The 2023 Smart Business Network Philadelphia Dealmaker Awards have recognized exceptional individuals who are shaping the landscape of business and innovation in the City of Brotherly Love. These visionary leaders span various industries, from technology and agriculture to venture capital and infrastructure. Their achievements, acquisitions, and investments are not just milestones but markers of progress and transformative impact. Meet the award recipients whose work has garnered recognition for their contributions to Philadelphia's dynamic business ecosystem.
Dan DiOrio, CEO, Thinc Forward
Dan DiOrio is the visionary CEO at the helm of Thinc Forward, a dynamic technology and business advisory group that revolutionizes industries by offering economic and strategic business resources. With a relentless pursuit of excellence, Dan has led Thinc Forward to acquire multiple companies in recent years, signaling the company's relentless commitment to growth. Under his leadership, the company has earned prestigious accolades, including a spot on the Inc. 5000 list and recognition from Philadelphia's esteemed 100 Forum. Dan's leadership has been nothing short of transformative, propelling Thinc Forward from a modest team of 8 employees in 2018 to a thriving workforce of 80, with plans to reach 100 this year.
Dave Silver, Co-Founder & CEO
William Toms, Co-Founder & Visionary
REC Philly & REC Miami
Meet Dave Silver, the Co-Founder and CEO, and William Toms, the Co-Founder and Visionary, of REC Philly & REC Miami. Together, they've pioneered a members-only social club dedicated to empowering creators. Their mission? To provide local artists with the resources, community, and space they need to transform their passions into thriving careers. In a groundbreaking move, they secured $2 million in venture funding from none other than Sean 'Diddy' Combs and Combs Global in March 2022. With over 1,000 active members already benefiting from their 10,000 sq.-ft. Creative Facility at 9th & Market, Dave and William are poised for even greater impact as they expand to Miami with a 22,000 sq.-ft. creative campus set to open in 2024. To top it off, they've just unveiled REC(os), a cutting-edge tech platform that promises to elevate the digital membership experience for creators worldwide.
Clinton A. Lewis, Jr., CEO, AgroFresh Solutions, Inc.
Meet Clinton A. Lewis, Jr., the forward-thinking CEO of AgroFresh Solutions, Inc., a pioneering force in agricultural technology dedicated to preserving the quality and value of fresh produce and flowers. At the heart of their innovation lies SmartFresh, a groundbreaking product that effectively neutralizes the effects of ethylene, extending the shelf life and freshness of perishables without leaving any visible residue. Clinton's leadership played a pivotal role in AgroFresh's recent acquisition by Paine Schwartz Partners through a public-to-private LBO on March 31, 2023. This transformative transaction, valuing outstanding common stock at a remarkable $3.00 per share, represented a remarkable 91% premium over the company's share price at the close of the market on October 26, 2022, just prior to the announcement.
Daniel Wagner, Vice President, Corporate Development, Magnolia River Services
Daniel Wagner serves as the Vice President of Corporate Development at Magnolia River Services, a leading provider of infrastructure inspection, engineering, GIS, and technology solutions. Under Daniel's strategic guidance, the company recently achieved a significant milestone by acquiring Storti Quality Services, LLC (SQS), a distinguished entity offering gas service line inspection, gas leak detection, natural gas pipeline inspection, and related services to utilities. This acquisition has not only broadened Magnolia River's geographic footprint to the Northeast but also paved the way for an impressive streak of four additional successful acquisitions. With Daniel's expertise, Magnolia River Services is solidifying its position as an industry leader in infrastructure solutions.
Kelly Stratton, Founder, President, & Chief Product Officer, Quire
Meet Kelly Stratton, the visionary Founder, President, and Chief Product Officer of Quire, a groundbreaking force in the realm of cloud reporting software. Kelly's leadership recently attracted significant development capital from SSM Partners in December 2022, although the exact amount remains undisclosed. With this infusion of capital, Quire is poised to transform the report writing landscape. They plan to accelerate investments in product innovations, ramp up customer service offerings, and embark on an ambitious journey of market expansion. Kelly's dedication to elevating Quire's capabilities ensures that this innovative software will continue to revolutionize report writing and data collection, delivering unparalleled value to users.
Elizabeth Sigety, Executive & Managing Director and Co-Founder, Delaware Crossing Investor Group
Elizabeth Sigety is an influential figure, serving as the Executive & Managing Director and Co-Founder of Delaware Crossing Investor Group, a powerful network of seasoned executives and entrepreneurs dedicated to nurturing early-stage and burgeoning companies with both guidance and capital. Simultaneously, she chairs the National Emerging Companies & Venture Capital Practice at Fox Rothschild LLP. Elizabeth's remarkable track record speaks volumes, as she has actively engaged in more than 20 rounds of investment in early-stage companies within the last 24 months. Her commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurial success underscores her pivotal role in the ever-evolving landscape of venture capital and emerging businesses.
Wayne Kimmel, Managing Partner, SeventySix Capital
Wayne Kimmel, the astute Managing Partner at SeventySix Capital, is a visionary force in the world of venture capital. At SeventySix Capital, they specialize in backing passionate, intelligent, and congenial entrepreneurs who are pioneering game-changing startups in the realms of sports betting, esports, and sports tech. Wayne's track record shines with recent sports industry successes, including the sale of VSiN - The Sports Betting Media Network to DraftKings, Vigtory to FuboTV, and C360 to Cosm. His other notable triumphs include investments in companies such as SeamlessWeb (now GrubHub), Take Care Health Systems (now Walgreens healthcare clinics), and NutriSystem. Wayne's prowess extends far beyond, having orchestrated successful deals with industry giants such as IBM, Intel, and Yahoo.
Lee Garber, General Partner, NewSpring
Lee Garber is the accomplished General Partner at NewSpring, a prominent private equity firm headquartered in Radnor, PA. NewSpring specializes in collaborating with high-performing, lower-middle market companies spanning diverse sectors, including technology, healthcare, and business services. As a testament to NewSpring's prowess, they manage an impressive portfolio of more than $3 billion across five strategies, notably NewSpring Holdings, which concentrates on sector-specific platform builds. Under Lee's strategic guidance, the firm has executed remarkable deals, including the acquisition of Bridge Core in July 2023 and the remarkable $590 million exit of Avantus Federal in November 2022. Lee's leadership continues to elevate NewSpring's standing in the world of private equity.