About Cara Zale

Cara Zale builds and invests in sustainable businesses with a mission to create social change.

We work with great brands who care about their people. Those who are intentional about their team’s growth and development. Brands who believe there’s something bigger inside of every human they come in contact with. This is how truly great businesses grow—with great people who care about themselves, their team, and the vision they’re all signing up to create, together.

Our Mission

Social change begins the moment your people realize their potential.

Successful brands recognize their people for who they are—not just what they deliver. When your people feel accepted, they’re empowered to engage with their family in meaningful ways. Armed with a sense of purpose and fulfillment, this in turn allows their families to give back to their communities, creating a ripple effect for the greater good.

At Cara Zale, this is what we set out to accomplish every single day.

Greater Good



Meet the Team

Jake Crocker

Jake Crocker, is an owner/member of Cara Zale, LLC. Currently, his primary role is Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Cara Zale, Vice Chairman of Cara Zale Fund II and Operating Partner of Realco Enterprises, LLC a private real estate holding firm specializing in NNN retail real estate.

Jake is also a board member and Deals Partner of OLIO Development Group, a private real estate investment development company. Jake sits on the Board of United Midwest Savings Bank, a nationally chartered bank headquartered in Columbus, Ohio as well as serving on the Board of an Ohio based private regional student housing company.

Jake has served in an advisory capacity to several non-profit organizations over the years. He is currently an advisor to The Business of Good Foundation and a closely held private foundation. He also gives his time to consulting business and business owners who wish to scale their businesses in a sustainable fashion through Kingsley Capital Management, LLC. In his free time, Jake enjoys spending time with his family, watching any basketball game in the winter, playing occasional golf in the summer and reading the Economist in between. Jake and his wife reside in Ohio with their three young boys.

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Eric Ongaro

Eric Ongaro is Co-Managing Partner of Cara Zale (“CZ”). In addition to his CZ duties, Ongaro also serves as President of OLIO Development Group, a boutique full service real estate development firm founded in 2017 by CZ Principals. He started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2000 and spent time with both publicly traded and privately held businesses from 2004 through 2012.

Ongaro joined CZ in 2013 as CFO of RCO Limited, CZ’s Raising Canes Chicken Fingers franchise, before being promoted to President in 2017 and ultimately CEO in 2021. During his tenure, RCO grew to nearly 50 Restaurants, 3,000 Crewmembers and $200M in Sales before RCO was acquired by Raising Cane’s Corporate in late 2021.

Ongaro is a CPA (inactive) and a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University (BA in Accounting) and The Ohio State University (MBA) and lives in Lewis Center, OH with his wife and four children.

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Brian Gunroe

What can we build? What can we become? These are the guiding questions for Brian Gunnoe, Founder & President of OLIO Development Group. His entire 20+ year career has circled around real estate development—from general contracting to coding custom construction software to chairing the board of zoning appeals for the City of Dublin and more.

When he co-founded OLIO Development Group in 2017 in Columbus, OH, his goal was to build a development company rooted in radical transparency, both for the clients and his team. Brian knows from experience that when everyone understands how all functions of the development process come together to create a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts, the perspective created is invaluable.

Transparency, through leading software applications, enables the OLIO team to support each other and collectively deliver the best possible outcome on every level. For clients, they feel confident in knowing exactly what’s happening every step of the way. This approach has helped OLIO quickly expand from a two-person operation to a 22-person team collaborating on 17+ projects a year in 3 states in just 5 years.

Brian graduated from Ohio University and has served on the board of the Athletic Club of Columbus and chaired the Board of Zoning Appeals for the City of Dublin. When Brian isn’t rolling up his sleeves developing new ideas, you can find him golfing, working on his jump shot, or spending time with his wife and four boys.

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Tim McCarthy

Tim received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Ohio State University in March of 1975 then received his Masters of Business Administration from Ohio State (Fisher Business School) in June of 2007. In 2008, he received Fisher Alumnae Community Service Award and became an Ernst and Young regional Entrepreneur of the Year.

McCarthy opened his first business in 1988. Over time, this company developed a permissioned database of 1 million employer key contacts delivering samples and incentives to their 60 million associates for their national advertising clients such as 3M, M&M Mars, and McDonald’s.  WorkPlace Media was sold to the Riverside Company in 2007.

Since 2003, McCarthy has backed his son, Tim Patrick in building (and formerly operating) 44 Raising Cane’s Chicken Finger restaurants building a 3,000 employee, $200 million company.

Since 2000, when WorkPlace Media achieved consistent profitability, he has diverted more than 20% of that profit each year to a foundation his wife, Alice, and Tim formed called The Business of Good. The foundation invests in socially conscious businesses and scalable non-profit concepts that seek economic inclusion which, they feel is a long-term solution to poverty.

The mission of The Business of Good funds and counsels non-profit organizations by using business disciplines to grow their mission. The primary partners supported are America Mentors, SEA Change and Ashtabula Capital.

The McCarthys have three adult children, five grandchildren and reside on the shore of Lake Erie in Ashtabula, Ohio.

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Timmy McCarthy

Timmy McCarthy is an entrepreneur and social change advocate with almost twenty years of experience in the business world. Timmy spent many years building and focusing on RCO Limited, the Ohio Franchise Partner of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. With 44 restaurants built, RCO became the largest franchise organization within the Raising Cane’s system, and Timmy and RCO Limited became known for their impressive results as well as the way they advocated for and supported their employees.

Motivated by the social impact made possible by a successful business, and desiring to make this impact on a larger scale, Timmy and his business partners purchased WorkPlace Impact (then WorkPlace Media) in 2013. In July 2017, Cara Zale, a Social Capital Investment Company was born. Through Cara Zale, Timmy and his partners publicize that they are focused on “Growing Great Businesses and Developing People who Create Social Change.”

Timmy lives in Worthington, OH, and guest lectures regularly at both The Ohio State University, his MBA alma mater, and Wittenberg University, his undergrad alma mater, sharing his experiences in building businesses with students at the Fisher College of Business. He has been mentioned or featured in articles in Business First, Franchise Times, The Daily Reporter, The Lantern, Crain’s and The Columbus Dispatch.

Timmy currently serves as chair of The Business of Good Foundation based in Mentor, OH, and has helped to develop The Business of Good and their practice of “Investing in organizations that are focused on advancing equality of opportunity through education and entrepreneurship.” He also hopes to encourage budding entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs to continue their development of community and national projects, as those are the sources of America’s future potential success.

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