Straight Forward Advisors



IT Management and Support

Russell Snella
CEO and Founder

Russell has spent his career in the constantly-changing world of IT. He began his IT journey by creating his own digital program that made printing more efficient. This sparked his love for technology and efficiency-making programs. He took his inquisitive nature to sales and designed a point-of-sale program that increased his client’s customer satisfaction scores and made them more effective.
His technology acumen and ability to improve customer service led him to the automotive industry. This is where he learned about the business of call centers and how they can increase customer satisfaction and lead to more sales. During that time, he also developed software that allowed the parent company and the sales team to communicate more effectively.
Russell’s talents eventually led him away from the automotive industry. He took the knowledge he gleaned from manufacturing and customer service to the private social clubs sector. Through data, he discovered the habits of its members and worked with the marketing department to provide better member services which increased member satisfaction. Additionally, he developed an off-site private cloud service that ran all the data center computers remotely which increased revenue and decreased output.
He is now on a quest to solve your technology challenges.

Culinary Advising

Executive Chef

Michael H. Garbin, CEC, AAC, HGT, a 1976 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, was the Executive Chef of the Union League Club of Chicago from September 1992 until June 2019. He left the Club after an extensive and successful career planning and executing events for club members and other prominent Chicago clubs, charities and foundations.
Chef Garbin began his distinguished career serving as the Executive Chef of the Wigwam Resort and Country Club in Litchfield Park, Arizona, a Mobile Five-Star property. Chef Garbin’s prior positions also include Executive Chef of the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, Colorado, the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, positions with Sonesta Hotels in Cambridge, Massachusetts and New Orleans, Louisiana and the Omni International Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.
Chef Garbin looks forward to bringing his culinary expertise to Straightforward Advisors where he will provide insights for prospective clients by utilizing his creativity, leadership, teamwork, and pro-active problem-solving abilities.

Business Development

Lisa L. Meredith, CMP
Marketing & Business Development

30+ year professional with record success in sales management and marketing at local and regional levels, Lisa is a creative problem solver with the ability to drive revenue growth, consult on conflict resolution, improve organizational morale, as well as provide hands-on training in the areas of developing negotiation skills and cultivating strategic business partnerships. Her experience in planning/executing strategic, revenue-generating programs, and sales/marketing plans proved to be extremely successful for a Chicago-area private, city club (2012-18) where she was tasked to review market analyses, determine member and non-member engagement trends and put in policies that directly improved their room sales volume and increased revenue, thereby awarding the club an achievable $12M+ sales projection annually.
Lisa’s skill in developing detailed club sales and marketing plans for two top revenue-producing club departments (Catering and Room Sales) provided the GM and Executive Team insight on recognizing current market trends, bottom-line responsibility for strategic planning, and market research. Her broad knowledge of marketing principles, including research, direct marketing, pricing, and merchandising was critical in the areas of promotional development, event planning, and advertising. These skills along with extensive experience in recruiting, developing talent, and creating effective training programs has strengthened her ability as a persuasive communicator, making it easy to develop productive relationships with colleagues, customers, and staff at all levels.
Lisa received her Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Governors State University. She acquired her CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) in 2008 and received the Distinguished Achievement-Leadership honor in 2016 from The Boardroom Magazine. Lisa resides in Glenwood, IL, and has two daughters. Her favorite quote, “When you know better, you do better”!




We were in great need of updating our computers and wiring in our office to be able to offer videoconference depositions and meetings to our customers.
Mr. Snella and his staff were very knowledgeable, very professional, and very neat with everything they did. Not only were they very professional and knowledgeable with the wiring, Mr. Snella was also very knowledgeable with adjusting the computer to make it work for our needs.
We have another project coming up with Mr. Snella. We need a new billing system. Mr. Snella has recommended a program that would work for our business. He is also available to come to our office to help us get up and running with a new billing system.
We strongly recommend Straightforward Advisors for all your internet, data, and computer needs. You will not be disappointed.

— Sue Raczak George E. Rydman and Associates

As the General Manager of the Crescent Club, Memphis TN I count Russell Snella and Straight Forward Advisors among our most valuable vendors. Russ in the world of club management offers the unique and remarkable combination of skills and services based in I.T. with a full command of P.O.S. networking, installation, and the relationship of accounting throughout the process. Russ without exception is always quick to respond and thorough in his execution of troubleshooting, often completing a resolution with no more than a heads up through a single email or call.

Personally, I find Russ Snella with his depth of knowledge and warm friendly demeanor and straight Forward Advisors a pleasure to work with and would recommend his firm without reservation.

— John F. McManus | General Manager The Crescent Club