquisition dovetailed with the opening of its sister company, RJ Cinema, located in Eastgate next to Jungle Jim’s. RJ Cinema is a unique one-of-a-kind first run cinema, distillery, and taproom, with an immersive, unique outdoor entertainment zone. Look for a summer RJ-expansion into the adjoining location formerly occupied by Jungle Jim’s Paradise Pavilion, a wonderful open-air space that will specialize in live music, private events, and warm weather programming. The RJ leadership team is also actively working with Union Township to collaborate on their 2023 concert series. In August 2022, Robert James Distillery partnered with the AT Hospitality to conduct taproom and distilling operations at the Robert James Taproom at Element Eatery. As Cincinnati’s premier food hall, the premises features a 48-tap beer garden and bar, a micro distilling educational area, exciting food and entertainment, and is located in historic Madisonville as the centerpiece of MedPace’s world headquarters.
Slattery opened the The GrowlerStop® in the 2010s, and partnered with Lykins Energy Solutions, creating a Marathon-branded station, which includes a full-service bar. RJ WagsPark reopened in summer of 2023. The family and dog friendly, multi-acre beta concept includes a unique taproom with 22 taps, featuring Fifty West beers, RJ craft cocktails, and an ever-changing selection of the best in local and regional beers and traditional spirits. RJ Four Mile Pig serves award winning BBQ throughout the campus. During warm weather months, patrons can enjoy an off-leash dog park and splash zone, a covered outdoor bar, multiple covered private event spaces, including a large clear span tent, expansive outdoor dining, a large sandbox for kids, RJ Distillery-related programming, and regular sports and movie-related content on a larger-than-life digital board. RJ WagsPark is part of several parcels of connected land that total over 6 acres. The development team’s aim is for this RJ WagsPark concept to serve as a beta test that leads to the investment and creation of a future mixed-use development, creating the “Gateway to Newtown.”
Slattery has served on several Greater Cincinnati charities, including as president of Tennis For Charity, Inc. (TFC) from 2001 through 2004, and had been a board member for two decades. TFC has been active in the development of what is now the Western & Southern Open, which has contributed over 7 million dollars benefiting Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Tennis for Inner-City Youth and The Barrett Cancer Center.
His professional sports marketing and charitable experience led Slattery to create Buzz Eventz, LLC, which brought the return of the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) to the Greater Cincinnati area. The 2005 AVP Nissan Series, and 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 AVP Crocs Tour Series, were all held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio. In 2012, with the revitalization of the AVP by Donald Sun, Slattery, Buzz Eventz and 3CDC brought the AVP Cincy Open to Washington Park in Downtown Cincinnati, featuring the best domestic volleyball field, including seven Olympians. In 2013, 2014, & 2015 the AVP Cincy Open shifted back to the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, OH. In May 2016, Buzz Eventz’s decade of success culminated with the AVP FIVB Cincinnati Open, as the only domestic qualifier leading up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, broadcast nationally on NBC and internationally via FIVB.
Throughout 2015-2018 Buzz Eventz has co-promoted a series of events with 50 West, including the annual end of summer beer festival Fifty Fest, and its amateur boxing and beer tasting night, dubbed “Punch Out.” Both events are a collaboration with many of the breweries representing the Greater Cincinnati Craft Beer scene.
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell