Founder and Managing director

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Poga Ahn is an operator committed to driving organizations through prudent leadership. He most recently managed a company-wide cross-functional program to replace the e-commerce platform at the web services company, GoDaddy. Prior to this Poga executed general management duties for a commercial construction firm. Here he was responsible for the Pacific Northwest division stewarding the profit and loss statement thru leading sales, product, operations, financial, and people management. Poga began his career as a commissioned officer in the US Army, attaining the rank of Captain. He held varying duty positions ranging in scope from strategy to operations to executive authority during his tenure in the military.

Education

M.B.A., University of California-Berkeley, Haas School of Business, Berkeley, California

B.S., Systems Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York


Partners and investors

Each of the partners listed below have already invested considerable time and capital into Bells and Bear. They stand willing to deploy capital in conjunction with Bells and Bear to acquire the right company and to continue to impart their wisdom after the acquisition. This group represents some of the most experienced investors and operators in the lower middle-market private equity segment with diverse industry experience honed over decades of success in acquiring and growing enterprises across the nation. Poga sought out these partners not only for their capability to commit significant capital, but also for their depth of knowledge that is complementary to him and to others in the investor group.

+ Relay Investments

Led by a pair of co-founders with decades of experience in the search fund asset class, Relay Investments is a premier investment firm focused on backing searchers in North America and abroad. The team at Relay is comprised of consummate professionals with impeccable credentials augmented by a team of special LPs and support staff that is truly one of the best in the industry.

Sandro Mina and Martin Steber

Co-founding Managing Directors of Relay Investments, Martin and Sandro have known each other since 1980. They both attended Imperial College at the University of London and graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Engineering. Following their undergraduate educations, Martin joined Bain & Co. as a consultant in Munich and Sandro joined the United Nations as an engineer in the Computing Centre and Storage Technology division. In 1991, Martin and Sandro earned MBAs from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Each completed an investment banking internship at Goldman Sachs in London and New York, respectively, in the summer of 1990. To date, Martin and Sandro have a combined 45+ years of investing in the search fund asset class.

In the spring of 1991, Sandro took Prof. Irv Grousbeck’s course on search funds. Upon graduation, Sandro and Martin joined up with two other individuals to form Sverica International, which was initially based on the search fund model. Through that entity, Martin sourced, acquired, and managed two companies in Birmingham, Alabama. The first was called Automatic Detection Systems Inc., an electronic security company, and the second was AccuDocs LLC, a billing services company. Both entities were eventually sold to larger industry leaders during Martin’s tenure as CEO. Meanwhile, in Portland, Oregon, Sandro sourced the acquisition of Cameraworld.com, which he managed as President and CEO, before selling it to a coterie of blue chip private equity firms.

While building Sverica as a family of buyout funds, Martin and Sandro began investing in search funds in 2001 for their own benefit and, starting in 2013, institutionally through Relay Investments. To date they have invested in over 150 search funds in 19 countries. Relay was among the first institutional firms to exclusively invest in search funds with a global mandate. Taken together, the investment team at Relay speaks 6 languages, holds 6 citizenships, and has worked in over a dozen countries on 5 continents.

Martin and Sandro each serve on the boards of seven Search Fund-sourced operating companies. Martin is on the board of Chronus, MST, Alert Protective Services, Subatomic Digital, UCIT Online Security, Kivuto Solutions, and National Center for Faculty Diversity & Development. Sandro serves as a board member of Eclipse Cash Systems, Richmond Alarm Company, Omatic Software, Travelmax, WholesalePet.com, Sullab Diagnósticos, and Fleming Medicina. He also serves on a local non-profit board, the Swedish School of Boston.

+ Trilogy Search Partners

A closely-held investment firm that invests in acquisitions of small, profitable companies, sourced primarily through the search fund model. Their roots include the formation and leadership of some of the largest mobile operations in the US as well as other global technology and wireless companies. Trilogy partners with search fund entrepreneurs, providing them with expertise and capital through the process of sourcing, acquiring and operating companies that meet their criteria.

Scott Alderman

Scott is a Managing Director of Trilogy Search Partners. Most recently, he was on the investing team of Trilogy Equity Partners, where he is still a Partner. Previously, Scott spent 11 years at Western Wireless Corporation in various roles, including Chief Financial Officer of Western Wireless International which operated mobile networks in Europe, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Scott graduated from Whitman College, where today he serves on the Board of Overseers, and he has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Cregg Baumbaugh

Cregg is based in TSP’s Bay Area office. Previously, Cregg served as Executive Vice President – Finance, Strategy and Development for VoiceStream Wireless (now T-Mobile US). In addition, he served as SVP – Corporate Development of both VoiceStream and Western Wireless Corporation. Prior to his wireless career, Cregg worked at The First Boston Corporation. Cregg received his BS and MBA degrees from Indiana University. He is also a Partner of Trilogy Equity Partners and lives in Marin County, California. Cregg previously served on the boards of Asurion and Pacific Pulmonary and currently serves on the boards of ABS, Dynamic Growth Dental Support, and ResponseLink. He is a board observer at TDR and BEX Realty.

Mitch Cohen

Mitch is based in TSP’s Bay Area office. Mitch was a Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman from 1989 until 2008, where he sourced and oversaw portfolio investments, as well as led the firm’s fundraising and client relations. Mitch worked closely with other Trilogy partners while representing Hellman & Friedman on the boards of Western Wireless and VoiceStream. Prior to Hellman & Friedman, he was an Associate at Shearson Lehman Hutton. Recently, Mitch has been managing his family office, investing in a range of private companies. He graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. Mitch lives in Marin County, California and serves on the boards of Falcon Critical Care Transport and Morningside Translations, among a number of other for-profit and non-profit boards.

Aaron Perrine

Aaron is based in TSP’s office in Bellevue, WA. Prior to Trilogy, Aaron was a product management leader at Amazon and an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company. Aaron graduated from Whitman College, where he serves on the Investment Committee, and also received a JD from the University of Washington School of Law and an MBA from the Wharton School. Aaron is a former Army infantry officer, and serves on the board of the Seattle YMCA.

Saumil Jariwala

Saumil is based in TSP’s office in Bellevue, WA. Prior to Trilogy, Saumil worked as a private equity investor at Charlesbank Capital Partners and as a management consultant at Bain & Company, where he worked primarily with private equity clients and their portfolio companies. Saumil attended the Huntsman Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with degrees from the Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences. Outside of work, Saumil serves as a pro bono consultant for minority- and women-owned small businesses in the Seattle area.

+ Tom Cassutt and David Lazier

Tom Cassutt

Mr. Cassutt has made more than 130 investments in search funds. He is also the CFO of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011, Mr. Cassutt was Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identification based in Los Angeles, California. From 1978 to 1984, he was the Controller of Bristol Corporation, the parent company of 10 manufacturing entities.

Mr. Cassutt currently sits on the boards of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Dynamic Growth Dental, and Positive Coaching Alliance. He received a Bachelor of Physics Degree in 1982 from the University of California, Irvine, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate. In 1986, he received an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar and the recipient of the Alexander A. Robichek Award, given each year to the top student in finance.

David Lazier

Mr. Lazier is a private investor who has made more than 130 investments in search funds. He is also the president of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011, Mr. Lazier served as Controller, Vice President of Sales and then Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identification based in Los Angeles, California. From 1982 to 1984, he worked as an engineer for IBM Corporation.

Mr. Lazier currently sits on the boards of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Datum Technologies, and Gogotech. He has previously served on the boards of Glendale Memorial Hospital Foundation, the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University

+ Futaleufu Partners

David Dodson

David has been active for twenty-five years in the formation of new businesses through entrepreneurial acquisition. After graduating from the GSB, under the direction of Professor Irv Grousbeck, he wrote the original course material for search funds—then in its infancy. After one year as a case writer, David Dodson raised his own search fund, which led to the purchase of Smith Alarm Systems in 1989. He subsequently raised two more search funds to purchase an auto parts retailer and an environmental services firm. During this time, Mr. Dodson became an active investor in and board member of other search funds, investing in over forty search funds. Mr. Dodson has been a director and investor in twenty-one middle market companies. He is currently on the board of: Teton Gravity Research, Penn Warranty, Wind River Environmental, Eyewitness Surveillance, Innflux LLC, and Carillon Assisted Living. He is also active in three non-profit boards: U.S. Fund for UNICEF (Regional), Project Healthy Children, and Sanku LLC. David Dodson currently divides his time between Stanford University and Project Healthy Children (a nonprofit enterprise with operations in Rwanda, Burundi, Nepal, Liberia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi), and a “double bottom line” enterprise Sanku, LLC, with operations in Tanzania. He is also completing his first novel. He has three daughters: Caroline, Rachel, and Hannah.

Susan Pohlmeyer

Susan is a principal at Futaleufu Partners, an investment fund formed by David Dodson to invest in search funds and search fund-acquired businesses. She works closely with search fund entrepreneurs during the diligence and acquisition phases of the search, and currently serves as a board observer for Datum Technologies. Prior to joining Futaleufu, she was a member of the investment team at Stanford Management Company, where she covered portfolio strategy as well as private equity investments. She started her career at JP Morgan in equity derivatives. Susan holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from Dartmouth College.

+ Endurance Search Partners

Endurance Search Partners works with Search Fund Entrepreneurs to find, buy and build great companies. They invest their own capital, expertise, network and valuable time to assist Search Fund Entrepreneurs in maximizing value over the long-term. As entrepreneurs themselves, they understand that success cannot be modeled on a spreadsheet; the journey requires true grit to face and work through challenges with courage and strength no matter how difficult they first appear.

Rich Augustyn

Rich is an entrepreneur in the truest sense - he sees opportunities, builds businesses that fill needs, and creates lasting growth. In 1987, he founded NIP Group, a national leader in insurance brokering and risk management. He quickly saw a need to improve the HR model for small businesses, and founded Extensis Group. Since being in business for two decades, Extensis Group has become a national leader in HR solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. He is CEO of both companies. True to his life-long entrepreneurial spirit, he now enjoys partnering with and mentoring search fund entrepreneurs. As an active search fund investor, he works closely with searchers at every stage to find, buy and build successful companies. He is well known for his availability, engagement level and is sought after for his practical business advice. Rich serves on the board of Housing Wire, KGHP, PEC Safety, Sage Data Security, FIMC and World Wide Security.

Lawrence Dunn III

Larry is an accomplished financial professional with over 30 years’ of diverse experience. He has generated substantial value in high growth environments by delivering solutions in a wide array of areas, including organizational strategy, corporate development, financial reporting, cost reduction, cash flow and working capital management, and process improvement. In addition to his role at Endurance, he is the CFO of NIP Group. Prior to joining NIP Group, he was Managing Director at Ally Financial and a Director of M&A and divisional CFO at AIG. He began his career at KPMG. Larry graduated from Pace University earning a BBA in Accounting with highest honors. Larry is also a Certified Public Accountant. Larry, similar to Rich, enjoys working closely with searchers at every stage supporting their goals to build a great company while becoming a highly successful CEO. He is committed to lend his expertise to, and generously collaborates with, all members of the search fund community. Larry serves on the board of Housing Wire and World Wide Security.

+ Search Fund Partners

Search Fund Partners invests in small, profitable companies with $5 million to $30 million in revenue. They work primarily with Search Funds, partnering with entrepreneurs to find, acquire and build successful businesses. They build on the proven success of the Search Fund model, where entrepreneurs are funded to unearth, acquire and manage a profitable micro-cap company. Their focus is on well-managed companies with a history of profits and significant growth potential.

David Carver

David is a co-founder of Search Fund Partners. He and his partner, Rich Kelley, have spent the last nine years developing and managing the SFP portfolio. He is on the board of iNet Interactive, Advanced Network Solutions, UnitedLayer, DataFusion, StaffOne, WebEquity, Raptor Technologies and VRI. David spent thirty years as an executive in the high tech industry, and has extensive experience in all phases of business, including M&A, fund-raising, corporate strategy and operations. He was CEO of HiFive!, an application service provider; CEO of Hipbone Networks, an online collaboration company; EVP and GM at Network Associates; COO of Network General; an EIR at Institutional Venture Partners; and an executive at Hewlett-Packard, including ten years in the professional service/software divisions of HP. Dave has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Arkansas. Dave and his wife Julia have two boys, RJ and Sam. He is active in community and non-profit organizations, having founded the Redwood Chapter of National Junior Basketball serving 650 children.

Rich Kelley

Rich co-founded Search Fund Partners in 2004. He currently serves on the boards of SFL Data, HemaSource, Verengo, Avadyne, RIA in a Box, ISC, and Medical Positioning, Inc. Rich Kelley has been involved in numerous small businesses and start-up companies as an operator, owner, and investor. His varied experience includes: CFO of Score Learning Centers, CEO of San Jose Giants, General Partner of the Stanford Terrace Inn, developer of houses and subdivisions, owner of office buildings and hotels, investor in successful tech start-ups (Coinstar, PLX Technology, Corcept Therapeutics). He has also invested in many limited partnerships, including venture funds, and has been involved as a search fund investor since 1994. Rich has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Stanford. Rich and his wife Gina have two children, Riley and Sam. He has served as an elected school board trustee and is active with the Positive Coaching Alliance and Sustainable Conservation as an advisor.

Jim Edmunds

Jim joined Search Fund Partners in 2008 after running a company sourced through the search fund model. Jim and his partner found and acquired Celebrity Kids Portrait Studios, a leading provider of upscale children's photography in 2005. Jim served as President and CFO of the company. He currently participates on the boards of Ascentia, Consumeraffairs.com, Gogotech, and UCIT Online. Before launching a search fund, Jim was an Associate at McKinsey & Company in Palo Alto. Prior to attending business school, Jim conducted business development for PetSmart.com, managed a successful political campaign in Texas, and worked in Investment Banking and Equity Capital Markets at Bear Stearns. Jim holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was named a Siebel Scholar, and an A.B. in History from Harvard University. He is the treasurer of Building Futures Now, a non-profit dedicated to helping high potential students in East Palo Alto. He lives in Menlo Park with his wife Christine, daughter Emiko, and son Koji.

Todd Tracey

Todd joined Search Fund Partners in 2016 after acquiring, running, and successfully exiting HemaSource, a company he sourced through the search fund model. HemaSource is a distributor of medical disposable products to the blood therapies markets and at the time of the sale it was one of the most successful ‘single searcher’ exits. Todd served as President and CEO of the company. He currently participates on the boards of ComplianceLine, TDR, Detroit Dental, and Elevated Billing Solutions. Prior to launching his search fund, Todd filled leadership roles in operations, sales, and finance for a variety of lower middle market companies. His broad industry background includes agriculture, telecommunications, web advertising and healthcare. He also worked as a Senior Associate for Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman). Todd holds an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University where he was a Lerner Scholar and the Harry W. Gillies Management & Strategy Student of the Year. He graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with an A.B. in Economics.

+ Kinderhook Partners

Founded in 2003, Kinderhook Partners, LLC, makes long-term investments in public and private companies. Kinderhook Partners manages a concentrated portfolio of long-term investments that it believes have both the potential to grow substantially in value and management teams whose interests are closely aligned with shareholders. The fund considers investment opportunities in a variety of industries, focusing on companies that have the potential for attractive margins and a high and sustainable return on equity. The principals of the fund cumulatively own a substantial portion of the capital in the fund. Coupled with structural safeguards built into the fund’s partnership agreements, this provides a stable capital base, which gives the confidence and flexibility to invest for the long-term based on fundamentals.

Tushar Shah

Tushar co-founded and is a Managing Partner of Kinderhook Partners, an investment partnership focused on making long-term investments in public and private companies started in 2003. Prior to Kinderhook, Mr. Shah was a Principal at Geocapital Partners, a venture capital firm, and prior to that, a strategy consultant with the Monitor Group. He has been a director of a number of public and private companies. Mr. Shah is also a CFA charterholder and received a B.A. in Economics from Williams College.

+ The Cambria Group

The Cambria Group is a private equity firm which acquires and invests in small and mid-sized businesses across a wide range of industries and geographies. Cambria’s principals established the firm in 1996 to fill a void in the private equity markets — to pursue businesses which are fundamentally attractive, but which lack both the high growth characteristics sought by traditional venture capitalists and the scale required to interest most fund-based buyout firms. Driven by this strategy, Cambria seeks sound businesses with established operating histories, rather than startups and turnarounds. Since its founding, Cambria has invested in over 50 operating businesses.Each of the firm’s principals has both operating and financial experience, a combination which is employed in all stages of the private equity business — from evaluating opportunities to structuring transactions and helping to manage portfolio companies.

Paul “Lew” Davies III

Lew founded The Cambria Group in 1996 and is its Managing Principal. He is an experienced private equity investor, having previously been a Principal in the leveraged buyout groups of both Brentwood Associates and The Fremont Group. He also served in both operating and finance roles with Bechtel Group and Chevron Corporation. Mr. Davies brings experience in all stages of the private equity process, identifying and sourcing opportunities, arranging financing for transactions, building management teams at both the functional and executive levels, assisting with portfolio company acquisition and divestiture programs, and exiting investments. He currently serves on seven corporate boards, as well as serving on the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution and the Advisory Council of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business; previously, he served as a National Trustee of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and a Trustee of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Mr. Davies holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering, with distinction, from Stanford University. He also received an MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

René Lajous

René is a Principal with The Cambria Group, working in the firm’s Menlo Park office. He participates in all aspects of Cambria’s activities, focusing equally on originating and evaluating investment opportunities, negotiating and arranging financing for transactions, and providing oversight for the firm’s portfolio companies. He serves on the boards of directors of several private companies in Cambria’s portfolio. Prior to joining Cambria, Mr. Lajous was a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, working in Dallas, Texas and Buenos Aires, Argentina. At BCG, he advised clients in the transportation, energy and telecommunications industries on a variety of issues ranging from strategy and operations to merger and acquisition activity and due diligence. Earlier, Mr. Lajous focused on logistics and operations in the consumer packaged goods industries, working for Procter & Gamble in Canada and Mexico, as well as Pillsbury in Canada. Mr. Lajous earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto, earning the W.S. Wilson Medal for academic excellence. He subsequently received an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Natalie Cryer

Natalie is a Vice President working in the firm’s Dallas, Texas office. She works on all aspects of the firm’s activities, focusing on search funds and the firm’s work with independent sponsors. Prior to joining Cambria, Ms. Cryer worked for Accenture as a Senior Analyst involved with Business & Systems Integration. At Accenture, she managed the finances for a $24M software- as-a- service project, developed sales forecasts and managed a $50M sales pipeline for the firm, and advised clients on Big Data product growth opportunities. While getting her MBA, Ms. Cryer also worked for Salt Creek Capital, a private equity firm focused on acquiring smaller operating businesses. Earlier Ms. Cryer worked for three years as a Research Assistant for former Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice. She focused her research on the potential for further democratic development in countries in Africa for Dr. Rice’s book Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom and assisted Dr. Rice with her two other books, Extraordinary, Ordinary People and No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington. Ms. Cryer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University as well as an MBA with a Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

+ Joseph Niehaus

Joe joined Housatonic Partners in 2001 and has been involved in numerous investments in a variety of industries since then. Joe was a Managing Director at Hellman & Friedman before joining Housatonic. During his twelve-year career at Hellman & Friedman, he was involved in several of the firm’s recurring services, media and communications investments. Earlier in his career, Joe was employed in the Merchant Banking and Mergers and Acquisitions departments at Morgan Stanley & Co. Joe is a Director of Accurate Monitoring, Calo Programs, Circle Graphics, Efficient Forms, FIMC, ResponseLink, School Family Media, and ZircoDATA. Joe holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

+ William Thorndike, Jr.

Will founded Housatonic Partners in Boston in 1994 and has been Managing Director since that time. Prior to founding Housatonic, Will worked with T. Rowe Price Associates and Walker & Company where he was named to the Board of Directors. Will has over two decades of experience investing in recurring service companies across a wide variety of industries. Will is a Director of Carillon Assisted Living, Lincoln Peak Holdings, OASIS Group, QMC International, and ZircoDATA. Outside of Housatonic, he is a Director of WGBH, the College of the Atlantic (Chair), as well as a founding partner at FARM, a social impact investing collaborative. He is the author of The Outsiders. Will holds an A.B. from Harvard College and M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

+ Mark Hilderbrand

Mark is a Managing Director of Housatonic Partners with more than 20 years of experience in private equity. Since joining the firm in 2006, Mark has made numerous investments in software and recurring services businesses across a variety of industry groups. His prior experience ranges broadly from early-stage investing as a General Partner at Onset Ventures, to leading recapitalizations and buyouts of technology-enabled businesses as a Vice President at Summit Partners. Earlier in Mark’s career, he worked as a Management Consultant at Bain & Company, and as a fiber optics engineer at AT&T. Mark is a Director of Circle Graphics, CitiXsys, Eureka Entertainment, FIMC, HFRI, LQ Digital, ONRAD, QMC International, Registria, and WCCT Global. Mark holds a B.S. from Boston University, an M.S. from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

+ Barry Reynolds

Barry founded the San Francisco office of Housatonic Partners in 1998. Previously, he worked with private equity firms including Bain Capital, Texas Pacific Group, and Trident Capital, focusing on information and business services companies. Prior to becoming a principal in the private equity industry, Barry was a Manager with Bain & Company. At Bain, he co-founded the Principal Investor Services practice, consulting to medium and large buyout funds and strategic buyers. Earlier in his career, Barry worked as an engineer for the General Electric Company. Barry is a Director of Aegis Treatment Centers, LQ Digital, Registria, and Sprout Health. Barry holds a B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was a Ford Scholar.

+ Andy Dale

Andy Dale is a Managing Director of Montlake Capital. For more than twenty years, Andy has been building and growing companies as a private equity investor, entrepreneur and investment banker. Prior to Montlake Capital Andy spent several years as a Senior Executive at Priority Call, until it was sold to LHS Group. He holds an A.B. from Harvard College, where he was a member of the Ivy League champion soccer team, and received his M.B.A from Harvard Business School.

+ Jon Staenberg

Early in his career, Jon established several marketing groups at Microsoft. He then joined the senior management team of Virtual i-O, a venture-backed startup, as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Jon has worked with venture-backed companies for 20 years in several capacities – as a founder, operator and venture capitalist. As an entrepreneur, Jon has established five companies, served on the senior management team of several early-stage organizations and provided venture capital funding to more than 100 start-ups. He has raised three venture funds totaling over $200 million. Jon graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, graduating with a B.S., M.A., and M.B.A.

+ Harold Mottet

Harold (Hal) Mottet is a successful CEO and Board Leader, and has led the profitable growth of operating companies through both organic growth and mergers and acquisitions. Organic growth strategies involved executing operational excellence through continuous improvement, improving the customer focus of organizations, and developing new products and production capabilities through capital investments. Mottet has also used mergers and acquisitions, along with targeted private equity investments, to grow companies, both as CEO and as a Member of Boards of Directors. Hal has an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, along with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Forestry from the University of Washington.

+ Kirk Riedinger

Kirk Riedinger is Vice Chairman and Co-Founder of Westwood College at Alta Colleges, Inc. Mr. Riedinger co-founded Alta Colleges, Inc. Currently, Kirk's primary focus at Alta is chairing the Board of Directors. Previously, he served as President of Alta Colleges from 1987 to 1995. In 1995 he became executive Chairman of the company and was responsible for developing and managing the company's sales, marketing, and acquisitions.

Prior to founding Alta Colleges, Inc., Kirk was a Project Manager for Mentor Graphics Corporation and a Management Consultant for Cresap, McCormick & Paget. He has also served as a member of the Governor's Commission on Science and Technology and the Board Nominating Committee of the Career College Association CCA. Kirk is also very active in the Scouting Community. Kirk was a finalist in the Rocky Mountain Region Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002 and is a member of the Mile High United Way Tocqueville Society. Kirk earned his BA in International Relations from Stanford University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

+ Tomas Bergstrand

Tomas Bergstrand is the founder of Archipelago Ventures, LLC, a Boston-based private investment firm established in 2008. Archipelago Ventures serve as a vehicle for diversifying assets into privately held investments. Since its founding, Archipelago has made investments in search funds, search fund acquisitions and in select startup ventures in the United States and in Europe.

Prior to Archipelago Ventures, Tomas owned and managed a custom boat building business based in Massachusetts. He also served as chief financial officer at institutional brokerage Enskilda Securities, Inc in New York City and held operational positions for the Swedish banking group SEB in Singapore and the United States. Tomas holds a Master’s degree in Finance from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

+ Steve Lau

Steve is a Partner at Whitecap Venture Partners, a venture capital firm focused on early stage investing. Steve is also a Lecturer in Management at the University of Toronto. Previously, he was Co-CEO of FieldEdge, a vertically focused SaaS company which he acquired, grew more than 5x in three years, and sold to Advent International. Steve spent his early career at CPPIB where he completed $11B in direct private equity transactions and at TD Securities in investment banking. In 2018, Steve received an EY Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Steve graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration with High Distinction from the University of Toronto and earned a Masters in Business Administration from the Wharton Business School.

+ Rameez Ansari

Rameez is a Director at Synergy Corporation, a family owned business focused on the energy sector in South Asia. Rameez is also a Lecturer in the Finance Department at the University of Toronto. Previously, he was Co-CEO of FieldEdge, a vertically focused SaaS company which he acquired, grew more than 5x in three years, and sold to Advent International. Rameez spent his early career at the Boston Consulting Group where provided corporate strategy and operational guidance to Fortune 500 clients. In 2018, Rameez received an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Rameez graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration with High Distinction from the University of Toronto and earned a Masters in Business Administration from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford.