Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast
Ep 71: David Grigsby, founding partner of TBS Falcon, St. Louis
David Grigsby is founding partner of TBS Falcon and recently became chairman and CEO of Gas It Up. He shares his insights on how the pandemic has affected M&A — buyers, due diligence and the deal timeline — and how the competition for troubled companies is shaping up.
Ep 70: Deb May, founder of Wholesale Supplies Plus, Cleveland
Deb May, founder of Wholesale Supplies Plus, sold her business last year and stepped away from the company this past January. It was difficult. Of course there were challenges with laying the groundwork for her exit and the process of finding a private equity buyer, but the real difficulty was letting a part of herself go — and finding purpose in the after-business life.
Ep 69: Emily Biscardi, CEO of Xelerate, Philadelphia
In the wake of a global pandemic, the talent management industry has either spiked or stalled, depending on the sector. Emily Biscardi, founder and CEO of Xelerate, discusses what's changed, and how she and other mid-market entrepreneurs are navigating today's challenging environment.
Ep 68: Chrissy Wostmann, CEO, n2y, Cleveland
As special education software company n2y transitioned to a new PE sponsor in late 2019, it signaled the start of the next stage of the company’s lifecycle. CEO Chrissy Wostmann discusses the transition, vetting PE firms and her take on M&A opportunities in today’s market.
Ep 67: Tim Barry, CEO of VillageMD, Chicago
The future of healthcare is one that’s suddenly become not only a moving target but one of the most important industry sectors in the nation. Tim Barry, co-founder and CEO of VillageMD, discusses what that future is starting to look like in a more virtual telemedicine world, and what that means for healthcare-related dealmaking.
Ep 66: Matt Davis, CEO of COhatch, Columbus
Matt Davis was in the middle of a big expansion of his co-working company COhatch, discussing in early March plans to open new locations across multiple states and expand services for his 20,000-plus members. One week later, the world changed. The COhatch CEO discusses why he sees opportunity in a post-COVID-19 world and what makes him so optimistic.
Ep 65: Catherine Mott, Founder and CEO of BlueTree Capital, Pittsburgh
Catherine Mott knows a thing or two about dealmaking. She's been an entrepreneur and investor. As founder and CEO of BlueTree Capital, she discusses what the Pittsburgh early stage market looks like, and how it's changing heading into 2021.
Ep 64: Jim Pshock, Founder and CEO of Bravo Wellness, Cleveland
There is nothing quite like good timing when it comes to dealmaking. Jim Pshock, founder and CEO of Bravo Wellness, discusses the January 2020 sale of his company before the COVID crisis, and why its future — including new acquisitions — looks bright.
Ep 63: Wes Day, Partner with Teall Capital Partners, Charlotte
The private equity markets remain strong for sellers whose fundamentals remain strong or are in industries that are thriving during the crisis and are still looking to get deals done. Wes Day, a partner at Teall Capital Partners, talks about where the deals are — and what CEOs should be focused on today and into the future.
Ep 62: Stephen Cook, co-founder of LFM Capital, Nashville
The COVID-19 crisis has had profound impact on the private equity markets. Stephen Cook, co-founder and Executive Managing Director of LFM Capital, discusses where the deal flow is, how capital markets have changed, and the effect on LFM’s portfolio companies.
Ep 61: Dave Mastovich, CEO of MASSolutions, Pittsburgh
Before the COVID-19 crisis, the ability for CEOs to tell their companies’ stories was paramount to their ability to break out from the noise. Dave Mastovich, founder and CEO of MASSolutions, discusses why honing your marketing message and storytelling ability has become even more critical in this new normal.
Ep 60: Jill Arena, CEO of Arena Enterprises, Cleveland
How have events in 2020 changed the acquisition pipeline of companies looking to grow through buy-side transactions? Jill Arena, founder & CEO of Arena Enterprises, shares her thoughts on what it will take to continue identifying, vetting and putting together deals for acquisitions over the next 12 to 18 months.
Ep 59: Omar Qureshi, Managing Director with Hightower Advisors, St. Louis
The future of wealth management looks bright, despite the current situation. Omar Qureshi, managing director, partner and an investment strategist at Hightower Advisors St. Louis, shares his insight on how business owners and high net worth individuals should re-evaluate their portfolios — and where the new opportunities are.
Ep 58: Andrew Bishop, Director at AB Bernstein
Investors have been hot and cold as the COVID-19 crisis creates uncertainty across the U.S. economy. Andrew Bishop, a director with AB Bernstein's MidAtlantic region, discusses how investors are looking at wealth management solutions — and why there are greater opportunities than many people believe.
Ep 57: Steven Scolari, Partner with Stradley Ronon, Philadelphia
The COVID-19 crisis has put a new emphasis on business interruption and continuity plans, as well as the insurance that covers them. Steven Scolari, partner with the law firm of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young and co-chair of the firm’s closely held and family-owned business practice, discusses why what you planned for before requires a new focus — and a new plan — in the new normal.
Ep 56: Matt Hamilton, CEO of Hamilton Capital, Columbus
The COVID-19 era has thrown a monkey wrench into traditional investment paths for entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. Matt Hamilton, chairman and CEO of Hamilton Capital, says all does not need to be for naught. He discusses how investors should not only move forward in the current market, but how they should be looking at their greatest asset — their companies.
Ep 55: Adam VeVerka, Business Development Partner, NewSpring Capital, Philadelphia
The massive market disruption and its impact on companies hasn’t fundamentally altered how NewSpring Capital looks at deals. Business Development Partner Adam VeVerka discusses the current state of dealmaking and what has buyers’ attention as they look for opportunities.
Ep 54: Ed Monborne, CEO of RKL, Philadelphia
Closely held middle-market businesses are thinking about what’s next for their companies as it relates to forecasting cash flow and new business opportunities. Ed Monborne, CEO of RKL, discusses what CEOs should be focused on and how his accounting and consulting firm has repositioned itself and its services to address changing concerns clients are facing during these challenging times.
Ep 53: Jim Geuther, Market President, Northern Ohio, SunTrust now Truist, Cleveland
As CEOs hurtle toward a new normal, banking and finance issues remain top of mind. Jim Geuther, market president for Northern Ohio at SunTrust (which has merged with BB&T to form Truist), discusses why balance sheet management and an ability to recognize the impact the three “A”s — Amazon, Automation and American-made — could have in determining those who struggle and those who thrive heading into 2021.
Ep 52: Mike Conaton, Partner with Cyprium Partners, New York
While the expectation is that many companies’ financial metrics will reflect the challenges of operating through a pandemic, how lenders and investors will measure a company’s fitness post-COVID-19 is still being considered. Mike Conaton of Cyprium Partners shares where he thinks investors will look when they begin scrutinizing deals as the economy starts to recover, and discusses the concept of EBITDAC — EBITDA before COVID.
Ep 51: Kara Lewis, Managing Director for Ohio, and Heather George, Senior Vice President, of AB Bernstein
As we navigate through a new reality, family dynamics in closely held businesses face a different kind of challenge. Kara Lewis, AB Bernstein’s managing director for the state of Ohio, and Heather George, senior vice president and co-head of the firm’s family engagement services group, discuss what family-owned companies are doing as they look at potential transactions, as well as why now is a good time to think about succession planning.
Ep 50: Brett Martin, Transaction Advisory Services Director for RSM, Nashville
As the economy heads toward recovery, M&A activity is again on the rise. Brett Martin, Transaction Advisory Services Director for RSM, discusses how the deal flow pipeline is flowing and what that means for due diligence, valuations and working capital in the era of COVID-19.
Ep 49: Steven Laabs, Partner with Husch Blackwell, Milwaukee
Entrepreneurs and CEOs trying to get deals done in 2020 face numerous hurdles — many of them new legal issues. Steven Laabs, a partner with Husch Blackwell, discusses what to expect, why the deal market is evolving and how to navigate through these challenging times.
Ep 48: Lynn Banaszak, Executive Director of the Digital Transformation and Innovation Center at CMU, Pittsburgh
What’s next for corporations willing to try new things during challenging times? Lynn Banaszak, executive director of the Digital Transformation and Innovation Center at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses the power of digitization and innovation in the age of COVID-19.
Ep 47: Neil Cooper, Executive Partner at RCCB Law, Philadelphia
It’s a strange, new business climate for employers looking to restart operations and navigate their way through the remainder of 2020 and beyond. Neil Cooper, executive partner at the law firm RCCB, shares what he’s seeing, including how CEOs are taking a closer look at contracts, deal terms and cash positions as they forge ahead toward a post-COVID-19-crisis world.
Ep 46: Ilya Bodner, Founder and CEO of Bold Penguin, Columbus
Communicate, communicate, communicate. In times of crisis, you can’t share information enough. Ilya Bodner, founder and CEO of insuretech company Bold Penguin, explains the importance of over-communication with your employees, investors and clients in challenging times, as well as how he went from peacetime leader to war-time general.
Ep 45: Sudhir Achar, CEO of EOX Vantage, Cleveland
As employers look to technology to better connect their teams in this new normal, how your business operations — and people — are connected matters now more than ever. EOX Vantage CEO Sudhir Achar discusses how he and his 300-plus team members have mobilized to address digital back-office client needs while transforming their operations into a more virtually workplace friendly operation.
Ep 44: AJ Byrd, Managing Director at TVV Capital, Nashville
The M&A market for manufacturing firms looks like it is poised for growth as companies pivot operations to meet the demands of PPEs and other critical goods and services. AJ Byrd, managing director at TVV Capital, discusses how the PE firm quickly focused its portfolio companies on balance sheet management, ensuring access to capital, understanding client needs, and streamlining their supply chains in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Ep 43: Chris Haas, CEO of All Pro Freight Systems, Cleveland
Chris Haas, president and CEO of All Pro Freight, discusses how his transportation and logistics firm is doing its part to keep PPEs, groceries, hand sanitizer and other supplies moving from manufacturers to warehouses to those who need them. He also shares how he uses economic downturns to his advantage in the commercial real estate deal market.
Ep 42: Sidney Glick, Principal with Cherry Bekaert, Bethesda
When it comes to balance sheet management, there’s little doubt that cash is king. But in the age of COVID-19, liquidity and financial flexibility have taken on additional importance. Sidney Glick, a principal at Cherry Bekaert and member of the accounting firm’s Transaction Advisory Services practice, talks about the key factors CEOs of middle-market companies should be focused on as they settle back into their offices and look ahead to next year.
Ep 41: Kevin Short, Managing Director of Clayton Capital Partners, St. Louis
Investment banks are split between holding patterns for some clients and getting sell-side deals done for others. Kevin Short, managing director of Clayton Capital Partners, talks about what it’s requiring to close those deals.
Ep 40: Hugh Cathey, CEO of ChromoCare, Columbus
Entrepreneurs don’t let tough times keep them from thinking differently about their companies. Investors don’t take a crisis off either. Serial entrepreneur Hugh Cathey talks about why entrepreneurs are poised to reinvent their companies, identify new opportunities and continue M&A activity during — and after — the COVID-19 crisis.
Ep 39: David Weaver, Chief Investment Officer of City Side Ventures, Detroit
For early-stage companies, raising capital is the fuel that gets you into the middle market. So what happens when the economy effectively shuts down and the ability to access capital tightens? David Weaver, Chief Investment Officer of City Side Ventures, discusses how venture capital firms and angel investor groups are looking at companies in this new normal.
Ep 38: Jeff Burt, President of EO Columbus Chapter & CEO of Eclipse Corp.
As president of the Columbus chapter of EO, Jeff Burt is at the nexus of more than 90 entrepreneurs trying to adapt to a new business norm. As CEO of branding solutions firm Eclipse Corp., Burt is on the front lines himself. In this special episode, he discusses what Central Ohio entrepreneurs are doing to adapt, and how he re-engineered his own operations to manufacture social distancing markers, branded face masks and plastic face shields.
Ep 37: Daniel Cotter, Attorney with Howard & Howard, Chicago
Most CEOs weren’t prepared for COVID-19 and the disruption to their companies. Howard & Howard attorney Daniel Cotter offers a wide range of legal takeaways from the crisis, including why your current business interruption plan is obsolete.
Ep 36: Paul Mattaini, Partner with Barley Snyder, Philadelphia
What’s the state of deal flow, and how might deals already in the works find ways to get closed? Paul Mattaini, a partner at law firm Barley Snyder, talks about what PE firms and strategic buyers are focusing on as the M&A market careens toward a new reality.
Ep 35: Paul Carlisle, Executive Vice President of Wintrust Bank, Chicago
If there’s one industry that entrepreneurs and business executives are looking to for answers in these troubling times, it’s banking. Paul Carlisle, Executive Vice President of Commercial Banking at Wintrust Bank, explains what business owners should think about as they analyze their balance sheets and think about cash flow.
Ep 34: Lou Schneeberger, Executive Chairman of Proformex, Cleveland
What should entrepreneurs be doing during the COVID-19 crisis to ensure their companies are ready once M&A activity picks back up? Veteran dealmaker Lou Schneeberger, Executive Chairman of Proformex, discusses why now is a good time for CEOs to shore up the fundamentals and reassess their companies.
Ep 33: Tim Damschroder, Member of Bodman, Detroit
Legal questions from CEOs regarding contracts, M&A and employment issues continue to rise as employers start getting back to work and settling into a new normal. Tim Damschroder, a member of Bodman PLC and co-chair of the law firm’s Business Practice Group, discusses what he’s hearing from middle-market entrepreneurs and what changes may be coming down the road.
Ep 32: Harry Cendrowski, Founding Member of Cendrowski Corporate Advisors, Chicago and Detroit
What does a new normal look like, and how should the owners of closely held or family businesses approach their balance sheet and dealmaking? Harry Cendrowski, Founding Member and Managing Member of Cendrowski Corporate Advisors, discusses what he’s hearing — and counseling — clients to think about.
Ep 31: John Lee, Senior Managing Director of Griffin Financial Group, Philadelphia
What’s the state of M&A for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to sell? Griffin Financial Group Senior Managing Director John Lee breaks down the landscape for sellers and offers his thoughts on the psychological impact of COVID-19 on dealmaking.
Ep 30: Russ Romanelli, Managing Partner of BKD, Chicago
As business owners begin to look at how they can restart operations and begin to settle in to this new reality, two areas are becoming top of mind: cash flow and forecasting. BKD Managing Partner Russ Romanelli shares his thoughts on how CEOs and entrepreneurs should approach this critical task.
Ep 29: Jordan Space, Eastern PA Market President, S&T Bank, Philadelphia
As CEOs get beyond the shock of the COVID-19 crisis and start resuming business operations, analyzing cash flow and forecasting revenue becomes that much more critical. Jordan Space, president of the Eastern Pennsylvania Market of S&T Bank, discusses how entrepreneurs can look ahead and build stronger balance sheets.
Ep 28: Shannon Baker, President of Gatesman, Pittsburgh
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, brand management has never been more important. The messaging and communication — internally to team members and externally to clients, partners and consumers — has pivoted. Shannon Baker, president of PR & marketing firm Gatesman, discusses how those changes are repositioning how companies reach consumers and what they’re saying — and why many of these changes might be here to stay.
Ep 27: David Mills, VP of Strategic Accounts at Definity Partners, Columbus
What corporate lessons will come out of the COVID-19 crisis as it relates to developing talent pipelines and managing supply chains? David Mills, Vice President of Strategic Accounts at Definity Partners, a Clark Schaefer Hackett company, shares what he believes will change over the next 12 to 18 months.
Ep 26: Andrew Christian, Manager of Private Equity, CLA, Philadelphia
What’s the state of M&A? Andrew Christian, CliftonLarsonAllen’s Manager of Private Equity, shares what he’s hearing from PE partners, the direction dealmaking has taken during this crisis, as well as what we might expect as the economy restarts.
Ep 25: Vince Garozzo, Officer with Greensfelder, St. Louis
CEOs are asking questions about the legal ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis on their businesses, contracts, and M&A. Vincent J. Garozzo, a corporate attorney at Greensfelder, discusses the challenges he’s hearing from clients and shares his thoughts on what we might expect over the next six to 12 months.
Ep 24: Bob Klonk, CEO, Oswald Companies, Cleveland
Many employers have struggled with their business insurance, not sure what was covered and what was not. Bob Klonk, CEO of business insurance broker Oswald Companies, explains how risk mitigation will be a front-of-mind issue as America eases back into work, and why insurance policies may be changing in the future.
Ep 23: Jerry Johnson, Market Head for UBS, Nashville
Even in uncertain times there’s still capital sitting on the sidelines for those industries that can thrive during the COVID-19 crisis. UBS Nashville Market Head Jerry Johnson explains the top concerns he’s hearing from business owners as they look toward the future with their investments and think about M&A.
Ep 22: Chris Farmakis, Chairman of Babst Calland, Pittsburgh
The COVID-19 crisis has revealed numerous legal issues that entrepreneurs and business leaders hadn’t faced before. Chris Farmakis, chairman of law firm Babst Calland, explains what c-suite executives should be thinking about, including giving a new level of scrutiny to contracts.
Ep 21: Joe Baez, Principal at CliftonLarsonAllen, Chicago
Where should CEOs focus their time and energy as they scramble to survive the Great Shutdown of 2020? CliftonLarsonAllen Principal Joe Baez discusses the importance of internal reviews — people, operations, and finances — so that as the economy restarts, entrepreneurs are ready to get back to business.
Ep 20: Larry Berran, CEO of iPipeline, Philadelphia
For companies whose primary focus is developing digital or technology solutions for traditional industries, the COVID-19 crisis has led to an increase in business and a new age of innovation. Larry Berran, CEO of iPipeline, which develops digital solutions for the insurance industry, discusses why he’s still on the prowl for acquisitions, and how he sees opportunities where others see challenges.
Ep 19: Joe Wagner, Managing Director and Partner, PMCF, Detroit
Investment banks are taking a harder look at balance sheets these days as raising capital and selling companies has brought new challenges during the COVID-19 crisis. Joe Wagner, managing director and partner with P&M Corporate Finance (PMCF), discusses the changes entrepreneurs and CEOs need to consider when looking at deals.
Ep 18: Ken Serwinski, Chairman of Prairie Capital Advisors, Chicago
We are headed toward a new normal in the M&A world. Multiples and valuations are changing, and the investment bank realm for buyers and sellers remains uncertain. Ken Serwinski, chairman and co-founder of Prairie Capital Advisors, shares his thoughts on dealmaking today — and where we are headed.
Ep 17: Michael Jordan & Rob Ouellette of Ice Miller, Columbus
Are deals dead? Ice Miller Partner Rob Ouellette says “no,” but they have taken on a different look during these uncertain times. Ouellette and Ice Miller Managing Partner Michael Jordan share their thoughts on M&A and other legal issues C-suite executives are dealing with during the COVID-19 crisis.
Ep 16: Joe Galvin, Chief Research Office, Vistage, San Diego
How are CEOs and entrepreneurs faring while the economy has essentially come screeching to a halt? And are they optimistic or pessimistic about what comes next? Joe Galvin, Vistage Worldwide’s Chief Research Officer, answers those questions and more as he discusses the results of Vistage’s recent C-Suite Survey.
Ep 15: Aaron Grossman, CEO of TalentLaunch, Cleveland
As the U.S. workforce moved to virtual offices almost overnight, the landscape of staffing, culture, and talent management changed as well. TalentLaunch and Alliance Solutions Group CEO Aaron Grossman explains what he’s seeing in the industry and what he believes will become the new normal.
Ep 14: Brian O'Neill, M&A Partner, Tucker Ellis, Cleveland
Is deal flow dead or just in a holding pattern? Brian O’Neill, an M&A partner at the law firm of Tucker Ellis, discusses which types of deals are still getting done in these uncertain times and the impact on pending and existing contracts and agreements.
Ep 13: Ted Durkin, Managing Director of UBS, Philadelphia
Ted Durkin, Managing Director and Pennsylvania Market Head for UBS, says it’s not time to panic despite capital markets and investments being thrown into disarray during the COVID-19 crisis. Instead, he stresses remaining level-headed and sticking to long-term investment plans as the U.S. economy careens toward its new reality.
Ep. 12: Scot Crow, Member of Dickinson Wright, Columbus
Legal issues have been at the heart of how companies are handling contracts and agreements during these uncertain times. Dickinson Wright’s Scot Crow, Member and General Corporate, M&A and Private Equity Practice Group Chair, offers his thoughts on on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted M&A activity, and where CEOs should be focusing their attention now.
Ep 11: Greg Schneider, CEO of National Office, Cleveland
With much of the workforce forced to go virtual during the COVID-19 crisis, National Office CEO Greg Schneider talks about what the office of tomorrow will look like once people begin to return to work. It won’t be your father’s workplace.
Ep 10: Gaurav Malhotra, U.S. Restructuring Leader, EY, Chicago
Gaurav Malhotra, U.S. Restructuring Leader for EY’s Transaction Advisory Services, explains how businesses must address liquidity and their capital needs during these uncertain times, why cash remains king, and what entrepreneurs and CEOs should plan for as they enter a new business reality.
Ep 9: Joe DiRocco, Regional President of Fifth Third Bank, Cleveland
Joe DiRocco, regional president of Fifth Third Bank in Northeast Ohio, discusses how the banking industry has adapted to meet the growing needs of entrepreneurs and CEOs as many struggle to survive. He offers straightforward advice to strengthen balance sheets, evaluate capital needs and identify areas of liquidity in any company.
Ep 8: Managing risk with Craig Hassinger, CEO of SeibertKeck, Cleveland
As business owners were caught unprepared for the COVID-19 crisis, one area that has raised more questions than answers is business insurance and what policies did and did not cover. Craig Hassinger, CEO of SeibertKeck & Insurance Partners, offers his thoughts on how executives should approach their insurance policies … and what changes might be on the horizon for the industry.
Ep 7: Cybersecurity Issues with Carly Devlin, Managing Director at Clark Schaefer Consulting, Columbus
Carly Devlin, managing director at Clark Schaefer Consulting’s Columbus office, provides advice for employers on remote working environments as more team members have been shifted to home offices—as well as what cybersecurity and privacy measures you should take to keep your data and networks safe.
Ep 6: John Lewis, Founding Member, Metz Lewis Brodman Must O'Keefe, Pittsburgh
Attorney John Lewis discusses how the business shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic has impacted dealmaking activity — slashing eight active deals down to two — as well as the basic operations of his Pittsburgh-based law firm's business clients.
Ep 5: C. Tucker Herndon, Office Managing Partner, Burr & Forman, Nashville
Attorney C. Tucker Herndon, the Nashville office managing partner of law firm Burr & Forman, discusses how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the M&A space, including deal flow and access to capital, as well as its overall impact on businesses.
Ep 4: Bo Butters, Principal, CliftonLarsonAllen, St. Louis
Bo Butters, a principal in the St. Louis office of CliftonLarsonAllen, talks about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on M&A activity, as well as critical day-to-day business necessities like managing cash flow and forecasting revenue and expenses.
Ep 3: Greg Achten, UBS, Chicago, and James Jack, UBS, New York
The coronavirus pandemic has roiled stock markets and private company valuations. Two senior leaders from UBS — Greg Achten, Managing Director and head of the Chicago market, and James Jack, Executive Director and head of the Business Owners Client Segment, talk about what business owners and investors should be doing to protect their wealth in the short term and over the long road ahead.
Ep 2: David Sowerby, Managing Director of Ancora, Detroit
David Sowerby, portfolio manager and managing director of Ancora, discusses how the coronavirus has impacted public and private financial markets. He assesses the impact on M&A valuations, as well as the opportunities created by the crisis. A veteran of eight previous bear markets, David also shares his insights into how to "navigate the noise" when it comes to managing investments in a volatile market.
Ep 1: Jon Pinney, Managing Partner of KJK, Cleveland
Attorney Jon Pinney, managing partner of Cleveland law firm KJK, discusses the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on M&A deal terms and multiples, how diligence will be changed going forward, and why lawyers have been taking crash courses on force majeure and other rarely used legal doctrines.