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Session 1

People and M&A: Going Beyond the Financials

Presented By: Executive Search Partners / Insperity

Peel back the curtain with a group of deal veterans, investors, and entrepreneurs to explore why your people are your greatest asset when growing your business and how to manage your human capital when engineering M&A deals.


Emily Hak
Managing Director, Private Capital Markets

Emily is Managing Director, Private Capital Markets for Insperity, a national provider of HR solutions. Leveraging Insperity’s expertise in private capital transactions and our natural alignment with investor goals, the Private Capital Markets team develops relationships with private equity, venture capital and family office firms to drive business to Insperity offices nationwide.



Mary Burback
Vice President of Employee Success and Development
Kyle Enterprises dba Millennium

Mary Burback is a seasoned HR professional with a wealth of experience spanning more than two decades. With a keen focus on aligning HR strategies with organizational goals, she has consistently driven sustainable growth across diverse industries. As the Vice President of Employee Success & Development at Millennium, a provider of solutions that accelerate broadband network builds and a connected future, Mary spearheads initiatives aimed at fostering a culture of continuous learning, innovation, and empowerment.

Passionate about creating opportunities that facilitate growth and development and empower individuals to reach their full potential, Mary is instrumental in driving employee engagement and organizational success.  Her strategic approach to talent development and organizational success sets the stage for continued innovation and growth in today's dynamic business landscape.


Nick Curran
Executive Search Partners (ESP)

Nick Curran is President of Executive Search Partners (ESP) and has been in the executive search industry for over 30 years. He has helped build countless executive leadership teams throughout the country with his candid, consultative approach and sound business acumen. Nick’s boutique executive search firm, ESP focuses primarily in representing private equity and venture capital backed investments in multiple manufacturing and service-based industries. Nick is a proven and accomplished leader in the executive search industry consistently leading ESP as one of Wisconsin’s most recognized and respected executive search firms. Nick is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and a Certified Behavioral Analyst.

Jim Frings
Managing Director
Wisconsin River Partners

Jim Frings has built a business ecosystem that spans four continents in the areas of manufacturing, real estate investment and development, software, and now, through the founding of three private equity firms located in Wausau, Wisconsin. He has led rust belt manufacturing companies and a multi-state real estate portfolio through the best and worst of times.

Jim started out managing International Marketing and Sales Channel Development for Intel’s Systems Division, where he arranged technology transfers on six continents, achieved multiple sales records, and negotiated and started up international joint ventures. After turning around a small manufacturer for a wealthy individual, Jim decided to build his own company.

In 1993, Jim acquired Wire Maid Manufacturing in Wausau, Wisconsin, and over the course of thirty years multiplied its revenues tenfold, and most recently in 2023, integrated the acquisition of Formrite in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Effectively doubling the size of his platform company known as G3 Industries. During that same period, he grew a single investment of a 50% stake in a California four-plex into a large real estate portfolio of multi-family and industrial properties. His investments in other private companies broadened his exposure to many markets and industries.  Jim sits on several corporate and not-for-profit Boards.

In 2018, Jim co-founded Wisconsin River Partners, a middle-market private equity firm specializing in the acquisition of Wisconsin based manufacturing, distribution, and business services. In the past five years, Wisconsin River Partners has completed five business acquisitions. In 2019, Jim went on to found Geared Equity, a real estate private equity firm, that has purchased or developed approximately $100M in real estate with numerous projects in the pipeline. Further recognizing the diversity of business capital needs, in 2023, he went on to co-found Geared Capital, a company providing junior capital and bridge funding for private equity firms, independent sponsors, and management teams.

 Jim earned a Bachelor of the Science of Foreign Service degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an MBA from the Columbia University School of Business. He resides in Wisconsin and enjoys skiing, horseback riding, basketball, and travel.

Conference Location

758 N Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Tel: (414) 273-5080