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.
President and CEO
Sterling Drive Ventures LP
Michael Araten is president and CEO of Sterling Drive Ventures LP, a family office that owns The Rodon Group. Rodon is a highly automated plastics injection molder, with a focus on small parts used in over 100 industries, including food, beverage, pharmaceutical diagnostic packaging and toys. Previously, he was president and CEO of K’NEX Brands, whose K’NEX™ construction toy is distributed in 40 countries. More than 95 percent of the K’NEX component parts are made at Rodon in Hatfield, Pennsylvania.
Thaddeus Bartkowski, CEO and founding partner of Catalyst Outdoor and Catalyst Experiential, his fifth company. Catalyst Outdoor is one of the largest owners and operators of high-quality digital billboards in the region; he sold it in 2018 for an estimated $80 million to $90 million. That paved the way for Catalyst Experiential, his newest venture, which works with municipalities in a public/private partnership to meet community needs.
Lawrence Berran joined iPipeline in 2002 and served as president and CEO until 2008, when he transitioned to the COO and CFO positions in connection with the merger of iPipeline and COSS. He was named CEO again in August 2019 in connection with the acquisition of iPipeline by Roper. He has been a key driver of growing iPipeline from $1 million in revenue with significant losses to over $180 million in revenue and being highly profitable.
Previously he was a vice president for ICG, where he played an instrumental role in preparing ICG for its 1999 initial public offering.
Emily V. Biscardi
Emily Venable Biscardi is founder and CEO of Xelerate LLC, an agile and data-driven recruitment process outsourcing provider. She founded the company in 2004 because she believed there was a better way to service customers in the talent acquisition industry by designing and implementing solutions that fill gaps in corporate recruiting programs. Xelerate was named to the 2018 Inc. 5000 list and received the SmartCEO Brava! Award in 2013 and the SmartCEO Hall of Fame Award in 2014.
Carole L. Borden
Founder & CEO
Carole Borden founded CB Transportation, a third-party logistics company in 1995, proving that growth and solid reputations could be built virtually. Decades of experience and foresight have been the catalyst to CB’s expansion. The company now includes a fleet of trucks and a technology division offering turn-key and customizable transportation management software.
Donald R. Braun, Jr., is a Managing Director of Bernstein located in the Philadelphia office. He joined the firm in 2005 and was appointed a Principal in 2010, a Director in 2015 and Managing Director in 2016. In his role as a Principal he was responsible for advising high-net-worth families and institutions, as well as their respective trusts, estates, foundations, endowments and pension plans. Prior to joining the firm, he served for 10 years as vice president of a privately held family business, Greater Media, Inc., where his responsibilities included strategic planning, budgeting and analyzing cash-flow projections for companies targeted for acquisition. Donald earned a BS in business administration and finance from Drexel University. He is a member of the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Estate Planning Councils, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT), and The Union League of Philadelphia. Donald is also active with Drexel University, serving on the President’s Leadership Council.
Founder & CEO
Michael M. Carter is the founder and CEO of BizEquity and the inventor of the market-leading
online valuation service that is helping the small business economy and the financial
institutions that serve them. Carter has been called one of the top 100 Financial Technology
leaders globally by Hot Topics Media in London, and BizEquity was recently recognized as one
of the top 360 companies in the United States by Entrepreneur Media for two years in a row.
Prior to founding BizEquity, Carter was managing director of The Musser Group where he
worked with legendary investor Warren V. ‘Pete’ Musser to invest in small businesses. Carter
was one of the youngest executive officers ever of a billion-dollar public traded Internet
Professional Services Company; founded the first dashboard software company called
Dashboard Systems; and was one of the first to invent the ‘virtual data warehousing’
technology used in most Big Data applications today. He began his career at Cambridge
Technology Partners in management consulting.
Vanessa Z Chan
University of Pennsylvania, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Dr. Vanessa Z Chan is an Entrepreneur, Board Member, Angel Investor, Keynote Speaker and Educator. She is the Undergraduate Chair of MSE at the University of Pennsylvania where she is transforming engineering education by integrating real world skills into the curriculum. Prior to Penn she was a McKinsey & Company partner and an entrepreneur who sold her invention on QVC. Her approach to innovation can be seen at her very well received Penn Commencement speech at www.failingislikefarting.com
Ryan Clark is among the most respected leaders in the staffing industry, known for his fierce commitment to providing outstanding customer service and his tenacious pursuit of excellence. His experience includes over twenty years in staffing as well as extensive experience in sales and sales management. Ryan spent seven years working at PDI, the world’s largest contract sales organization supporting the pharmaceutical industry, where he was continuously recognized as a top performer and was promoted several times. In 2003, Ryan was hired by a major Dallas-based staffing company where he made significant contributions. Within three months, Ryan turned the unprofitable office into one of the most profitable offices in the company. In 2005, Ryan co-founded PeopleShare, a regional staffing firm dedicated to placing candidates in light industrial, administrative and clerical positions. Ryan’s vision was to create a staffing company that provides employees and customers the opportunity to achieve their goals and enhance their overall success. Having the expertise, industry experience, and resources to recruit the best talent for each and every opportunity have been a critical factor in PeopleShare’s success. Ryan’s determination, drive and talent have propelled PeopleShare into the fastest growing staffing firm in Pennsylvania with 16 locations throughout PA, NJ and DE. Since their first year of eligibility in 2007, PeopleShare has been named “Best Places to Work” by the Philadelphia Business Journal every year and named to the Inc.500/5000 list. In 2015, PeopleShare exceeded $100MM in annual revenue and was acquired by Trivest, a Private Equity firm based in Coral Gables, Florida.
Kimberly Haze Coffey, RN is the President/CEO of TalexMedical, proud producer of InfantEar, a pediatric medical device that non-surgically corrects newborn ear deformities, preventing unnecessary surgical procedures or childhood bullying. Previously with Synthes/J&J, Kim is a clinical professional with extensive achievement and demonstrated success as a sales executive and leader, chairman of J&J women's leadership, director of product development and national trainer/educator. Kim, an innate leader and strategist, has with solid track record of combining successful business development while remaining focused on patient care.
Neil A. Cooper
Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld LLC
Vice President, Business Development
Argosy Private Equity
Jason joined Argosy in 2019 as Vice President of Business Development. Mr. Cunningham leads the firm's transaction sourcing and origination activities, bringing more than 18 years of experience as an investment banker and private equity investor focused exclusively on middle market businesses. Throughout his career, Mr. Cunningham has advised middle market clients in across a broad range of industries on public and private company mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, private placements, strategic alternatives, succession planning and capital formation issues.
Joel was the Founder and CEO of Cloudnexa a high growth Cloud management company. His diverse management and leadership skills have helped him leading high growth organizations with a focus on technology, software and healthcare.
Co-Founder, CAO, and CFO
RTM Vital Signs
Denise L. Devine, CPA, MBA, MST, is an experienced independent board director. Her experience spans from entrepreneurial startups to Fortune100 corporations. She is founder and CEO of FNB Holdings LLC, a company dedicated to initiatives in the health and wellness space, and a founder, CAO and CFO of RTM Vital Signs LLC, an early stage medical device company.
UBS Financial Services
Ted joined the Financial Services industry in 1994 as a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch in the World Financial Center, NYC.Over the next twenty years he held numerous positions with Merrill Lynch. In April 2000 he transitioned from Financial Advisor to a career in Leadership. Those roles included: Regional Sales Manager in Washington, DC (2000-2002), Complex Director in Norfolk, VA (2002-2005), Managing Director for Philadelphia Complex (2005-20011), and PA/Delaware Markets, Head of the Affluent Segment for ML (2001-2014). In 2015 Ted had the great fortune to join UBS running the Philadelphia/ South Jersey Complex. Today, he is the Market Head for Pennsylvania. Our eight offices comprise 150 FAs, 85 CSAs, and an outstanding Leadership Team supported by incredible specialists.
Chief Executive Officer
Mid-Atlantic Dental Partners
Mitch Goldman is a health care entrepreneur and nationally ranked health care transactional and reimbursement attorney. Throughout his professional career he has developed new health care services including an innovative medical malpractice insurance company. He has worked in almost every part of the health care industry. During the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Goldman was actively involved in advising several United States Senators on key aspects of the law. As the CEO of Mid-Atlantic Dental Partners, he brings his strategic vision and health care innovation experience to redesigning the delivery and management of community dental services.
Ballard Spahr LLP
Anuj Goswami represents financial institutions and borrowers in structuring, documenting, and negotiating financing transactions, including secured and unsecured revolving credit facilities, term loans, asset-based loans, acquisition financing second-lien loans, and mezzanine loans. Anuj counsels financial institutions and borrowers, including buyout funds, in connection with senior and subordinated debt facilities used to finance leveraged buyouts and acquisitions.
Daniel J. Hayes
Director, Outsourcing, Life Science
Dan joined CLA in 2018 and is a Director in the Outsourcing and Life Science Industry Group. He has over 30 years of financial and operational accounting experience. Prior to joining CLA he was the Founder, CFO and COO of several Life Science (Pharmaceutical, biotech) entities. He spent his first 10 years at another CPA firm. As a Founder and CFO he has hands on experience in building international enterprises from start-up to successful exists.
President & CEO
Gerri Henwood has served as president and CEO, and a director of Recro Pharma — a revenue-generating, specialty pharmaceutical company — since its inception in 2008. From 2006 to 2013, she served as president of Malvern Consulting Group Inc., a pharmaceutical incubator and consulting firm. She continues to spend a small amount of time engaged in the provision of consulting services for MCG to other companies.
Economy League of Greater Philadelphia
Prior to his appointment as executive director of the Economy League in 2018, Jeff Horstein served as director of Financial and Policy Analysis for the Philadelphia City Controller, where he worked on critical issues relating to Philadelphia's fiscal health. Under his leadership, the Policy Unit produced numerous data-driven policy analyses on topics including the city's property tax system, tax delinquency, incentive programs, charter school finances and the state of retirement security.
Over the course of his 15-year career, Ryan Hurst’s areas of expertise have included advising clients on buying and selling businesses, succession planning, conducting valuations for transactions and structures, litigation support for shareholder disputes and strategic alternatives analyses. He earned the Accredited Senior Appraiser designation in 2015.
Blue Highway Growth Capital
Christine is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Blue Highway Capital. Chris has expertise in sourcing, structuring and managing growth equity investments through two funds she co-founded. Her investment portfolio includes small middle market companies across a broad range of industries. Many of these businesses are located in rural communities. Her investments have been structured to support growth, acquisition and recapitalization strategies.
Robert Kane, Jr.
Chairman of the Board, CEO
Ted Karkus, entrepreneur and CEO of ProPhase Labs. He restructured the entire company, turned around and sold the Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy brand for $50 million. He previously financed and advised ID Biomedical, a biotech company, when it was near bankruptcy. The company was eventually sold for more than $1.4 billion. Tufts University Magna Cum Laude 1981, Columbia Business School (MBA) Beta Gamma Sigma Honors 1984.
Regional Executive - Director
Rob is the Regional Executive of Alex. Brown Philadelphia and is responsible for the management and growth of the office. Rob and his team work with individuals and family offices to create highly customized, comprehensive wealth management solutions. He enjoys helping his clients navigate the complexities of the financial markets and providing strategies that are tailored to their needs and objectives. He specializes in asset allocation and portfolio management, utilizing equity, fixed income and alternative investments to balance risk, returns and liquidity.
Before joining Alex. Brown (now a division of Raymond James), Rob was a vice president of investments at UBS Private Wealth Management, a vice president at the JP Morgan Private Bank and a vice president at JP Morgan Securities. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Bloomsburg University.
Rob serves as a board member of Handi-Crafters, one of the largest employment and disability focused service programs in Chester County. A West Chester, Pennsylvania, native, he lives with his wife, Kelly, and their three children..
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.
Senior Managing Director
Griffin Financial Group
John Lee manages Griffin’s Commercial, Industrial and Services Group. He has 25 years of experience providing merger and acquisition advisory services, private placements of debt and equity capital, and management buyout advisory services for middle-market companies in a wide range of industries. His experience includes sourcing, initiating and managing numerous investment banking transactions for middle-market business and government services, consumer and industrial manufacturing, distribution and technology companies.
BDO, USA LLP
Frank Lordi is a partner in BDO’s Advisory Practice with 25+ years of broad experience in finance and operations, auditing, forensic accounting, and risk management. Prior to joining BDO, he founded and served as managing principal of AC Lordi, a boutique management consulting firm, where he oversaw global finance initiatives for numerous clients including due diligence, relocating accounting operations, developing compliance programs, and implementing global HR and financial systems. He has also led various investigative matters for clients including fraudulent reporting, asset theft, and corruption. Previously, Frank worked as a manager in the Emerging Growth Practice at Arthur Andersen. He has served as part-time CFO, strategic advisor, and board member for numerous early stage and growing companies.
Barley Snyder LLC
Pepper Hamilton LLP
Daniel W. McDonough is a partner in the Corporate and Securities Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP and co-chair of the firm’s Food and Beverage Industry Group. He devotes his practice to merger and acquisition transactions, corporate finance matters, complex commercial contracting and general corporate advisory matters. He also has represented domestic and foreign companies in transactions overseas and in the United States.
Senior Wealth Director
BNY Mellon Wealth Management
Bryan T. McGrath, CWS® is a senior wealth director for BNY Mellon Wealth Management. In this role, he is responsible for new business development in the Mid-Atlantic region, and works with individuals and families to identify how BNY Mellon Wealth Management’s investment and wealth management capabilities can help them reach their overall financial goals.
Prior to joining BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Bryan was a Wealth Advisor and Vice President at Key Bank. Bryan also worked as a Senior Wealth Advisor for PNC and TD Bank in addition to serving as a Regional Executive at Sovereign Bank/Santander in Philadelphia.
Bryan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ursinus College, with minors in Finance and Business Administration. He has completed other certifications from Bucknell and Northwestern University in Chicago.
Chief Financial Officer
Annovis Bio, Inc.
Jeff McGroarty is a financial executive with experience in investor relations, working with analysts, creditors and financial institutions, planning and analysis, IPOs, capital allocation, SEC communications and reporting, accounting, acquisitions and turnarounds. He is currently the CFO of Annovis Bio, Inc., a clinical stage biotech developing drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and was previously CFO of Safeguard Scientifics.
Randall C. Raifsnider
Herbein + Company, Inc.
Randall C. Raifsnider, ASA, MBA is a Partner in Herbein’s Management Advisory Services group. Randy‘s work in transactions is highly specialized and each project is unique. His experience includes many industries including food and agricultural, manufacturing, services, and entertainment. In addition to quality of earnings reports, cash flow forecasts, operational analysis, and fairness opinions, Randy also conducts business valuations. A graduate of Kutztown University, Randy also earned a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Villanova University.
Partner, Co-Chair, Corporate, M&A and Securities Practice Group
Blank Rome LLP
Louis Rappaport is Co-Chair, Corporate, M&A and Securities Practice at Blank Rome LLP. He concentrates his practice on business and corporate matters, with specific emphasis on mergers and acquisitions for middle-market companies in a wide range of industries. He has over 20 years of experience advising on hundreds of strategic and private equity M&A transactions.
Charles Robins is a founding member of Fairmount Partners and heads the firm’s Technology practice. As Fairmount’s senior technology expert, he has over 40 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, strategic consultant and investment banker. Prior to entering investment banking, he was an executive at Safeguard Scientifics, a high-technology investment firm, and was co-founder of Rabbit Software Corp., a publicly traded pioneer that developed and marketed software-based communications products for enterprise networks.
Stephen Robinson is a business adviser who utilizes his entrepreneurial leadership and CEO background to facilitate CEOs, presidents and owners of companies in achieving successful professional and personal goals. He enjoys working in the strategy world and has been a master chair with Vistage for more than 11 years.
Chief of Staff
James Santore is the Chief of Staff at SeventySix Capital, the go-to platform for executives, influencers, and professional athletes, offering unique opportunities for them to invest in sports tech startups, and for entrepreneurs to access the financial and social capital that they have to offer. As the Chief of Staff, James helps to optimize strategic growth within the organization and also runs the investment team that helps decide which companies SeventySix Capital will add to it's portfolio. Prior to SeventySix Capital, James spent two and a half years in Corporate Finance at Independence Blue Cross. James graduated from La Salle University in 2016 with a degree in Finance and 4 years of Division 1 baseball experience.
Philly Startup Leaders
A true advocate for equity, entrepreneurship, and wellness, Kiera Smalls is the Executive Director of Philly Startup Leaders (PSL), the largest network of startup entrepreneurs in Philadelphia, and Co-Founder of City Fit Girls, a health and wellness company for women. She brings years of experience in strategic partnerships, community building, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Kiera reminds us all that the key ingredient to being a true steward of success is paying it forward. She is committed to being a change agent and believes that voices from all communities deserve a seat at the table. Even if that means building a bigger table.
President, Eastern PA Market
Director, Audit & Accounting
Steve Staugaitis is a director of Audit & Accounting at Kreischer Miller, an accounting, tax, and advisory firm. Steve works exclusively with privately-held companies, many of which are family-owned. He helps companies analyze and understand their financial position, reviews their buy-sell agreements, and assists with business valuations, structuring business transfer plans for family and non-family businesses, and merger and acquisition activities. Steve joined Kreischer Miller in 2004. Previously, he worked for a national accounting firm headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.
Adam leads business development efforts for all of NewSpring's investment strategies. Before joining NewSpring, Adam was an Investment Banking Analyst at Credit Suisse where he assisted on several transactions in the financial services and financial technology sectors. Adam is highly involved in the private equity and venture community with leadership roles in Mid-Atlantic ACG, PACT, AMAA the New Jersey Entrepreneur Network.