"Women in Finance"
September 6, 2017 | 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Kathleen Powers Dunlap
Girls Who Invest
Kathleen Powers Dunlap is an investment management industry veteran with over 30 years of experience. Most recently, Ms. Dunlap served as Chief Business Strategy Officer for Fiduciary Research and Consulting in San Francisco where she was responsible for executing FRC’s strategic business plan and was a member of FRC’s investment committee. Beginning in 1989, Ms. Dunlap spent more than a decade as a Managing Director with Barclays Global Investors in San Francisco, where she held leadership positions in sales, consultant relations and marketing. Early in her career, she held positions with Merrill Lynch and Kidder Peabody. Ms. Dunlap received a BS in Economics from the University of San Francisco.
Throughout her career, Ms. Dunlap has also been involved with numerous organizations that promote and support women and girls including:
- STAND Against Domestic Violence - Board Member
- GirlSource - Board Member and Interim Executive Director
- Barclays WIN (Women's Initiative) - Global Executive Committee Member
- GirlsOnTheRun - Coach
- 100 Women in Hedge Funds
- Financial Women's Network
- High Water Women
- Women's Equity Fund (ticker: PWWEX) - Board member and investment committee member
Panel - A Look Inside Private Equity Buyouts
September 6, 2017 | 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Ottawa Avenue Private Capital, LLC an affilliate of RDV Corporation
Managing Director, Global Private Equity
Nathan Bauman joined Ottawa Avenue Private Capital in 2008 and is a Managing Director of Global Private Equity. Ottawa Avenue Private Capital is an investment advisory firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that manages investments in private equity funds, co-investments in private equity investment opportunities, and other traditional and alternative asset classes. The Company is a wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary of RDV Corporation. The principal owners of RDV Corporation are members of the Richard and Helen DeVos family.
Mr. Bauman serves as the portfolio manager for Ottawa Avenue Private Capital’s credit fund and co-investment portfolio. His responsibilities include portfolio management and underwriting of new investment opportunities, as well as assisting with strategic portfolio development.
Prior to joining RDV Corporation, Mr. Bauman served as a Vice President at FBR Capital Markets, an investment banking firm headquartered in Washington D.C. Mr. Bauman spent 8 years as part of the financial institutions group focusing on specialty finance companies.
Mr. Bauman received his MBA from Georgetown University and his BA from The University of Georgia and The Universidad de Granada, Spain. His security licenses include the Series 7 and 63. Mr. Bauman has lived and worked in South America and Europe and is bilingual in English and Spanish. He currently resides in Holland, Michigan, with his wife and four sons.
AEA Investors LP
Brian Hoesterey joined AEA in 1999 and focuses on investments in the specialty chemicals and value-added industrial products sectors. Mr. Hoesterey serves on the board of directors of Visual Comfort/Generation Brands, Evoqua, GMS, At Home, and Swanson Industries. He was previously on the board or significantly involved in several successfully exited investments, including CPG International, Pregis, Houghton, SRS Distribution, Henry, Unifrax, Noveon, Sovereign Specialty Chemicals and Symrise.
Before joining AEA, Mr. Hoesterey was an executive at BT Capital Partners, the private equity group of Bankers Trust. At BT Capital, he focused on companies in the chemicals, general industrial, and services sectors. His investments included leveraged buyouts in the chemicals and packaging sectors.
Before entering the private equity industry, Mr. Hoesterey advised corporate management and boards of directors throughout the world on financial and strategic issues. One such position was with the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley, during which he was located in New York and Hong Kong. He also was in the New York office of McKinsey & Co., advising clients on corporate and divisional business strategy. During his tenure there, Mr. Hoesterey focused on clients in process industries and other industrial businesses, including chemicals, pulp and paper, agribusiness, and general industrial manufacturing and services.
Outside of AEA, Mr. Hoesterey serves on the Oversight Committee for Patagonia Sur, a for-profit venture that invests in, protects, and enhances scenically remarkable and ecologically valuable properties in Chilean Patagonia and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club. He is also on the International Board of Visitors for the Neely Business School at Texas Christian University, and the Corporate Advisory Group for the Grammy Foundation.
Mr. Hoesterey received an M.B.A. from Harvard University and a B.B.A. in accounting from Texas Christian University, both with honors. He lives in Scarsdale, New York with his wife, son and two daughters.
Cortec Group Management Services, LLC
Mr. Jeffrey Lipsitz is a Managing Partner at Cortec Group. Jeff joined Cortec in 1998 as a Managing Director, was promoted to Partner in 2005 and Managing Partner in 2010. Jeff leads the healthcare investing at Cortec and is currently on the board of Mobility Holdings, Canadian Hospital Specialties, Vidaris, Inc., Community Veterinary Partners, Center for Vein Restoration, and Icon Eyecare Holdings. Prior healthcare transactions led by Jeff include Cranial Technologies, 180 Medical, NeuroTherm, Royce Medical and Gaymar industries. Prior to Cortec, Mr. Lipsitz was Vice President of Corporate Development for PLY GEM Industries, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer and distributor of specialty building products. At PLY GEM, Jeff was responsible for merger and acquisition activities, strategic planning, and financial analysis of its ten operating subsidiaries as well as having direct oversight responsibility for two business units. Mr. Lipsitz earned a M.B.A. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and holds a B.A. from Union College.
Snow Phipps Group, LLC
Mr. Pless joined Snow Phipps at the inception of the Firm and became a Partner in 2012. Prior to joining Snow Phipps, Mr. Pless worked at Guggenheim Merchant Banking. Previously, he was an Associate Director in the Financial Institutions Group at UBS Investment Bank, the investment banking arm of UBS AG, where he worked on a wide range of mergers and acquisitions and capital raising transactions for banks and specialty finance companies.
Mr. Pless received a B.A. in Economics from Middlebury College. He currently serves on the boards of EnviroFinance Group, HCTec, Ideal Tridon, Velocity Commercial Capital, Winchester Electronics and ZeroChaos, and served on the boards of Excel Mining Systems, FiberVisions Corporation and Boyd Corporation prior to Snow Phipps' exits.
Panel - M&A Trends in the Craft Brewing Industry
September 6, 2017 | 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Jim Eardley is a corporate attorney and partner at Varnum LLP, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, private offerings, corporate finance, strategic ventures and governance. He has extensive experience counseling mature and emerging closely held businesses with regard to such matters, as well as general commercial matters.
Jim is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and received his undergraduate degree in economics from U of M. He serves on the governing boards of several community and trade association organizations, including the Precision Metalforming Association and Grand Rapids Bar Association Justice Foundation. He is a long time member of the West Michigan Chapter of ACG and is a past president of the University of Michigan Club of Grand Rapids.
Alliance Beverage Distributing
Shawn started his beverage career 33 years ago with Kent Beverage Company. Prior to that time he worked as a Soil Scientist performing soil interpretive work on the MX Missile as well as productivity yields for the Federal Government. Throughout his career at Kent Beverage Shawn was involved in many different facets of the business, including but not limited to operations to brand management to branch management. In the early 1990's Kent Beverage was on the forefront of bringing many of Michigan’s craft brands to market. Shawn became President of Kent Beverage in 2008.
In 2013 Alliance Beverage Distributing was created with the joining B & B Beer and Kent Beverage to create one of the largest, most diversified wholesalers in the state. Alliance's territory covers 26 counties, extending from the Indiana/Michigan border, along the coast of Lake Michigan, up to areas north of Manistee. Alliance Beverage serves 3,500 customers with a portfolio of over 4000 active products, consisting of large National Beer Brands, an array of Craft brands, a diverse selection of wines and high profile non-alcoholic beverages. Shawn is very active within the industry, having served on multiple committees and advisory councils.
42 North Partners Representing Hop Head Farms
Steve Jandernoa is part of the investments team and primarily responsible for direct investing activities including sourcing, executing, and oversight of an existing portfolio of operating companies. Steve is currently serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Heeren Companies. Steve's prior experience includes seven years in public accounting with the most recent responsibilities as a Manager of Assurance Services with Ernst & Young. Steve is a licensed CPA in the state of Michigan, received an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and a BS in Accounting and Marketing from Marquette University.
Steve is an active community volunteer and Board member of Artists Creating Together, Catholic Central High School, and International Child Care. He is married to Holly, and they are parents to Keith, Adam, and Lewis.
Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, MI. Grad of GP North in 85. MSU grad 89 from the business school. Recruited and hired by Toyota motor sales and moved to Hermosa beach CA. Then transferred to Boston regional office for 7 years where the passion for craft beer started by home brewing.
Moved back to Detroit in 1997 after a 3 year stint in AZ to open up a business in the city of Detroit. This was the same year Atwater brewery was formed. Became an immediate customer and ended up investing in 2002 and buying the company in 2005. Atwater brewery is the 3rd largest brewery in Mi of over 400 and Carries on the long tradition of German style breweries from Detroit. Now distributes in 24 states 3 countries and runs 3 tap house projects with more to come.
Married with 3 kids. Parker 17 going to Clemson in the fall. Emmie 14 and Lexi 11. Passionate about MSU and Detroit sports. Baseball and basketball coach and GPS Athletic booster president. Active with many charities including Detroit PAL and cornerstone schools.
Founders Brewing Company
Mike Stevens is a co-founder of Founders Brewing Company and serves as the company's CEO. Founders has made its distinctive mark on the craft beer community by brewing complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics and tons of flavor. It is one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the nation, currently ranking among the top 20 largest craft breweries in the United States as of 2016. The brewery has received numerous awards from the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival, and its beers are often rated among the best in the world by RateBeer and BeerAdvocate users.
Mike was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and attended Hope College where he met fellow Founders co-founder Dave Engbers. The pair spent their college years dreaming of opening a brewery but, after graduation, "real life" got in the way. After a few years spent on unsatisfying career paths, Mike and Dave decided they never wanted to look back on life with regrets. They wrote a business plan, secured funding and opened the doors of Founders Brewing Company in 1997.
Building the brewery from the ground-up, the pair was forced to spend time in every role—from bartending to the business office, from bottling to sales. As the brewery expanded and became successful, Mike has transitioned into a corporate-focused role and leads the business side of Founders.
Founders has enjoyed remarkable success, far outpacing its competitors in the craft beer industry. The company has seen its annual barrel output nearly double each of the last seven years while distribution has expanded from seven states to 32. In 2011, the company was forced to expand its facility to keep up with product demand. The expansion included a new 85-barrel brew house, new kegging and bottling lines and the addition of twenty 400-barrel fermenters, increasing Founders' annual capacity to 140,000 barrels. In late 2012, they expanded again, adding new cellar space. In 2013, Founders added two new vessels to the 85-barrel brewhouse, installed a pilot brew house, expanded their taproom and built a new beer garden, educational facility and offices. They're working on yet another expansion that will add brewing and cellar capacity as well as new canning and bottling lines. They also recently purchased a second brewery in Grand Rapids that will focus on experimental and barrel-aged beers called, appropriately, the Barrel House. Founders finished 2016 with a total of 347,780 barrels shipped.
Mike, his wife Cathy, and their three kids live in Grand Rapids. Outside of the beer community, Mike can most often be found in the outdoors mountain biking, fly fishing or kayaking.
Keynote Speaker - Tom Izzo
September 7, 2017 | 8:00 - 9:15 a.m.
About to enter his 23rd season with a career record of 544-220, Izzo has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments, including the 2000 NCAA National Championship, seven regular-season Big Ten Championships, five Big Ten Tournament titles, seven Final Four appearances, eight National Coach of the Year awards and a Big Ten-record 20 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. On September 9, 2016, Izzo was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, cementing his status as one of the game’s all-time greats.
However, what makes Izzo one of the best in the game is his insatiable desire to accomplish more, and his ability to produce results with whatever team he’s given. Izzo will bring his leadership expertise to GLCC on Thursday, September 7 as the breakfast keynote speaker.
Panel - Surviving Lower Middle Market Deals: New Warriors, Evolving Battlefields and the Nuclear Option
September 7, 2017 | 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Cascade Partners LLC
Managing Director and Co-Founder
Rajesh Kothari is the founder and managing director of Cascade Partners LLC, a leading investment bank and private investment firm serving middle market companies with offices in Detroit (Southfield), Cleveland and Chicago.
With nearly 30 years of experience, Raj and his team provide guidance, analysis and resources that are critical when navigating the complexities of acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, financing and other strategic initiatives. This work builds on a long history of impacting people's lives whether through transactions, investments, youth development and daily life.
Raj has helped companies such as TriMas, NSF International, Grand Raids Ophthalmology, Emergency Medicine Specialists and many more. His board and committee service includes Priority Health, St. John Providence Health System, MedBio, Active Health, the Civil Air Patrol Foundation and several other corporations and non-profit organizations.
His career has included leadership roles in investment management, private equity and investment banking. He helped found Seneca Partners and Cranbrook Capital Management and two private equity funds. He served as a senior manager and director at Masco Corporation and Beringea, respectively.
Raj's service also includes his role as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer auxiliary of the United States Air Force, in which he has served for over 35 years. Additionally, Raj is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Notre Dame at the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.
He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, earned both a Bachelors of Arts and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He currently holds the Series 7, 79, 24, and 28 licenses from FINRA.
Peninsula Capital Partners
Ty has more than twenty years of private capital, mergers & acquisitions consulting and auditing experience. During his financial advisory career he has coordinated and led hundreds of financial advisory engagements in a broad array of corporate finance situations.
Before joining Peninsula Capital Partners, Mr. Clutterbuck was a Managing Director at W.Y. Campbell & Company, a boutique investment bank where he focused on advising companies on divestitures and related valuation issues. His clients' included middle-market and large companies as well as leading private equity firms, privately owned and publicly traded companies. Prior to W.Y. Campbell & Company, Mr. Clutterbuck was a Senior Investment Banker in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group of Raymond James & Associates, Inc. focusing on advising middle-market industrial companies in various merger and acquisition transactions. Mr. Clutterbuck's professional affiliations also includes management positions with Price Waterhouse, LLP, an international accounting and professional services firm, in the Chicago office. Mr. Clutterbuck's experience with Price Waterhouse includes both audit and transaction services where he provided due diligence, structuring and valuation consulting services to both corporate clients and private equity groups.
Mr. Clutterbuck earned a B.A. in Accounting from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and his M.B.A. degree with high distinction from the University of Michigan. Mr. Clutterbuck is a certified public accountant and he is a member of the CFA Institute.
JP Morgan Chase
Pat is a Managing Director in J.P. Morgan’s Middle Market Financial Sponsors Group where he has responsibility for delivering J.P. Morgan’s commercial and investment banking platform to middle market private equity firms and family offices in the Midwest and Canada. Previously, he was an investment manager and principal with Chase Capital for 10 years where he made senior and junior cash flow loans and minority equity investments in J.P. Morgan middle market clients including sponsor portfolio companies. Prior to Chase Capital, Pat spent 19 years as an asset finance professional with J.P. Morgan and predecessor entities where he advised clients and structured, invested in and placed both tax and non-tax driven financings on aircraft, railcars, real estate, manufacturing facilities, subway systems and auto lease portfolios.
Mr. McCarthy received his MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago and his B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he majored in accounting and finance.
Founder and Managing Director
Martin Stein founded Blackford Capital in 2000 because he loved the idea of working with family-owned businesses to forge significant legacies, that is, to dramatically transform lower middle market industrial enterprises through exponentially profitable growth. Mr. Stein has just under two decades of private equity experience and has completed over 50 transactions. Recently, Mr. Stein was recognized as the Private Equity Professional of the year for the entire United States by the M&A Advisor; he has previously been recognized as the youngest ever Dealmaker of the Year for West Michigan by MiBiz; as one of the top “40 under 40” Dealmakers in the US by M&A Advisor; as the sponsor for the Deal of the Year for the US by M&A Advisor; as the sponsor for the deal of the year in the State of Michigan for 4 of the past 5 years by ACG West Michigan and ACG Detroit. Since 2001, Mr. Stein has served on the Boards of over a dozen companies. Currently, he is Chairman of the Board at Burgaflex, Staging Concepts, Davalor Mold, Custom Profile, and Snowhite. Mr. Stein also has extensive operational experience with four years as President of Quality Imaging Products, where he was selected as a top industry leader for three of his four years. He has published three Harvard Business School cases, as well as more than a dozen articles on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, operations, and strategy. He received his BA, with honors, from the University of Chicago, where he was a College Honors Scholar and was selected by USA Today as one of the “Best and Brightest Leaders in America.” He is a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in St. Louis, Missouri. And he received his MBA from Harvard Business School with a focus in operations. Mr. Stein has four children.
Panel - International M&A Trends
September 7, 2017 | 10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
International Consulting Practice Leader
Lou Longo leads Plante Moran's International Business Consulting Services offices' in Chicago; Detroit; Shanghai, China; and Monterrey, Mexico. Known for being an international business partner to his clients, Lou assists manufacturers and service organizations with global business strategies and transactions. He provides expertise to clients engaged in international business in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.
Lou's nearly 30 years of international business consulting industry experience includes purchasing, operations, and sales. He assists clients with globalization and off-shoring strategies, foreign investments, mergers, joint ventures, market analysis, due diligence, and export market requirements.
Lou is a frequent speaker on international business considerations to various groups, including World Trade Center chapters, the Export Academy, and various business associations and client groups. This experience led to his appointment by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce to the District Export Council. Lou is also frequently quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, and various international business publications.
Senior Vice President
A 25-year industry veteran, Kip is recognized nationally for his expertise in Private Equity, Mergers & Acquisitions, Deal facilitation and customized Alternative Risk Placements. Kip utilizes a deeply consultative and strategic approach to risk finance plan design with fully transparent implementation.
Prior to joining Hylant, Kip held key positions with global insurance brokers where he led global growth initiatives, developed customized risk financing products and deepened client relationships. Kip brings these skills and experience to Hylant where he heads Hylant's Alternative Risk Practice specializing in Private Equity, Merger and Acquisition [M&A] Due Diligence, business risk strategies and Captive Insurance Company utilization. Kip is a national resource for several of Hylant's strategic and operational initiatives across its 14 offices.
Education and Accredidations
Kip graduated Northern Illinois University with a BA in Marketing and earned his Masters in Business Administration [MBA] from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.
Kip's areas of expertise include strategic planning and customized consultation for captive plan evaluation and design. In addition, Kip directs Hylant's Private Equity, M & A due diligence, deal facilitation structuring, alternative risk finance structuring, cash flow analysis, large casualty and loss sensitive program design and placement, as well as program collateral analysis.
Industry specializations include Portfolio organizations with concentrations in Food and Beverage, Franchisor, Technology, Real Estate, Construction, and other key industries.
Professional Activities and Associations
Kip is a featured speaker at many national business conferences including those hosted by Information Management Network [IMN], Association for Corporate Growth, [ACG], Financial Executives International [FEI] on timely topics of interest to various businesses especially as legislation changes occur.
Val Kozikowski is the Managing Director of PRA Global Business Development (PRA Global), an international business development company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with offices in 16 markets World Wide, including China, India, Poland, Dubai, Mexico and Brazil.
Ms. Kozikowski is responsible for the management of PRA’s client-facing functions including the development of market entry business plans, and the set-up and operation of Client companies in these international markets. Additionally, Ms. Kozikowski spends a significant amount of time in PRA’s offices around the world, and provides executive training and education to US companies on intricacies of doing business in these global emerging markets.
Prior to joining PRA in 2007, Ms. Kozikowski was a senior partner with a BDO Seidman, and brings 30 years of experience in business leadership and the delivery of consulting services for both privately held and public companies.
Val is a licensed CPA in the United States as well as a Chartered Global Management Accountant. She graduated from Central Michigan University with a dual major in Accounting and Information Technology and is a Harvard Business School Alumni from their Owner President Manager Program.
Universal Forest Products, Inc.
Matt Missad is CEO of Universal Forest Products, Inc., and his "moving through the ranks" story and work ethic are the stuff of great legend at Universal.
Matt's first job at Universal was on the maintenance crew as the "lawn boy," which he did during summers while he was in high school. He graduated as senior class president and with the highest GPA of his class. His hard work and tenacity won him admirers in the top offices at Universal, and he continued to work for the Company while he put himself through Hope College (graduating magna cum laude) and through Thomas M. Cooley Law School (from which he graduated cum laude). He joined Universal in 1985 as manager of legal compliance and held a number of successive positions, including his promotion in 1996 to executive vice president, general counsel and secretary. He worked in those capacities, overseeing acquisitions, real estate, human resources, legal and environmental compliance, insurance and aviation, until July 14, 2011 when he became chief executive officer of Universal Forest Products, Inc.
Matt's accomplishments at Universal are innumerable, and in many areas of the Company's business, from leading the team that completed the initial public offering of stock in 1993, to turning around failing operations and leading them to success, to creating and operating the Company's real estate and mortgage subsidiaries and successfully spinning them off after Universal went public.
In addition, Matt is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a Licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Michigan, a Certified Public Accountant and is active in many professional organizations.
M. Holland Company
Head of Corporate Development / M&A
Dwight Morgan began his plastics career in the early 1980s with M. A. Hanna Company, a predecessor to PolyOne, where he headed M&A and strategic planning before moving into operations to run five of the company’s color and additive concentrate facilities. He left Hanna in 1998 to found Accel Color, which grew to four plants and $20 million in sales over the next ten years. In 2008, he sold Accel Color to Techmer PM, where he stayed and ran the business while serving as a member of Techmer’s Senior Management Team. In 2013 he was recruited to serve as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Composites Group, a portfolio of thermoset composite businesses assembled by Highlander Partners, a Dallas private equity group.
After the successful sale of The Composites Group to Citadel Plastics in early 2015, Morgan joined M. Holland as Vice President of Corporate Development. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, his responsibilities include strategic planning, strategic growth initiatives and marketing. Since joining M. Holland, the company has completed four acquisitions, created the M. Holland Automotive Group, and expanded into Mexico and Latin America.
Morgan is a graduate of the Kent State University School of Journalism and the University Of Akron School Of Law in Ohio, where he is a member of the Bar. He splits his time between homes in Ohio and Greater Chicago, where M. Holland is headquartered. He and wife Carol have two children.
Keynote Fireside Chat
September 7, 2017 | 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
As president of Amway since 2002, Doug DeVos oversees daily operations of the company with Chairman Steve Van Andel. Together, they form the Office of the Chief Executive. DeVos is the youngest son of Amway cofounder Rich DeVos, who, with Steve's father Jay, started Amway in Ada, Michigan in 1959.
DeVos has worked with Van Andel to build enthusiasm for the Amway business and help it grow to become the world’s largest direct selling company*. The results of their ability to foster entrepreneurs around the world are reflected in the company's record sales growth.
DeVos, who joined the company in 1986, also has served in various leadership positions in Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Currently, DeVos chairs the Executive Committee for the National Constitution Center, in Philadelphia, and serves as chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations. He is also involved in numerous business and civic organizations, including the Business Leaders or Michigan, West Michigan Policy Forum, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Economic Club of Grand Rapids, Keystone Community Church and The Right Place, a regional economic development organization in West Michigan.
He has been inducted into the U.S. Direct Selling Association Hall of Fame and recognized with the Direct Selling Education Foundation's Circle of Honor award. DeVos earned a bachelor's degree in management from Purdue University, where he also played football. He is a member of the Global Strategic Advisory Council for Purdue's Krannert School of Management.
*2015 Direct Selling News™, Global 100
Wolverine World Wide, Inc.
Chairman of the Board, CEO, and President
Blake W. Krueger (age 63) is currently Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President, and a Director of Wolverine World Wide, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange listed international marketer of footwear, apparel and accessories with annual sales of approximately $2.4 billion.
Wolverine’s portfolio of owned and licensed brands includes Merrell®, Sperry®, Saucony®, Wolverine®, Hush Puppies®, Keds®, Stride Rite®, Chaco®, Bates®, HyTest®, Caterpillar® Footwear, and Harley-Davidson® Footwear, and its innova-tive products are sold around the world in 200 countries and territories through owned operations and third-party distributors. The Company’s brands have over 1,000 years of collective brand equity.
Mr. Krueger was appointed Chief Executive Officer and President in April 2007 and was also appointed Chairman of the Board of the Company in 2009. Prior to that, Mr. Krueger held increasingly senior positions within the Company since 1993.
Mr. Krueger practiced law at Warner Norcross & Judd LLP from 1978 through 1996 in the field of corporate and business law, mergers, acquisitions and securities, and was listed in the Best Lawyers of America while in private practice. He is a board member of BISSELL Inc., The Right Place, Inc., The Economic Club of Grand Rapids and Business Leaders for Michigan (Executive Committee and in-coming Chair). In addition, Mr. Krueger also sits on a number of industry boards, including FFANY (Fashion Footwear Association of New York), Footwear Distributors and Retailers Association (Past Chair) and Two Ten Footwear Foundation (Past Chair).
EDUCATION: Mr. Krueger graduated from Michigan State University, Honors College, in 1975 with a B.A. in Business Administration with High Honors, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wayne State University Law School in 1978 where he was a member of the Wayne State Law Review. He graduated from Parchment High School (Kalamazoo, Michigan) in 1971.
INTERESTS AND FAMILY: Mr. Krueger has served on the boards of many professional, community and charitable organizations. He has a wonderful wife, four children and two grandsons, and resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is also an avid fly-fisherman, active outdoor enthusiast, amateur historian and rock-n-roll aficionado.
Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
Tracy T. Larsen is the managing partner of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP's Grand Rapids, Michigan office and co-Chairman of the firm’s national Mergers & Acquisitions Group.
Mr. Larsen runs one of the largest and most active mergers & acquisitions practice based in the Midwest. He has served as lead counsel in hundreds of transactions involving tens of billions of dollars.
Mr. Larsen's clients include some of the world's largest and most acquisition-focused corporations, a vast number of middle market and emerging growth companies, and numerous venture capital, private equity and mezzanine funds. Mr. Larsen is experienced in cross-border transactions, including merger & acquisition transactions in China and elsewhere in the Pacific Rim.
Mr. Larsen is a past chairman of the Business Law Section of the Michigan State Bar and is a frequent lecturer on mergers, acquisitions and corporate finance. He was one of the youngest mergers & acquisitions attorneys listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, has been recognized by Michigan Super Lawyers, Who's Who in American Law and The Legal 500, and has a No. 1 ranking among the top corporate lawyers in the state of Michigan in Chamber's America's Leading Business Lawyers. He has been recognized as the leading corporate lawyer in Grand Rapids several times by The Best Lawyers in America® and is a two-time recipient of the Western Michigan Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth's Dealmaker of the Year award as well as a finalist in 2016.