Crains 40 Under 40, 2014 – Scott Raybuck


This year, Scott Raybuck was chosen for this prestigious award, and he is someone that is very close to my heart. I have known him my whole life, and have always looked up to him as a mentor, as have many others. His passion, drive and perseverance has led him to success and his energy level is something you can only comprehend once you have met him.

Scott’s intelligence and willingness to take calculated risks have contributed to creating positive outcomes in his professional life. In his personal life, he’s a dedicated family man who has a sense of humor that brings out the fun in any occasion. I am so proud that he is my brother.

Cleveland Crains –
Published: October 04, 2014
Scott Raybuck, 36
CEO, Steamfire


Crain’s asks …
Are you a native or a transplant to NEO?

Do you have a pet? If yes, what kind and name?
Chocolate Lab, Kumo

Do you speak another language? If yes, which?

What is your favorite Cleveland landmark?
Cleveland Browns Stadium

What is your favorite local non-chain restaurant?

Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
Al Pacino

If fat, calories, cholesterol, etc. were not an issue, what food would you feast on?

What did you want to be in second grade?
FBI agent

What are you most looking forward to in the next 5 years in Cleveland?
Seeing the continued revitalization of the city.
For a story to really tell what Scott Raybuck is like, it should come with a note: Read this as quickly as you can!

That way, you’ll get a little of the feel of Raybuck’s very high-energy, rapid-fire personality, which includes his staccato pace when talking. You might also finish the article before Raybuck accomplishes something else.

“He’s definitely shot out of a cannon, there’s no doubt about that,” quips Raybuck’s longtime friend and business partner Ryan Pojman.

The two formed a company in 2008 called Global Medical Distribution, which was renamed last year to Steamfire LLC. Located in Westlake, the company markets and sells medical devices, as well as laboratory, pharmacology and other medical services. It’s a bit of an entrepreneurial play aimed at helping and capitalizing upon the efforts of other entrepreneurs. And it’s working.

“We’re a sales and marketing consulting firm, and we partner with startup firms to basically be their sales force,” Raybuck said.

Steamfire helps other companies that are often too new or too small to have developed their own sales and marketing departments.

It sells their products and services through a network of 450 sales representatives across the U.S. and Canada. The sales force is independent — many also selling for other companies — and reports to Steamfire’s staff of 13 here in Ohio.

Steamfire, as well as the salespeople, earns a commission for each sale that is made. In return for giving up some margin in the form of the commission, clients get an active national sales force that they don’t have to recruit, pay or manage, Raybuck said.

Steamfire does not disclose what it earned in commissions last year, but it sold more than $70 million in medical goods and services. It’s on track to sell $100 million worth of stuff this year, Raybuck said.

Distributors and outside sales forces like Steamfire are a good option for startups — and sometimes their only option, Raybuck said.

“Distributors only get paid when they sell something. If they hire a W-2 sales force, they might have to do another round of fundraising just to have the money to hire that sales force,” he said.

The business is a natural for Raybuck, who grew up in Brecksville with a mother who was a consultant and a father who was a dentist. Before founding his present company with Pojman, Raybuck was selling pharmaceutical products and medical devices for others.

Raybuck is a natural at sales and is a constant source of new ideas and growth strategies, says Pojman, who readily admits that Raybuck is the energetic front man for the company, while Pojman works more behind the scenes on operations.

That’s fine by Pojman. Besides, he says, Raybuck not only has a knack for strategic thinking, but is the ultimate people person, able to win over new clients with relative ease.

“He’s an easy guy to get along with,” Pojman said. “If you can’t get along with him, you probably have problems yourself.”

Raybuck lives in Avon with his wife Danielle and sons Brock and Bradley, with a third child on the way. He loves his job for the work, but also what it affords him to do with his family, he said.

“I love taking my kids skiing and we have a house at Catawba Island . . . we live at Catawba Island in the summer,” said Raybuck.


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