Once a Statehouse lobbyist, Dan Clevenger now runs Pure-Pro Products, selling nutraceuticals and herbiceuticals--think food and herbal supplements--as well as a glow-in-the-dark night safety vest.

What sparked Clevenger's career change? "Just over three years ago, I thought I was dying," he says. What he thought was Lou Gehrig's disease turned out to be acute neuropathy, and Clevenger turned to nutraceuticals. "You're not supposed to be able to recover the strength you lost," he says. "I lost 80 percent, but I started taking [Stemulite, an over-the-counter supplement] and now I'm stronger than I was five years ago."

Clevenger, a former college athlete, recruited Dewey Stokes, a former Franklin County Commissioner and national Fraternal Order of Police president, to help launch Pure-Pro. Stokes says Pure-Pro's bright green night safety vest ($49.95, including "battery powered electro-luminescent fiber attachments") "kind of struck my fancy."

Former NBA star Tom VanArsdale handles Pure-Pro's athletic relations. Celebrity endorsers include former Indiana hoops coach Bobby Knight, NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson and former NFL star Paul Hornung.

Testing, product development and legal wrangling delayed Pure-Pro's launch until February 2011. "It's been two years of labor of love and frustration," says Stokes.

Pure-Pro's products include Proformax, the successor to Stemulite; StaminacAM, a pill alternative to energy drinks; SomniacPM, a sleep regulator; Netical Patch, which uses ingredients derived from stinging nettles to treat aches and pains; and Bio-Back, a lightweight back brace. All are available online at www.pureproproductsllc.com.

Clevenger says Cardinal Health, the Dublin-based pharmaceutical giant, has offered valuable help. "Pure-Pro reached out to us on account of their focus on the health-care arena and our familiarity with distribution to the kind of bricks-and-mortar facilities they hoped to reach," says Mike Kaufmann, CEO of Cardinal Health's pharmaceutical segment. "We recognize the importance of collaboration amongst businesses in the Central Ohio community, and we wish Pure-Pro the best of luck as they continue their pursuits."

Reprinted from the June 2011 issue of Columbus C.E.O. Copyright © Columbus C.E.O.