Smart Business Dealmakers recognized some top deals and dealmakers in the Nashville region. Here are the 2020 Dealmaker of the Year Award winners.


Wellford Dillard, CEO, CM Group

Backed by more than 15 years of experience in the software industry, Dillard led CM Group, a tech family of solutions for marketers, in a $410 million capital raise and the acquisition of Vuture, an email solution for brands in professional services. That comes on the heels of a number of earlier acquisitions for the growing organization.



Craig York, CEO, Copperweld Bimetallics

Traditionally supplying the telecommunications industry, York led Copperweld Bimetallics, a supplier of bimetallic wiring products and the only domestic producer of copper clad steel and copper clad aluminum wire, to expand into new markets in recent years. He also led its strategic sale to Kinderhook Industries in December. Copperweld will continue to operate under its current management team.



Grant Jackson, Managing General Partner, Council Capital

Jackson has played a critical role in a number of successful PE exits over the past 18 months for Council Capital, which provides private equity for health care services and health care IT. With Council Capital since 2009, he currently serves on the board of council portfolio companies EspriGas and Experience Wellness Centers.



Martin Renkis, GM of Cloud Solutions and Global Security Products, Johnson Controls

An industry-leading intellectual property innovator with more than 50 patents and 800 granted patent claims, Renkis has successfully founded and taken to acquisition stage two startups, most recently, Smartvue Corp. Sold to Johnson Controls and its IoT cloud video platform, Renkis now leads the company’s efforts to design, develop and distribute pure cloud play physical security IoT platform for Johnson Controls customers worldwide.



John McRoberts, Chairman and CEO, MedEquities Realty Trust Inc.

A serial entrepreneur, McRoberts has started and acquired and grown several businesses, all of which were successfully monetized with combined valuations of some $1.6 billion. Most recently, in April, he led MedEquities Realty Trusts acquisition by Omega Healthcare Investors for approximately $600 million. MedEquities owns, acquires and finances health care-related properties.



David Klements, President and CEO, Qualifacts Systems

After joining Qualifacts Systems in 2007, Klements immediately began the process of transitioning the growing technology startup to the market-leading SaaS EHR for behavioral health and human services providers that it is today. He led Qualifacts through recapitalizations in 2014 and 2019 and oversaw 1,000 percent growth in the company’s customer base, a record that landed Qualifacts on the INC. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies three years in a row.

David Bartholomew, Executive Chairman, Shearwater Health

Described as an ultimate “PE deal guy,” Bartholomew has more than 25 years of executive experience in the U.S. staffing industry, including having served as chairman of the American Staffing Association. He joined global health care solutions provider Shearwater Health in 2009 to lead international and domestic diversification strategies for the company.



Kelli Turner, President and COO, SESAC Rights Management Inc.

Overseeing day-to-day operations and finance functions, Turner led the 2017 sale of SESAC Holdings to Blackstone. Most recently, she spearheaded the completion of a $560 million whole-business securitization debt refinancing for SESAC Rights Management Inc., which currently licenses the public performances of more than 1 million songs on behalf of its 30,000 affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers.