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Session A

Tips from the Sell-Side Playbook

Presented By: Brightstar Capital Partners / CIBC

Selling a company isn’t just about the deal—it’s about mastering the art of preparation for both the company and the CEO or owner. Learn game-changing insights for maximizing valuation and streamlining the sales process from two deal-minded C-suite executives, a veteran Private Equity leader, and a seasoned investment banker.


Tom Meredith
Brightstar Capital Partners

Tom Meredith is a Partner at Brightstar and Member of the Investment Committee. He currently serves as Board Chair of ReMarkets, Vice Chair of Likewize and BrightCell, all Brightstar portfolio companies.

Tom’s career spans more than 35 years and includes extensive experience in corporate finance, manufacturing, finance operations, and global financial markets. Prior to joining Brightstar, Tom was Vice Board Chair of Likewize, which was sold to Softbank in 2014. He was a Co-founder and Chair of the Board of Managers of Meritage Capital, an investment management firm specializing in multi-manager hedge funds.

Prior to establishing Meritage in 2003, Tom served in various senior positions at Dell, including CFO, SVP of Business Development and Strategy, and Managing Director of Dell Ventures. Prior to joining Dell, he was VP and Treasurer for Sun Microsystems and Co-Founder and GM of Amdahl Capital Corporation.


John Hopper
Chief Executive Officer
Gateway Dealer Network, LLC

John Hopper currently serves as CEO of Gateway Dealer Network and is a Dealer 20 Representative for the company. Prior to joining the GDN team, John served as the General Manager of Acme Operations LLC for 15 years, which was acquired by GDN in December 2019. John was previously the Director of Global Training and Product Support Manager of Ingersoll Rand, as well as an Officer in the US Navy onboard nuclear submarines.


Craig Korte
Director of Business Development
Industrial Opportunity Partners

Craig Korte has more than 20 years of corporate finance and investment banking experience. He has represented privately held companies, private equity firms, and small- and mid-cap public companies in numerous M&A and capital-raising transactions. He also has led advisory assignments in restructuring and distressed M&A situations. At IOP, Craig is responsible for the firm’s business development and marketing strategy and for managing IOP’s relationship with its external partners, including investment banks, financing sources and other institutions.

Ryan Olsta
Managing Director
CIBC Cleary Gull

Mr. Olsta is a Managing Director with CIBC Cleary Gull. He joined Cleary Gull in 2004 and has 20 years of transaction experience. Mr. Olsta is responsible for executing transactions, business development and private equity coverage. Mr. Olsta has advised numerous clients in a variety of industries and has significant experience in the Technology, Tech-Enabled Business Services, Industrial Manufacturing, and Foundry industries.

Mr. Olsta previously worked as an Associate for A.G. Edwards investment banking with an emphasis in middle market public and private equity offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and financial advisory assignments. He was also a Senior Accountant with Deloitte & Touche.

Mr. Olsta earned an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, a BBA with a concentration in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame and the professional designations of CPA and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Conference Location

36 Forest Club Drive
Clarkson Valley, MO 63005
Tel: (636) 227-5030