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Session D

Dealmakers of the Year Presentation

Presented By: Brown & Brown

Congratulations to the 2022 Dealmakers of the Year Award Winners!


Tyrre Burks
Founder & CEO
Players Health

CEO and Founder Tyrre Burks was born and raised in the southside of Chicago, where his love of sports began. As a former collegiate and professional athlete, he was motivated to found Players Health because of the impact youth sports had on his life. He experienced firsthand the positive impact sports can have on someone’s life when the experience is filled with love, trust, and safety. Having a positive influence on sports culture has been a dream of his for his entire life. From athlete to coach to entrepreneur, Tyrre is on a mission through Players Health to create safer and more accessible environments for all sports.

Rhonda Donahoe
Chief Financial Officer
NJK Holding Corporation Florida

Rhonda Donahoe is the Chief Financial Officer of NJK Holding Corporation, a private single-family office for the Kazeminy family. She has over 16 years of working with NJK’s Chairman Nasser Kazeminy in multiple capacities. Her transaction experience includes both buy and sell-side deals, international joint ventures, restructuring deals, working capital negotiations, and successful post-acquisition integrations. As part of a particular NJK Holding sell-side transaction in 2004, the buyer, Kroll Ontrack, requested her to join their company, which specialized in litigation discovery, forensics and data recovery products. During her eight-year tenure at Kroll Ontrack, she was a key member of the finance leadership team during Kroll’s growth period which accomplished through strategic acquisitions and geographic expansion from a single US location to locations in 23 countries and over 8 US offices. Rhonda rejoined the NJK Holding team in 2012 to provide the finance leadership in evaluating investments, due diligence, deal execution, and portfolio management.

Prior to 1998 when she joined an NJK Holding Corporation portfolio company, she spent four years in the financial services public accounting practice and asset securitization consulting practice of KPMG Peat Marwick LLP. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Foundation in New York.

Mort Fertel

Mort is a serial entrepreneur who started his first business at 18 years old. He has a private equity portfolio that consists of SudShare, 2 other businesses, and real estate holdings. He graduated from the Wharton School of Business, and, during a short time when he thought he might be a corporate guy, worked on Wall Street for Bankers Trust Company. Mort is also an author, creator of the first online relationship renewal system (2004), and the subject of Back from the Brink, a documentary written and directed by Toroes Thomas. Now a grandfather, success for Mort means making a difference. And SudShare makes a difference by allowing customers to enjoy life and Sudsters (washers) to have their own work-from-home business. Mort loves working with his family to revolutionize the laundry business.

Tom Goodmanson

Tom Goodmanson is the president and CEO of Calabrio, the global customer experience intelligence company that builds software to enrich human interactions. Since 2008, Tom has led Calabrio’s vision, culture and growth to 700 employees today, helping more than 4,000 customers around the world engage with and understand their customers.


Grant Goris
CEO & Co-Founder
Boon Logic Inc.

Grant Goris is a third-generation entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Boon Logic. His career began in sales analytics upon earning a degree in finance from Bethel University. After working with and for several Fortune 500 organizations, including The Clorox Company, Target Corp, Best Buy, and WalMart, he pivoted to pursue being a part of something greater by building a software business in the machine-learning space. Today, servicing some of the largest organizations in the country and around the World with cutting edge AI solutions, Boon Logic is now home to 20+ of the most talent people in the AI industry and delivers unmatched industry solutions in predictive maintenance and quality assurance.

Sunny Han
Founder & CEO
Fulcrumpro, LLC (Fulcrum)

Sunny is the CEO and Founder of Fulcrum, a networkable operating system and ERP for manufacturers. Having an early start in computing and the internet, Sunny was writing software and connecting through dial-up bulletin board systems at age 8. His experience with hundreds of small and mid-sized manufacturers fuels his deep belief in the power of the decentralized and distributed manufacturing that has powered the incredible growth of the last century.


JD Harris
Ascent Solutions

As CEO of Ascent Solutions, JD not only serves as chief strategist and visionary, but also dedicates himself to cultivating the world’s best company culture.

JD spent his early career at Ernst & Young before dedicating 14 years to growing start-ups and 4 years as an executive within Microsoft Consulting Services. Throughout his career JD has led Professional Services, Worldwide Support, and Operations competencies to drive rapid growth. JD has played instrumental roles in helping management teams and Boards achieve IPO or M&A transaction. Two of JD’s past companies achieved successful exits. HighJump Software was sold to 3M for $72M and Kiva Systems to Amazon for $775M, Amazon’s largest acquisition at the time.

Driving growth has always been JD’s passion, but more than that, developing world-class cultures and grooming excellent, passionate leadership teams has been his focus.

During his time with Microsoft, JD helped turn around a large, underperforming part of the consulting services group. In under two years, JD transformed a group of consultants that had not hit any of their key performance metrics in over 7 years, to a group that was proud to have hit every single metric, reaping the Microsoft rewards that come from such astounding results.

In early 2022, JD led Ascent in securing a Series C investment to support its exponential growth trajectory. JD’s vision is to establish Ascent Solutions as the world leader in cybersecurity, leveraging and uniting forces toward one common goal of defeating threats. As a key milestone, JD will be leading the firm in opening a first-of-its-kind Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Coppell, Texas. Ascent’s Texas campus will revolutionize current models for cybersecurity education, operations, and innovation.

As CEO of Ascent, he is blessed to be surrounded with amazing leaders that make him better every single day. He has been able to work with the finest of men and women – both in talent as well as character. Together, they will make the world a safer, more secure place.


Andrew Holm
Recuro Health, Inc.

Drew Holm is the Chief Financial Officer of Recuro Health, a company providing integrated digital health solutions to offer a uniquely personalized and proactive approach to virtual care. Prior to joining Recuro, Drew served as vice president of corporate development for Constellation, Inc., where he led M&A, strategic partnerships and new ventures.

Alan Qureshi
Managing Partner
Blue Water

Alan P. Qureshi serves as the Chief Manager of Blue Water Financial Technologies with a primary focus on MSR hedge strategies, transaction management and FinTech Integration. With over 20 years of experience in the Capital Markets and Mortgage Industry, Alan oversees both the SEC Registered Investment Advisor and the FinTech subsidiaries of Blue Water.

Prior to co-founding Blue Water with a like-minded team of innovators and capital markets experts in 2018, Alan served as the President of Incenter Portfolio Advisors, and as the Head of Mortgage Servicing Hedging and Hedging Analytics at U.S. Bank. Earlier in his career, Alan also held MSR, analytic, hedging and trading appointments for JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Diamondback Capital.

Al graduated from the University of Toronto with a bachelors degree in Applied Science and Engineering. Al also obtained his Master of Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School with a specialization in Finance and Economics.


Ellen Qureshi
CCO & Director
Blue Water Financial Technologies

As the CCO, Ellen brings over 19 years of experience in the financial services industry to Blue Water’s senior management team. Ellen is responsible for overseeing and managing regulatory compliance, Customer Contracting, Human Resources, Marketing and Accounting Business Units.

Prior to Joining Blue Water, Ellen was a Vice President at U.S. Bank within Institutional Trust & Custody, where she was responsible for over 35BN in client assets as a Relationship Manager and oversaw the implementation of the Business Unit’s compliance program for existing customers under the updated FinCEN “Know your Customer” guidelines while partnering with AML to develop ongoing policies and procedures. Earlier in her career, Ellen worked at Pine River Capital Management, Minnetonka, MN; as a Vice President within Listed Derivative Sales at Morgan Stanley in New York; an associate specializing in portfolio valuation at Bridgewater Associates, and a corporate actions specialist at UBS in Stamford, CT, after completing the UBS Analyst Training Program and internship.

Ellen graduated from the University of Connecticut, with a Bachelors degree in Finance. While an undergrad she was a Student managed Fund manager and also spent a year abroad studying at Albert Ludwigs Universitat in Freiburg, Germany. Ellen lives in Shorewood, MN with her husband and two small children, and is a member of 100 Women in finance, and avid hockey mom.


Nicholas Smith
Founder, Managing Partner & CEO
Rice Park Capital Management

Nick Smith is the founder, managing partner and Chief Executive Officer of Rice Park Capital, overseeing all aspects of Rice Park’s strategies and operations.

Nick brings nearly 25 years of experience to his role. Before founding Rice Park Capital, Nick served as Chief Investment Officer of Blackstone’s private residential mortgage REIT and was the co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Finance of America Companies (NYSE: FOA), a Blackstone portfolio company.

Prior to Blackstone, Nick served as Managing Director, Two Harbors Investment Corp (NYSE: TWO), where he built and led the investment platform for mortgage servicing rights (MSR) and residential whole loans. From 2004 to 2012, Nick served in a variety of areas for Green Tree Investment Management (“GTIM”). As Chief Investment Officer, he was responsible for the residential mortgage investment platform of Green Tree Holdings, GTIM’s parent company, and its affiliate, Green Tree Servicing. He also served as the Senior Portfolio Manager for the SerVertis Master Fund I LP, a $1.45 billion re-performing mortgage loan investment fund co-managed by GTIM. Nick worked at GMAC ResCap (formerly GMAC-RFC) from 1998 to 2004. He served in a variety of roles on the mortgage trading desk and in corporate development, where he led the valuation of equity investments in U.S., Asian and European consumer finance companies.

Nick studied economics as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota and was a Master of Science, Quantitative Finance candidate at the University of London. Nick is currently a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota.

Nick has served on several boards for private companies and charitable organizations throughout his career. He currently sits on the boards of Blue Water Financial Technologies, LLC, Sitekick, AI Software, LLC (dba Capacity), Realized Holdings, Inc., and Brass Ring Capital.

Spencer Thomas
KLC Financial, LLC

Spencer Thomas serves as CEO of KLC Financial, taking up the position in March 2022. He has more than two decades of experience in the equipment leasing and financing industry holding positions from business development to executive management. He has a proven track record of success in working with hundreds of financial institutions and small/medium sized businesses, structuring financing solutions that enable these customers to realize their goals,

Spencer’s career also includes executive experience at, where he served as EVP prior to starting at KLC Financial at the same position in 2001. In addition, he has held sales positions at IMS and McLeod USA.

In addition to his work at KLC Financial, Spencer has been an active investor in various capital businesses.


John Uribe
SVP, Chief Financial Officer
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

As senior vice president and chief financial officer, John Uribe provides leadership for all financial controls and systems at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. He oversees a division of approximately 300 people, comprising teams across financial planning, tax, treasury, investments, corporate finance, actuarial, underwriting and health economics.

Uribe joined Blue Cross in 2012 as vice president of corporate development. In this role, he was responsible for leading the identification, development and implementation of new business opportunities that align with Blue Cross’ strategic plan to drive the organization’s future growth objectives. Immediately prior to joining Blue Cross, Uribe was CFO for the Home Service division of Schwan’s Company in Marshall, Minnesota.

Notable achievements highlighting Uribe’s career expertise in business development and financial stewardship include leading major transactions at General Electric’s commercial finance division and serving as chief financial officer at RedBrick Health, a private equity backed healthcare technology company. Additionally, Uribe held multiple leadership roles at General Mills, where he helped lead the company’s $10.5 billion acquisition of Pillsbury, led multiple international transactions, and oversaw the financial function of a high-profile joint venture with DuPont.

Uribe earned both a bachelor’s degree and MBA from Indiana University. He currently serves as a board member for the Bakken Museum, the Latino Economic Development Center, and Learn to Live.

Dan Wesser
Senior Director, Corporate Development
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

As Senior Director of the corporate development team, Dan Wesser is responsible for leading the identification, development, and execution of organizational transactions and new business ventures that drive's the organization's strategic objectives. Wesser has extensive background in investment diligence, market research, and financial valuation through his experience in the investment management industry. Prior to Blue Cross, Wesser was a sell-side research analyst at Piper Jaffray (now Piper Sandler Companies) where he conducted equity research on publicly traded companies in the consumer staples and retailing sectors. Prior to Piper Jaffray, Wesser was an equity analyst at Pine River Capital, providing investment recommendations for the firm’s long / short equity hedge fund. Wesser holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management.


Michelle Schultz
Principal Attorney
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

Michelle Schultz is a solutions-driven corporate attorney who has worked in diverse industries including healthcare, manufacturing, professional services and private equity. She is detail-orientated with a strong desire to collaborate and develop practical, common-sense solutions for complex business projects and transactions. Michelle is consistently praised for developing strong and trusting relationships and having a can-do, positive attitude. Michelle was in private practice for 12 years and has spent the last five years as in-house counsel, most recently joining Kohler Co. in 2021. Skilled in Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Law and Corporate Governance.


Conference Location

3205 Excelsior Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
Tel: 612.926.1601