• Claudine M. Cohen
  • Douglas Song
  • Sylvie Gadant
  • Drew Brantley
  • Christopher Sheeren
  • Matthew L.T. Harnett
  • Bruce Lipian
  • Nick Russell
  • Mark Fornasiero
  • Michael Shein
  • Tarrus Richardson
  • Preston G. Walsh
  • Faraz Abbasi
  • Chris Bordoni
  • Richard A. Petrocelli
  • Joe Rodgers
  • Steven E. Marcus
  • Michael Hendrie
  • Chris Eichmann
  • William E. Doran
  • Christopher J. Gessner
  • Sim Ketchum
  • Paul Marino
  • Christopher Yost
  • John Koeppel
  • Michael A. Carrazza
  • Chris Migliaccio
  • Mike Miller
  • Brad Deghand
  • David Acharya
  • Chase Stuart
  • Mark Hauser
  • Eric Taylor
  • Emily Had
  • Doug Lancey
  • Ken Kanara
  • Azhar Quader
  • Eddie Otocka
  • Doug Rose

Speaker Profiles

Claudine M. Cohen

Managing Principal, Value360

CohnReznick LLP

Claudine oversees an integrated team of transaction, valuation, restructuring, project finance, and dispute resolution professionals serving clients throughout the lifecycles of their businesses. With specific expertise in managing opportunities and roadblocks that can impact a business moving forward, Claudine and her team help clients achieve optimal outcomes in protecting and growing stakeholder value.


Claudine serves as an adviser to public and private companies, both domestically and internationally. Her clients comprise the full gamut of financial sponsors including private equity investors, independent sponsors, family offices, alternative investment funds, lenders, and strategic investors. Her areas of knowledge include strategic advisory, quality of earnings analyses, identifying revenue sources and profitability drivers, examining operating cost structure and sustainability factors, investigating business models including cash flow and financial projections, reviewing quality and realization of assets and liabilities, identifying working capital requirements and negotiating positions, post-close working capital verification, and adjustment mechanisms.  


Claudine was named to Mergers and Acquisitions 2019 list of the most influential women in mid-market M&A, and Crain’s NY 2018 most notable women in consulting.

Douglas Song

Co-Founder and Managing Director

Prodos Capital

Mr. Song has a diverse background with over 30 years in principal investments, investment banking and operational experience.  Mr. Song is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Prodos Capital (“PC”), an investment firm focused on investments in the lower middle market.  Prior to PC, Mr. Song was the head of investments and corporate finance for Verus International, a boutique merchant banking firm that was co-founded by Citigroup.  At Verus, Mr. Song led investments in both private and public companies in the emerging growth and middle market.  Prior to Verus, Mr. Song was SVP of Corporate Development at On2 Technologies.  At On2, Mr. Song led all aspects of strategic planning, financial analysis, mergers & acquisitions, financings and the capital markets.  Prior to joining On2, Song was a Managing Director at Bluestone Capital Partners, where he was a senior banker and a manager in that firm's Corporate Finance Department.  At BlueStone, Mr. Song was responsible for the execution of public offerings and private placements as well as merger and acquisition transactions.  Mr. Song was a member of BlueStone's Management Committee and Commitment Committee.  Previously, he held positions as an investment banker at Smith Barney in the Global Energy and Power Group and Chase Manhattan Bank in the Workout and M&A Groups.  During his career as an investment banker, Mr. Song has executed over a billion dollars in public offerings, private placements, cross border mergers and acquisitions, and restructurings transactions.  Mr. Song received a B.S. Degree from the School of Management at Boston University

Sylvie Gadant


Citrin Cooperman

Sylvie Gadant is a partner with Citrin Cooperman’s Private Equity and Capital Markets Practice and is the Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) practice leader. She leads buy-side and sell-side due diligence engagements for private equity firms, independent sponsors, family offices, and strategic buyers.

Prior to joining Citrin Cooperman, Sylvie was the principal-in-charge of the TAS practice at a top-20 national accounting firm, where she also spent more than 10 years with its audit and advisory practices. Previously, she served middle-market private companies across several industries for another public accounting firm.

Sylvie has advised clients on over 300 transactions valued between $5 million and $300 million, including platform investments, add-on acquisitions, leveraged recapitalizations, carve-outs, and minority investments. Her areas of expertise include analyzing an acquisition target’s quality of earnings, understanding key performance indicators, assessing working capital requirements, and identifying key deal issues and risk areas. She also provides her clients with guidance on accounting for mergers and acquisitions.

Sylvie is a frequent speaker, panelist, and moderator for various industry forums including the Kayo Private Equity Conference, the iGlobal Forum, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), the Exit Planning Exchange (XPX), and Expert Webcasts. She has been featured in business and industry publications, including Inc. Magazine, Forbes, PE Hub, Buyouts Magazine, Crain’s New York Business, and Accounting Today.

Sylvie is the recipient of several prestigious industry awards, including the "2020 Crain's Notable Women in Accounting" (Crain's New York Business) and the "2019 USA Women Dealmakers" (Global M&A Network), which singularly honors and spotlights an A-List of the most accomplished and respected women dealmakers from the private equity, lending, restructuring, M&A financial advisory and legal transactional communities, especially from the middle-market segments. She is also a 2017 "Top 25 Leading Women Intrapreneur" (Leading Women Entrepreneurs) award recipient.


Drew Brantley

Managing Director at Frisch Capital Partner

Drew is a Managing Director at Frisch Capital Partners. For the past 25 years, Frisch Capital has specialized in raising debt and equity for value-added Independent Sponsors. 
Drew is a serial entrepreneur having started 5 businesses, sold a few and still owns some. He knows what it’s like to be in your shoes. He sees the Independent Sponsor model as the method executives and industry experts can take to own and run already established businesses. He now dedicates his career to helping individuals buy companies, find greater success and live life on their own terms.

Christopher Sheeren

Partner at Longhouse Partners, LLC

​Chris has over 28 years of business experience in M&A, turnaround consulting, public accounting, and sales.  He has worked with Huron Capital, Conway McKenzie, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Revlon.  He has a B.A. in English and Speech Communications from the University of Nebraska, and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, and is a former CPA.

Matthew L.T. Harnett

Partner & Co-Founder - Tecum Capital Partners

Matthew Harnett is a founding Partner of Tecum and serves on the firm’s Investment Committee. In this position, he is responsible for leading all aspects of transaction origination, analysis, structuring, underwriting, deal execution and monitoring of subject private equity and mezzanine debt investments.

Matt currently serves as a Board Member of  Aging With Comfort, BP Business Solutions, BP Express, Connecticut Electric, Conco Services, Cox Transportation, Fluence Automation, Hoodmart, Midwest Equipment Sales, National Power, and he serves as a Board Observer for Bandon Holdings, The Marwin Company, Inc., and Sentrics.

Prior to co-founding Tecum, Matt served six years at the predecessor organization, F.N.B. Capital Corporation, LLC, where he was Vice President. Matt started his career at Ford Motor Company where he worked for four years. He completed the management program and became Zone Manager of Ford Division’s largest market in the Pittsburgh Region. Matt was responsible for annual franchisee revenues exceeding $300 million and was named Ford’s 2006 Zone Manager of the Year. He was recognized as one of the top-performing Zone Managers nationally for exceptional results in sales and market share growth, market representation actions and franchisee profitability.

Matt is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth (“”ACG””) and was a founding member of the ACG Future Corporate Leaders Board, where he served on the Board of Directors from 2012 to 2016, and was elected Chairman of the Board 2014 to 2016. He also served on the Pittsburgh Advisory Board of Economics Pennsylvania (2008 to 2016), which develops programs for young people focused on essential economic and financial literacy concepts.

Matt received an MBA degree from the Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, with focused studies in Finance and Strategy. He also received dual major B.S.BA. degrees in Supply Chain Management & Logistics and Marketing from The Ohio State University. Matt is also Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (“CAIA”) Charterholder.

Bruce Lipian

Co-Founder - StoneCreek Capital

Bruce N. Lipian is a founding principal and Managing Director of StoneCreek Capital. Founded in 1992, StoneCreek is an independent private equity sponsor focused on investing directly in growth-oriented management buyouts and targets transactions ranging from $10 million to $100 million.  StoneCreek’s most recent acquisitions include Kova International (www.kovaintl.com), Pinnacle Exhibits (www.pinnacle-exhibits.com), Mob Scene (www.mobscene.com), Rio Ranch Market (www.rioranchmarket.com), Montana Silversmiths (www.montanasilversmiths.com) and ACCESS DMC (www.accessdmc.com).    Prior to StoneCreek, Bruce was a Vice President at Kelso & Co., one of the nation’s leading buyout investment firms. Bruce received his BA (Economics) from the University of Washington and his MBA (Finance) from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Bruce is an active member of ACG,  a founding member of both the Orange County Private Equity Connection and the Orange County Transaction Network, and has served as an adjunct professor at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics (California State University Fullerton) and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Kids Connected.

Nick Russell

Managing Partner - Tuckerman Capital

Nick Russell is the Managing Partner at Tuckerman Capital where he focuses on investing in small and lower middle market buyouts in partnership with deal partners (independent sponsors and experienced executives).  He has over twenty years of experience as an investor, advisor, strategist and operator.  The entirety of his career has been focused on helping smaller niche, usually technical, product and service businesses across a range of sectors succeed and generate stakeholder value.  He has led several Tuckerman investments including Verdantas (Environmental Advisory), Dauntless Air (Wildfire Suppression), Anser Advisory (Infrastructure Project Management), Orthofeet (Orthotic Footwear), TRS Services (Industrial MRO), and Freedom Communication Technologies (Safety Equipment Test and Measurement).  Nick began his career at a global strategy consulting firm now part of Oliver Wyman Group where he focused on growth and turnaround strategy, corporate venture formation, and operational improvement engagements. He was a founding team member of a boutique private equity advisory firm prior to joining Tuckerman. 

Nick has a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth.  He is active in his community with a strong interests in natural conservation and education related issues.  He is a Trustee at Crossroads Academy and an investment committee member at the Montshire Museum of Science, has been a Trustee at the Upper Valley Land Trust and a Board Advisor at the Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences, and serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at the Tuck School teaching an MBA course on private investments. Nick is married and has three young children.

Mark Fornasiero

Managing Partner/Co-Founder - Clarendon Capital

Mark co-founded Clarendon in 1998. He has over 30 years’ experience as a principal investor, board member, C-level executive, and management consultant focused exclusively on the Transportation, Logistics and Distribution sectors. Mark proprietarily sourced seven Clarendon investments and has served as Chairman and a Director on the boards of several companies in the Transportation, Logistics and Distribution sectors.

In 1998, Mark conceived RoadLink (now RoadOne), an intermodal logistics consolidation vehicle, as Clarendon’s first investment and worked with his Clarendon partners to organize and co-found the company in 2000. Following RoadLink’s formation, he guided the investment as a RoadLink board member and shareholder representative and served as CFO/SVP Finance & Acquisitions, Secretary/Treasurer and Chief Strategy Officer. Following a sale to a leading private equity firm in 2006, Mark continued in senior finance, M&A and strategic development roles, helping grow RoadLink to over $400 million in revenue.  Over the course of his decade of RoadLink involvement, Mark executed over 25 acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and debt/equity financings comprising over $350 million of transaction value.

Before launching Clarendon, Mark was a senior manager in the Transportation/Logistcs Management Consulting Practice of A.T. Kearney, where he led engagements in strategic development, M&A and profit improvement for transportation and private equity clients. Prior to A.T. Kearney, Mark was part of the team that launched Princeton Transportation Group (later sold to Manhattan Associates), where he led engagements applying university research from Princeton and M.I.T. to improve the profitability of transportation clients.

Mark received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business where he was named an Arjay Miller Scholar. He received a BS in Operations Research and BA in Economics from Cornell University where he graduated with highest honors. Mark serves on the national board of the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, which empowers children of low-income communities across the U.S. to achieve a college education.

Michael Shein

Managing Partner - Chartwell Investments

Mike has over 30 years of experience in all facets of private equity investing and has participated in the purchase or sale of businesses with transaction values exceeding $4 billion. 

In the last 24+ months, Mike has closed 3 new platform investments, successfully exited two portfolio companies, closed 10 portfolio company add-on acquisitions, while also entering into a Joint Venture with a publicly-traded company, representing approximately $600+ million in total aggregate transaction value.

Mike focuses on deal sourcing, relationship building, strategic planning, recruiting management teams and operating executives, capital raising, and post-closing portfolio company development. As an independent sponsor, Mike supports the management owners he partners with to accelerate growth and realize their visions for their companies.


Prior to co-founding the predecessor to CHIEF Capital, Mike worked for Goldman Sachs (mergers & acquisitions department) and was a SVP of a private NYC-based investment firm.

Mike currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors across multiple organizations: Blue Ocean Aesthetic Holdings, Rohrer Aesthetics, Contract Datascan Holdings, PPC Holdings, EFM Equipment Company, and General Rubber, and serves as a Director of Richard Childress Racing.

Mike has previously served as a Director of multiple private companies including TTG Imaging Solutions, RQM+, Carey International, Bell Sports, Petro Stopping Centers, and SunPark. Mike graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S.E., summa cum laude.


Tarrus Richardson

Founder & CEO - IMB Partners

Mr. Richardson is the CEO of IMB Partners.  Founded in 2010, IMB Partners is an acquisition driven business that invests in middle market companies that provide services to the utility sector and government agencies, with a focus on women and minority business initiatives and solutions.

Today, IMB has over a billion in revenues and 700 plus employees via eight partner companies: Pro Foods Solutions, a $280 million food supplier to US military markets; Carr & Duff, an $100 million electrical contractor; Farwest, a 65 million corrosion control company; e&e IT and Ashburn Consulting, a $40 million combined provider of IT solutions to state agencies and the federal government; and IMB Solutions, a $550 million provider to the pharma industry.

Prior to IMB, Mr. Richardson was the cofounder and managing director of ICV partners. In addition, Mr. Richardson has served as CEO and or Lead director of Chung’s Foods, Gold Coast Securities Ghana, The Hilsinger Company, and PFM. Mr. Richardson is also the founder of the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP), the founding board chair of All Star Code.

He received a BS in Accounting from Purdue University. He also received an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Robert Toigo Fellow.


Preston G. Walsh

Partner - PNC Mezzanine Capital

Preston joined PNC Mezzanine Capital in 1995. Previously, Preston was an analyst with Brentwood Associates, a venture capital and leveraged buyout firm. Prior to Brentwood Associates, he was an analyst in the merchant banking division of Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc. During business school, Preston was an associate at Crescent Capital Corporation, an investment firm focused on below investment-grade and mezzanine securities.

Preston is a director of C-P Flexible Packaging, Magnum Magnetics, RKTM Holdings and Thaler Machine; and has oversight responsibility for PNC Mezzanine’s investments in Century Linen & Uniform and True Sports.

Preston was previously a director of American Grease Stick, American Track, Century Mold, Kellstrom, Metal Spinners, Miller Heiman, Prospect Mold, Salient Federal Solutions, Stampede Meat, Windy Hill Pet Food Company, Riddell Sports Group, Hunt Valve Company, Tooling Technology, Amerin Insurance Company, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group and Urban CableWorks.

Preston received degrees in economics and engineering with honors from Princeton University and an MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, where he was a venture capital fellow.

Faraz Abbasi

Managing Partner - Centerfield Capital Partners

Faraz joined Centerfield in 2001. He is responsible for investor relations, overseeing due diligence, executing transactions, and portfolio management. Faraz also manages the general activities of the firm. Faraz is a member of the Partnership’s Investment Committee.

Faraz has 20+ years of experience in private equity. Prior to Centerfield, Faraz held sales and product development roles at Praxair and Rodel, where he was the lead researcher and developer of next generation consumables for the microelectronics industry and was awarded a patent. Faraz has been recognized as one of the “Forty under Forty” young leaders in Indianapolis, “Who’s Who in Finance” by the Indiana Business Journal and was the winner of Junior Achievement’s “Indy’s Best and Brightest” award.

In his spare time, Faraz enjoys traveling, laughing and hanging out with his wife and three kids. Faraz strives to engage in projects that help him grow as a person, and he is deeply rooted in community activities.

Chris Bordoni

Partner - IceMiller

Christopher Bordoni is a partner in the Firm’s Business Group and is based in New York. Chris primarily focuses his practice on advising private equity sponsors, corporate borrowers, real estate investment funds, and mezzanine and other debt providers on a wide range of transactions, including leveraged buyouts, leveraged recapitalizations, liquidity lines, equipment leases, and mezzanine and other debt financings.

Chris’s extensive experience also includes routinely counseling clients on complex intercreditor arrangements, forbearance arrangements and out-of-court restructurings.

Prior to joining Ice Miller, Chris practiced in the Commercial & Public Finance, Corporate Transactions & Securities and Real Estate practices at Thompson Hine and at Goodwin Procter in New York.

Richard A. Petrocelli

Managing Director - Saratoga Investment Corp.

Richard A. Petrocelli is the Managing Director and is responsible for business development and loan origination.

Mr. Petrocelli has over 20 years of experience with direct lending and private equity. Over the course of his career Mr. Petrocelli has held senior operating positions with the direct lending and CLO platforms at Saratoga, Fifth Street and Flat Rock in addition to playing an active role in origination, execution and portfolio management.  In 2010, he played a leading role in Saratoga’s recapitalization of Saratoga Investment Corp.

Mr. Petrocelli originally joined Saratoga Partners in 1998 from Gabelli Asset Management, where he served as a vice president in the corporate finance department with a primary focus on the company’s alternative investment business. Prior to that, he was a senior accountant at BDO USA. Mr. Petrocelli graduated with a BSBA from Georgetown University in 1990 and earned an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 1999. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

Joe Rodgers

Managing Director - Source Capital

Prior Experience

  • Monroe Capital – an investment firm with over $9 billion in assets under management
  • KPMG Corporate Finance, Investment Banking
  • EVE Partners, Investment Banking
  • Cerberus Capital – an investment firm with over $40 billion in assets under management
  • Cratos Capital – an Atlanta-based specialty finance company
  • CIT Business Credit



  • B.A. in Finance and Marketing from Florida State University

Steven E. Marcus

Founder & Managing Member - Rainbow Capital, LLC

Steven Marcus is the founder and Manager of Rainbow Capital, LLC, a private equity firm and sponsor of control only transactions in lower middle market companies.  Rainbow Capital focuses on investments in manufacturing, distribution, services and media businesses in the northeast and Florida markets.  Prior to his private equity endeavors Mr. Marcus worked in leveraged finance at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Smith Barney, Inc., PaineWebber, Inc. and L.F. Rothschild, Inc.  Mr. Marcus holds an M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University and a B.S. in Accounting from the Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University.


Michael Hendrie

Managing Director - Expedition Capital Partners

Mike has over 18 years of operational, transactional and private equity expertise. Prior to launching ECP in 2009, he was a Vice President at Code Hennessy & Simmons (CHS) in Chicago focused on leveraged buyouts in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors. Prior to CHS, Mike spent three years as an Associate in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs in New York as a member of the Industrials Group.  Mike began his career as a management consultant at Manhattan Associates. 

Mike received his MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and earned a BSE in Chemical Engineering, also from the University of Michigan.

Chris Eichmann

Managing Partner - Pillsman Partners, LLC.

Chris has worked with lower middle-market owners and companies for his entire career in multiple capacities, industries and geographies. Prior to starting Pillsman Partners, LLC, Chris led corporate development and strategic finance at Curtis Instruments, a global designer and assembler of power management and industrial vehicle components, while participating in all aspects of company operations and strategy. At Curtis he led bank and investor relationships, oversaw acquisition development, and managed new partnerships. Chris also initiated several leadership development programs as part of a broader succession planning effort. Prior to Curtis, Chris worked in domestic private equity at Hamilton Robinson, focused on originating investments in and around industrial instrumentation and fluid control markets. Earlier in his career he worked in Latin American private equity, banking (credit and lending), and asset management for Baring Private Equity Partners, JP Morgan Chase, and Compass Group Chile. Chris's industry experience includes business services, highly engineered products and processes, light manufacturing, consumer products, and food.

William E. Doran

Partner - Benesch Law

Bill specializes in mergers and acquisitions, general corporate and commercial transactions, private equity, and debt and equity finance.

Bill has been involved with the founding and growth of new ventures, has taken companies public, and has acquired, sold, financed and combined many others along the way. Bill’s transactions have also included cross border elements. His diverse industry experience includes advertising and digital media, wealth management and financial services, technology consulting, business services, cannabis industry, direct marketing, manufacturing, distribution, food, health care services, medical devices, retail and transportation.

Bill is a seasoned deal attorney, who for over thirty years has helped many clients successfully complete a variety of public and private transactions and successfully navigate a variety of business and legal challenges.

Bill regularly provides responsive, thoughtful and effective legal and business advice to the leaders of the Business enterprises in a wide range of sizes and industries, often acting as the client’s principal legal counsel.


Christopher J. Gessner

Partner - Peninsula Capital Partners L.L.C.

Chris has more than 15 years of banking and private capital experience spanning a broad range of industries and transaction types. Immediately prior to joining Peninsula Capital Partners, Chris was a Vice President at BMO Harris Bank in Chicago. At BMO Chris executed both asset-based and cash flow loans in support of middle-market and large corporate borrowers. Before BMO, Chris was an Analyst with a Chicago-based boutique investment bank where he focused on M&A advisory and valuation services. Chris started his career with Bank One in Detroit.

Chris received his BA with Honors from Michigan State University and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a member of the CFA Institute. In his free time Mr. Gessner enjoys spending time with his family, golf and a variety of outdoor fitness activities.

Sim Ketchum

Partner - Triago

Sim is a Partner and Head of Directs & Co-Investments at Triago, a global capital placement and private alternatives advisory firm. He has nearly 20 years of experience in private equity and investment banking and leads the sourcing and execution of capital formation mandates for both funds and single asset direct investments alongside independent sponsors, management teams, and family offices.

Sim also provides strategic advisory to both independent and funded sponsors in connection with GP-led continuation vehicles, NAV loans, GP stakes, and spinout fund formation across PE buyout, growth equity, venture capital, private credit, and non-correlated strategies (i.e. litigation finance).

Prior to Triago he was Head of Capital Formation and Investor Relations for Astor Place Holdings, the private equity arm of hedge fund Select Equity Group (SEG), which began as a deal-by-deal platform prior to raising a blind pool fund. Previously, Sim held a similar role at Glenfarne Group, a private equity developer, principal investor, and long-term manager of energy & infrastructure assets.

Before his two roles as in-house lead for capital formation Sim spent 9 years in investment banking at UBS Investment Bank and at Credit Suisse. At Credit Suisse he led IB corporate finance coverage for Single Family Offices focused on direct private equity investments.

Sim earned his BA in English from Trinity College (CT) and his MBA from Vanderbilt University (Owen School).

Paul Marino

Partner - Sadis

Paul Marino is a partner in the Financial Services and Corporate Groups. Paul focuses his practice in matters concerning financial services, corporate law and corporate finance. Paul provides counsel in the areas of private equity funds and mergers and acquisitions for private equity firms and public and private companies and private equity fund and hedge fund formation.

Paul works on a variety of M&A transactions, including leveraged acquisitions, divestitures of business divisions, going-private transactions, and other strategic acquisitions and dispositions, in the following industries: manufacturing, telecommunications, consumer products, hospitality, healthcare, and technology, among others. His practice also includes joint ventures and general company representation matters.

Paul has represented national and multinational corporations, ranging from telecoms to tech companies, as well as real estate syndication and financial investors and investment advisors. He has also negotiated and structured a number of U.S. domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures

Christopher Yost

Managing Director - Aperion Management

Mr. Yost joined Aperion in 2019 and is currently a member of the board of JP & Associates Realtors. Prior to joining Aperion, Mr. Yost worked as a vice president in the New York office of Falcon Investment Advisors and was responsible for sourcing and evaluating investment opportunities and monitoring the firm’s investments. Before Falcon Investment Advisors, Mr. Yost was an analyst at JP Morgan in the Leverage Finance group.  At JP Morgan, he focused on executing leverage loan and high yield bond financings in addition to merger and acquisition related activities. Previously, Mr. Yost worked as Analyst to the global CEO of SunGard Data Systems, a global enterprise software Company. Mr. Yost holds a B.S. in International Management with a concentration in Finance from the ESB Business School in Reutlingen, Germany.


John Koeppel

Partner. - Lippes Mathias

Mr. Koeppel is a Partner and the Team Leader of the firm’s Private Equity Practice. He is a corporate lawyer who has successfully structured, negotiated and closed over 250 transactions in the past two decades, which typically involve mergers and acquisitions, fund formations and investments, and various private equity transactions (including co-investments, venture financings and cross-border deals). He also works with clients on reviewing / structuring their Qualified Opportunity Zone and Qualified Small Business Stock investments. 

Mr. Koeppel acts as counsel to a number of leading funds, independent sponsors, middle market companies, institutional investors, and high net worth investors focused on buy-out, growth, venture, real estate, intellectual property, energy, debt, fund-of-funds, co-investments, secondaries and other strategies. He also often acts as US counsel to non-US clients on their US private equity and investment fund transactions. He also serves as a director for several private equity-backed companies. 

On the M&A / private equity transactions side, Mr. Koeppel has advised on deals from $5 million to $250 million+ in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, technology, consumer goods, food, distribution, business services, cleantech and medical / health care.

He is a frequent speaker at a number of leading private equity and M&A events. Mr. Koeppel and his team take a pro-active and practical approach to helping clients make connections and successfully navigating the various legal challenges in any private equity transaction. Prior to joining Lippes, he was a partner in the private equity and investment funds group of an AmLaw 100 firm.

Michael A. Carrazza

Managing Partner & CEO - Solaia Capital Advisors LLC

Michael has extensive operational and private equity expertise.  He has sponsored transactions across many industries. During the financial crisis, Michael architected the rescue of Patriot National Bancorp and, subsequently, the relaunch of The Bank of Ireland’s U.S. ABL subsidiary, now known as Siena Lending Group. Prior to founding Solaia, Michael was co-founder of Bard Capital Group, and previously worked at Mitchell Madison Group and Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Michael earned his MBA in Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University, his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and studied at The Juilliard School.

Chris Migliaccio

Partner - PKF O’Connor Davies

Chris Migliaccio is a Partner in the international tax practice. Prior to joining PKF O’Connor Davies, Chris worked at two “Big 4” accounting firms in their international tax practices.

He has more than 10 years of experience providing consultation on international tax matters, including cross-border transactions, business restructurings and complex compliance issues for multinational corporations, partnerships, private equity funds and high-net-worth individuals.

In addition, Chris regularly leads due diligence and structuring for M&A transactions. He also is our Employee Retention Credit (ERC) leader, having assisted clients with receiving over millions in credits.

As one of the Firm’s most prolific thought leaders, Chris has written extensively on a wide range of tax topics. He is a co-author of treatise-length discussions on the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT), Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFICs) and Inversions. He has authored articles for publications such as Law360 and Checkpoint News and has been quoted in Newsday and Bloomberg News. Chris is also a frequent speaker at industry and tax-related conferences.

Mike Miller

Partner - Holland & Knight

Mike Miller is a private equity attorney in Holland & Knight's Charlotte office. Mr. Miller focuses his practice on representing domestic and international private equity, venture capital and search funds, independent sponsors and companies in evaluating, structuring and negotiating mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and investment transactions, including leveraged buyouts, co-investments, stock and asset acquisitions and sales, secondary fund interest transfers, growth equity investments, divestitures and recapitalizations. 

Mr. Miller has substantial experience providing innovative advice to independent sponsors, search funds, and traditional and self-funded searchers in all aspects of their transactions, including equity structuring and transaction execution. He has authored several articles and lectured on these topics.

In addition, Mr. Miller has extensive experience representing and counseling public, private and emerging companies in corporate governance and operational strategic and legal matters.

Mr. Miller delivers value-added counsel to his clients by combining his substantive experience with a responsive, client service-focused practice. He offers practical and pragmatic advice that leverages his market knowledge and creativity to help clients drive transaction execution while effectively managing risk.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Miller worked in the international practices of law firms in Charlotte and New York City.


Brad Deghand

Senior Risk Consultant - Virtus

Brad is a Senior Risk Consultant at Virtus where he works with private equity firms in a consultative capacity focusing on business insurance and the procurement of representation and warranties policies. Brad is responsible for overseeing due diligence opportunities and helping transition target companies to Virtus clients on an ongoing basis.

Prior to joining Virtus in December of 2021, Brad was a member of the private equity team at Lockton for several years focused on producing property and casualty due diligence reports. Thereafter, he switched roles to become a Client Advocate for one of the top performing producers in the private equity realm at the firm. Brad facilitated all new deals while overseeing all scopes of work and helped maintain relationships for the current book of business.

Brad attended Rockhurst University where he received his undergraduate degree in Accounting as well as his MBA.

David Acharya

Managing Partner - Acharya Capital Partners, LLC

David Acharya is the Managing Partner of ACP where he oversees all aspects of the firm’s investing, management, and strategic activities. He brings over 25 years of investing and transacting experience to ACP. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and is recognized by his peers for his expertise in private equity, capital markets, and portfolio value creation.

Before establishing ACP, Mr. Acharya was a partner of AGI Partners, LLC, a private equity firm, and played a key role in the development of the firm including strategy, hiring, and fundraising. He continues to serve on the board of directors for Impact XM and On Location and will be managing until exit. 

Earlier, Mr. Acharya was a Director of an NYC-based private equity firm where he was responsible for investment sourcing and execution. Among other accomplishments, he sourced and executed Revolution Dancewear, co-sponsored with Incline Equity Partners, and was sold to Audax Group.

Previously, Mr. Acharya was a Vice President with Apprise Media, a private equity firm focused on niche media investments, where he worked with the founders of PRIMEDIA, a former KKR founded portfolio company. Mr. Acharya invested over $200 million in niche media companies across digital, events, and print products in North America, Europe, and Asia. He made significant contributions to Apprise Media’s largest portfolio company Canon Communications, a B2B media company. Canon was successfully sold to United Business Media in 2010.

Mr. Acharya spent 10 years as an investment banker in the highly ranked leveraged finance groups of JP Morgan Chase and Toronto Dominion Securities. He advised, structured, and raised over $18 billion of capital for leading financial sponsors, telecommunications, media, and consumer product companies across the globe. He also advised clients on debt tender/consent transactions that affected over $4 billion of debt. While at Toronto Dominion and as part of its merchant banking initiatives, he was involved in numerous equity investments including Rural Cellular Corporation (sold to Verizon), T-Mobile, Bresnan Communications, and Intermedia Communications (Leo Hindery’s Cable Venture).

In 2020, after completing his term as President of the New York Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), Mr. Acharya was elected as Chairperson. Additionally, he was recently elected to the ACG Global Board of Directors. In recognition of his years of leadership and volunteerism, he was honored with the ACG Meritorious Award.

Mr. Acharya is a graduate of St. John’s University and holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees with honors. 

Chase Stuart

Managing Partner - Ice Miller

Chase Stuart is a partner in Ice Miller's Business Group and the Office Managing Partner in New York. He represents a variety of private equity funds, family offices, independent sponsors, privately-held businesses, private credit funds, and mezzanine funds. He provides strategic and legal advice in their investment and general corporate strategies, including on leveraged buyouts and other M&A, financings, minority investments, growth capital transactions, and early and late state private equity investments. He represents family, founder, and entrepreneur-owned businesses as general corporate counsel and as a sell-side advisor. He has represented a variety of companies in sectors such as aerospace and defense, technology, manufacturing, consumer products, business services, gaming, and health care.

Mark Hauser

Founder and Managing Partner - Tamarix Equity Partners

Founded the Tamarix Group in 1993. Over 30 years experience in private equity, private credit, asset management and investment banking. Previously Senior Managing Director of OFS Capital Management, Global Head of Private Equity at Sandell Asset Management and Managing Director at FdG Associates. Served on numerous private and public boards of directors and philanthropic organizations. Member of the Economic Club of NY and YPO/WPO. Master of Laws from London School of Economics and Bachelor of Economics and Laws from Sydney University.

Eric Taylor

Founder, CEO & CIO - Trident

Eric Taylor is the Founder, CEO and CIO of Trident and oversees all day to day operations. He also leads the firm’s Investment Committee and makes final decisions on all additions to the portfolio. Mr. Taylor began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he spent four years in the Special Situations Group, focused primarily on lower and middle market companies. After Goldman and prior to Trident, Mr. Taylor was a Portfolio Manager (credit) and Originator (equity) at Brightwood Capital, a lower-middle market asset manager that invests debt and equity primarily in companies with $5 million to $75 million of EBITDA. Mr. Taylor holds an AB from Harvard University with Honors and is a CFA Charterholder.

Emily Had

Managing Director, Private Capital Markets - Insperity

Emily Hak is the Managing Director of the Private Capital Markets team at Insperity, a national provider of HR solutions. Hak helps optimize Insperity processes and service offerings, lead marketing strategy, and expand upon business development education and partnerships specific to venture capital, private equity and family office relationships.  Hak has served Insperity as a district manager and business performance advisor. Prior to Insperity, Hak held production management and creative services positions at Lions Gate Films, Blink Digital and Sony Pictures. 


Doug Lancey

Director - Tamarix Capital Partners

Doug Lancey is a Director at Tamarix Capital Partners. Doug has over 15 years of experience in commercial and investment banking, private credit and private equity.

Doug most recently served as a Vice President in TD Bank’s middle market group focused on sponsor and direct lending. Prior to that he worked at Harvest Capital Credit, a lower middle market-focused Business Development Company (BDC) providing cash flow loans and minority equity investments to companies nationwide. Doug previously spent time working at Evolution Media Capital, an investment banking firm providing M&A advisory services to the professional sports, media, and entertainment industries. Earlier in his career he worked at lower middle market-focused credit funds HighPoint Capital (d/b/a Crescent Direct Lending) and NewStar Financial.

Doug is a CFA Charterholder. In addition, he holds an MBA from the Fordham University Graduate School of Business. During his tenure at Fordham, he studied at China’s Peking University as part of the Beijing International MBA program. He holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts.


Ken Kanara

President & CEO - ECA

Ken Kanara is President and CEO at ECA where he works with clients to fill permanent and project-based roles. Ken has extensive experience in management consulting, having spent more than a decade working with clients on various strategic and operational initiatives at Booz & Company. Ken graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in Economics from The Johns Hopkins University.


Azhar Quader

Investor, Queens Court Capital Management

Azhar Quader is an entrepreneur and investor based in New York City.  Azhar has over a decade of experience in finance at both sell-side and buy-side firms encompassing  a broad range of roles ranging from idea generation, research, structuring, trading, product management, principal investing and investment banking.

Azhar is a value investor at heart and started investing in stocks from his dorm room at Columbia University from where he received his BA in Mathematics and Economics.

As an investor, Azhar abides by the two lifelong maxims of the “Oracle of Omaha”: Warren Buffett

  • Rule # 1:  Never Lose Money
  • Rule # 2:  Always Remember Rule # 1

Azhar considers himself  to be a true “Graham and Dodd” investor, and his favorite treatises on investing include “Security Analysis”, “the Intelligent Investor”, “Margin of Safety”, “Fooling Some of the People All the Time: A Long Short Story”, “The Art of Short Selling”, and all Buffett biographies. Azhar’s investing “heroes” include Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Marty Whitman, Seth Klarman, Michael Price and Carl Icahn.

Outside of work, Azhar Abdul-Quader supports a number of philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Charity: Water, and Indego Africa. The latter group is nonprofit social enterprise & lifestyle brand that supports women in Rwanda through economic empowerment and education.

Eddie Otocka

Managing Director - STNL Advisors

Edward Otocka is a Senior Managing Director, Private Equity Specialist with STNL Advisors, one of the top performing sale-leaseback, lease advisory, and net lease real estate development firms in the country. Eddie joined STNL Advisors in 2011 and works on the Institutional Coverage Group. His expertise is in sale-leaseback, build to suit, and structured debt transactions on behalf of private equity funds, national retail, industrial, and medical tenants, REITs, and net lease funds. 

Eddie has closed more than $3.0 billion in transactions during his career, including more than $2.0 billion over the last three years. 

Prior to working with STNL Advisors, Eddie began his professional career at UBS AG and Credit Suisse. He is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and currently resides in Duxbury, Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters.

Doug Rose

Gardner Webster Capital Partners LLC

Since beginning a professional career in 1987, Doug Rose has worked with middle-market and emerging growth companies in various senior executive capacities related to general and strategic management, corporate development, mergers and acquisitions, and finance.  Doug has led over 30 closed investment/acquisition transactions representing aggregate value of nearly $1 billion.


Since founding Gardner Webster Capital Partners, Doug has served as Managing Partner sourcing, screening, analyzing, structuring, negotiating, financing, and overseeing acquisitions and investments of companies with EBITDA as high as $30 million (but typically below $10 million). Since 2003, Doug has served as an active chairman of OccuNomix International LLC, a leading manufacturer of industrial safety products, guiding the company's 300%+ organic growth, as well as several add-on acquisitions. He also leads and managed the company's financing and banking relationships. From 2013 - 2019, Doug served as CEO of OccuNomix.


Prior to forming GWCP, Doug was Vice President of Corporate Development of CMGI, Inc., an “epicenter” of the Internet, where he was responsible for corporate development activities of CMGI’s Internet infrastructure companies, NaviSite, Inc. and NaviPath, Inc., as well as equity-related strategic transactions at CMGI corporate. Prior to joining CMGI, he was VP of Corporate Development of Genesis Direct, Inc., a catalog and e-commerce company that grew from start-up when he joined to $400 million revenues, principally through the 18 catalog company acquisitions he completed in 30 months. One of Genesis Direct’s notable accomplishments was becoming the largest direct marketer of licensed sports merchandise in the world. Genesis produced and operated official merchandise catalogs and e-commerce websites for the NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR, among others. Genesis Direct raised over $350 million in private and public capital and had one of 1998’s largest IPOs, led by Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, and Salomon Smith Barney.


Prior to Genesis Direct, Doug was Vice President of Niederhoffer and Niederhoffer, Inc., an investment banking firm specializing in middle-market mergers and acquisitions. At Niederhoffer, Doug executed exclusive sale assignments and raised equity capital for closely held companies in over 20 different industries throughout North America. Earlier Doug was an acquisition analyst at Manhattan Venture Company, a boutique merger and acquisition advisory firm focused on originating proprietary transactions for corporate and financial buyers.


Prior to beginning a professional career, Doug was a commercial salmon fisherman in southeastern Alaska, and a ski race coordinator in Vail, Colorado. He has lived and traveled extensively throughout North America, Europe, Israel, and Asia. Doug earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political and economic philosophy at the University of Vermont, where he also studied corporate finance and business strategy.


Doug lives in New Jersey with his wife and four teenage daughters.