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Dealmakers - Articles

March 22, 2019

BlueTree's big 2018: A unicorn, strong exits and new investors

It’s been an exciting and unprecedented year for Catherine Mott and BlueTree Capital, including her venture fund's first unicorn holding....

By Jayne Gest

March 21, 2019

2019 Dealmaker of the Year Awards

Recognizing the top deals and dealmakers in the Pittsburgh region....

By Michael Marzec

March 14, 2019

Irwin Car’s Bill Baker: Find synergies in your acquisition strategy

After doing nearly 60 deals throughout his career, Bill Baker knows himself. He’s a niche strategist who looks to buy companies where one-and-one makes three....

By Jayne Gest

March 12, 2019

RPM’s Jim Karman: Skip the drama and avoid turnarounds

Retired RPM International COO Jim Karman reflects on the fateful deal that convinced him to steer clear of turnaround acquisitions and shares lessons learned from his dealmaking career....

By Mark Scott

March 8, 2019

Atlas Oil founder Sam Simon: How to maximize your deals

The master dealmaker talks about his humble beginnings, his approach to investment opportunities and the importance of being a disciplined dealmaker....

By Mark Scott

March 7, 2019

vitalxchange's Charu Ramanathan: survival skills trump MBA thinking

The co-founder and CEO at vitalxchange talks about the value of following your instincts and the real skills entrepreneurs need to succeed....

By Mark Scott

March 1, 2019

Michael Canty: How to navigate the tricky waters of turnaround investing

Turnaround maven Michael Canty offers his tips for investing in troubled companies and shares the strategy that got Alloy Bellows & Precision Welding back on its feet....

By Mark Scott

February 18, 2019

Market Garden's Sam McNulty

Sam McNulty talks about his approach to dealmaking, the value of strong partnerships and his keys to success....

By Mark Scott

February 7, 2019

TruWest Cos.: Innovators wanted

Matt Kennedy and Wendy Jarchow explain how TruWest Cos. and River SaaS Capital identify promising investment opportunities and position them for growth. “We’re looking for industries that are ripe for innovation,” Jarchow says....

By Mark Scott

January 24, 2019

Adam Kaufman

Last year, Adam Kaufman studied an estimated 500 early-stage companies to assess their long-term viability. Helping startups refine their message and pursue their goals brings the entrepreneur great...

By Mark Scott

January 22, 2019

Lazear Capital’s Ted Lape on transparency, creativity and the rise of ESOPs

Ted Lape talks about transparency in dealmaking, when ESOPs make sense and his most memorable deals....

By Jayne Gest

January 17, 2019

Provariant’s Murad Beg

Provariant's Murad Beg talks about how he stays objective to make the right deals for his clients....

By Mark Scott

January 9, 2019

Flashstarts' Charles Stack

Entrepreneur and early-stage investor Charles Stack talks with Smart Business Dealmakers about the role of confidence in dealmaking and how changemakers can use it to spark investment in Cleveland....

By Mark Scott

January 9, 2019

August Carlino on negotiating, risk and preserving a legacy

August Carlino talks about what gets his blood pumping, the Rivers of Steel's acquisition of RiverQuest and his advice for other dealmakers....

By Jayne Gest

December 20, 2018

ChromoCare’s Hugh Cathey learns from success — and failure

Master Dealmaker Hugh Cathey talks about what’s changed in M&A, one of his biggest deals and the importance of learning from career wins and losses....

By Jayne Gest

December 19, 2018

FALCON's Rob Huxtable

FALCON Managing Partner Rob Huxtable talks about his tips for finding leaders who can thrive under pressure, rise to a challenge and help PE firms maximize their investments....

By Mark Scott

December 7, 2018

Tecum Capital’s Stephen Gurgovits Jr.

Tecum Capital Managing Director Stephen Gurgovits Jr. talks about Tecum's evolution as an investment firm, it's appetite for risk and one of his most memorable deals....

By Jayne Gest

November 16, 2018

BGL’s Andrew Petryk

Investment banker Andrew Petryk shares his thoughts and observations about how best to prepare for the M&A process and maximize the result....

By Mark Scott

November 9, 2018

Explorys co-founder Charlie Lougheed

Charlie Lougheed looks at the importance of clarity, the value of embracing opportunity and why a great idea alone isn’t enough to capture the excitement of potential investors....

By Mark Scott

November 8, 2018

Blue Point Capital's Jim Marra

BluePoint's Jim Marra about the challenge of competing in today’s private equity market and the best strategy to minimize risk with your investments....

By Mark Scott

November 2, 2018

Mark A. Filippell

Mark Filippell talks about important points to consider before you put your company on the market and a pivotal moment for M&A advisory firm Western Reserve Partners....

By Mark Scott

October 26, 2018

Douglas J. Sibila

Peoples Services CEO Doug Sibila talks about his methodical approach to dealmaking and the role networking plays in his company’s M&A strategy....

By Mark Scott

October 19, 2018

Jon J. Pinney

KJK Managing Partner Jon Pinney talks about the need for speed in closing transactions, his passion for learning and the role Blockland can play in facilitating more business activity going forward....

By Mark Scott

October 19, 2018

Chas Withers: Build a strong, consistent narrative for your deal

The Dix & Eaton CEO talks about how to tell a consistent narrative that ties together everyone's interests and conveys the value being created....

By Mark Scott

October 12, 2018

Advanced Robotics in Manufacturing Institute’s Suzy Teele

Entrepreneur Suzy Teele has helped at least 50 companies grow into market leaders, either as a consultant, adviser or executive. In this Q&A, she talks about how entrepreneurs can build relationships to create partnerships or find investors to grow their companies....

By Jayne Gest

October 12, 2018

Richard R. Hollington III

CapitalWorks CEO Dick Hollington talks about the role preparation plays in developing an effective acquisition strategy and what private equity firms do to make sure they stay on top of their game....

By Mark Scott

October 12, 2018

MRI's John Ensign on strategy, due diligence and 10,000 rats

John Ensign talks about his acquisition strategy and the importance of making in-person visits to potential acquisition targets....

By Mark Scott

October 5, 2018

Baiju R. Shah

BioMotiv CEO Baiju Shah talks about his approach to building a team that can get deals done and the opportunity that health care innovation presents to other industries....

By Mark Scott

October 5, 2018

Thogus' Matt Hlavin: Why I take dealmaking slow and steady

The CEO talks about the drive he had to become more entrepreneurial and factors that have kept him from being more active on the deal scene....

By Mark Scott

September 28, 2018

Tony Ciepiel

Step2Discovery CEO Tony Ciepiel talks about his strategic approach to dealmaking and the importance of reaching beyond M&A as a means of completing deals that can benefit your business....

By Mark Scott

September 28, 2018

Tom Chema: Getting Gateway done and the value of taking risks

Tom Chema played a lead role in overseeing the public/private partnership that brought downtown Cleveland a new ballpark for the Indians and an arena for the Cavaliers....

By Mark Scott

September 28, 2018

Austin Capital Partners' Darrell Austin

Darrell Austin talks about the effect that rising purchase prices have had on M&A players who used to be a lot busier....

By Mark Scott

September 19, 2018

Paul Smucker Wagstaff

Paul Smucker Wagstaff shares his dealmaking strategy, the role that his team plays in M&A transactions and some key lessons he learned from his time at J.M. Smucker....

By Mark Scott

September 19, 2018

Steve McHale on flawed deals and knowing when to pivot

Steve McHale shares his thoughts on deals he has made and the approach that leaders take when things don’t go according to plan....

By Mark Scott

September 14, 2018

Dan T. Moore III

Dan Moore reflects on his career in business, his skill as an innovator and how dealmaking has helped bring it all together....

By Mark Scott

September 14, 2018

Team NEO’s Bill Koehler

Bill Koehler talks about one of the most gratifying moments of his dealmaking career and the value that a formal M&A strategy can bring to your business....

By Mark Scott

September 14, 2018

EY’s Chris Smyth

We catch up with EY's Chris Smyth to talk about his principles of effective dealmaking....

By Mark Scott

September 7, 2018

Cascade Partners’ Ken Marblestone

Ken Marblestone explains why he’s always concerned about something and why there are times when you should not take the advice of your financial adviser....

By Mark Scott

August 31, 2018

Jon W. Park

Westfield Bank's CEO talks about how to build an effective M&A strategy and common pain points that arise when looking to make a deal....

By Mark Scott

August 31, 2018

Signet's Tony Manna: Why I'm always ready for a deal

Tony Manna talks about his readiness to examine deals and some great advice he got in his youth from Worthington Industries founder John McConnell....

By Mark Scott

August 31, 2018

Beth Haas

Cyprium Partners' Beth Haas shares her thoughts on how to find the right vehicle to obtain the necessary capital for your business and how to work through any anxiety you may have over working with an outside firm....

By Mark Scott

August 24, 2018

Ron Weinberg

Ron Weinberg talks about the origins of today’s active private equity market and his hands-on approach to creating opportunities that lead to profitable deals....

By Mark Scott

August 24, 2018

Independence Excavating's Victor DiGeronimo Jr.

Vic DiGeronimo talks about taking risks and his key to finding happiness when making a deal....

By Mark Scott

August 17, 2018

JPMorgan Chase’s Rudy Bentlage

Rudy Bentlage explains the value of transparency in M&A activity and talks about how to know when it’s the right to time to consider selling your business....

By Mark Scott

August 10, 2018

Metz Lewis’ Chris Brodman

Metz Lewis partner Chris Brodman talks about deal-killing issues and the principles of successful dealmakers....

By Jayne Gest

August 3, 2018

Fred Nance

The global managing partner at Squire Patton Boggs talks about the craft of dealmaking and shares the lessons he has learned to get things done under difficult circumstances....

By Mark Scott

August 3, 2018

Evolution Capital Partners’ Jeffrey Kadlic

Jeffrey Kadlic about what could be done to open up private equity investment to more people, the common pain points he sees in the M&A process and one of his most memorable deals....

By Mark Scott

July 27, 2018

Stewart Kohl

The co-CEO of The Riverside Co. talks about how he got his start and mentors who guided him early in his career....

By Mark Scott

July 19, 2018

Howard W. “Hoby” Hanna IV

Hoby Hanna talks about what drove two pivotal transactions for his real estate company, the value he places on market share and his perspective on turnarounds....

By Mark Scott

July 19, 2018

Calfee’s Brent Pietrafese

The dealmaking attorney talks about recent trends in dealmaking and how to avoid legal headaches when involved in M&A activity....

By Mark Scott