ACG has gathered an incredible lineup of leading authorities in the M&A industry to provide you with the latest trends, best practices, and analyses. Browse the lineup below of experts who will present at InterGrowth.

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

Founder And Chief Executive Officer, A-Rod Corp

Session: Closing Keynote 

Wednesday, May 8 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Floridian Ballroom

Best known for his unparalleled accomplishments on the baseball field, Alex Rodriguez stands as one of the greatest athletes in the world. Through the course of his 22-year career, Mr. Rodriguez hit an extraordinary 696 home runs, has hit more grand slams than any person in history, and is one of only 29 players to join the 3,000 hit club. Mr. Rodriguez is a 3-time MVP, a 14-time all-star, and a 2009 World Series Champion with the New York Yankees.

Over the course of his iconic baseball career, Mr. Rodriguez also built a tremendously successful investment firm with the purchase of a single duplex in 2003. Mr. Rodriguez subsequently founded A-Rod Corp, and created a fully-integrated real estate investment and development firm, while managing a record-breaking baseball career. Following the company’s success in real estate, A-Rod Corp broadened its investment mandate to encompass assets across a wider array of industries, including sports and wellness, media, and entertainment. With a flexible and opportunistic investment mandate, the firm focuses on long-term ownership opportunities, where it can add value and deliver superior, risk-adjusted returns. Today, A-Rod Corp is a fully integrated investment firm, led by Alex Rodriguez and a team of seasoned investment professionals.

Mr. Rodriguez also maintains an active sports, television, and media presence. He currently serves as a special advisor to Hal Steinbrenner, co-chairman of the New York Yankees. In addition, Mr. Rodriguez is currently signed with three major television networks, including Fox, ABC, and CNBC. Notably, he joined Fox Sports as a MLB analyst in 2015 and became an Emmy award-winning baseball commentator within two years. He also serves as a collaborator on ABC’s Good Morning America and Nightline. Mr. Rodriguez is a guest on ABC’s Shark Tank, and in the Fall of 2017, debuted a CNBC television series in which he served as a business mentor to former athletes facing financial distress.

Elizabeth Cutler

Elizabeth Cutler

Co-Founder, SoulCycle

Session: CEO Keynote Panel

Tuesday, May 7 | 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Floridian Ballroom

Elizabeth Cutler is an entrepreneur best known for co-creating the fitness phenomenon, SoulCycle. Cutler served as Co-CEO at SoulCycle from 2006 to 2015 before becoming Co-Chief Creative Officer in 2015.

Cutler and her partner Julie Rice started SoulCycle in 2006 in the rear lobby of an Upper West Side dance studio found on Craigslist. Cutler and Rice grew the company to 60 studios as founders, CEO’s, and Creative Officers before departing in 2016.

After a 10-year sprint with SoulCycle, Elizabeth Cutler now works with various founders in the capacity of advising, investing and board work through both Life Shop and Dopamine Ventures.

Cutler and Rice were honored as one of Goldman Sachs’ 100 Builders + Innovators in 2013 and 2014 and SoulCycle was voted one of the World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Fitness of 2013 by Fast Company. Cutler and Rice were contributing editors to The Wall Street Journal’s Accelerators column and in 2015, Cutler and Rice were voted one of Fast Company’sMost Creative People in Business. In 2015, Cutler and Rice were honored as two of AdWeek’sBrand Geniuses.

She remains engaged in both profit and non-profit enterprises including The Wing, Urban Stems, Universal Standard, WTHN, Crisis Text Line and SHOFCO. The common thread in all of these projects is their inspiration for community and wellness, and to serve as vehicles for human betterment.

Christopher Gavigan

Christopher Gavigan

Co-founder And Chief Purpose Officer, The Honest Company

Session: A Discussion with Elizabeth Cutler and Christopher Gavigan

Tuesday, May 7 | 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Floridian Ballroom

Christopher Gavigan is a best-selling author and the Co-founder + Chief Purpose Officer of iconic lifestyle brand The Honest Company. With actress Jessica Alba, he founded the company to empower and educate the next generation of consumers to challenge the marketplace to think about the people they serve. This idea and his passion for it have been integral in growing the Honest Company from concept to a $1.7 billion organization, experiencing what Forbes called “an absurd level of growth.” Named a Men’s Fitness “Game Changer,” and EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015, Gavigan shares the keys to The Honest Company’s success: fostering authentic consumer relationships paired with a relentless entrepreneurial spirit.

In Honest’s first year selling products in 2012, it hit $12 million in revenue. In 2014, it was $150+ million, and predictions for 2016 set expectations at more than $300+ million.

Gavigan grew Healthy Child Healthy World’s annual budget by four times in six years and built strategic partnerships with Google, WebMD, Target, Seventh Generation, Microsoft, Babycenter, Universal Studios, Stonyfield Farms, Whole Foods, and many other market leaders.

Gavigan sits on the board of directors of Mount Sinai Hospital’s Children Environmental Health Center (CEHC), is a chief advisor to the Green Product Innovation Institute, and is on the advisory boards of Healthy Child Healthy World, SAIL Venture Partners, and UCLA’s Environmental Health Sciences Department.

Pauline Brown

Pauline Brown

Former Chairman of North America at Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton

Session: A One-On-One Conversation with Pauline Brown 

Tuesday, May 7 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

For more than 25 years, Pauline Brown has acquired, built, and led the world’s most influential global luxury brands. Pauline served as the Chairman of North America for the world’s leading luxury goods company, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, where she provided regional leadership for about 70 brands in 5 sectors including fashion & leather goods, watches & jewelry, perfume & cosmetics, wine & spirits, and selective retailing. While at LVMH, Pauline also served on the board of L Capital, a private equity fund backed by LVMH, as well as on the boards of several LVMH subsidiaries including Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, and Fresh Cosmetics. In 2016, Pauline joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School, designing and teaching a new interdisciplinary course for graduate students named “The Business of Aesthetics.”

Pauline Brown boasts unparalleled expertise when it comes to understanding why long-term financial value in today’s world rests on an ability to deliver aesthetic value. Touching on the strategies that have built consumer demand and loyalty for booming brands in the age of Amazon, she explains how such companies are rewarded not only for eliciting a high degree of pleasure in those who buy their goods and services, but also for spurring desirability among others who aspire to them. Pauline focuses on helping organizations discern and appraise businesses through their own senses—a critical and oftentimes under-developed skill set for corporate executives, entrepreneurs and investors alike—as well as to analyze the issues and challenges of running aesthetic business from a strategic, financial, organizational and cultural vantage.

In addition to her operational experience in the luxury goods sector, Pauline Brown also boasts a successful track record as an investor in luxury brands. Before joining LVMH, she was a Managing Director at private equity firm The Carlyle Group, where she helped build the firm’s global consumer and retail practice, co-led deals, and served on the boards of portfolio companies including the European sportswear brand Moncler and the American beauty brand Philosophy. Earlier in her career, Pauline held senior executive positions in the global beauty industry including Head of Corporate Strategy and New Business Development at The Estee Lauder Companies. There, she led all mergers, acquisitions, and licensing activities and helped to expand Estee Lauder’s portfolio from eight to 25 distinct beauty brands. She reported to the Company’s CEO and was a member of its Executive Committee. Pauline began her career as a Management Consultant at Bain & Company.

Frank A. McGrew IV

Frank A. McGrew IV

Managing Partner, McNally Capital

Session: Navigating and Capitalizing on Opportunity Zones
Tuesday, May 7 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Grand Ballroom

Frank A. McGrew IV is a Managing Partner at McNally Capital where he leads Merchant Banking efforts while also supporting the firm’s Direct Investing efforts. He also initiated and now leads McNally’s OZ investment efforts while collaborating with McNally’s network of over 800 family offices. Previously he was a Managing Director within Investment Banking at Raymond James having also assumed increasing levels of responsibility while working at other global investment banks, including Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Salomon Brothers, Morgan Keegan and Morgan Joseph, where he gained significant investment and work experience in the US, Japan, China, Russia and Europe. Frank’s professional career also includes significant operating and principal investment experience during his tenure with Buckeye Technologies and as a founder and Managing Director of Paradigm Capital Partners. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a BBA from Southern Methodist University.

Elise Chowdhry

Elise Chowdhry

Founder and Managing Principal at Optimum Advisors

Session: Human Capital: The Greatest Value And Risk To The Success Of M&A Transactions

Tuesday, May 7 | 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

Optimum Advisors LLC provides strategic, operational, and management consulting services to middle market private equity firms, their debt finance partners, and the companies they invest in. The firm helps leaders in the middle market community optimize their success by realizing higher productivity and increased profitability through building high performance teams and achieving greater alignment of people, processes and strategic objectives.

Elise is the Founder and Managing Principal at Optimum Advisors. Prior to founding Optimum Advisors, Elise spent over two decades working with and investing in lower middle market companies. Most recently she was a Managing Director at CIT Group, where she held both investment and management positions in Corporate Finance and at CIT Bank. Prior to CIT, Elise worked at institutions including Heller Financial, JH Whitney & Co., and Fleet Financial. Elise received her M.B.A in Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business, her M.S. in Professional Accounting from the University of Hartford, and her B.A. in Economics from Bates College. She is a Society of Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and Certified on Hogan Personality and Behavioral Assessments. She is also an active member of the ACG-NY Marketing Committee.

Steve Ellis

Steve Ellis

Founder and Managing Director, Stratford-Cambridge Group

Session: Human Capital: The Greatest Value And Risk To The Success Of M&A Transactions

Tuesday, May 7 | 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

Steve Ellis has been involved in the buyouts of both healthy and distressed companies and has grown and built value within these in his 25-year plus career. An entrepreneur himself, he founded Stratford-Cambridge Group to utilize his operational skills and experience to build value within its portfolio. Previously, Steve was President and majority owner of BEHCO, Inc., an industrial distribution and manufacturing company until its sale and he remains an advisor to the company. His primary leadership roles at SCG are (i) overall firm management, (ii) managing portfolio company investments, and (ii) continuing to build and maintain investor relationships.

Steve is currently on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), is an active member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and The Alliance of Mergers and Acquisitions Advisors (AMAA), has served as President and Chairman of the Board of the Fluid Power Distributors Association (FPDA) and has also held board and equity positions in various companies.

Steve has a Bachelor of Science degree from Lawrence Technological University and has completed the Private Equity & Venture Capital program at Harvard Business School.

Jason Cordon

Jason Cordon

Principal, Sixty West Funds

Session: Navigating and Capitalizing on Opportunity Zones
Tuesday, May 7 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Grand Ballroom

Jason K. Cordon graduated summa cum laude from Campbell University with a B.A. in accounting in 2000, and cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law in 2003. Mr. Cordon practiced tax law at Paul Hastings, LLP before he joined Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP. He was elected to the partnership in 2012 focused in the tax, corporate & real estate capital markets practices.

In 2016, he co-founded Kowan & Cordon, LLP. He advised clients regarding international, federal, and state tax aspects of various corporate and partnership transactions, including mergers, stock & asset acquisitions, dispositions, spin-offs, and restructuring.
Mr. Cordon’s legal practice also concentrated on the representation of investors, developers, and syndicators nationwide in connection with tax-incentivized investments, LIHTC, film tax credits, and other credits.

Mr. Cordon has 10+ years of real estate development experience including $100+ million of commercial real estate.

Elizabeth Browne

Elizabeth Browne

Vice President and Head of Business Development, DNS Capital, LLC

Session: Families Fueling The Middle Market

Tuesday, May 7 | 11:10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Floridian Ballroom

DNS Capital is the family office for Gigi Pritzker, Michael Pucker and their immediate family. DNS Capital takes a long-term and flexible approach to investing by building relationships with business owners, management teams and entrepreneurs to align interests, evolve businesses and create lasting value with a sense of purpose and a sense of humor.

Elizabeth is a Vice President on the investment team and the Head of Business Development for DNS Capital. Prior to joining DNS Capital in 2015, Elizabeth was an Associate in Goldman Sachs’ investment management division in Chicago. While there, Elizabeth advised entrepreneurs, business-owning families and family offices on asset allocation, portfolio management and direct investing strategies. Her previous experience included working for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in Beijing. Elizabeth received her MBA in Finance and International Business from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and her BA from McGill University with Great Distinction, where she was a recipient of the Mary Coppin Scholarship.

Matt Shore

Matt Shore

President, StevenDouglas

Session: Human Capital: The Greatest Value And Risk To The Success Of M&A Transactions

Tuesday, May 7 | 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
Floridian Ballroom

Matt Shore joined StevenDouglas in 2006, playing an integral role in the company’s significant growth with a focus on maintaining the company’s great culture and boutique approach. Under Matt’s leadership, StevenDouglas has garnered various honors, most notably achieving five consecutive years of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies.

Matt continues to be an industry leader in the area of senior-level financial search, managing the firm’s highly-successful CFO search practice. He has a strong reputation for delivering exceptional talent, and his broad-based experience in business enables him to collaborate with his clients in all phases of the corporate lifecycle. Matt has a track record of successfully partnering with growing enterprises and private equity firms, building deep-rooted relationships with companies and corporate leaders throughout Florida and around the country.

Prior to joining StevenDouglas, Matt spent 10 years in progressive leadership roles for a national recruiting firm working in the Professional Services division. Matt received his Bachelors of Science in Accounting and Masters of Accounting degree from the University of Florida, and initially was a Florida CPA that worked in the Audit practice at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

An active community member, Matt currently serves on the Board of YPO of Palm Beach and is a former Board Chair for United Way of Broward County. In addition, he has made a significant impact on many civic organizations including the Jason Taylor Foundation, LifeNet4Families and Cystic Fibrosis.

Paul Barnett

Paul Barnett

Managing Director of Ulysses Management LLC

Session: Families Fueling The Middle Market

Tuesday, May 7 | 11:10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Floridian Ballroom

Paul D. Barnett is General Partner of Ulysses Partners, with AUM of $1.4 billion, and Managing Director of Ulysses Management, a New York-based multi-family office where he has led the private equity activities since 2005. Among the current Ulysses portfolio companies Paul serves as Chairman of the Board and Managing Member for Artisanal Brewing Ventures, an indie craft beer and spirits platform, and Ice House America, the leading provider of coin-operated vended ice and water in the U.S.

Prior to joining Ulysses, Mr. Barnett was Founder and Managing Principal of Odyssey Investment Partners, a prominent middle-market private equity firm with over $5 billion in capital. From 1992-1997 he was a Principal in its predecessor company, Odyssey Partners, LP. He previously worked as Managing Director at private equity investors Mancuso & Company, and he began his career in Investment Banking in 1984 at Kidder, Peabody & Co. In addition, Mr. Barnett has previously served on the boards of numerous companies including AV Homes, Inc. (a publicly traded Phoenix-based homebuilder), Dresser (a global energy infrastructure provider), Monarch Marking Systems (a barcode technology and product identification and tracking solutions company), Life Fitness (a leader in developing specialized cardio and strength equipment), NYDJ Apparel (a women’s denim apparel brand), Electric Guard Dog (an innovative industrial security services provider), and Communication Capital Group (an aggregator of wireless infrastructure ground leases). Mr. Barnett received a bachelor’s degree in economics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and is a frequent guest lecturer at his alma mater in corporate finance for undergraduate and MBA programs.

Anthony Casciano

Anthony Casciano

President and CEO, Siemens Financial Services, Inc.

Session: Investing in the Internet of Things – How to Turn Data Into Value

Wednesday, May 8 | 9:30 – 10:20 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

Anthony Casciano is the President and CEO of Siemens Financial Services, Inc. (SFS Inc.), the U.S. financial arm of Siemens and legal booking entity for Siemens Financial Services’ (SFS) activities in the Americas. Previously, Casciano served as CEO of the global Industry and Healthcare Finance business at SFS, overseeing the growth of SFS’s activities in the global healthcare and industrial markets in addition to managing the global leveraged finance business across all industries.

Throughout his tenure, Casciano built a global equity business, namely with infrastructure finance expertise. In 2018, under Casciano’s leadership, SFS and strategic partner Tata Group – forming a consortium – were recognized with a Letter of Award by the Indian government for an equity investment in the development of a transportation project in India.

Casciano was also responsible for the strategy and creation of the global healthcare and leveraged finance business unit after SFS underwent an organizational change in 2011 to better align with Siemens’ core businesses. In addition, he expanded the healthcare finance business, which provides debt and equity solutions to the healthcare industry, into the Asia-Pacific region.

Previously, Casciano was senior vice president and general manager at SFS in North America, establishing SFS’s Corporate Finance group, which specializes in leveraged lending to middle market and larger corporate clients. He led the team’s rapid growth as a key contributor to SFS’s U.S. business success, establishing Siemens as a key player in the leveraged finance business.

Prior to joining Siemens in 2008, Casciano was managing director and head of DB Mid-Market Capital at Deutsche Bank, where his team focused on leveraged finance opportunities for mid-sized companies. Prior to that, he was the chief sales officer for the commercial and corporate finance business units at CIT and held various leadership positions within GE Capital’s corporate finance businesses.

Anthony holds a B.A. degree in economics from Drew University and an M.B.A. in marketing from Rutgers University’s School of Business. He is a certified Six Sigma black belt and has been nominated for and participated in several corporate-led executive leadership and strategic marketing courses.

Brian Irwin

Brian Irwin

Automotive and Industrial Lead, Accenture

Session: Investing in the Internet of Things – How to Turn Data Into Value

Wednesday, May 8 | 9:30 – 10:20 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

Brian Irwin leads Accenture’s Automotive and Industrial Products group in North America, and is responsible for the company’s automotive, construction, freight and logistics, industrial equipment and public transport industry segments. He also leads the Products Industry X.0 Consulting Practice. In these roles Irwin helps Accenture clients to exploit the advantages that are being created by the digital disruption that is driving innovation, new products, services and business models. Brian has more than 20 years of consulting experience working for industrial organizations in areas such as product development, operations, supply chain, logistics and disruptive technologies. Prior to becoming a consultant, he worked for General Motors. Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada and his MBA from the University of Western Ontario. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

Jeff Poston

Jeff Poston

Partner, Crowell & Moring

Session: Investing in the Internet of Things – How to Turn Data Into Value

Wednesday, May 8 | 9:30 – 10:20 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

Jeff Poston is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office, where he serves as a member of the Litigation Group and co-chair of the firm’s Chambers recognized Privacy & Cybersecurity Group. A seasoned trial lawyer with more than 25 years of experience leading investigations and litigation for corporate clients, Jeff counsels and defends clients in complex data protection matters involving class-actions and regulatory enforcement actions, as well as commercial disputes.

Privacy and Cybersecurity

As co-chair of Crowell & Moring’s Privacy & Cybersecurity Group, Jeff leads counseling, investigations, and litigation for clients navigating sensitive data breaches, hacks, and other cybersecurity events. He has represented Fortune 500 companies in some of the largest data breach cases brought under the federal Hi-Tech Act and various state privacy, data security and unfair competition laws, and he has negotiated favorable settlements with state regulators and attorneys general.

Jeff’s recent representative matters include representing Starwood Hotels in a class-action seeking millions in damages arising from an alleged system-wide cyberattack. When the plaintiff alleged a nationwide breach and brought claims under multiple California state laws, Jeff led the team that obtained dismissal with prejudice of the case. Jeff was also a part of a litigation team that obtained a dismissal of nine consolidated class actions in the Eastern District of California, alleging that a national health care company violated the California Medical Information Act (CMIA) by disclosing the data of more than one million members.

Jeff has successfully defended large health care companies in investigations brought by the Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights alleging HIPAA violations.

Jeff regularly helps clients test their cybersecurity readiness and build plans to mitigate future attacks. He counsels clients on front-end compliance issues involving the state and federal privacy laws, including HIPAA, and helps clients prepare incident response plans to guide them through a cyber crisis. Jeff also defends and counsels clients in class actions asserting violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

 

Tim Wormus

Tim Wormus

Vice President, Americas Customer Engagement, Siemens

Session: Investing in the Internet of Things – How to Turn Data Into Value

Wednesday, May 8 | 9:30 – 10:20 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

Mr. Wormus is a leader in the intelligent application of analytic technologies, ranging from visually intuitive dashboards to machine learning and artificial-intelligence enabled applications.  He has held development and market facing roles at Genedata, Inc., Tibco Spotfire, Perkin Elmer, and H2O.ai.  Today, Mr. Wormus acts in a leadership role for Siemens as VP of Americas customer engagement team.  His team along with IIoT solution MindSphere are revolutionizing how companies do business.  Mr. Wormus and his team work with customers and partners to help identify how to apply the appropriate technology solution to the challenges specific to their industry, size and corporate goals, in order for them to best achieve tangible returns.

Joseph Etris

Joseph Etris

Engineering Project Manager and Data Analyst, Continental Powertrain

Session: Investing in the Internet of Things – How to Turn Data Into Value

Wednesday, May 8 | 9:30 – 10:20 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

Joseph joined Continental Powertrain with the goal to bring servant leadership, investigatory analysis, edge development, and a data-driven approach to the Fountain Inn, SC manufacturing facility. Joseph is enthusiastically leading an engineering team focused on customized app development using Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Understanding that as more and more devices become connected and as computing moves closer to the “edge”, new value will be created that will help solve significant challenges not previously realized.  With an emissions reduction facility and a visionary approach, the Fountain Inn team has begun forging a path to fully digitalize the plant and integrate edge applications to reduce energy consumption and emission levels.

Prior to this, Joseph served the community as lieutenant for Greenville County Department of Public Safety in the upstate of South Carolina, where he led the county IT team to rapidly design and codevelop several automation programs, including applications to identify offenders for DNA collection and models to assess offender risk. Collaborating with multiple non-profit organizations, Joseph and his team used historical data to secure grants establishing programs to assist military veterans and juveniles.

Joseph earned an MBA and is certified in Business Analytics from the Darla Moore School of Business, globally recognized as a top international business school. He has freely consulted a multitude of industrial companies on adding value to their business model and has spoken at multiple Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and digital transformation conferences across the country providing proof that significant innovation is occurring in large, traditional corporations.

Ben Redman

Ben Redman

Managing Partner, Transaction Advisory Services, DHG

Session: Families Fueling The Middle Market

Tuesday, May 7 | 11:10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Floridian Ballroom

Ben is the managing partner for the Transaction Advisory Service Practice at DHG. With more than 15 years of experience, Ben assists the firm in navigating complicated transactions for corporate buyers and private equity groups with a primary focus on middle market transactions.

Prior to DHG, Ben was a director in the transaction advisory services practice at a national accounting firm where he worked with private equity groups and strategic corporate buyers and sellers. Ben led the national transaction advisory services Business Services Industry team in addition to participating in the firm’s national sell side initiative where he focused on the expansion of sell side due diligence services. Ben’s area of expertise includes: (i) financial and operational   due diligence (buy side and sell side), (ii) financial projections, (iii) profitability enhancements, (iv) business process review and (v) cash flow modeling.

Ben’s background also includes experience in transaction advisory services at a Big Four firm. He has dedicated much of his career to conducting buy-side and sell-side due diligence for clients in a variety of industries with deal sizes ranging from $10 million to more than $1 billion.

Vaibhav Saraiya

Vaibhav Saraiya

Principal, Solamere Capital

Session: Families Fueling The Middle Market

Tuesday, May 7 | 11:10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Floridian Ballroom

Vaibhav Saraiya joined Solamere Capital as a Principal in 2014. Vaibhav has over 11 years of direct private equity investing experience and 3 years of business consulting experience. He is responsible for originating, evaluating, and adding value to our investments.

Prior to joining Solamere, Vaibhav was Senior Vice President at Two Sigma, a multi-billion dollar investment manager. At Two Sigma, Vaibhav evaluated and executed private equity, niche credit, and other illiquid investments for their Private Investments group. Vaibhav joined Two Sigma from Apax Partners, a global private equity firm, where he evaluated media, software, and business services investments. Vaibhav began his private equity investing career at Jupiter Partners, where he evaluated and executed their investment in Vivint and other transactions. Prior to Jupiter, Vaibhav worked at Bain & Company where he consulted for private equity and corporate clients.

Vaibhav graduated cum laude from the dual degree program at the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in finance and engineering (BSE, BAS). Vaibhav also received his MBA with Honors (Palmer Scholar) from the Wharton School.

Mike Ross

Mike Ross

Manager, Innovation and Development, Insperity

Session: Human Capital: The Greatest Value And Risk To The Success Of M&A Transactions

Tuesday, May 7 | 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

Mike Ross is Manager, Innovation & Development at Insperity. He has a background in corporate finance and strategy and is responsible for M&A activity at Insperity.

Paul Murphy

Paul Murphy

Partner, Sentinel Capital Partners

Session: Wayfair sparks new complexities in M&A

Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 pm
Indian River-Hamilton

Mark Yopp

Mark Yopp

Partner, McDermott Will & Emery

Session: Wayfair sparks new complexities in M&A

Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 pm
Indian River-Hamilton

Mark Yopp focuses his practice on state and local tax matters, including state tax controversy, multistate planning, and federal and multistate legislative monitoring and analysis. He focuses on corporate/franchise tax, sales tax, withholding taxes and unclaimed property. He also has extensive experience assisting clients with the state tax implications of new and emerging technologies, including digital goods and services, cloud computing and electronic commerce.
In addition to speaking regularly on state tax topics, Mark has co-authored a number of articles on various state tax and unclaimed property issues. While in law school, he served on the editorial board of the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal.

Jay Galluzzo

Jay Galluzzo

Managing Director, North Castle Partners

Session: Trends in the Healthy Living Space
Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 pm
Palm Beach

Jay Galluzzo is a Managing Director with over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive and investor. Since joining North Castle originally as an Operating Advisor, and currently as a Managing Director, Jay has been actively involved in sourcing and managing various investments, and currently sits on the board of The Escape Game, Barry’s Bootcamp, Brooklyn Boulders and Red Door Spas. Prior to North Castle, Jay was the co-founder and CEO of Flywheel Sports, a leading innovator in boutique fitness, which he led from its launch in 2010 through a successful exit in 2014. During and after his tenure at Flywheel, Jay led early stage investments in emerging brands including Montauk Brewing, and served in an executive, advisory or board capacity for businesses including Neuehouse and Qor performance apparel. Earlier in his career, he held executive positions at Emigrant Capital and The Warnaco Group. Previously, Jay practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Jay holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a director of Children’s Rights and the current Chairman of YPO Gotham.

Andrew Chien

Andrew Chien

Executive Director, Senior Counsel Intellectual Property at Allergan

Session: The Importance of Intellectual Property in Your Next Deal

Monday, May 6 | 3:30 – 4:20 pm
Indian River-Hamilton

Andrew Chien’s practice is focused in the area of intellectual property law, including litigation in the pharmaceuticals and medical devices fields, as well as client counseling, legal opinions, patent prosecution and transactions.

Andrew has experience in all aspects of litigation, including motion practice, expert preparation and all aspects of discovery practice. He has litigated in U.S. Federal Courts and in international arbitrations conducted under the WIPO rules. In addition to litigation, Andrew has experience with intellectual property issues surrounding mergers, acquisitions, and other transactions.

Moreover, Andrew has experience preparing and analyzing freedom-to-operate, validity and non-infringement opinions, as well as counselling a variety of international clients regarding patent procurement strategy and portfolio management in order to optimize patent protection in the US and non-US jurisdictions – including Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Japan, Israel and PCT.

John McKee

John McKee

Managing Director, PWP Growth Equity

Session: Trends in the Healthy Living Space
Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 pm
Palm Beach

John has been part of the PWP Growth Equity team for the last five years, where he focuses on partnering with companies to offer capital and strategic guidance to achieve their vision for growth. John is currently on the Board of Directors of MSA Security (high consequence threat protection security services) and Skin Spirit (medical spa); and he has recently served on the Board of Directors of Western Window Systems (moving glass wall and window systems). John has over twenty years of experience in private equity and investment banking, with prior experience at Weston Presidio, Greenbriar Equity Group, Compass Partners International, and JP Morgan.

Charlie Hurt

Charlie Hurt

Managing Director - Investment Banking, Fifth Third Securities

Session: Trends in the Healthy Living Space
Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 pm
Palm Beach

Charlie joined Fifth Third in 2013 as a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Group with more than 20 years of Advisory and Investment Banking experience with middle market companies. At Fifth Third, Charlie serves as the co-head of the Consumer & Retail investment banking team. He has advised on over 50 strategic advisory, M&A and financing transactions, and prior to joining Fifth Third, Charlie spent four years at Cary Street Partners where he was head of the Atlanta office and the Retail, Restaurant & Consumer Products investment banking group.

Prior Firm Experience Includes: CDH Advisors, LLC (founder and president), Robinson Humphrey Company, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Cary Street Partners and Lehman Brothers. Charlie attended Princeton University and Kellogg School of Management.

Ethan Boothe

Ethan Boothe

Principal, EisnerAmper

Session: Trends in the Healthy Living Space
Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 pm
Palm Beach

Ethan Boothe is the Principal-in-Charge of the firm’s fast growing Texas Region, and the national Private Equity Services Leader. He has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry with particular expertise serving clients in private equity, with both fund sponsors and their portfolio companies. Ethan serves clients across many industries on a regional, national, and international basis as required.
Ethan advises private equity clients and their portfolio management teams to create value throughout the investment lifecycle. He and the EisnerAmper Team of the private equity focused professionals provide solutions at both the fund and portfolio investment level. Examples include assisting private equity firms with deal flow, investment due diligence (buy- and sell-side), process and profit improvement consulting, audit and tax services and carve-out support services.

Ethan is an active member with the Association of Corporate Growth (Board of directors) and The Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors (CM&AA Certification). From a philanthropic and volunteer standpoint, he is involved with Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Guns & Hoses Foundation, The First Tee of Greater Dallas, Casa Linda Lights, Sparrow Missions, Heroes for Children, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Texas.

Ruth Yang

Ruth Yang

Managing Director, S&P Global Market Intelligence

Session: Rationalization of EBITDA Add-backs and Impact on Recoveries
Monday, May 6 | 3:30 – 4:20 pm
Jackson

Ruth oversees news and research content production for Leveraged Commentary & Data. She has spent 14 years at LCD and has been in the loan market for 18 years.

Prior to her current role, Ruth spent seven years as LCD’s chief of operations, supervising the unit’s business strategies, and before that Ruth oversaw the launch of LCD’s European research business, as well as construction of the S&P/LSTA European Leveraged Loan Index (she also supervised implementation of the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index). Ruth also has had stints at the LSTA – overseeing the LSTA/LPC Mark-to-Market Data service – Fremont General/Fremont Financial, Sanford Bernstein, and Aspen Performance Group.

Kathryn Mulligan

Kathryn Mulligan

Editor in Chief, Middle Market Growth Magazine

Session: A One-On-One Conversation with Pauline Brown 

Tuesday, May 7 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

Kathryn Mulligan is the editor-in-chief with ACG Global, overseeing Middle Market Growth magazine and its companion website and multimedia assets, including the biweekly Middle Market Growth Conversations podcast. Her experience includes roles at a manufacturing technology nonprofit and a New York-based private equity firm.

Ha Kung Wong

Ha Kung Wong

Partner, Venable

Session: The Importance of Intellectual Property in Your Next Deal

Monday, May 6 | 3:30 – 4:20 pm
Indian River-Hamilton

Ha Kung Wong practices general intellectual property law, with an emphasis on complex patent and trade secret litigation in pharmaceuticals, biologics, and chemistry. Ha Kung has litigated cases related to proton pump inhibitors, anti-epileptic drugs, anti-tussives, RNAi, eye care products, and a host of other pharmaceuticals. He has extensive experience with inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), intellectual property counseling, pre-lawsuit investigations, and IP transactions, including licensing and due diligence.

Lindsay Monti

Lindsay Monti

Counsel, Venable

Session: The Importance of Intellectual Property in Your Next Deal
Monday, May 6 | 3:30 – 4:20 pm
Indian River-Hamilton

Lindsay McCrory Monti is counsel in Venable’s Corporate Practice Group. She focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments and joint ventures. Lindsay has also handled a variety of commercial loan transactions, securities offerings and corporate governance matters. She advises start-up, emerging growth and later-stage companies across an array of industries including technology, healthcare, finance and construction/redevelopment.

Lindsay has developed extensive experience in technology mergers & acquisitions, advising entrepreneurs, investors and acquirers as they close on financing, working through intellectual property concerns and successfully completing transactions. In addition to transactional work, Lindsay provides clients with ongoing advice on general corporate matters.

John Liguori

John Liguori

Chief Investment Officer – Jefferies Direct Lending

Session: Rationalization of EBITDA Add-backs and Impact on Recoveries
Monday, May 6 | 3:30 – 4:20 pm
Jackson

John Liguori is the Chief Investment Officer of Jefferies Direct Lending, the private credit investment management business of Jefferies Finance LLC. He has primary responsibility for investment sourcing, execution and portfolio management and leads the group’s fundraising efforts. Mr. Liguori has also worked in similar lending roles at General Electric Capital Corporation, Heller Financial, AIG Investments and Prudential Capital Group. Mr. Liguori received a B.S. in Finance from Rutgers College and the Undergraduate School of Business and an M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Justin Abelow

Justin Abelow

Managing Director, Houlihan Lokey

Session: Rationalization of EBITDA Add-backs and Impact on Recoveries
Monday, May 6 | 3:30 – 4:20 pm
Jackson

Mr. Abelow is a member of Houlihan Lokey’s Financial Sponsors Group and a senior member of the firm’s Private Equity practice. He is also a member of Houlihan Lokey’s Management Committee. Mr. Abelow joined the firm in 2001.

Before joining Houlihan Lokey, Mr. Abelow was a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank and a Vice President at J.P. Morgan. He started his career as a corporate attorney at the firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell. Over the course of his career, Mr. Abelow has worked on more than 300 closed transactions involving more than 40 discrete private equity firms. He has been named one of the top young bankers on Wall Street by periodicals including Investment Dealers’ Digest, Dealmaker, and The New York Times.

Mr. Abelow has served on the boards of a number of philanthropic and civic organizations, including the New York Landmarks Conservancy and The Buckley School. He served as an advisory director of The Deal.
Mr. Abelow is a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Law, where he was named a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

Randy Schwimmer

Randy Schwimmer

Senior Managing Director, Head of Origination & Capital Markets, Churchill Asset Management LLC

Session: Rationalization of EBITDA Add-backs and Impact on Recoveries
Monday, May 6 | 3:30 – 4:20 pm
Jackson

Randy Schwimmer is Senior Managing Director and Head of Origination and Capital Markets at Churchill Asset Management LLC. Churchill is a credit asset management firm that provides senior debt to middle market companies. It is affiliated with Nuveen, the asset management division of TIAA and one of the largest global asset managers across multiple asset classes.Mr. Schwimmer is also founder/publisher of The Lead Left, Churchill’s weekly newsletter. The Lead Left reviews deals and trends in the capital markets with a unique focus on the mid-market space and is read by thousands of influential industry participants.

Mr. Schwimmer brings 30 years of experience in middle market finance to Churchill, and is widely credited with developing loan syndications for middle market companies. He was a founding partner and Head of Capital Markets at Churchill Financial LLC, a middle market finance company acquired by The Carlyle Group. At Carlyle, he was a Managing Director responsible for all middle market loan capital markets activities, including loan structuring, syndications and distribution within the Carlyle GMS team.

Before then, Mr. Schwimmer was Managing Director and Head of Leveraged Finance Syndication for BNP Paribas. He spent 15 years at JP Morgan Chase in Corporate Banking and Loan Syndications, where he originated, structured, and syndicated leveraged loans.
Mr. Schwimmer graduated cum laude from Trinity College with a B.A. He earned his M.A. from the University of Chicago.

Wayne Pryor

Wayne Pryor

Managing Director, Transaction Services, BKD

Session: Healthcare Provider-Type Acquisitions: Regulatory Pitfalls Affecting PE Firms

Monday, May 6 | 3:30 – 4:20 pm
Orange

Wayne is a member of BKD’s Transaction Services division with a focus on health care. He has extensive transaction experience in many sectors of health care, including managed care, acute care hospitals, medical and dental service organizations, home health and hospice agencies, long-term care facilities, specialty and institutional pharmacies, physician and dental practices, revenue cycle management companies, dialysis clinics, urgent care centers and durable medical equipment providers.

Before joining BKD, he worked with an international accounting firm for approximately 13 years. Throughout his career, he served at various other large health care firms as director of planning, analysis and decision support systems, corporate controller, finance director and contract administrator/senior financial analyst.

Wayne has worked on more than 350 buy-side and sell-side health care industry transactions ranging in size from $1 million to $10 billion and relating to platform acquisitions and divestitures, add-on acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, public-to-private transactions and not-for-profit hospital system mergers and acquisitions and affiliations.

He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, Medical Group Management Association, Healthcare Financial Management Association and Healthcare Council of Nashville.

Wayne is a graduate of Western Colorado University, Gunnison, with a B.A. degree in accounting.

Chris Schenkenberg

Chris Schenkenberg

National Managing Partner, M&A Tax Services, Grant Thornton LLP

Session: Wayfair sparks new complexities in M&A

Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 pm
Indian River-Hamilton

Chris Schenkenberg has extensive experience working in M&A, conducting tax due diligence reviews for both financial and strategic clients. He also has significant technical knowledge in acquisition structuring, divestiture planning and tax accounting methodologies. Schenkenberg has worked on various transactions conducting tax due diligence investigations, including domestic and cross-border transaction planning. He has been involved in a wide variety of transactions across numerous industries, ranging from $10 million acquisitions of privately held businesses to multibillion-dollar transactions involving public companies.

Meghan Jodz

Meghan Jodz

Partner, Tax Services, Grant Thornton LLP

Session: Wayfair sparks new complexities in M&A

Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 pm
Indian River-Hamilton

Meghan is a partner in Grant Thornton’s Philadelphia office with over 15 years of public accounting experience. Meghan heads the M&A tax practice for the Atlantic Coast Market. She has extensive experience working in M&A with both financial and strategic buyers conducting tax due diligence reviews and has significant technical expertise in S corporations, deal structuring, section 382 ownership changes, consolidated stock basis and accounting methods. Meghan has worked on numerous private company transactions ranging in size from $50 million to over $1 billion. She also has extensive experience in accounting for income taxes for both private and public companies and advises on the financial statement implications of M&A transactions.

Chris Willis

Chris Willis

Director, Industrial Opportunity Partners

Session: State of M&A: Impact of potential disruptors on market activity in 2019 and beyond
Monday, May 6 | 3:30 – 4:20 p.m.
Palm Beach

Chris Willis is a director with Industrial Opportunity Partners (IOP) with more than 17 years of experience in the M&A industry, primarily working with manufacturing and distribution businesses in North America. He joined IOP in 2011 and is responsible for portfolio management, deal execution and sourcing. Prior to joining IOP, Chris was with another middle-market private equity firm that focused on investing in and operating manufacturing businesses. He also has experience in investment banking and transaction advisory services.

Tom Aronson

Tom Aronson

Partner and Co-Founder, Monroe Capital

Session: State of M&A: Impact of potential disruptors on market activity in 2019 and beyond
Monday, May 6 | 3:30 – 4:20 p.m.
Palm Beach

Tom Aronson is a partner and co-founder of Monroe Capital and is responsible for leading all transaction sourcing efforts and structuring investments. He has more than 34 years of lending and credit experience. Prior to Monroe, he served at Hilco Capital sourcing, structuring and underwriting debt transactions since 2002. Before that, he was senior vice president and group head in the Business Banking Group of Cole Taylor bank, where he was responsible for asset-based lending, corresponding banking, public funds and a commercial lending division. Tom also served for seven years as a commercial lender with American National Bank (now JP Morgan Chase Bank) and as chief financial officer of Barton Chemical Corporation, a privately held consumer products company. He is a member of the Commercial Financial Association, the Turnaround Management Association, the Association for Corporate Growth and serves on the Board of Directors of the Midwest Small Business Investor Alliance.

Michael Milani

Michael Milani

Executive Managing Director and Principal, Baker Tilly Capital, LLC

Session: State of M&A: Impact of potential disruptors on market activity in 2019 and beyond
Monday, May 6 | 3:30 – 4:20 p.m.
Palm Beach

Michael Milani is a principal with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly) and Baker Tilly Capital, LLC, the wholly-owned private investment banking subsidiary of Baker Tilly. He joined the firm in 2015 with more than 30 years of experience and leads Baker Tilly Capital’s mergers and acquisitions efforts out of Baker Tilly’s Chicago headquarters. He focuses on domestic and cross-border transaction advisory services including M&A and capital sourcing for public and private companies. Prior to joining Baker Tilly, Mike worked at a large national firm’s corporate finance group as a senior managing director and previously as president.  He also has experience as a commercial banking officer.

Tony Nitti

Tony Nitti

Partner, RubinBrown LLP

Session: State of M&A: Impact of potential disruptors on market activity in 2019 and beyond
Monday, May 6 | 3:30 – 4:20 p.m.
Palm Beach

Tony Nitti is a partner in RubinBrown’s tax services group. He is a well-known contributor of tax content to Forbes, as well as a frequent speaker and trainer at seminars and webcasts across the country. Troy has more than 20 years of accounting and tax experience, including working in the tax departments of Arthur Andersen LLP, Price Waterhouse LLP and, most recently, Withum. He focuses primarily on corporate and partnership tax planning, with a special focus on the consolidated return regulations and the reorganization provisions, including the structuring of acquisitions, mergers, reorganizations, spin-offs and other restructuring transactions.

Bruce Hernandez

Bruce Hernandez

General Partner, Spire Capital

Session: State of the Middle Market
Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 p.m.
Orange

Bruce Hernandez is a founding partner of Spire Capital, having been with the firm since its inception in 2000. Bruce plays an active role in both sourcing and overseeing portfolio company investments and also works closely with the firm’s Chief Financial Officer in fund administration.

Prior to co-founding Spire, Bruce was the managing partner of Waller-Sutton Media Partners, a private equity firm focused primarily on the media and communications industries. Prior to Waller-Sutton, Bruce served in a number of operational roles. As Chief Financial Officer of Horizon Cellular, Bruce was responsible for all financial operations of this private equity backed wireless carrier and oversaw its sale for approximately $600 million. Bruce also served as Vice President-Finance of a middle market cable television and wireless telephone operator.

Bruce received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Vermont and a Masters in business administration degree from New York University.

Don Rawe

Don Rawe

Partner, BKD CPAs & Advisors

Session: State of the Middle Market
Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 p.m.
Orange

Donald Rawe is a member of BKD  National Manufacturing and Distribution Group and provides tax and consulting services to corporations, S corporations and partnerships with local, multistate and multinational activity. Donald is also a member of BKD’s transaction services team and provides tax diligence and structuring to both buyers and sellers.

Donald received a B.A. in accounting from University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.

John Newman

John Newman

Principal, Capital Partners

Session: State of the Middle Market
Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 p.m.
Orange

John is Principal at Capital Partners. He has a 21-year career in investment banking and management consulting. Prior to joining Capital Partners in 2018, John was a Director in the KeyBanc Capital Markets Industrials Group for four years. Prior to KeyBanc, John spent a total of twelve years at Jefferies & Co. and Bear, Stearns & Co. in their industrial investment banking groups. John received an M.B.A from The Anderson School at UCLA and a B.A. from Middlebury College.

Paul Gajer

Paul Gajer

Partner, Dentons

Session: State of the Middle Market
Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 p.m.
Orange

Paul Gajer is the head of Dentons’ legacy Private Equity and Investment Funds practices.

Paul concentrates on representing private equity, buyout and venture capital funds, including funds focused on, and companies working in, the technology, media and telecommunications sectors, as well as SBIC funds and their portfolio companies. His practice focuses on structuring investment, buy-out and roll-up transactions, and the related senior and mezzanine financing aspects of such transactions, as well as management equity and incentive programs.

Paul received a Bachelor of Arts from Stony Brook University and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center.

Rob Wellner

Rob Wellner

Senior Vice President of Sales, Velocity Global

Session: International growth, accelerated: Reduce operational risk and increase ROI
Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 p.m.
Jackson

Rob Wellner is the SVP of Sales and one of the first employees of Velocity Global. Earlier in Rob’s career, he spent 12+ years working in capital markets. His experience gives him a unique perspective on the pitfalls and challenges that can sidetrack global deals and transactions. Rob is a recognized thought leader on international expansion and frequently speaks on international topics such as employment, payroll, expatriates, and global mergers and acquisitions.

John Pennett

John Pennett

Partner, EisnerAmper

Session: International growth, accelerated: Reduce operational risk and increase ROI
Monday, May 6 | 2:30 – 3:20 p.m.
Jackson

John Pennett is the Partner-in-Charge of the Life Sciences Group and Technology Group at EisnerAmper. He has 30 years of public accounting experience. John has led the accounting, auditing and strategic advisory work for more than a hundred IPOs, private financing and mergers and acquisitions with an aggregate valuation in excess of $1 billion. In addition, he has served as the interim lead of the firm’s Risk Advisory Practice, leading internal audit, contract compliance and Sarbanes-Oxley implementation and testing.

Nizar Tarhuni

Nizar Tarhuni

Associate Director, Research & Analysis, PitchBook

Session: Navigating and Capitalizing on Opportunity Zones
Tuesday, May 7 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Grand Ballroom

Nizar Tarhuni leads the research and data analyst groups at PitchBook, a leading provider of venture capital, private equity, and M&A research and analysis which Morningstar acquired in 2016. He is responsible for overseeing PitchBook’s analyst coverage across private equity, M&A and venture capital, as well as the firm’s emerging technology research.

Tarhuni is also responsible for managing and driving the content strategy and distribution behind PitchBook’s written research offering. As the head of the data analyst group, Tarhuni is responsible for developing operating efficiencies across the team to better serve internal and external client research requests.

Previously, he served as PitchBook’s lead private equity analyst and launched the firm’s emerging technology coverage in 2015. He has been regularly featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg and the Financial Times, among other publications.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from Linfield College.