Co-founder and Principal
Co-founder and Principal
Jointly, Jessica is responsible for the daily operations of Calyx Capital Partners and will join the acquired company's management team to lead the day-to-day operations.
Prior to founding Calyx Capital Partners, Jessica was Senior Associate at The Keystone Group, a boutique management consulting firm, where she gained vast experience implementing operational changes to grow EBITDA, maximize cash flow, and enhance overall financial flexibility of her distressed clients. Jessica’s experience driving operational improvements, coupled with her work in restructuring consulting and distressed trading/research, has given her a strong understanding of capital markets, balance sheet management, and financial modeling.
Prior to Keystone, Jessica worked at Alvarez & Marsal in the Restructuring Group, advising large companies on corporate reorganizations. Jessica also worked at The Royal Bank of Scotland on the distressed credit trading desk where she performed financial and legal due diligence to uncover investment opportunities for her group and clients. Jessica started her career at Lehman Brothers working in the leveraged loan middle office.
Jessica holds an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a BSM from Tulane University. Jessica grew up outside of Boston and currently lives in Chicago.
Jointly, Trista is responsible for the daily operations of Calyx Capital Partners and will join the acquired company's management team to lead the day-to-day operations.
Prior to founding Calyx Capital Partners, Trista was a Case Team Leader at Bain & Company, a leading management consulting firm, where she gained extensive experience isolating, diagnosing, and structuring complex business problems and leading both internal and client teams to drive organizational and operational change. Trista advised companies across a variety of industries on issues including strategic planning and governance, merger integrations, due diligence, organizational design, growth strategy, and operational efficiency. Trista has a tangible track record of creating value for her clients and has used data-driven analysis and sound recommendations to drive organizations to action.
Prior to Bain, Trista worked at The Dilenschneider Group, a boutique public relations and communications consultancy, designing long-term strategic campaigns and leading new business development efforts. Trista started her career at Credit Suisse as a fixed income derivatives analyst where she was responsible for managing client relationships and executing complex derivative trades.
Trista holds an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a BA from Yale University, where she was a four-year college athlete on the Yale women’s soccer team. She grew up in Washington, DC, and currently lives in Chicago with her husband.
Select Limited Partners
Jeff Stevens has 20 years of experience structuring, operating and investing in search fund companies. Jeff has managed three funded searches during the period from 1990-2005, each one culminating in the acquisition of a lower middle market company. Jeff understands the elements of the search fund model that drive success. In addition, Jeff's relationships with other experienced, successful search fund investors and current search fund principals allows Anacapa Partners access to invest in concert with a group that has been participating in this business model for over 20 years.
Prior to founding Anacapa Partners, Jeff was the CEO of three venture-backed buyouts – Balkin Cable Holdings (cable television system operator), Ancora Capital (mail presort), and Liberty Fitness (women's fitness centers). Following these three buyouts, Jeff founded Deeelish! (manufacturer/retailer of ready-to-cook gourmet meals). In each of Jeff's four ventures he has maintained responsibility for all aspects of sourcing acquisition/start-up opportunities, including identifying potential targets, industry analysis, company specific due diligence, and fundraising (debt and equity) to complete the transaction. Following the completion of each acquisition Jeff became the senior executive of the acquired company with direct reporting responsibility to a shareholder group and Board of Directors. Prior to beginning his entrepreneurial path Jeff was an Associate Consultant at Bain & Company. Jeff received his Bachelor of Arts and MBA from Stanford University, and remains actively involved in the Stanford community. He participates in classroom case discussion for entrepreneurship courses at the Graduate School of Business, serves as a mentor for students participating in a two-quarter business planning course, and volunteers in numerous capacities for the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. Jeff is also a member of the Ford Committee at DAPER.
Jeff is a member of the Board of Directors of developerprogram.com, EZ Shipper Racks, KGHP, mTAB, PEC Safety, Recruit Military, and Sage Data Security.
Ashley has over 15 years of experience advising, operating and investing in high growth venture and private equity backed companies. Serving in corporate development, finance and legal roles Ashley has supported companies through periods of rapid growth by creating and executing business and capital strategies, negotiating complex transactions, building management teams, and managing transformational events in a company’s lifecycle. From 2002 to 2011, Ashley was a member of the senior team at Asurion Corporation, the most successful search fund operating company to date, as the Company’s first in-house counsel and later head of Corporate Development. During this time, she led the execution of multiple transformative acquisitions, an equity recapitalization of the company and multiple subsequent leveraged recapitalizations and advised on the Company’s international expansion in Asia, Europe and Latin America. More recently, Ashley was Vice President of Transactions and General Counsel at Sunrun, a residential solar company, where she led the project finance and legal teams through the raise of over $500 million in proceeds through equity, debt and project finance transactions and was instrumental in developing the strategy and establishing the infrastructure necessary to support the company’s rapid growth. Prior to her operational experience, Ashley was a corporate associate at Venture Law Group in Silicon Valley and Riordan & McKinzie in Los Angeles and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Emilio M. Garza on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ashley graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UC, Santa Barbara and Order of the Coif from UCLA Law School.
Ashley is a member of the Board of Directors of HousingWire and is a Board Observer and EZ Shipper Racks and PEC Safety.
Brad Brown is the managing director of Bradford Brown Capital. He has over a dozen years experience in small cap growth investing. He has been investing in search funds since 2004, and has acquired over 30 operating companies.
He is a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, the world’s leading consultancy. He is a senior member of the Digital McKinsey practice and the global leader of the Big Data practice, topics on which he has written and spoken at conferences and management retreats. He also works in Fintech and InsurTech. Prior to joining McKinsey, Brad was a partner in the Stenbeck Group of companies, where he was a member of the board of several companies and a working member of the top 30 executives worldwide. Prior to that, he was the Managing Director of Arthur D. Little’s North American information technology practice, with management and P&L responsibility for the United States. Active in growth equity investing, Brad is on the board of several private companies. He has been on the board of the Executive Council of New York and has worked with MassMoCA, leading several pro-bono engagements to help the museum. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Connecticut College, since 2012.
Brad is a graduate of Dartmouth College, receiving his bachelor of arts degree, cum laude, in 1982. He received an M.S.E.E. in Computer Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, and an M.B.A., with distinction, from the Wharton School in 1986.
Matthew Burr is a general partner at Matland Capital, where he is responsible for a hedge fund portfolio and is also active in making private investments. He previously worked at Cambridge Associates, where he was a hedge fund analyst and also assisted universities, foundations, and high net worth families with asset allocation, investment manager selection, and market research. Mr. Burr is currently a board member of HousingWire and is a board observer of In Charge Electric and OneSource Water. Mr. Burr received his BA, cum laude, from Harvard University.
The Cambria Group
Paul L. (“Lew”) Davies III
Lew Davies founded The Cambria Group in 1996 and is its Managing Principal. He is an experienced private equity investor, having previously been a Principal in the leveraged buyout groups of both Brentwood Associates and The Fremont Group. He also served in both operating and finance roles with Bechtel Group and Chevron Corporation. Mr. Davies brings experience in all stages of the private equity process, identifying and sourcing opportunities, arranging financing for transactions, building management teams at both the functional and executive levels, assisting with portfolio company acquisition and divestiture programs, and exiting investments. He currently serves on multiple corporate boards, as well as serving on the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution and the Advisory Council of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business; previously, he served as a National Trustee of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and a Trustee of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Lew holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering, with distinction, from Stanford University. He also received an MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.
René Lajous is a Principal with The Cambria Group, working in the firm’s Dallas office. He participates in all aspects of Cambria’s activities, focusing equally on originating and evaluating investment opportunities, negotiating and arranging financing for transactions, and providing oversight for the firm’s portfolio companies. He serves on the boards of directors of several private companies in Cambria’s portfolio. Prior to joining Cambria, Mr. Lajous was a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, working in Dallas, Texas and Buenos Aires, Argentina. At BCG, he advised clients in the transportation, energy and telecommunications industries on a variety of issues ranging from strategy and operations to merger and acquisition activity and due diligence. Earlier, Mr. Lajous focused on logistics and operations in the consumer packaged goods industries, working for Procter & Gamble in Canada and Mexico, as well as Pillsbury in Canada. Mr. Lajous earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto, earning the W.S. Wilson Medal for academic excellence. He subsequently received an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Chris Sekula is a Principal of The Cambria Group, dividing his time between the firm’s Dallas office and a satellite office in Lexington, Massachusetts. Mr. Sekula focuses his time on operating issues and serves on the boards of directors of several private companies in Cambria’s portfolio. Mr. Sekula was previously a Principal with The Lucas Group, a management consulting firm which demonstrated its commitment to value creation in working with client organizations by frequently linking its compensation to results generated by its engagements. In this capacity, he specialized in designing and implementing programs to enhance client companies’ operating performance and profitability and in conducting acquisition due diligence reviews. Mr. Sekula also served as a senior consultant for Bain & Company and as a Vice President of Enterprise Investors, LP, a leading private equity firm which managed over $340 million in capital for investment in Central Europe. Mr. Sekula earned a Masters degree in Environmental Engineering from Politechnika Warszawska in Poland and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Mr. Cassutt has made more than 130 investments in search funds. He is also the CFO of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011, Mr. Cassutt was Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identification based in Los Angeles, California. From 1978 to 1984, he was the Controller of Bristol Corporation, the parent company of 10 manufacturing entities.
Mr. Cassutt currently sits on the boards of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Dynamic Growth Dental, and Positive Coaching Alliance. He received a Bachelor of Physics Degree in 1982 from the University of California, Irvine, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate. In 1986, he received an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar and the recipient of the Alexander A. Robichek Award, given each year to the top student in finance.
David Dodson has been active for twenty-five years in the formation of new businesses through entrepreneurial acquisition. After graduating from the GSB, under the direction of Professor Irv Grousbeck, he wrote the original course material for search funds—then in its infancy. After one year as a case writer, David Dodson raised his own search fund, which led to the purchase of Smith Alarm Systems in 1989. He subsequently raised two more search funds to purchase an auto parts retailer and an environmental services firm. During this time, Mr. Dodson became an active investor in and board member of other search funds, investing in over forty search funds. Mr. Dodson has been a director and investor in twenty-one middle market companies.
He is currently on the board of: Teton Gravity Research, Penn Warranty, Wind River Environmental, Eyewitness Surveillance, Innflux LLC, and Carillon Assisted Living. He is also active in three non-profit boards: U.S. Fund for UNICEF (Regional), Project Healthy Children, and Sanku LLC. David Dodson currently divides his time between Stanford University and Project Healthy Children (a nonprofit enterprise with operations in Rwanda, Burundi, Nepal, Liberia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi), and a “double bottom line” enterprise Sanku, LLC, with operations in Tanzania. He is also completing his first novel. He has three daughters: Caroline, Rachel, and Hannah.
Endurance Search Partners
JRich is an entrepreneur in the truest sense - he sees opportunities, builds businesses that fill needs, and creates lasting growth. In 1987, he founded NIP Group, a national leader in insurance brokering and risk management. He quickly saw a need to improve the HR model for small businesses, and founded Extensis Group. Since being in business for two decades, Extensis Group has become a national leader in HR solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. He is CEO of both companies.
True to his life-long entrepreneurial spirit, he now enjoys partnering with and mentoring search fund entrepreneurs. As an active search fund investor, he works closely with searchers at every stage to find, buy and build successful companies. He is well known for his availability, engagement level and is sought after for his practical business advice.
Rich serves on the board of Housing Wire, KGHP, PEC Safety, Sage Data Security, Windley Ely and World Wide Security.
Lawrence J. Dunn III
Larry is a talented business leader with over 25 years’ experience. He has generated substantial value in high growth environments by delivering solutions in a wide array of areas, including organizational strategy, corporate development, financial reporting, cost reduction, cash flow and working capital management, and process improvement. In addition to his role at Endurance he is the CFO of NIP Group. Prior to joining NIP Group, he was Managing Director at Ally Financial and a Director of M&A and divisional CFO at AIG Group. He began his career at KPMG. Larry graduated from Pace University with a BBA in Accounting with highest honors. Larry is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Larry, similar to Rich, enjoys working closely with searchers at every stage supporting their goals to build a great company while becoming a highly successful CEO. He is committed to lend his expertise to, and generously collaborates with, all members of the search fund community.
Larry serves on the board of Housing Wire and World Wide Security.
Mr. Lazier is a private investor who has made more than 130 investments in search funds. He is also the president of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011, Mr. Lazier served as Controller, Vice President of Sales and then Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identification based in Los Angeles, California. From 1982 to 1984, he worked as an engineer for IBM Corporation.
Mr. Lazier currently sits on the boards of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Datum Technologies, and Gogotech. He has previously served on the boards of Glendale Memorial Hospital Foundation, the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University.
Michael F. O'Connell
Michael F. O’Connell is the Senior Managing Director at M2O, Inc. He oversees the assessment of investment opportunities and reviews the ongoing performance of portfolio companies.
For most of his career, Michael was President and Managing Director of Anhalt, O’Connell & Steffanci Inc., a Los Angeles-based investment management firm with almost $1 billion under management. In 1992, Michael purchased the National Lines Bureau, a ship mooring company operating at the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors, the largest (combined) commercial port in America. This initial, successful investment prompted many more and Michael soon shifted his focus from investment management to venture capital. Today, he leads M2O with a portfolio of more than 40 companies. Michael also sits on the board of American Biosurgical Inc., Veri-Tax, and Yates & Associates Insurance.
Michael holds a B.A., with high honors, from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Michael-Kevin (M-K) O'Connell
Michael-Kevin (M-K) O’Connell joined M2O, Inc. as a Managing Director in 2009. He is responsible for sourcing and reviewing new investment opportunities as well as monitoring the performance of portfolio companies.
Prior to joining M2O, M-K was a Manager with L.E.K. Consulting. During his tenure there, M-K led project teams across a diverse range of industries and business issues. His projects included the strategic due diligence of a $1 billion building materials company, the development of a customer contact and support strategy for a legacy airline, the strategic realignment and long-term plan for a major Los Angeles attraction, and the strategic due diligence of a leading equipment supplier to solar cell manufacturers. Before L.E.K., M-K worked in commercial real estate as the Director of Research for CB Richard Ellis in New England. M-K also sits on the board at Origo Commodities Management and is an advisor to Veri-Tax and Yates & Associates Insurance.
M-K received his B.S, magna cum laude, from Boston College and his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he was the recipient of the Thomas P. Gerrity Leadership Award for achieving “excellence in both academic and co-curricular pursuits.”
The Operand Group
Michael also has 25+ years of experience building, growing and operating recruiting businesses. In 1988, Michael founded SeatonCorp, a leading provider of recruiting, vendor-on-premise staffing and end-to-end supplier management solutions for strategic users of contingent labor. In 2014, Michael and his investor group sold SeatonCorp to True Blue (NYSE: TBI). Under Michael’s leadership, SeatonCorp grew from a staff of two to one of Crain’s “Largest Privately Held Companies” in Chicago, with more than 2,500 employees. SeatonCorp achieved consistent, organic growth resulting in a 20%+ compounded annual growth rate over a 25-year period, earning more than $700 million in revenue during 2014. Michael has been recognized with several awards including: the Staffing Industry Analysts’ Peter Yessne Workforce Innovator Award, a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® program, and is listed on The Staffing 100 (the 100 most influential people in the staffing industry). In 2012, Michael founded INCubatoredu (non-for-profit), a national program teaching high school students how to start a business. In 2010, Michael the joined the private equity firm, Lake Capital, as an Operating Executive. Michael is a Board member at Workplace Answers, RIVS, Lund Van Dyke, Vokal, Olus Holdings, The Intersect Group, Insertech and Penn Foster. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Arizona State University.
Carlos is Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Operand Group. Prior to his current role, Carlos had 16 years of proprietary investment and operations experience in the equity derivatives industry. Carlos was Chief Investment Officer for Spot Trading in Chicago from 2009-2015, managing all Trading, Equity Research, Financial Engineering and front-office software development activities. Carlos led and motivated an organization of 60 professionals in the process. Prior to this experience, Carlos executed various trading roles successfully, and in so doing gained valuable process, technology, and management skills that he is eager to share with young entrepreneurs. When not investing in searchers, Carlos is actively involved in the not-for-profit world, as a Director for the Barrington Area Community Foundation and a Founding Board Member of INCubatorEdu. Carlos received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth.
Aaron is a Vice President at Peterson Ventures. Prior to joining Peterson Ventures, Aaron was the CEO of BenefitGuard, a venture-backed startup offering a no-nonsense 401(k) to SMBs. Prior to joining BenefitGuard, Aaron was a financial economist at the U.S. Treasury in Washington DC. Aaron received an MBA and B.S. from Brigham Young University, and serves on the board of the BYU Men’s Soccer Program.
Susan Pohlmeyer is a principal at Futaleufu Partners, an investment fund formed by David Dodson to invest in search funds and search fund-acquired businesses. She works closely with search fund entrepreneurs during the diligence and acquisition phases of the search, and currently serves as a board observer for Datum Technologies. Prior to joining Futaleufu, she was a member of the investment team at Stanford Management Company, where she covered portfolio strategy as well as private equity investments. She started her career at JP Morgan in equity derivatives. Susan holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from Dartmouth College.
Co-founding Managing Director of Relay Investments. Sandro learned about search funds in Prof Grousbeck’s class at Stanford in 1990. In early 1993, Sandro, along with Gunnar Bjorklund, Martin Steber and Nick Babchuck, co-founded Sverica International, where Sandro spent 20 years as a co-founding Partner. He currently serves on the Board of several Search Fund sourced companies, along with Oasis, an Ireland based document storage company, and a local non-profit, the Swedish School of Boston. During Sverica’s early days, Sandro served as President and CEO of Cameraworld.com, one of Sverica’s pre-fund portfolio companies that he sourced, managed and eventually sold. In earlier careers, Mr. Mina worked in the public and private sectors in a number of industries, including technology (United Nations Computing Centre and Storage Technology), banking (Citibank, Goldman Sachs & Co. and VISA) and telecommunications (consultant for a large European company).
Mr. Mina earned his BSc degree in Computer Engineering from Imperial College at the University of London and his MBA degree at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
Co-founding Managing Director of Relay Investments. In early 1993, Martin, along with Gunnar Bjorklund, Sandro Mina and Nick Babchuk, co-founded Sverica International. During his early tenure, Mr. Steber was CEO of two pre-fund investments in Birmingham, Alabama, Automatic Detection Systems Inc, an electronic security company, and AccuDocs LLC, a billing services company. Both of these entities were eventually sold to larger industry leaders.
Later, Mr. Steber was actively involved in raising Sverica’s first and second private equity funds. Mr. Steber retired from Sverica in late 2007 to relocate to Europe before returning to Montreal in 2011. He serves on the board of several Search Fund companies, such as Chronus, Microdea, Subatomic and UCITonline.
Mr. Steber completed his BSc in Computer Engineering from Imperial College at the University of London before joining Bain & Co. from 1987 to 1989. He earned his MBA degree at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in 1991, having spent the previous summer at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in London.
Search Fund Partners
David Carver is a co-founder of Search Fund Partners. He is on the board of FastSpring, UnitedLayer, DataFusion, StaffOne, Datum, ClaimTrak, Great Bay Software, Raptor Technologies, and Planet DDS.
David spent thirty years as an executive in the high tech industry, and has extensive experience in all phases of business, including M&A, fund-raising, corporate strategy and operations. He was CEO of HiFive!, an application service provider; CEO of Hipbone Networks, an online collaboration company; EVP and GM at Network Associates; COO of Network General; an EIR at Institutional Venture Partners; and an executive at Hewlett-Packard, including ten years in the professional service/software divisions of HP.
Dave has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Arkansas. Dave and his wife Julia have two sons, RJ and Sam. He is active in community and non-profit organizations, having founded the Redwood Chapter of National Junior Basketball serving 650 children.
Jim Edmunds joined Search Fund Partners in 2008 after running a company sourced through the search fund model. Jim and his partner found and acquired Celebrity Kids Portrait Studios, a leading provider of upscale children's photography in 2005. Jim served as President and CFO of the company. He currently participates on the boards of PPI, Microdea, Answer1, Neuro International, Consumeraffairs.com, Gogotech, and UCIT Online.
Before launching a search fund, Jim was an Associate at McKinsey & Company in Palo Alto. Prior to attending business school, Jim conducted business development for PetSmart.com, managed a successful political campaign in Texas, and worked in Investment Banking and Equity Capital Markets at Bear Stearns.
Jim holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was named a Siebel Scholar, and an A.B. in History from Harvard University. He is the treasurer of Building Futures Now, a non-profit dedicated to helping high potential students in East Palo Alto. He lives in Menlo Park with his wife Christine, daughters Emiko and Mika, and son Koji.
Rich Kelley co-founded Search Fund Partners in 2004. He currently serves on the boards of SFL Data, The Pet Loss Center, Lund Van Dyke, FMT Solutions, RIA in a Box, ISC, DCI, and Attainia.
Rich Kelley has been involved in numerous small businesses and start-up companies as an operator, owner, and investor. His varied experience includes: CFO of Score Learning Centers, CEO of San Jose Giants, General Partner of the Stanford Terrace Inn, developer of houses and subdivisions, owner of office buildings and hotels, investor in successful tech start-ups (Coinstar, PLX Technology, Corcept Therapeutics). He has also invested in many limited partnerships, including venture funds, and has been involved as a search fund investor since 1994.
Rich has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Stanford. Rich and his wife Gina have two children, Riley and Sam. He has served as an elected school board trustee and is active with the Positive Coaching Alliance and Sustainable Conservation as an advisor.
Kent Weaver is currently executive Chairman and former CEO of Progressive Home Care, a Northern California-based health care company. Previously, Mr. Weaver held executive positions in marketing and product management for a VC-backed marketing automation startup, as a regional CFO and business analyst in Pepsico's Pizza Hut Division, and as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
He received his MBA from the Fully Employed Program at the University of California, Los Angeles and BS in finance from the University of Southern California. He is a member of the Board of Directors at Integra Partners, Change Academy Lake of the Ozarks, T-Base Communications, and Neuro International.