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Session B

Navigating the Complexities of Today’s M&A Environment

Presented By: CMBG3 Law

Any M&A deal goes through stages before it’s complete. And even during the most challenging times, deals still getting done. In this session, CEOs, investors, and M&A experts discuss what’s changed and how to effectively prepare yourself and your company to get deals done in this new normal.

Following a 40-minute panel discussion you will have the opportunity to meet the speakers and ask questions during a 20-minute video Q&A session.


John Gardella
Shareholder / Attorney

John Gardella is the Chair of CMBG3 Law's ESG and Environmental practice groups. He has 17 years of environmental litigation and compliance experience advising companies on risks associated with current and emerging environmental issues. He also consults with firms in the private equity, investment and banking spaces on environmental and chemical risks associated with the buy and sell sides of deals. He helps his clients see the risks that they are unaware of.


Andrew Horne
Mad River Associates

Andy joined Mad River Associates in 2021 to provide buy-side intermediate search services to both strategic and P/E Buyers seeking to expand. Prior to joining MRA, Andy served in executive, advisory and advocacy positions for over thirty years – first as a litigation attorney – and subsequently with Epoxy Technology, Inc. – a specialty adhesives manufacturer for high technology/microelectronics applications – for 20+ years as its General Counsel, Chief Operating Officer and finally, President. Andy worked closely with Epoxy’s family ownership to improve all aspects of the business and its employees, eventually guiding the family and the company through a sales process. Andy remained post-sale under P/E ownership for two years. Andy graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A in History and Government, and from the University of Michigan Law School.

David MacKeen
Eliassen Group

Dave MacKeen Jr. has held leadership positions within the Technology Staffing industry for over two decades, including the roles of CFO and president, prior to becoming CEO of Eliassen Group in 2010. During his tenure as CEO, Dave has spearheaded tremendous company growth, working in collaboration with his team and utilizing a combination of organic and acquisitive tactics and strategies to stay aligned with changing staffing industry dynamics. Under Dave’s leadership, Eliassen Group has completed its third private equity partnership, with the most recent being Stone Point Capital, positioning Eliassen Group to transformational growth as a leading national strategic consulting and talent solutions firm.

While at Eliassen Group, Dave has enjoyed significant achievements at the regional and national level, including the following:

  • Recognition from the Boston Business Journal as 2021’s Citizens Middle Market Executive of the Year
  • Being featured on SIA's annual Staffing 100 North America list for six consecutive years

Additionally, Dave serves on several boards including the Bentley Executive Club, Endicott College Board of Advisors, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Van Noy Valor Foundation and Saint John’s Prep Trustee Associate .

John Stephenson
WJ Connell Co.

John Stephenson is the CEO and 4th generation owner of WJ Connell Co., a 118 year-old holding company that owns, operates, and invests in the industrial distribution, real estate, and alternative investment spaces. Mr. Stephenson began working at WJ Connell Co. in 1992 and served in various roles until 2000 when he was named CEO.

Additionally, Mr. Stephenson is the co-founding partner (2012) and Board member of Power Distributors (, a national distribution network that provides value-added services to “big-box” retailers, online vendors, and over 30,000 B2B power equipment customers across North America.

He is also the co-founding partner (2007) and former Board member of Gardner-Connell (, a distribution network that serves retailers, online vendors, and over 6,000 B2B customers throughout the northeast. Mr. Stephenson sold his equity interest in Gardner-Connell in December of 2020.

In January 2021, Mr. Stephenson launched a Family Office with Boston Family Advisors ( The WJ Connell Co. Family Office will focus on various investment strategies including alternative and start-up opportunities.

Conference Location

Dealmakers Conference
Boston, MA
Tel: (800) 988-4726