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Roundtable Discussion & 2021 Dealmakers Awards

Presented By: Hightower Wealth Advisors

This special session will feature a roundtable discussion featuring 2021 Master Dealmaker Tom Hillman, founder & CEO of Lewis & Clark Ventures, and 2021 Best Exit honoree Jim Eberlin, founder & CEO of TopOpps. We will explore their tips for identifying good deals and seed ideas, the evolving needs and skill sets for companies scaling from start-up through the middle market and beyond, and even peel back the curtain on recent transactions closed by both veteran dealmakers.

We also will have one-on-one interviews with our other award winners:

  • Peter Esparrago, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of FinLocker
  • Scott Leiendecker, Founder & CEO of KnowInk
  • Jonathan Herrick, CEO of Benchmark
  • Kelly Eisenloeffel, President of Larson Commercial Real Estate & Director of Operations for Larson Capital Management


Dustin S. Klein
Publisher & COO
Smart Business

Dustin is an award-winning business journalist, bestselling author, and the publisher of Smart Business. Over the past 30 years, he has interviewed thousands of business and civic leaders, and helped more than 50 CEOs and entrepreneurs transform their ideas into books. A trained investigative politics reporter and former digital media entrepreneur, Dustin joined Smart Business in 1997 after serving as an editor at several daily newspapers.

Neal Furlong
Senior Wealth Advisor
Hightower Wealth Advisors

Neal brings 25+ years of comprehensive planning experience in his role as Senior Wealth Advisor at HighTower, a respected St. Louis-based Wealth Management practice. Neal believes in the importance of fundamentals and discipline (stemming from his college football days); it is the approach he takes to creating financial plans. Focused on business owners, Neal’s experience runs from executive/owner benefits through advanced succession planning and holds his Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®) credentials.


Tom Hillman
Managing Partner
Lewis & Clark Holdings

Tom has been involved with private business enterprises over the course of his career, during which time he’s owned more than 60 companies in a wide variety of industries. He is Managing Partner of the Lewis & Clark family of companies, which represents an assortment of investment platforms including private equity, real estate, agrifood/growth capital, and venture capital.

Jim Eberlin
Founder & CEO

Founder and CEO TopOPPS, a leading AI-powered Sales Management solution, Founder of Gainsight, leading SaaS solution for Customer Success platform based in Mountain View, CA, and Founder of Host Analytics (now called Planful), leading SaaS solution platform for Financial Planning and Analysis based in Redwood City, CA.

Peter Esparrago
Co-Founder & Executive Chairman

Peter is a global technology executive with 25+ years of experience. Peter is Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of FinLocker, a financial data analytics company for the mortgage and banking industry. Peter is also a Co-Founder & General Partner of Cultivation Capital, a venture capital firm. Peter was a Scottrade board of director until it was sold to TD Ameritrade. Peter spent 16+ years at Accenture, where he was a Partner and left after the IPO. Peter was President of two cybersecurity companies, Cigital and Mycroft. Peter was CEO of IntraISP, a global software-as-a-service company, in which he grew and sold twice. He was President of River City Internet Group, a holding company for various technology businesses. Peter was COO of Ariel Research, a global leader in EH&S data, in which he helped grow and sell the company. Peter has an MBA in Finance from Rockhurst University, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from University of Missouri. Peter is a governance fellow member of National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD).

Scott Leiendecker
Managing Director
Jonathan Herrick

Jonathan is CEO and chief high-fiver at Benchmark-bringing together 150 employees serving over 500,000 users in 15 countries and 9 languages worldwide. Jonathan is a senior leader bringing over 20 years of experience in growing SaaS businesses, building winning teams and developing forward thinking digital marketing and sales strategies.

Kelly Eisenloeffel
President/Director of Operations
Larson Commercial Real Estate/Larson Capital Management

Kelly was named President of Larson Commercial Real Estate in October 2020 and is Director of Operations for Larson Capital Management. She is responsible for leading the overall operations and management of the real estate portfolio which is currently valued at approximately $400 Million and sits on the leadership team for Larson Financial Holdings. She has 20 years of experience working with institutional and entrepreneurial clients in the real estate market and has a Master’s Degree from The Washington University in St. Louis.

Conference Location

Dealmakers Conference
St. Louis, Missouri
Tel: (800) 988-4726