FOUNDER, CHAIRMAN & OWNER
Sam Simon is the Founder and Chairman of Simon Group Holdings (SGH), a diversified holding company based in Birmingham, MI.
Sam arrived in Detroit when he was 9, fleeing persecution as an Armenian Catholic in Iraq with his parents and four siblings. He developed a strong work ethic at an early age assisting his father, Ramzi, pumping gas at a station on Six Mile and Hoover, in addition to delivering newspapers, cutting lawns and shoveling snow.
In 1985, he launched Atlas Oil Co. in Taylor, MI with a single delivery truck, and has built it into a 2+ billion gallon-a-year fuel wholesaler with over 500 employees. Today, Simon still owns and remains involved in the company’s day to day operations.
With the success of Atlas Oil, Simon formed Simon Group Holdings, an investment manager with multiple office locations in Birmingham, MI. The company is actively involved in numerous industries, including gas, oil and renewable energy, real estate, aerospace and defense, insurance, wine and sports entertainment.
Simon has been honored with many recognitions for his success in business, including: “Entrepreneur of the Year” from Ernst & Young (1999), “Economic Bridge Builder of the Year” from the American Arab Chamber of Commerce (2016), “Visionaries of Detroit” from Fortune Magazine (2010), “Outstanding Business Leader” from Northwood University (2018), Bates Street Society Pillar award for Business Success and Philanthropic contributions (2023) and was previously appointed to the National Petroleum Council by Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham. He is also recognized annually as one of the top business leaders in Metro Detroit by DBusiness Magazine, and was featured in Crain’s Detroit’s American Dreams issue, which honors immigrant entrepreneurs who have made strides in our community (2018).
“Take your time but hurry up. Don’t wait for it to happen, make it happen.”
– Sam Simon
More importantly than his business success, Simon and his wife, Nada, are committed to paying forward their good fortune to help others. In 2009, he and Nada founded the Sam & Nada Simon Foundation. The Foundation is focused on providing direct support to their local communities, including an emphasis on active-duty military personnel, veterans, local law enforcement, immigrant families, and supporting deserving youth with academic scholarships and leadership development opportunities in the communities that the Simon family live and work in. Their signature event is an annual Christmas party at the Selfridge Air Force Base to celebrate local service families for selflessly serving our country.
Outside of work and philanthropy, Sam and Nada enjoy spending as much time possible with their twin boys, Peter and Michael, and take every opportunity to gather their extended family.
PRESIDENT - THE SAM & NADA SIMON FOUNDATION
Nada Simon has lived the American Dream. She immigrated to the United States at 13 years old. She lived with an Uncle and worked at his grocery store while studying at Grosse Pointe South High School. Upon graduation, she attended Siena Heights University, and graduated with a degree in Business Administration.
Nada began her career at Ford Motor Company, where she worked in sales. Through her work ethic, determination, and drive, Nada was promoted three times in two and a half years. In January 1986, she left Ford to join Sam Simon, whom she would eventually marry, at his newly-started Atlas Oil Company, as Director of Sales. Nada was instrumental in the growth of Atlas, a company that now delivers over 1 billion gallons of fuel annually. Nada stepped down in 2000 to focus on being a mother for her twin boys, Peter and Michael.
Even as she dialed back her career, Nada remained active in and around her community. She served as President and Vice President of the Parents Association during her 17 years volunteering with the Detroit Country Day Schools. She also served on the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women’s Leadership Board for 10 years, working with other women leaders to achieve gender equality, diversity and advancement of women. Nada, in 2023, was recognized at the Bates Street Society annual dinner, with the Pillar Business and Philanthropic award for her efforts in achieving success in her career but also giving back.
"When you are blessed in life, it is your duty to bless others in return."
– Nada Simon
In 2009, Nada co-founded the Sam and Nada Simon Foundation and became its President, a role she still holds today. The Foundation is focused on supporting active-duty military and veterans, local law enforcement, immigrant families, academic scholarships and leadership development for deserving youth in the communities that the Simon family lives and works in.
The Foundation's annual keynote event is a holiday party for armed services members and their families, annually draws hundreds of attendees for a day of food, music, fun, and thanksgiving at Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan. Several holiday meals are provided throughout the year for veterans staying at Fisher House in Ann Arbor, MI and Houston, TX, and Piquette Square in Detroit, MI. The Foundation currently supports enrollment for students at De La Salle Collegiate and Holy Name Catholic School.
An ardent believer in helping whenever possible, Nada feels a tremendous sense of gratitude for the freedoms we have in the United States and welcomes opportunities to assist others in pursuit of their dreams, especially young women. She believes that when you are blessed, you are called to use those gifts to bless others. Through her personal generosity and the work of the Foundation, she hopes to pay forward the same opportunities that have afforded her the American Dream.
SENIOR MANAGING PARTNER & PRESIDENT ATLAS OIL
Mike Evans has worked closely with Simon Group Holdings Founder and Chairman Sam Simon for 20 years. A born leader, he brings a unique combination of strategic, financial and operating credentials to Simon Group Holdings. His responsibilities include leadership oversight, growth and value creation of the core and portfolio companies. He has extensive experience in the development and execution of strategic, operational, organizational, and financial improvement initiatives across all holding and portfolio companies under the SGH umbrella.
Mike began his professional career as a financial analyst supporting General Motors’ executive staff business units. He was selected for many significant merger and acquisition opportunities, culminating in his lead financial role for the negotiating team on EDS’s spin off from General Motors, in 1996.
“In success or failure, stay humble. Anything is possible if you have faith and work hard.”
– Mike Evans
With nearly 30 years of financial, operational, and leadership experience, his credentials consist of successes in various industries including distribution, logistics, real estate, technology, petroleum commodities and merger and acquisition activities within Fortune 500 companies, middle market, early stage, and limited start up experience. He has successfully taken on key roles in turnaround and performance improvement situations involving mid-size to multi-billion-dollar companies. Evans has assumed interim leadership roles, serving as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer, and President to guide restructurings, turnarounds, and post-merger integration (100 days).
Mike attended Western Michigan University and graduated, with honors, with a B.B.A. in finance and accounting. He is active in several professional organizations including the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America, the National Association of Convenience Stores, and the Michigan Petroleum Association. He also served on the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Underground Storage Tank System Cleanup Advisory Board. He is a member of the Turnaround Management Association, and the Michigan and Illinois Bankers Associations.
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Mike believes in faith, family and work, in that order. He loves spending time with his four daughters and sets a great example for them as an active volunteer. Mike has assisted many community organizations including the Harvest Temple Cass Corridor Outreach group, a feeding program for the homeless; the World Vision Organization; the Detroit Rescue Missions Ministry; the Salvation Army; and the American Red Cross.
He also participates in the Atlas Cares community and military service programs.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR for CHAIRMAN / CEO - SAM SIMON
Robbie Rankey is an experienced project manager and executive that brings 15+ years of strategic solutions to complex issues at the highest levels in public and private industry.
Robbie’s career began in state government, where he worked on the executive staff for the Michigan Attorney General, Secretary of State and three Speakers of the House. During that time, he was not only called upon for strategic advice and counsel, but more often as a trusted leader that could manage any project or issue. Robbie prides himself on being a listen-first leader that can understand the goals and vision of the team while navigating them through the roadblocks stifling their success, a talent he continues to provide with Simon Group Holdings.
“Vision without execution is just hallucination.”
– Henry Ford
Following law school, Robbie was a litigation consultant specializing in finance and accounting expert report writing and fraud investigations. He has also worked in the private law firm setting, with various state regulators, and in the judiciary for the U.S. District Court and Bankruptcy Court.
Robbie is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School (Boston, MA) where he earned a J.D. with a concentration in Business Law and Financial Services. He also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Ferris State University (Big Rapids, MI). In his personal time, he is an avid runner/biker and an active philanthropist that dedicates his time to the Ferris State University Alumni Association. He and his wife, Kellie have two young children, Harper and Hudson.
Silke Kuhn serves as the Controller for Simon Group Holdings. She focuses primarily on the financial wellness of the diverse SGH portfolio.
Prior to joining SGH, Silke was on the Atlas Oil Company team. She began as an analyst and quickly rose through the ranks, before making the switch to the SGH accounting team. Again, Silke rose quickly through the ranks and now oversees the accounting team and all corporate financials.
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
– Collin Powell
Silke received her master’s degree in accounting from Walsh College. A firm believer in our total wellness approach, Silke remains active through group fitness, including the SGH team’s weekly yoga class. She also enjoys gardening and bike riding to stay outdoors.
VP, HR, EHS and RISK
Gerry King brings extensive experience in EHS, HR, and Risk Management to the role of VP, HR, EHS and Risk for Simon Group Holdings. His in-depth international experience leading integration teams for new business acquisition, M&A activity and regulatory compliance has created strong leadership skills centered on customer service and generating common focus through coaching, team building and objective setting.
“If you want to make a difference in the lives of the people you lead, you must be willing to walk alongside them, to lift and encourage them, to share moments of understanding with them, and to spend time with them, not just shout down at them from on high.”
– Coach Tony Dungy, The Mentor Leader
Gerry began his career in EHS consulting before moving into the automotive/transportation industry, where he spent the next 35 years working in multiple roles that not only covered all aspects of EHS, but also included numerous multi-disciplinary assignments in Human Resources, Engineering, Risk Management and Operations. These opportunities provided Gerry the chance to thoroughly understand their role and scope of work in a business structure, allowing him to more effectively lead and influence cultural change. Gerry’s approach is to generate common focus within all levels of the company through coaching, team building and integrating HR/EHS processes into every aspect of the business. These processes not only protect our employees and assets; they are also business tools used to improve efficiency, morale and productivity while at the same time reducing costs and downtime.
Gerry was born and raised in Ontario, Canada and graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an undergraduate degree in Environmental and a Master’s Degree in Occupational Health and Safety Engineering. Gerry and his family moved from Canada to Michigan in 1999. He and his wife Barb have two daughters, Stephanie and Samantha, both married, who live in South Lyon, MI and St. Louis, MO respectively. In their spare time, Barb and Gerry enjoy many outdoor activities and spending time at their cottage on Lake Huron in Ontario.
CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER, SIMON GROUP HOLDINGS
Biana Hamady brings her extensive legal experience in contract negotiations, litigation, safety procedures, and compliance matters to the role of Chief Legal Officer for Simon Group Holdings and Atlas Oil Company, where she serves on the Leadership Team. She oversees all the legal affairs for the entities and affiliates housed under the SGH umbrella.
'When you fuel up with purpose you find the excitement in the mundane, the passion in the everyday, the extraordinary in the ordinary.' - Jon Gordon.
Originally from Kyiv, Ukraine, Biana moved to the United States in 1979. After graduating from Oakland University in 1999 with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, she found her true passion in the law and enrolled in Michigan State University's College of Law. Her comprehensive legal acumen is the result of exposure to a diverse array of industries over the course of her career working for companies like Federated Capital Corporation, Great Lakes Central Railroad, and Shermeta Law Group. From Technology and Real Estate to Collections and Railroads, Biana has a well-rounded and impressive command of the law. No stranger to overcoming challenges, she attributes her success to a strong work ethic, integrity, and always doing the right thing.
She and her husband of 20 years, David, have a 15-year-old daughter named Isabella. In her free time, Biana is on the Board of Directors for Detroit Skating Club, where her daughter is an avid figure skater.
ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL, SIMON GROUP HOLDINGS
John Ortoleva is the Assistant General Counsel for Simon Group Holdings. In his role, he oversees all the legal affairs for Atlas Oil Company and its various Affiliates. He also serves on Atlas’ Leadership Team. John is committed to partnering with all of the SGH business teams and providing them with proactive legal services for the purpose of minimizing risk and enhancing profitability. While maintaining the highest ethical standards, he seeks opportunities for value creation by offering exceptional legal advice and counseling that facilitates, rather than hinders, the attainment of SGH’s business objectives. Creativity, innovation and a willingness to embrace new ideas and challenges guides his every action.
“Do all you can with what you have in the time you have in the place you are.”
– Nkosi Johnson
John joined SGH in 2009. Prior to that, he practiced commercial litigation and debtor creditor law for 15 years with the Metro Detroit Law Firm of Muller, Richmond, Harms, Myers & Sgroi, P.C. where he represented a wide variety of clients in the auto, manufacturing, service, banking and insurance industries. He has handled hundreds of cases, trials, case evaluation hearings and court appearances. John has served as a case evaluator for both the Oakland and Macomb County Circuit Courts. John received his law degree from Michigan State University and his undergraduate degree in political science from Clark University in Worcester Massachusetts. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Michigan. John was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut and enjoys traveling back there during the Holidays to visit his family and friends. In his spare time, John enjoys running, rollerblading and traveling. An old Eagle Scout, he is an avid supporter of the Boy Scouts of America and teaches several merit badges at summer camp.
PRESIDENT, CANOPY INSURANCE
Joseph Simon is the President of Canopy Insurance Group. In this capacity, he develops and executes the Company’s strategy including leading the overall product and technology strategy, creating the go-to-market strategy, partnership collaboration, and recruiting and developing the organization.
“No brilliant idea was ever born in a conference room,” he assured the Dane. “But a lot of silly ideas have died there,” said Stahr.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Last Tycoon
Mr. Simon also held prior positions as a Business Development and Technology Strategist at Oracle Corp, Founder of Pure Pili, and has received a Master’s Degree from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Michigan. With his Property and Casualty License, Mr. Simon is a proven innovator, leader, and is passionate about building new technologies that advance both legacy and modern systems within insurance. Mr. Simon’s experience in technology, and now insurance, provides unique insight in the operations of Canopy’s strategic approach to implement numerous technological initiatives with a focus on automation and robotics.