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Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast

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Smart Business Dealmakers: The Middle-Market M&A Podcast

2020 (Episodes 1-87) | 2021 (Episodes 88-137)
2022 (Episodes 138-199)
| 2023 (Episodes (200-257)

Ep 271: How ChatGPT Sparked A Sale
With Chuck Mullen & Jeff Brooks of Apple Growth Partners

Episode 271: Apple Growth PartnersAkron-based accounting and business advisory firm Apple Growth Partners is set to merge with Fargo, N.D.-based Eide Bailly. AGP — which through a strategic effort by Chairman Chuck Mullen grew to become the 18th-largest accounting firm in Ohio —will see its 24 partners and 125 staffers join Eide Bailly's 3,800-person team. Chuck and tax principal Jeff Brooks talk about the deal and all that's led to it — from both joining AGP after its acquisition of Brott Mardis back in 2008, to how their recent conversation about ChatGPT ultimately sparked the firm's sale.

Ep 270: Building And Running A Successful Board
With Joe Cardosi, Meredith Meyer Grelli, Jason Wolfe and Patrick Colletti

Episode 270: Smart Business Dealmakers PodcastThere are unique challenges and opportunities to running a closely held or family-owned business and having an effective board. At the 2024 Pittsburgh Smart Business Dealmakers Conference, four entrepreneurs shared tips and insights on how to present effectively to boards, emphasizing the importance of storytelling, simplicity and prioritizing critical information. The panelists also emphasized the importance of diversity, strategic focus and proactive management in effective board governance.

Ep 269: Driving Growth: Northeast Ohio's Destination Potential
With Boyd Pethel, David Gilbert, Greg Harris and Brian Zimmerman

Podcast: Destination CLECollaborative efforts to drive economic growth and position Northeast Ohio as a must-visit destination have transformed the Cleveland area into a powerhouse for major sports events, scenic parks and arts and culture. David Gilbert from Destination Cleveland, Greg Harris from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Brian Zimmerman from the Cleveland Metroparks join First National Bank's Boyd Pethel to discuss their innovative strategies.

Ep 268: How Capital Realities Are Shaping M&A
With José Tavarez, Shawn Hoyer, Frank Reig and Shaun Stewart

M&A OutlookThe past few years have been volatile, with rising interest rates, inflation, and lots of uncertainty affecting the M&A market. At the New York Smart Business Dealmakers Conference, Bank of America's José Tavarez leads a conversation with Revel's Frank Reig, ChargeLab's Shaun Stewart and Bank of America's Shawn Hoyer on what dealmakers can expect for the remainder of 2024 and beyond.

Ep 267: Growing an Edible Empire
With Tariq Farid and Somia Farid Silber of Edible Brands

Episode 267: Edible BrandsTariq Farid built Edible Brands from a single store in 1999 into a flourishing franchise empire that today has nearly 1,000 stores. Now he and his daughter, Somia Farid Silber, who is also now Edible’s president, are rebranding, expanding and plotting the company’s future. At this year's Atlanta Smart Business Dealmakers Conference, the two sat down with Tom Singh, a managing director and senior resident director with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, to discuss the company's founding, flourishing and future.

Ep 266: Changes To Buying Criteria, Seller Outlook
With Tony Montanaro, Partner with Louis Plung & Co.

Tony MontanaroThere was a sharp decline in dealmaking during 2023 as the post-pandemic boom subsided and uncertainty intensified. Louis Plung & Company Partner Tony Montanaro joins the pod to discuss the factors influencing this change, how transactions are being affected, and what preparations sellers can make to have the best outcome in 2024 and beyond.

Ep 265: The Alarming Evolution Of Cyberthreats
With Robert Anderson Jr., CEO of Cyber Defense Labs

Robert Anderson Jr.Robert Anderson Jr. served more than 20 years in the FBI, overseeing criminal and cyber investigations worldwide, including the Edward Snowden investigation. After the FBI, he served as managing director for a global organization helping companies respond to and recover from thousands of data breaches, as well as evaluate M&A target companies for cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The now Chairman and CEO of Cyber Defense Labs sat down with Smart Business Chief Content Officer Dustin Klein at the Dallas Smart Business Dealmakers Conference to discuss a range of issues, from Anderson's transition to the boardroom to his insights for business leaders on the evolution of cybersecurity threats.

Ep 264: The Value of the Unexpected
With Howard Brodsky, Founder & Chairman of CCA Global Partners

Howard BrodskyThe 2024 Boston Smart Business Dealmakers Conference featured a one-on-one conversation with Howard Brodsky, founder of CCA Global Partners, a groundbreaking $14 billion company. In this excerpt, he talks with Smart Business Chief Content Officer Dustin Klein about the common traits of the some of the world's most successful entrepreneurs, as well as the outsized impact delivering the unexpected can yield for a business.

Ep 263: Raising Capital And Competing With Unicorns
With Todd Boyman, Co-founder & CEO of Hungry Planet

Todd Boyman, CEO of Hungry PlanetSerial entrepreneur Todd Boyman has been a consumer of plant-based foods for more than three decades. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that his business passion and food passion would eventually combine in a new venture. Hungry Planet is a maker of plant-based meats with fewer calories and less fat than conventional meat and other plant-based options. In March of 2023, Todd joined Smart Business Managing Partner Michael Marzec at the St. Louis Smart Business Dealmakers Conference to talk about launching Hungry Planet and why it raised modest capital compared to its unicorn competitors.

Ep 262: Top Maximize Value, Build A Great Team
With Jack Chang, Founder & Managing Director of DGP Capital

Jack ChangOver 18 years and more than $15 billion in transactions, DGP Capital's Jack Chang has been advising businesses public and private on how to get the most out of their business when it's time to sell. He brought that experience to bear when he joined us to talk about what sellers can do to make their business attractive to buyers, when they should start the process and who they can turn to for help as they work to maximize their deal.

Ep 261: Failure is OK — and Other Lessons
With Rob Hale, co-founder of Granite Telecommunications; co-owner of Boston Celtics

Rob HaleRob Hale thinks he's an unlikely person to listen to when it comes to dealmaking. After all, he became a billionaire and lost it all by the age of 35. But Rob rebounded from the failure of Network Plus to co-found Granite Telecommunications, which made him a billionaire again and eventually co-owner of the Boston Celtics. That failure and rebound yielded three essential business lessons that Rob shared with attendees at the 2023 Boston Smart Business Dealmakers Conference.

Ep 260: Building A Winning Culture
With Nic Barlage, CEO of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rock Entertainment Group

Nic BarlageHuman capital and corporate culture play a key role in most M&A transactions. In this episode, we talk to a different sort of business leader about asset management, team building and creating a winning culture — in a very literal sense. Nic Barlage is CEO of Rock Entertainment Group and its many holdings, including the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. He oversees more than 500 full-time team members throughout the business operations of the Cavaliers. He discusses talent acquisition and development, building a winning culture, and the importance of leadership.

Ep 259: Why Health Care Startups Fail
Vic Gatto, Founder & Managing Partner of Jumpstart Capital

Vic GattoJumpstart Capital founder and Managing Partner Vic Gatto has been investing in early-stage health care businesses for nearly a decade. His organization — Jumpstart Foundry, Jumpstart Health Investors and Jumpstart Capital — works to bring innovation to what could be considered a timid but also complex industry. He talks about the formation and evolution of the venture capital firm, the opportunities he's seeing in these early-stage ventures as well as their challenges.

Ep 258: Uniting Venture Investors with a Fund of Funds:
with Carrie Thome, Managing Director of NVNG

Carrie ThomeCarrie Thome left the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, where she oversaw a $3 billion investment portfolio, to co-found NVNG Investment Advisors, an investment platform and network made up of a family of funds. The organization closed its Fund 1 in late 2021. Carrie talks about the organization, leaving WARF to launch it, her experience as a fund raiser and the progress NVNG has made since its start in 2019.