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.
Vistage Group Chair
Dave spent the majority of his career in leadership positions at Ford Motor Company, including President of Southeast Asia & Japan and Vice President, Marketing, Sales & Service for Asia Pacific & Africa. He attributes his career progression to his lifelong learning ethic and growth mindset. After his 32 year career at Ford, Dave decided to challenge himself by taking a role in a startup operation as the head of the commercial efforts of CHEP Automotive Solutions in the Americas.Presently, Dave is a Vistage Chair for two groups of mid-market CEO/Business owners in Southeast Michigan. He works with members to build cultures of employee accountability and engagement. Dave's approach to professional development combines the personal and professional to create meaningful change with his leaders. He balances his professional life by spending time with his wife, four children, and as an avid golfer and car aficionado.
Altius Manufacturing Group, LLC
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.
Jason joined DivDat in 1989 and in 2007 was named president. He has led the company’s efforts to embracing new technologies to expand customer billing and payment services to include point of sale, interactive voice response, web-based, kiosk and mobile app payments. In 2006, Mr. he led a team that identified, developed and marketed the industry’s first complete receivables management system, CashLINC™. This comprehensive suite of customer contact and response services for account receivables communications allowed DivDat’s clients to streamline their financial processes and vendor management requirements.
Mary "MJ" Cartwright is CEO of Court Innovations. She has led the strategy and built the team to take the Matterhorn online dispute resolution platform from an academic idea in 2014 to a platform in use by over 60 locations in 10 US states in 2019.
She has applied her engineering and business education, her leadership and relationship-building skills in manufacturing, health care and dispute resolution. Cartwright participates in several court industry task forces and initiatives and speaks at conferences and workshops nationally and internationally on ODR initiatives.
Co-Founder and General Partner
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.
Portfolio Company Manager
Windsor Industrial Services
Currently manages several metal fabrication equipment builders and contract manufacturing concerns, one of which also provides structural steel to commercial and residential construction projects. On a more limited basis, Mr. Costa also a practices law exclusively assisting clients with domestic and international public and private M&A transactions, joint ventures, private equity, and corporate finance matters.
Timothy R. Damschroder
Member of Bodman and Co-Chair of the Business Practice Group
Tim is co-chair of Bodman PLC’s Business Practice Group. He specializes in middle-market M&A transactions, typically ranging from $30 million to $1 billion, and corporate finance. He has substantial experience serving as outside general counsel to automotive, industrial and technology companies. He is listed in Chambers USA (Band 1) IFLR1000, and other leading journals for his corporate and M&A work.
Huron Capital Partners
Brian is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Huron Capital where he leads the firm’s Management and Investment Committees. Over the past three decades, Brian has established a successful, long-term track record of acquiring, repositioning and growing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced operating executives. Brian began his career at Heller Equity Capital Corp. where he was responsible for sourcing, closing and managing middle-market buyout transactions as well as operational restructurings. In 1996, Brian left to pursue transactions in a more entrepreneurial setting utilizing an operational approach, establishing Huron in 1999. In addition to working with Huron Capital’s portfolio companies, Brian is active in the local community, serving on the boards of numerous industry, community, educational and charitable organizations. Brian earned a B.S. in Accounting from Purdue University and an M.B.A. from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and passed the CPA exam. He has five kids, four dogs and one wife, and is a die-hard Chicago Bears fan.
As the founder of Steward Media, Derek Dickow’s visionary leadership achieves more for his clients through relationship building and providing high quality events. Derek is a recognized power connector and counts among his network elected & business leaders, and some of the country’s most innovative thinkers and CEOs. Derek’s passion remains working with clients to advance relationships and facilitate introductions with key leaders. Derek serves on the board of the Local Development Finance Authority of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., Troy Community Foundation, Chair of the Political Action Committee of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce, and member of Leaders for Kids Advisory Board of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
Co-Founder and Finance Director
Ovid BP Systems, Inc.
Barden Brook Capital, LLC
Gerry is president of Barden Brook Capital LLC, a a global advisory company and investment partner to private equity firms, their portfolio companies and privately held companies. He serves as an operating partner for Michigan Capital Advisors, a private equity firm based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He serves private equity firms as executive adviser, industry adviser, board director, investment partner and senior operating leader, assisting with deal sourcing, diligence, execution and management.
Senior Vice President, Venture
CEO & Founder
Founder and CEO of Savorfull, Stacy Goldberg is a nationally recognized nutrition consultant and industry leader in free-from healthy snacks.She travels the country to discover the best-tasting, nutrient-dense snacks for her clients to purchase through Savorfull’s technology-based marketplace. Her passion for nutrition, combined with entrepreneurship, drives the vision, strategy and mission at Savorfull to guide consumers, businesses, organizations and sports teams nationwide toward healthier food choices. Goldberg has over 20 years of experience as a nutrition consultant and has been named the official health and wellness consultant/nutritionist for the National Basketball Coaches Association.
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
O2 Investment Partners
Jay is a co-founder and managing partner of O2 Investment Partners, and a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. He is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years of private equity, corporate development and operating management experience. He has extensive acquisition, divestiture and investment experience in a variety manufacturing, manufacturing technology, logistics and distribution businesses located the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Germany and Italy. Jay has also served in executive management roles for manufacturing and distribution businesses, including COO and CFO for both public and privately held companies with operations in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia and revenues ranging from $100 million to more than $450 million. Jay is a graduate of The Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania.
President & CEO
John "Dale" is president and CEO of AEL-Span LLC, which provides strategic supply chain solutions for the logistics requirements of a diverse base of multinational and regional companies. As a senior executive with strong sales and leadership skills, he offers a unique blend of executive acumen, business management experience and entrepreneurial vision. He has over 35 years of business management experience and has held senior management and board-level positions in banking, venture capital management, manufacturing and contract logistics.
Lee M. Koury
Smart Business Network Inc.
Lee is managing partner of Smart Business Network, a national events, media and marketing company founded in 1989, primarily responsible for expanding the company’s Aspire deal-making conference throughout the U.S. He plays a key role in establishing corporate policies and developing long-term strategy and growth plans. Previously, he founded and chaired the Growth Group at national law firm Arter & Hadden LLP (now Tucker, Ellis & West), which focused on working with middle-market and high-growth technology companies.
Blue Newt Software
United Road Services
After eight years at the helm of United Road Services, Kathleen McCann assumed the role of executive chairman in 2019. She and her team have grown the private equity-sponsored company into the largest finished vehicle logistics provider in North America, handling the movement of 4.5 million new, remarketed and specialty cars and light trucks annually. United Road recently spun off a new tech company, VTV Systems, which is focused on expanding the licensing of its logistics software in and outside the industry.
Charles G (Chip) McClure
Michigan Capital Advisors
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.
Dynamic Industrial Group, LLC
Don is the President of Dynamic Industrial Group, 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. The company 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.
Stephen Polk is president and CEO of Highgate LLC, a private investment company in Birmingham, Michigan. Previously, he was chairman, president and CEO of R. L. Polk Co. until its sale in 2013 to IHS. He serves as chairman of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Cranbrook Educational Community, vice president and director for the Detroit Zoological Society.
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.
Fontinalis Partners, LLC
Dan is a Principal at Fontinalis, where he is responsible for supporting the company’s efforts in numerous areas including new investments, existing portfolio companies, administrative and reporting, and fund raising. Dan works with the Fontinalis investment team conducting research, analyzing, and evaluating new investment opportunities, collaborating with portfolio companies on strategic and financial analyses, and supporting the firm’s operations and business strategy. Prior to joining Fontinalis, Dan was an Analyst at P&M Corporate Finance, an investment banking affiliate of national accounting and professional services firm Plante Moran. Dan earned his Master’s degree in Finance from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, and he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. Dan is also a Fellow in the Michigan Venture Capital Association’s Venture Fellows Program.
Renaissance Venture Capital
Chris Rizik is the 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 works to invest in and strategically connect venture capital funds and start-up companies with major corporations. Chris is also the founder and publisher of SoulTracks.com, America’s most popular soul music online magazine. Prior to Renaissance, Chris was a co-founder and partner in Michigan’s two largest venture capital investors, nanotechnology holding company Ardesta, LLC, and tech fund Avalon Technology Ventures, and received of four consecutive “Deal of the Year” awards by the Michigan Venture Capital Association. Chris was also a senior partner with Dickinson Wright PLLC. He began his career with Coopers & Lybrand.
Co-Founder & CEO
Founder, Chairman & Owner
Simon Group Holdings
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.
Kelvin B. Squires
Center Line Electric, Inc.
Kelvin is CEO of Center Line Electric Inc. He acquired Center Line Electric(and its low voltage division - Center Line Technologies) in 2016. In 2015, Center Line Electric/Technologies had sales of $80 million. After the acquisition in the first quarter of 2016, it grew to $94 million in sales in 2016. In 2017 and 2018 , CLE/CTEC delivered $108 million and $96 million respectively Squires retired from Ford Motor Co. as the global power train manufacturing engineering – chief engineer in 2016, after 32 years in the automotive industry.
Samuel Valenti III
Sam is chairman of the board of TriMas Corp., a NYSE $1 billion manufacturer of highly engineered precision products for industry. He is also lead director of the board of American Axle Corp., a $7 billion company. He is the former president of Masco Capital Corp., and a 40-year veteran of the company.
Chief Investment Officer
City Side Ventures
David is chief investment officer for City Side Ventures, Birmingham, Michigan. City Side manages the Birmingham Angel network and plans to launch the $10 million Great Lakes Angels Fund in late 2019.
He is founder and president of Aimattech Consulting LLC. He has over 35 years diversified management experience, including global profit/loss responsibility, turning around troubled business operations and developed and negotiated a joint venture R&D agreement with a major Japanese trading company.
President & CEO
Larry, a proven leader with 30-plus years of experience was appointed president and CEO of Henniges Automotive in 2016. He also serves on the board of directors. He drives the business of the global organization, which consists of 19 manufacturing locations across eight countries, with annual sales exceeding $1 billion generated from sealing, glass encapsulation and anti-vibration systems manufactured for the global automotive industry.