Our Team

Richard F. Kruse

Tel: 614-774-4118
E-mail: rfk@gryphonusa.com

Richard F. Kruse is Managing Partner of Gryphon USA, Ltd.  The company oversees a receivership & asset management group, a commercial auction business and a full service real estate advisory practice.  

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Mr. Kruse’s engagements are primarily focused on complex state and federal level legal matters, foreclosure and insolvency.  Since 1996, he has acted in the capacity of receiver, interim manager, asset purchaser, liquidating agent, equipment appraiser, broker, property manager and/or auctioneer in transactions throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada – all with combined asset values over $2 billion dollars.

In 2003, Mr. Kruse began accepting receivership appointments throughout Ohio, and ever since, has operated and sold or wound-down hundreds of corporate entities through negotiated sale and auction.  Most recently, he has been appointed Deputy Interim Master for Operations in the wind down of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), Ohio’s largest online charter school.

Mr. Kruse routinely teaches seminars on distressed asset management and corporate wind down to the real estate and auction community.  Further he instructs on working with financial institutions and the court system at The Ohio Auction School and National Auctioneers Association.  He is frequently consulted as an industry expert by the Columbus Dispatch and Columbus Business First newspapers.  In 2011, Mr. Kruse participated in drafting new local rules for receivership management in his home base of Franklin County, Ohio.  He also consulted on modified legislation language related to streamlining the foreclosure sale process in Ohio as well as development of a proprietary website involving workflow tracking and online bidding for Private Selling Officer auctions.

Mr. Kruse was recognized as “One to Know” in Real Estate 2013 by Business First, and in October of 2013, he was appointed by Governor John Kasich to the Ohio Auctioneers Commission and in his second term served as Chairman of the Commission.  Mr. Kruse acts as advisor on strategy and finance to political candidates in Central Ohio and is a graduate of the 2006 Leadership Columbus Program.

In his personal life, he is dedicated to causes like education, children and politics. He is an active volunteer, fundraiser and parishioner at CenterPoint Church Gahanna where he participates in many hospitality functions and the youth program.  When he’s not working, he enjoys traveling and cooking.  Mr. Kruse and his wife, Melissa, have one daughter, Savannah, and live in Columbus, Ohio.

Melissa Kruse

Gryphon USA, Ltd

Melissa is the Co-Founder and a Partner in Gryphon USA.  In addition to taking management roles in the company’s asset management and recovery projects since 2003, she focuses on regional and national event planning, operations and logistics.  

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Most recently, Melissa was the director of External Operations for the Columbus Local Organizing Committee for the Women’s Final Four.  Prior to that she was the Deputy Director of Transportation & Logistics for the Democratic National Convention Committee. In conjunction with the Director of Transportation, she helped plan a fully integrated accessible transportation system comprised of 425 buses and 365 motor pool cars, that moved more than 45,000 convention participants from 90 hotels to conference events throughout Philadelphia.

She was also involved in the two-year outreach and strategic planning effort for Columbus 2016, the City of Columbus solicitation to land the 2016 Democratic Convention.  She worked closely with many leading stakeholders both in Columbus and nationally, to plan and implement events to raise awareness and generate support for the City’s endeavor. This project included planning and executing over 40 events in a two-day site visit, as well as, coordinating multiple events both in Columbus and other cities.

During the Clinton Administration Melissa also served as a Special Advisor to the President and the Director of Outreach for the Office of the Special Envoy for the Americas. In this role she organized events throughout the North and South America in support of Administration initiatives.

Susan Wittenberg

Gryphon USA, Ltd

Susan Wittenberg has been with Gryphon since 2016 and is a native of Columbus, Ohio, an alumna of Bexley High School and a graduate of University of Phoenix with a degree in information technology and business management.  Susan primarily oversees corporate and project based finance tasks, banking, payroll and accounting.  For our larger projects, she manages field staff and oversees pre and post sale logistics.  

Jeremy Pratt


Jeremy Pratt initially joined Gryphon as a marketing assistant and quickly jumped into a field operations role assisting with real estate, firearm and office equipment liquidations. During this time he gained a working knowledge of the judicial foreclosure process, receivership and procedures for selling real property at foreclosure auction using a Private Selling Officer. In mid-2018 Jeremy left for a year to teach English in the Czech Republic and travel Europe. Upon his return he obtained his real estate license and is currently working to obtain auctioneer licenses and designations. Jeremy will be focused on the companies more complicated projects as he advances in his career towards a management role. He is an alumnus of the University of Cincinnati where he studied finance.

Barry Bowen

Realtor & Auctioneer
Gryphon USA, Ltd

Barry is a second-generation real estate professional who has sold millions of dollars in residential and commercial real estate through general brokerage as well as live and online auction.  He is also a personal property appraiser with a background in valuation and sale of both consumer and commercial assets.  Barry focusses on court ordered transactions and also manages a property maintenance and rehab business.  His background offers clients a complete turnkey solution in complicated transactions.

Oliver Cope

Gryphon USA, Ltd

Oliver Cope began with the company in July 2018 and is responsible for assisting with project specific marketing and operations. He is also a student at Columbus State College studying Business with the goal of eventually receiving his degree from The Ohio State University and working the distressed asset and real estate field.  Outside of work and studies he enjoys working on his musicianship in guitar, drums, and vocals and takes pleasure in helping others through several church ministries and community outreach programs.

Shawn J. Dostie

Realtor & Auctioneer
Gryphon USA 

Shawn J Dostie, Auctioneer is the manager of the Southeast Region of Ohio for the Ohio Foreclosure Auction Group and Ed and Ben Schafer Auctioneers, a third generation real estate and auction firm established in 1964.  

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Shawn J. Dostie was born and raised Ohio graduating from Walnut Ridge H.S. in 1984, then attended The Ohio State University. 

He worked as a salesman and sales trainer for Nationwide Sales and Storage throughout the late 1980’s traveling the East Coast undertaking projects in Boston, Providence, Hartford, and New York.   

Upon returning home, Shawn entered the car business and managed his own dealerships for 25 years.

Shawn moved to Coshocton, Ohio in 1996 where he now runs his own small farm and auction business.  Shawn has traveled the US pursuing his passion for the auction industry, conducting auctions throughout Ohio, WV, PA, MI, IN, KY, CO, TX, MD and NM.  He is also currently a candidate for multiple designations in the auction industry including AARE (Accredited Auctioneer Real Estate) and CAI (Certified Auctioneers Institute) considered the National Auctioneers Associations highest attainable designation.

He is experienced with troubled assets, commercial and residential real estate, farm properties, oil and gas, recreational land, and hunting leases.  His specialty is the blend between rural and urban America, and the differences in how business is conducted in each. He works the Appalachian area of Ohio. He is a proud member in good standing with the Ohio Auctioneers Association and the National Auctioneers Association.

Billy Hagen

Affiliate Auctioneer

Billy Hagan is a native of Winter Garden, FL and now resides in Pekin, Indiana where has been employed in the auction industry since 1997 and became a licensed auctioneer in 2004.  Billy is a full time auctioneer and an active member of the National Auctioneers Association.  He has earned the Certified Auctioneer Institute and Auction Marketing Management designations and teaches at the Indiana College of Auctioneers.  He is licensed in and regularly conducts auctions in IN, OH, IL, KY, TN & FL.