Rob Slee is a business owner, author and speaker on the topic of private capital markets. He has owned equity stakes in more than a dozen mid-sized businesses. Rob has also managed a middle-market investment banking firm for 20 years. These experiences led him to write the pioneering work Private Capital Markets™, which launched the study of Private Finance as a research and practice discipline. His book Midas Managers™ shows how highly successful business owners have created tremendous value into their mid-sized businesses. Rob's latest book, Midas Marketing™, shows how Midas Managers have used value architecture to meet their goal of financial independence. He is widely published, having authored more than 150 articles on private finance topics. Rob is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Miami University. He holds a Master's degree from the University of Chicago and an MBA degree from Case Western Reserve University.
Tim Rhine is a private business owner and investment banker with over 30 years of experience in the ownership, management, operation and finance of majority and minority-owned business entities. He was the issuer, general partner, operating manager, trustee or tax matters partner of 27 limited partnerships, was a co-founder, chief operations and financial officer of an offshore manufacturing company, served as the president of a specialty retail grocery store chain and was the chief executive officer of an agricultural company operating in five states and three countries. He acts as an advisor to privately held businesses, has provided presentations on financial literacy and private capital markets to the Institute of Managerial Accountants, the Institute of Management Consultants and other professional organizations. He is a Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor and holds a Master's degree from Southern Illinois University.
Chris Bennett is an entrepreneur, owner, investor and strategic thinker with over 20 years experience increasing enterprise value in the lower-middle market. As the Managing Director of Performance Capital Group, Ltd., in Charlotte, NC, Chris works with owners and advises on private capital and finance strategy including mergers and acquisitions. Chris is also a director for several private enterprises, the Founder of Carolina's Midas Institute and a MidasNation™ Partner. A proven CEO and executive leader, Chris has consistently implemented value enhancement strategies in various companies. After acquiring MEDIC FIRST AID International, Inc., Chris delivered 850% EBITDA growth in less than four years and generated a high return on invested capital by selling to a middle market private equity firm. Following a merger and several add-on acquisitions, Chris scaled Health & Safety Institute, Inc. to one of the largest privately held emergency care training businesses in the U.S. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina.
Cliff Duffield is the owner of Business Design, LLC, providing business owners with strategic plans that coordinate both business and personal wealth management with a 360-degree look at a business owner's life. Cliff also provides financial advisors across the country with business planning services to assist them in dealing with the complex needs of business owners. He is an active member of the Kansas City Estate Tax Planning Society, where he has served on its advisory board of directors. He is also a member of the Kansas City Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. Cliff is a strategic resource for the Heritage Institute, a Portland, Oregon-based family legacy planning organization.
Howard E. Kaplan
Howard E. Kaplan, CPA, MBA, PFS, is the owner and managing director of Kaplan and Co., a wealth management firm that serves the unique planning needs of high net worth families and owners of closely held businesses. Kaplan and Co. is a member of the InKnowVision network of wealth advisors. Throughout his career, Howard has worked with private companies and owners to help build, create and manage wealth at firms including Deloitte and Touche, Cigna Financial Advisors and GE Financial Services. Howard earned his MBA degree from Harvard Business School.
Robert W. Wien
Robert W. Wien, BA, MBA, JD, is the president and chief executive officer of Mid-Market Securities, LLC, a FINRA/SIPC-registered broker/dealer providing large-firm expertise and domestic and international processing assistance to the middle market. Rob is a seasoned investment banker with more than three decades of experience as a senior advisor to companies, managers and owners. He has deep working and personal relationships in the business, financial and legal communities internationally, and has initiated and successfully completed hundreds of transactions and advisory engagements involving public and private companies across a broad array of industries. Rob is an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School, where he teaches courses in Private Capital Markets.
Ronald A. Walrod
Ronald A. Walrod is the president and owner of Objective Focus Corporation, a management advisory firm working with technology company managers to realize enterprise growth through strategy development, improved execution and product innovation. Ron has served as the chief executive officer and president of both public and private firms and has led several new start-up companies after beginning his career as an engineer and program manager. He has created shareholder value through comprehensive enterprise restructuring, rapid management team development and the development and commercialization of new products. An undersea robotics company he founded was identified as "best of class" and acquired by a major U.S. corporation. Ron earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Master of Science and Professional Engineer degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA degree from the University of San Diego.
Throughout a storied career that began in 1975, Nick Wallner has acquired more than 40 portfolio companies. His book, The Leveraged Buyout Manual, stands as one of the leading works in its field. He is profiled as "The Midas Mentor" in the Midas Managers chapter of the same name for his work with a variety of companies in a broad range of industries. Nick, a former U.S. Air Force jet pilot, has served on numerous boards, including the University of Oxford, Whittier Law School and Francis Parker School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, MBA degree from the University of Southern California and Ph.D. from California Pacific University.
William Reading is the President of Reading & Associates, LLC. He has 30 years of executive leadership experience with middle market companies as an investor, senior manager, and consultant, and has past investment banking experience with MidCap Advisors, LLC. William specializes in growing companies through organic and strategic growth. He is an effective communicator, writer, and public speaker committed to corporate ethics and social responsibility while aiming to positively influence the next generation of business owners and leaders. William earned his BA from Colgate University and his MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
Robert A. Long
Robert A. Long was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Ankony Angus Corporation. He has conducted beef cattle lectures on breeding, feeding, management and marketing in the United States, China, Australia and Chile; trained cattle buyers for major meat packers; authored a proprietary live animal evaluation system; and served as a private consultant to purebred and commercial breeders and feedyard operators. He has also judged beef cattle at all major national shows in the United States and Canada as well as numerous state fairs. He was the Chairman of the Animal Science Department at Texas Tech University, Chairman of the Animal Science Division at the University of Georgia, and held teaching and research appointments at Oklahoma State University and the University of Kentucky. Robert is a member of the American Society of Animal Science, Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Zeta, Gamma Sigma Delta and Sigma Xi. He was a recipient of the Beef Improvement Federation's Pioneer Award and inducted into the Angus Heritage Foundation. His column entitled BEEF LOGIC ran in beef cattle publications and journals in the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University and Master of Science degree and Ph.D.s from Oklahoma State University.
Louis J. De Rose
Louis J. De Rose is an expert at value creation within middle market companies, both private and public. He created the discipline of Value Chain Management by focusing on maximizing value to businesses through integrating procurement, inventory control, marketing and sales. Lou often calls this discipline “Value Selling and Value Buying.” He is the Founder and President of De Rose and Associates, Inc. with clients including General Electric, IBM, Monsanto, Mobil Oil, Becton Dickinson and Control Data. He was the longest continually retained consultant in the history of General Electric. He is an acknowledged expert on supply chain management, procurement, logistics, outsourcing, marketing and sales. He has conducted seminars around the world and lectured before chapters of the National Association of Purchasing Management, sales executive clubs and production and quality control societies. He is a Certified Management Consultant by the Institute of Management Consultants and an Arbitrator on contract and trade disputes with the American Arbitration Association. He served on the Procurement Advisory Committee of the United States Senate, was Chairman of the Business Management Department at Fordham University and taught at Cornell and Manhattan College. Lou writes extensively for the Business Book Press and is a feature writer and consulting editor for Purchasing World Magazine. He has authored five books, including How to Negotiate Purchase Prices, Value Buying, Value Selling, and The Value Network.
William J. Patton
William J. Patton has more than 40 years experience in financial services, syndication and deal making. He is a former American Stock Exchange executive and has held all applicable NASD securities licenses. He has been responsible for more than 40 firm commitment IPOs and has been involved in 200 private placements. He served as the director of corporate finance for privately held companies at two San Diego securities firms, was the senior vice president and a managing director for First Affiliated Securities Inc. when it was the largest securities and investment banking firm in San Diego, helped found the San Diego Venture Group and was a managing partner for the Graymar Group. He has served as an advisory board member of a private investment fund as well as a Superior Court-confirmed expert witness on securities matters, including valuations and fairness opinions. Bill graduated from the University of Southern California, has a Master's degree from the Freie University of Berlin and has completed advanced finance courses from the Sterling Institute of Management Studies in Washington, D.C.
Ken Rolfes is President of KDR Associates, a KDR Advisors, Inc. company. He works with customers to develop and implement comprehensive and specific strategies to achieve value growth through business design. He provides them with the implementation support services to accelerate return on investment and achieve higher growth, profitability and customer satisfaction. His customers include organizations in the, medical device, woodworking, high tech, defense and retail services industries. Ken currently serves as director for Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and has served as the COO and Vice President of both public and private firms. He has more than 35 years operating experience in general management, new product development, supply chain and cost management, turnarounds, acquisitions and divestitures in the Medical Device, Computer and Industrial industries. Ken received his BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Dayton (OH) and MBA in Finance from Drexel University (PA).
Jim is founder and President of Business Accelerants, a consulting practice serving manufacturing companies with sales of $100M to $500M. He has served as EVP and COO of a $1.8B global developer & manufacturer of highly engineered industrial products operating in 11 countries, as President of an industry leading construction equipment manufacturer, and earlier as a senior leader in a globally recognized tier-one automotive supplier. His career has progressed through supply chain and global manufacturing operations delivering highly engineered industrial products directly to OEMs and through distributor systems. Twice he has been instrumental in doubling the size of the business organically by building the installed capability of human talent and business processes. As a mentor, coach and practitioner, Jim has an established record as a strategic leader adept at identifying the critical path to success and effectively engaging the leadership team and driving the change process to achieve optimum performance. Jim has also served as a leader of local economic development groups and Iowa State University Engineering College advisory committee. He is a Northwestern University business graduate, an MBA graduate and former U.S. Navy Flight Officer.
Ted Huneycutt is the founder and managing principal of four businesses in three industries, including a manufacturing business in the textile industry, a surplus-parts distribution business in the airline industry and an income tax preparation business in the financial services industry. With more than 20 years in business ownership, management and operations, Ted is a strategic thinker who knows how to leverage network resources to achieve established goals. He has been involved in a number of industry organizations, fulfilling varied committee responsibilities, such as publicly presenting on a wide range of associated industry topics. Ted earned his MBA degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Gil Cohen, CVA, CA, CPA, leads a business advisory firm that focuses on maximizing growth and value for corporations, government entities and nonprofit organizations. He also co-founded two new media companies. He has extensive international experience and is fluent in English, French and Brazilian Portuguese. Gil earned his MBA degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, completed postgraduate studies in human systems, organizational and systems development at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, and is a certified Systems Engineer.
Chia-Li Chien is the founder and chief strategist of Chien Associates LLC, a strategy and implementation management consulting firm that helps women business owners convert business into meaningful personal wealth. She also writes a monthly column for WomenEntrepreneur.com on financial independence. Chia-Li is a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, Project Management Professional and holds a Master's degree from the University of Hartford.
Gary L. Fitzgerald
Gary L. Fitzgerald, CPA, is a partner with Fitzgerald & Company, a certified public accounting and financial management consulting firm. Throughout his career, Gary has served both public and private companies. As a chief financial officer consultant for private companies, he directs the strategic planning process to maximize business value, convert ownership to financial independence and protect wealth.
WealthPlanners & Creative Benefit Strategies
WealthPlanners is an investment, insurance and financial services firm. Creative Benefit Strategies provides business-planning architecture services. Together, the firms help business owners articulate their vision, define objectives and implement strategies to maximize value, manage change and transition ownership. The advisory partnership has developed strategic alliances with leading independent firms across a wide variety of disciplines to deliver extensive experience through one source. In effect, business owners obtain access to a "dream team" of objective talent to meet their needs and ultimately, help pursue their vision.
Thomas M. Mishoe, Jr.
Thomas M. Mishoe, Jr., CPA, CMA, is the founder and president of FinOpStrat Advisors, LLC, an advisory firm committed to helping privately owned companies create value. Services provided by FinOpStrat Advisors include strategy development and implementation, merger and acquisition representation, financing, business revitalization and transitional senior management. During his career, Tom has served both public and private companies as president, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer and director. He also provided consulting services nationally and internationally with a big-four public accounting firm to diverse clients. Tom is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College and earned his MBA degree from Virginia Tech.