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Department of Economics

Weatherhead School of Management


Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH 44106

August 1, 2003

To Whom It May Concern:

Betsey O’Hagan Merkel has asked me to write a letter of recommendation for her and I
am pleased to do so. Since Betsey has been working on various projects within WSOM,
mainly in the Center for Regional Economic Issues, during the past year, I suspect you
know her qualifications better than I do. You certainly know more about what you expect
in the position for which she applies. I will try to add some perspective based on 18 years
as a friend and neighbor and my service on the board of Coryton & Co., the non-profit
music performance organization established and managed by Betsey.

The music performance organization was essentially a small business, with revenues
from grants and admissions and the usual sorts of expenses for (highly skilled) labor,
marketing, etc. I was impressed by the way Betsey combined a clear and consistent
vision of the organization and its objectives with a meticulous attention to details ranging
from the demands of sensitive performers to physical arrangements of travel and venue.
Most notable in the current context is the truly exquisite graphic work that she arranged
for promotional material. Betsey understands quality and has the vision to demand it, and
the tenacity to obtain it, from others.

Betsey’s combination of vision, tenacity, and attention to detail brought success in


another, quite disparate endeavor. When the local government was about to initiate a
construction project that would have been an environmental debacle, Betsey was able to
rally outside resources ranging from newspaper coverage to the Army Corps of
Engineers to block the project. Although I was not as closely involved, I believe that the
restoration of the historic Ford house in Gates Mills and the adaptive reuse of the historic
barn on River Road at Shaker also illustrate Betsey’s focus on the big picture, combined
with tenacity, attention to detail, and ability to make good use of the media to enlist pubic
support.

I find Betsey to be intelligent, resourceful, and a prodigious worker. She enjoys the
process of inspiring people with diverse interests to pull together toward a common goal.
Equally important, she is willing to do the detailed follow-up to make sure that happens.
She is excited by the unrealized potential of Weatherhead School of Management. I think
that she deserves the chance to help Weatherhead realize that potential.

Sincerely,
William S. Peirce
Professor of Economics, Emeritus
Weatherhead School of Management