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Host Committee

Chairman

Fred Koury

Fred Koury

President & CEO

Smart Business Network


Fred co-founded Smart Business Network in 1989 with a single publication in Cleveland, Ohio. In the years since, he has built the company into a leading multimedia and content marketing business providing print and digital marketing services to a national client base.


Honorary Chairs

Brian Demkowicz

Brian Demkowicz

Managing Partner

Huron Capital


Brian is managing partner and co-founder of Huron Capital Partners, a leading operationally focused private equity firm with a history of acquiring, repositioning and growing lower middle-market companies in partnership with strong operating executives. Since 1999, he and his team have established six Huron Capital investment funds totaling nearly $2 billion and invested in more than 150 businesses throughout North America. 

Stephen Polk

Stephen Polk

President and CEO

Highgate LLC


Host Committee

David Alden

David Alden

Chair

Vistage Michigan ILO Vistage


David is chair of Vistage Michigan ILO Vistage. He is a senior operations executive with 10 years of Asia experience and a consistent record of accomplishment in developing winning teams. He spent the majority of his career in leadership positions at Ford Motor Co., including as president, Southeast Asia, and vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service - Asia Pacific & Africa. He is currently focused on the success of his 34 Vistage CEOs.

Angie Kelly

Angie Kelly

Office Managing Partner, Detroit

EY


Angie is an assurance partner and office managing partner for EY Detroit. She previously was the automotive and transportation assurance leader for EY’s Central Region and led the Entrepreneur Of The Year® program for Michigan and Northwest Ohio. In her 20 years with EY, she has extensive experience serving SEC registered and privately held companies in a variety of industries.

Lemuel Amen

Lemuel Amen

Chairman

Altius Manufacturing Group


Lem is chairman of Altius Manufacturing Group LLC, a private equity firm focused on niche value creation opportunities with technical companies in global sustainable growth mid-markets. Most recently, he served as chairman and CEO of Viking Engineering & Development Inc., a portfolio company of AMG. Lem’s 30 years of experience range across aerospace, energy and utilities, information technology and business process outsourcing, and diversified technology and manufacturing. 

Marc Beshany

Marc Beshany

PCG Market Manager

Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC


David Brophy, Ph.D

David Brophy, Ph.D

Professor of Finance, Ross School of Business

University of Michigan


Maureen Miller Brosnan

Maureen Miller Brosnan

Executive Director

Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA)


As executive director of the Michigan Venture Capital Association, Maureen oversees strategy and direction, and creates awareness and support for Michigan’s venture capital firms and angel group activity. She is chair of the board of directors of St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, Michigan, and a former president of the Livonia City Council, where she served for 17 years as an elected official. 

Carolyn Cassin

Carolyn Cassin

General Partner & Co-Founder / Chairwoman & CEO

Belle Michigan / Michigan Women's Foundation


In 2009, Carolyn accepted the leadership of Michigan Women Foundation, now Michigan Women’s Forward, dedicated to helping women and girls achieve economic self-sufficiency and advancing equality. In 2010, Carolyn and others founded BELLE Capital/Michigan, of which she is a general partner. In 2018, she founded BELLE Michigan Impact Fund, a $20 million impact investment fund to make early stage investments in high-growth, women-owned businesses.

Harry Cendrowski

Harry Cendrowski

Founding Member & Managing Director

Cendrowski Corporate AdvisorsHarry


Harry is a founding member of Cendrowski Corporate Advisors and a licensed CPA in Michigan, Illinois and Florida. He is a veteran of the private equity and venture capital industries as an investor, founder and advisor to several funds. He has served on the boards of several banks, PE/VC Funds, nonprofit and charitable organizations, including foundation and university boards. 

Scot C. Crow

Scot C. Crow

Member and General Corporate, M&A and Private Equity Practice Group Chairs

Dickinson Wright


Scot manages the firm’s corporate, M&A, private equity, securities and tax practices, and is also the head of the cannabis group, which consists of more than 40 attorneys throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has extensive experience in corporate, mergers and acquisitions and tax law and has served as lead counsel in mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, private offerings, venture capital financings, mezzanine debt offerings, divestitures and other related financial transactions, in a number of industry sectors, including the cannabis industry.

Joseph J. DeVito

Joseph J. DeVito

Partner and Chairman of Corporate, Finance and Real Estate Practice Group

Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC


Joe is a partner and chairman of the Corporate, Finance and Real Estate Practice Group at Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC, which specializes in middle market transactions. The group has been recognized numerous times, achieving awards including the M&A Advisor International M&A Award, the Crain’s Dealmaker of the Year Award – Advisor Category and the Finance Monthly Dealmaker of the Year Award.    

Ric DeVore

Ric DeVore

Regional President, Detroit and Southeast Michigan

PNC


Derek Dickow

Derek Dickow

Founder

Steward Media


Derek is founder of Metro Detroit-based public and political relations firm Steward Media. He is known as a power connector to reputable organizations and community leaders throughout Southeast Michigan. Derek lists city council members, mayors, state representatives, senators, judges and presidential candidates among his clients. He is deputy finance director of the Michigan Republican Party and is most proud of his fundraising for local charities.

Mike Dingwall

Mike Dingwall

Partner

RSM


Mike is a partner, Assurance Services, at RSM US LLP. He has more than 25 years of experience auditing financial statements and advising clients, both domestically and internationally. He has delivered services to clients owned by private equity groups, families, and publicly traded corporations and has experience with PCAOB and AICPA standards, SEC rules and regulations, internal controls, opening balance sheet audits and accounting research.

Ki Hammer

Ki Hammer

President & CEO

Ghafari Associates


Richard C. Hampson

Richard C. Hampson

State President - Michigan

Citizens Bank


Richard is state president and head of commercial banking for Citizens Bank, Michigan, a commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. He directs financial activities and leads the bank’s  community involvement initiatives. He also directs the Michigan commercial middle-market lending team.He is a member of CFG’s Executive Leadership Group and the company ‘s senior leadership team.

Brian Hermelin

Brian Hermelin

Co-founder / Founding Partner

Rockbridge Growth Equity/Detroit Venture Partners


Brian Marshall

Brian Marshall

Executive Vice President

Huntington Bank


Steven McCarty

Steven McCarty

Partner & Managing Director

UHY Corporate Finance


Steve is a partner at UHY LLP and managing director of UHY Advisors MI Inc. He is a member of the firm’s national board of directors and Great Lakes Region Executive Committee. He is the leader of firm’s Corporate Finance and PEO groups and an active member of the National Manufacturing Practice.

Chip McClure

Chip McClure

Managing Partner (Former CEO)

Michigan Capital Advisors (Meritor)


Chip is managing partner of Michigan Capital Advisors, a private equity firm that invests in Tier 2 and 3 global automotive and transportation suppliers. He sits on the boards of DTE Energy, Penske Corp. and Crane Co., and is chairman of 3D Systems. He is on the board of trustees of Henry Ford Health Systems, board of directors of Invest Detroit and a member of Business Leaders for Michigan.

Don Nystrom

Don Nystrom

President

Dynamic Aerospace and Defense


Don is the President of Dynamic Aerospace and Defense, a fabrications group which supplies tight tolerance components to the Aerospace, Defense, Rail and Yellow Goods markets.  Don has led the group for almost 10 years, and has expanded the business from its original Midwest roots to having a presence in the US, the United Kingdom and Asia. Dynamic Aerospace and Defense is the culmination of 8 different acquisitions and greenfield investments. Prior to Don’s roles at Dynamic, he practiced law at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone in Detroit, Michigan, and has maintained his legal engagement by currently serving as the Chairman of the Board of the Michigan State University College of Law.

Gretchen Perkins

Gretchen Perkins

Partner

Huron Capital


Gretchen manages Huron’s business development and investment sourcing activities and is involved in investor relations. She has more than 30 years of experience in the finance and business development sectors, serving a variety of capital market participants. Prior to joining Huron, Gretchen led the acquisition sourcing efforts at Long Point Capital, a middle-market private equity fund, and served as vice president – Business Development for IRN Inc.

Sherwin Prior

Sherwin Prior

Co-Founder & Managing Partner

Blue Victor Capital


Sherwin is co-founder and managing partner of Blue Victor Capital LLC. Previously, he was managing director of GM Ventures LLC, the corporate venture capital arm of General Motors, where he managed over $250 million in assets. In 2017, Sherwin was ranked 14th in the Global Corporate Venturing Rising Stars publication, and in 2018, he was named one of the Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America by SAVOY magazine.

Christopher L. Rizik

Christopher L. Rizik

CEO & Fund Manager

Renaissance Venture Capital Fund


Chris is founder and CEO of the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, a first-of-its-kind network fund formed by a consortium of Fortune 1000 corporations. Renaissance invests in and strategically connects venture capital funds and start-up companies with major corporations. His awards include EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® and Crain’s Detroit Business Newsmaker of the Year. Chris is also founder and publisher of SoulTracks.com, America’s most popular soul music online magazine.

Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson

Regional President, Southeast Michigan

Chemical Bank


Jim’s professional knowledge, drive and energy as regional president of Southeast Michigan for Chemical Bank have been key catalysts to the bank breaking into the Southeast Michigan market. With more than 23 years of banking experience and a specialty in commercial lending, Jim is integral in aligning the efforts of a cross-functional leadership team to drive growth and ensure consistent service delivery throughout Southeast Michigan.

Sam Simon

Sam Simon

Chairman & CEO

Simon Holdings Group


Sam is founder and chairman of Simon Group Holdings, which he formed in 1985 with the founding of Atlas Oil Company. Simon Group Holdings, directly and through its subsidiaries, has interests and is an active investment manager in a number of industry sectors. In 2007, Sam created Atlas Cares, which supports Detroit organizations and encourages employees to volunteer at charities of their choice.

David Sowerby

David Sowerby

Managing Director, Portfolio Manager

Ancora Advisors


David is managing director and a portfolio manager for multiple investment strategies at Ancora. Prior to Ancora, he was most recently a portfolio manager at Loomis, Sayles & Co., where he worked since 1998 and held multiple senior positions. At Loomis, David worked directly with institutional clients on asset allocation strategies and multi-product accounts. Earlier in his career, he was a senior portfolio manager for Beacon Investment Management Co.

Kristen Tassielli

Kristen Tassielli

President / Owner & Managing Partner

EO / Fitness Things


Sam Valenti III

Sam Valenti III

Chairman & CEO

Valenti Capital LLC, World Capital Partners, & V5 Partners


Mike Vlasic

Mike Vlasic

Principal

NBT Investments


Mike has been an investor and business operator since 1988. He has been involved in the entire spectrum of investment disciplines, including asset allocation, investment strategy, manager and investment selection, due diligence and performance measurement, with a particular concentration on private equity and direct investments. His operations experience includes construction, real estate investment and development, equipment leasing and finance. 

Ted Willett

Ted Willett

President, Michigan Market

KeyBank


Ted is Michigan market president at Key Bank. He has spent 25 years helping Michigan companies achieve their financial objectives and growth strategies. Ted leads the Michigan banking teams as they deliver ease, value and expertise and build enduring client relationships. He champions KeyBank’s collaborative culture focused on the success of its customers and communities. 

Doron York

Doron York

Chairman & CEO

CitySide Ventures


Doron is chairman and CEO of CitySide Ventures. His high-level experience as an officer in the elite Navy SEALs, along with his passion for business and human performance, helped distinguish him as the “Navy SEAL” of business. The high-impact investing model he has created combines more than 50 years of proven high-performance leadership models that are second to none.

Dave Zilko

Dave Zilko

CEO / Co-Founder

FUEL Leadership, LLC / Garden Fresh


Dave engineered the sale of Garden Fresh Gourmet, maker of the No. 1 brand of fresh salsa in North America, to the Campbell’s Soup Co. for nearly a quarter billion dollars. He is currently CEO at FUEL Leadership, a digital media property that enables universities to more effectively engage with their constituents, and an operating partner at Huron Capital, a Detroit-based private equity firm with over $1 billion under management.

Tom Zucker

Tom Zucker

Founder & President

EdgePoint Capital Advisors


Conference Location

1114 Washington Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48226
Tel: 1.313.442.1600