Plastics CEO takes to two wheels to support cancer research

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Riverside Co. Stewart Kohl, co-CEO of Riverside Co.

The co-CEO of a private equity firm with a pair of plastics holdings has organized a cycling event to benefit cancer research at the Cleveland Clinic.

The first VeloSano event will be held July 19-20. The event will begin in downtown Cleveland and will allow riders to choose routes ranging from 25 miles to 230 miles in length.

The founding partners of the event are Stewart and Donna Kohl and the Cleveland Indians pro baseball team. Stewart Kohl is co-CEO of Riverside Co., a $3 billion Cleveland-based private equity firm whose holdings include plastisol compound maker Rutland Plastics Inc. of Pineville, N.C., and PVC window extruder Sunrise Windows Ltd. of Temperance, Mich.

In February, Riverside also acquired BeGreen Packaging LLC, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based maker of bio-based molded fiber products that are compostable and recyclable.

As of July 16, VeloSano had raised more than $1.1 million in pledges committed to riders. Kohl had raised more than $82,000 in pledges, while Indians CEO Paul Dolan had raised more than $17,000.

The Kohls have donated $1 million to start the VeloSano event, which takes its name from the Latin words for “swift” and “cure.” Stewart Kohl had participated in a similar charity cycling event in the Boston area for several years and wanted to bring that type of event to Cleveland.

The Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 and now ranks as one of America’s leading medical centers. The organization employs 3,000 full-time physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses.