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 brokerage.

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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 managed hundreds of transactions through the sale or wind down process.

Mr. Kruse routinely teaches seminars on distressed asset management and corporate wind down to the real estate and auction community.  Additionally, he has instructed 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 served as Chairman of the Commission in his second term.  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.  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. She 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.

Susan 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.

Jeremy Pratt


Jeremy Pratt initially joined Gryphon in 2018 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. He is a licensed real estate agent and will soon obtain auctioneer licenses and designations. Jeremy will be focused on the company’s more complicated projects as he advances in his career towards a management role.

Jeremy is an alumnus of the University of Cincinnati where he studied finance, after which he invested a year teaching English in the Czech Republic and traveling Europe.

Barry Bowen

Realtor & Auctioneer
Gryphon USA, Ltd

Joining us in 2020, 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 focuses on court ordered transactions and manages a property maintenance and rehab business.  His background offers clients a complete turnkey solution in complicated transactions.

Shawn J. Dostie

Realtor & Auctioneer
Gryphon USA 

Shawn has worked with Gryphon since 2013 and joined the brokerage full time in 2020. He 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’s experience in sales spans from the late 1980s – during which, he undertook projects throughout the northeastern United States – to managing his own car dealership for 25 years. Shawn now runs his own small farm and auction business, where his passion for the auction industry has led to conducting auctions throughout the country.

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.

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

Billy Hagen

Affiliate Auctioneer

Billy has been in the auction industry since 1997, became a licensed auctioneer in 2004, and joined us at Gryphon in 2018. As a full-time auctioneer, he regularly conducts auctions throughout the Midwest and Eastern United States.

Billy also teaches at the Indiana College of Auctioneers, is an active member of the National Auctioneers Association, and has earned the designations of Certified Auctioneer Institute (CAI) and Auction Marketing Management (AMM).

Billy is a native of Winter Garden, FL and now resides in Pekin, Indiana

Dan Junk

Dan joined Gryphon in 2020, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience. Raised in a “real estate and insurance family” in Columbus, Ohio, Dan graduated from Franklin University and received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School.  Beginning his career in insurance at American Community Mutual while attending Franklin University in the evenings, Dan then joined Nationwide Insurance Company and later formed the “Suburban Chamber of Commerce Group Health Plan” in conjunction with Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield while at the Shawan Marquis Agency.  After graduating from law school, he was an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City, where he became an expert on litigation support and electronic discovery for over 20 years.  Dan launched into real estate sales after moving back to Columbus, where he represents both residential and commercial clients.

An Upper Arlington resident since returning to Columbus in 2011, Dan is an officer and trustee of the Upper Arlington Lacrosse Association (UALA) organizing and coaching youth lacrosse in the community for the past eight years.  He and his wife are enthusiastic members of the community with a son playing football and lacrosse at Kenyon College, and another son playing football and lacrosse at Upper Arlington High School.  Dan truly enjoys showing clients the best that Columbus and central Ohio have to offer.

Todd Travis

A licensed Real Estate Agent, Auctioneer and Real Estate Appraiser, Todd joined Gryphon in 2020. He is a court-approved appraiser and Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist, involved with hundreds of probate properties for more than 20 years as an appraiser, auctioneer, realtor and private investor.

Born and raised in Central Ohio, Todd spent a lot of time in the Appalachian hills of Pennsylvania and Ohio. He plays piano and guitar and can be found performing with the band “Old School Groove” in venues around town.

Don Cox

Don joined Gryphon in 2020 and has been a licensed Broker in the State of Ohio for more than 43 years. He has served on the Professional Standards Committee at both state and local levels.  He has been awarded the “Realtor of the Year” award by the Ohio Association of Realtors, served as Mayor of a Village, and has been active in all Masonic Bodies.

Mr. Cox served two terms on the Board of Directors for the Fairfield County Ohio Chamber of Commerce and has taught many Continuing Education courses for Real Estate.  He also taught Real Estate Principles and Practices at Ohio University for approximately 22 years and served as Vice Chair of the Fairfield County Heart Association and on its Board for 8 years.

Before joining Gryphon Realty, Don headed up the largest independent Real Estate Brokerage in Fairfield County, Ohio.

Support Team

Gryphon is supported by an amazing operations team of experienced professionals, many of whom have been with us for many years. They organize, coordinate, execute, and offer service with dedication and excellence. These team members not only make what we do possible, but also more enjoyable. We recognize and appreciate that our jobs and your experience are made richer by their efforts.