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Session A

Why Deals Fail and How to Minimize the Impact

Presented By: S&T Bank and Grossman Yanak & Ford

Buying a company isn’t as simple as one thinks. There’s an art to identifying acquisition prospects, conducting due diligence, negotiating price, and closing the deal. Hear from a group of veteran C-Suite executives and M&A advisors as they offer best practices from the frontlines of dealmaking for pre-transaction planning and the close… and why some deals just can’t get done.



Jeff Ford
Grossman Yanak & Ford LLP

Jeff has focused his career on providing accounting, auditing and consulting services to privately held companies and not-for-profit organizations. His experience includes furnishing compliance services such as audits; providing due diligence and investigation services related to business acquisitions; performing fraud investigations; developing and compiling projected and forecasted financial statements; and evaluating, selecting and implementing information systems for companies.


Brian Dobis
EVP, Managing Director of Commercial and Industrial Banking
S&T Bank

Brian joined S&T Bank in December 2015 as senior vice president, commercial banking C&I team manager in the Pittsburgh region. In this role, Brian is responsible for leading the Middle Market/C&I Group for S&T Bank in Western Pennsylvania. The group partners with current customers and establishing new business relationships with organizations to strengthen S&T Bank’s presence throughout the region. Brian joined S&T Bank with several years of banking experience largely centered in corporate and institutional banking.

Buddy Flerl

Buddy is Executive Chairman of RDX, a leading cloud and data infrastructure managed services provider headquartered in Warrendale. RDX started almost 20 years ago as Contemporary Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based Oracle consultancy.  Since Buddy acquired the company in 2010, RDX has become one of the largest IT-services employers in the Pittsburgh region, grown to over 700+ clients worldwide, and generated over $200M in enterprise value.  RDX’s most recent recapitalization was led by Madison Dearborn Capital Partners. Buddy is a founder of 21Ventures, a $300M venture capital fund.  He lives in the North Hills with his wife and three children.

Jon Halpern
Pineapple Payments

Jon joined the Pineapple Payments team in 2016 as president to execute on Pineapple’s vision for the future of payments. He founded his first company, AthleteTrax, while still in college, to revolutionize the way recreational sports leagues and facilities leverage technology to accept payments and manage their businesses.
He serves as partner and board member of Social Venture Partners, a growing network of individuals that links passion and purpose to share skills, time and resources in support of innovative nonprofits in the Pittsburgh region.

Jim Marra
Director of Business Development
Blue Point Capital

Jim joined the group in 1991. Before joining the group, Jim held various positions with Citicorp in the Leveraged Capital, Investment Banking and Venture Capital Groups. 

Jim earned a B.S. in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.

*Independent contractor on retainer with Blue Point