Managing Director - BRS & Co.
Tom graduated from Siena College in BBA in Accounting. After working at Coopers & Lybrand he enrolled at Harvard Business School, graduating with a MBA in 1985.
Following business school Tom joined the strategy consulting firm The Boston Consulting Group. From BCG Tom went to The INVUS Group, a private equity firm focused on investing in the North American food industry. In 2000 Tom joined Bruckmann, Rosser Sherrill & Co., a middle market PE firm, as a Managing Director. Today Tom is a Managing Director and member of the investment committee at BRS.
President, Pendleton Square Trust & Family Office
Betsy is President of Pendleton Square Trust Company and also serves as a Director of the Trust Company. In these roles, she develops multi-generational family relationships and serves families and their advisors to deliver trust and family offices services as well as legacy plans. Prior to joining Pendleton Square, Betsy worked at Cumberland Trust and JPMorgan Private Bank serving affluent families throughout the Southeast. She also worked for more than 10 years at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. She was a Director in the Fixed Income Origination team within SunTrust Debt Capital Markets, where she gained considerable transaction experience executing public debt offerings, private placements, and syndicated bank facilities.
Betsy is a partner in The JumpFund, an angel investment fund dedicated to investing in female-led businesses in the Southeast. Betsy earned a BS in Business Administration and a BA in East Asian Studies from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. She also holds an MBA from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Betsy serves as a Trustee of Girls Preparatory School, her alma mater. Betsy is also a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, the Estate Planning Council of Chattanooga, and the Endowment Committee for The Generosity Trust. Betsy lives on Signal Mountain with her husband and 3 active children.
Retired Vice-Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Mitch is retired Vice-Chairman of PwC. During his 36 year career he served as the client service partner on a number of the firm’s largest clients including AT&T, Comcast, and Xerox. In addition to his clients, Mitch had a variety of management responsibilities including the Firm’s strategy, M&A, public relations and communications, innovation and corporate responsibility. Mitch is co-author of a groundbreaking study and book on self-made billionaires. Since the publication of The Self-Made Billionaire Effect, Mitch has been a frequent speaker in the media and at colleges and universities on innovation and entrepreneurship. Since retiring from PwC Mitch has concentrated on investing and serving on the boards of various venture backed emerging companies including Farmer’s Fridge and Cordex Systems LLC. Mitch is a graduate of Penn State University and serves on the Board of Visitors of the Smeal Business School. He also serves on the advisory board and finance committee of DonorsChoose and the Board of Directors of ProVetus. Mitch and his wife Carri have two children and live in New York City.
President - Hintz Capital Management
Edward Hintz is president of Hintz Capital Management Inc., a private money management firm in New Jersey specializing in investment management for individuals.He was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow by the College of Business Administration in 1982 and a Distinguished Alumnus in 1987. Mr. Hintz has served on the Penn State Board of Trustees since 1994 and is a past Chairman of the Board. He is a Trustee of the New York Historical Society and Chairman of their investment committee. He is a member of the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution. He and his wife Helen are on the board of several other charitable organizations.
Mr. Hintz graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and received an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1963.
Partner - Day Pitney LLP
Ellen Knarr counsels public companies on corporate and securities law matters at Day Pitney LLP. Ellen primarily practices in the areas of public reporting responsibilities, SRO-compliance, corporate governance best practices and certain executive compensation matters and advises senior management, boards of directors and board committees with respect to these and other legal compliance matters. Ellen's practice involves representation of numerous NYSE- and Nasdaq-listed clients covering a wide array of industries, including retail, hospitality, banking, technology and document and data services companies.
In addition to the corporate and securities work she handles for public company clients, Ellen is a dedicated leader and participant in a variety of firm initiatives and also participates in pro bono matters. As a leader at Day Pitney, she serves as the office managing partner of New York office. Ellen also serves on the leadership committee of Day Pitney's firm-wide women's initiative, Women Working Together (WWT®), and she is an active member of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. From 2007 to 2015, Ellen served as Secretary to the New Jersey Corporation and Business Law Study Commission, a legislative commission dedicated to improving and modernizing the New Jersey Business Corporation Act.
Ellen graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 2005 and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2002. Ellen has been honored as a "Woman Worth Watching" by the Profiles in Diversity Journal in 2017 and was Chosen as one of the "New Leaders of the Bar" by New Jersey Law Journal. Additionally, she received the Outstanding Nonprofit Project Award from the Pro Bono Partnership in 2013.
Read Ellen's full bio here.
Director at BECU
Bill LongbrakeDirector at BECUBill Longbrake is director of BECU, the fourth largest credit union in the U.S. with 1 million members and total assets of $16 billion and chairs the Finance and Risk Committee. He is a director of City First Bank of DC, a national bank and community development financial institution which provides community development financial services in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, chairs the Audit Committee and serves on the Compensation and Loan committees.
He is a nonvoting member of the Washington State Investment Board, which manages over $100 billion in public employee retirement funds, and serves on the Audit and Public Markets Committees.
He earned his bachelor-of-arts degree in economics from the College of Wooster in 1965, graduating with honors. He earned his master’s degree in monetary economics in 1968 and his master of business administration degree in 1969 from the University of Wisconsin. He received his Ph.D. in finance from the University of Maryland in 1976.
Longbrake has published extensively and currently writes a monthly economic newsletter which is distributed by Barnett, Sivon and Natter. He has taught courses in business administration and finance at the University of Maryland and Seattle University.
Senior Vice President at Honeywell International
Dr. Krishna Mikkilineni is Senior Vice President, Engineering, Operations and IT. In this role, he oversees the effectiveness of Honeywell’s research, development, engineering, supply chain, and operations, strengthening the company’s ability to create differentiated products and solutions for Honeywell’s markets across the globe. He also isresponsible for expanding Honeywell Operating System (HOS), driving Velocity Product Development (VPD™), and increasing dedication to quality and delivery throughout the organization. Krishna leads the Honeywell Operations and Technology Leadership Councils and is responsible for the company’s Information Technology (IT) function.
Since joining Honeywell more than two decades ago, Krishna has been instrumental in leading globalization initiatives, establishing worldwide processes, successfully executing large-scale, multi-location projects, and leveraging talent in emerging regions to meet Honeywell product development needs. As the President of Honeywell Technology Solutions (HTS), he grew the organization to nearly 9,000 engineers across China, India, and Eastern Europe and established operations at SEI-CMMI Level 5 rating, PCMM Level 5 rating, AS9100, BS7799, ISO9001-2000, and ISO14001 quality standards, among many other quality certifications.
Krishna holds a bachelor of engineering degree in electronics and communications and earned a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Florida. He also has received a number of recognitions at Honeywell, including the Lund Award and the Senior Leadership Award.
Co-Founder ShopKeep.com Inc.
David is the co-founder of ShopKeep, a technology company that provides cloud-based operating software to over 40,000 small and medium businesses. As one of the Company's founders, COO and CFO, David helped build ShopKeep from a kernel of an idea to one of New York’s largest software as a service companies. Prior to ShopKeep, David was Director of Mergers and Acquisitions of IAC, Barry Diller's publicly traded holding company of numerous consumer facing technology brands including Tinder, Match, Vimeo, College Humor, Citysearch, Ticketmaster, and Ask.
David spent the first part of his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers' Mergers and Acquisitions team. He was also a board member of Kickstarter, which he helped finance and advise from the earliest stages. David loves the NYC tech space and is currently a board member or advisor to over 15 well funded businesses. He's a TechStars Mentor, Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Business School and a member of the Board of Directors for the University’s Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center. David loves to SCUBA dive, is not as great a skier as his wife, and has run a few Triathlons as a member of the Michael J Fox Foundation's Team Fox (“run” being very generous). A Certified Public Accountant, David has an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Tulane University and an MBA from Columbia University. He currently resides in Manhattan with his wife and two sons.
Retired Vice Chairman – Quick & Reilly/Fleet Securities, Inc.
Thomas C. Quick is President of First Palm Beach Properties, Inc., a real estate holding company based in Palm Beach, FL. Mr. Quick is a retired Vice Chairman of Quick & Reilly/Fleet Securities, Inc. In 1998, Quick & Reilly became part of Fleet, then FleetBoston Financial Corporation (NYSE: FBF) one of the nation's largest and most successful financial services firms, and holding company of one of the nation's largest banks prior to its acquisition by Bank of American Corporation.
From 1996 to 1998, when the firm was acquired by Fleet, Mr. Quick was President and Chief Operating Officer of The Quick & Reilly Group, Inc., the New York Stock Exchange-listed holding company for the firm's securities businesses. From 1985 to 1996 he was President of Quick & Reilly, Inc, one of the leading national discount brokerage firms.
Mr. Quick serves as a member of the Board of Directors of The Partnership Schools, also known as The Partnership for Inner-City Education, as well as the Inner-City Scholarship Fund. Other Board affiliates include The American Ireland Fund, Boston; TrustBridge Hospice Foundation of Palm Beach, The Society of the Four Arts; The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach; The Zoological Society of the Palm Beaches, Florida; Best Buddies International, Inc., Florida; Venetian Heritage Foundation; American Friends of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Inc. and Casita Maria Center, New York City. Mr. Quick serves as a Trustee of Theatre Forward, The United Way of Palm Beach as well as a National Trustee of the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington D.C. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of BF Enterprises. He was formerly a member of the Board of Directors of Senesco Technologies, Inc.; Cold Spring Harbour Laboratories; Fairfield University and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. Mr. Quick received a B.S. in Accounting from Fairfield University in 1977.
Managing Partner - Bow River Capital Partners
Blair Richardson founded Bow River Capital, Bow River Capital is a private investment firm based in Denver, in 2003 and is currently Managing Partner. The partners formed BRC following several years of successfully investing their own monies with a long-term vision of building a world class, diversified investment management platform committed to the lower middle market. Collectively, they have deployed capital into diverse industries and across the capital structure. Blair has held executive positions on international sales and trading of public equity and debt securities for nearly 25 years. In 2011, Mr. Richardson was named one of the most influential people in Denver by 5280 Magazine (“The 5280 Fifty”).
Mr. Richardson was with Morgan Stanley and Company from 1987 to 1995, serving as President of Morgan Stanley Japan in Tokyo, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia in Hong Kong, and Managing Director of the Equity and Fixed Income Department in New York.
Prior to forming Bow River Capital Partners, Mr. Richardson was Managing Partner of B.E. Richardson Investments, which invested in a variety of industries and real estate throughout North America. Between 1996 and 2002 his company made over 20 private equity investments.
Bow River Capital invests in promising lower middle market companies and assets across the U.S. Rocky Mountains, Midwest, Southwest, and Canada, which forms a geographic area the principals refer to as Bow River Capital's Rodeo Region®.
Blair was born in Canada and has traveled extensively throughout the world. Blair is a member of the boards of AUC Group L.P., Colorado Concern, Colorado UpLift, Focus Group Holding, Inc., Holman Boiler Works, Inc., Mizel Museum, National Jewish Health, and is Chairman of the Pinnacol Assurance Board.
He served as the Chairman of Colorado Concern and was the Chairman of National Jewish Hospital.
Founder - Big Ass Fans
A career entrepreneur, Carey Smith founded Big Ass Fans in 1999 and served as its CEO, or Chief Big Ass as he preferred, for 18 years. While other companies made and lost their fortunes, Carey’s contrarian business practices and relentless pursuit of new markets and high-quality products led to sustained, rapid growth.
By 2017, Carey had grown the fan and light manufacturer to more than $250 million in annual revenue and around a thousand employees. And he’d done it without any outside investors. Ready for a new challenge, he sold Big Ass Fans for $500 million. The company’s stock appreciation rights program paid out $50 million to more than 100 loyal employees who shared Carey’s work ethic with 15 becoming instant millionaires.
Carey is now focused on his latest business — Austin-based The Kitchen. He modeled this twist on the classic business incubator after a group at Big Ass Fans that explored new technologies outside the company's core efforts. And when the staff of The Kitchen succeed, they’ll profit, too, as they have stakes in both the company and the businesses they build.
Managing Partner - Valor Capital Group
Clifford Sobel has served as Ambassador to the Netherlands and Brazil, spanning both the Bush and Obama Administrations. In the private sector he has been an entrepreneur – manager, as well as President and Chairman of a technology company which was listed on the NASDAQ.
Today he is Managing Partner of Valor Capital Group, which is a diversified investment group investing in Brazil. He is also a Partner in Related Brazil, a mixed use developer in Brazil, and he is a Partner and Board Member of Cantagalo, a diversified agriculture group. He has served on Advisory Boards to the American Military Commander of Europe and NATO, as well as the Command for American Forces for Central and South America. He is on the Board of Directors for Diamond Offshore Drilling (NYSE) (DO), We Are The Mighty (WATM), and the Boards of Council of American Ambassadors, Council of the Americas, and Christie’s Advisory Board for the Americas. He serves as a member of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) and has served on the Task Force for North America.
Ambassador Sobel attended the University of Vermont and graduated with honors from New York University’s Stern Business School. In 1999, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Kean University, New Jersey, in recognition of his public service contribution.