WE ARE EXPERIENCED INVESTORS, HELPING TO BUILD EXCEPTIONAL COMPANIES
Our team has the wisdom of over 150 combined years of executive management experience, the entrepreneurial attitude of a team with passion for transformation, and the humor that comes from not taking yourself too seriously. Collectively, our team has executed 100+ transactions with over $4B transaction value. Meet our people and see why companies have enjoyed partnering with us for the past 40 years.
President and COO
“We are deeply dedicated to continuously learning, growing and evolving our approach and organization, and work closely with the companies under our stewardship to help them do the same.”
Julia Karol is President and COO of Watermill Group. She is the founder of WMX, Watermill’s initiative to accelerate change by investing in gender diverse teams with a vision to build enduring businesses. She is responsible for overall firm operations and helping Watermill portfolio companies develop and implement their strategies. Previously, as a Watermill Principal, Julia helped guide the day-to-day operations of the firm, directed the firm’s investor relations and managed fundraising initiatives for acquisitions.
Prior to joining Watermill, Julia worked at Jumpstart, a national nonprofit organization. While at Jumpstart, she managed Boston-area fundraising, coordinated communication and marketing efforts, cultivated partnerships, developed alumni relations programming, and oversaw staff recruitment efforts.
Julia currently serves as a Partner with Social Venture Partners Boston, a venture philanthropy organization which connects Boston’s most promising nonprofits with the money and minds to fuel their success. Julia has served as a Mentor for Endeavor, a global high-impact entrepreneurship movement and that promotes economic growth and job creation. She also serves as a member for the Budget and Administration Committee for Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Previously, Julia founded and served as board chair for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network in Boston. Julia is a member of ACG Boston and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and has been named as one of the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A by Mergers and Acquisitions Magazine for three consecutive years. In 2019, Julia received the Women of Influence Award from ACG Boston and was named one of Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 honorees. In 2017, Julia was named an Emerging Leader by the M&A Advisor.
She received a M.A. in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership from Stanford University, completed the Owners, Presidents, Managers program at Harvard Business School, and the Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and earned a B.A. from Tufts University.
Steven E. Karol
Managing Partner and Founder
“For more than 40 years, we’ve operated under the steadfast belief that focusing on improving company performance, as opposed to financial engineering, is the way to drive top tier returns.”
Steven E. Karol is the Managing Partner and Founder of Watermill Group. He has over 40 years of experience leading the acquisition activity for portfolio and client companies, strategy development and management of diverse operations from growth companies to turnarounds. Additionally, Steve is Chairman of the Board and CEO of HMK Enterprises, Inc., a privately held investment company.
Steve is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Carpenter Technology Corporation (NYSE: CRS) and a member of the Board of Advisors for J. Walter Company. He has also served as Chairman of the Board of Mooney Aircraft Company, Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of StockerYale, and as a Director of Jeepers! Inc., Intelligent Energy Limited and Inter-Tel Corp.
Steve is also strongly involved in a variety of non-profit organizations. He is currently a member of World President’s Organization (WPO) and has served as a member of the leadership team for the Young President’s Organization (YPO). While with YPO, Steve served on the International Board of Directors (1991- 2001), Chairman of Strategic Planning (1993 – 1996), and as International President (1999 to 2001). He is the outgoing Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the School of Engineering of Tufts University, a member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee for Tufts University, and is a recipient of the 2009 Tufts Distinguished Service Award. He is Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Vermont Academy where he served as Chairman from 2004 to 2012, and was awarded the prestigious Condict Cup in May of 2012. He is Director Emeritus of the Brain Tumor Society and as Director he led the original strategy development process at its beginning. In addition, Steve is a co-founder and President of the Herbert M. Karol Cancer Foundation. He formerly served as a member of the Board of Overseers of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and as a Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Boston Ballet, where he is now a Trustee Emeritus. He also serves as the Chairman of the Louisburg Square Proprietors, and as a member of the Wings Neck Trust Finance and Investment Committees.
Steve received his B.S. from Tufts University, and he is a graduate of the Presidents’ Program on Leadership (PPL) at Harvard Business School. Steve is married with three children and resides in Boston’s Beacon Hill. He likes tennis and golf and is an avid pilot, horseback rider, cyclist, sailor, reader and wine collector.
Dale S. Okonow
“We are a tight-knit family at Watermill. Our longevity together as successful investors in the always-changing private equity arena continues to differentiate us from others in our industry.”
Dale Okonow is a Senior Partner of The Watermill Group. He is involved in the day-to-day operations of the firm, including oversight of financial and operational functions, the negotiation and financing of acquisitions, and oversight and divestitures of portfolio companies.
Dale returned to the Watermill Group in 2009. From 2001 to 2007, Dale was a Partner, President and Chief Operating Officer of Sawyer Realty Holdings, LLC, a leading privately-held, fully-integrated US multifamily real estate investment and management firm based in Needham, MA and College Park, MD.
Prior to joining Sawyer, Dale served as General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer of HMK Enterprises, Inc. from 1988 to 1991, and then Managing Partner of Watermill Ventures from 1991 to 2001. Prior to joining HMK Enterprises, Inc., Dale was a practicing attorney with the law firm of Proskauer Rose LLP in New York City, where he worked as a corporate lawyer primarily in the area of mergers and acquisitions and related financing.
Dale serves on the Board of Trustees and Strategic Planning Committee of the Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Boston where he founded the Parkinson’s Family Support Program at that social services agency. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and the Development Committee of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (CJP) and served as the co-chair of the 2012 CJP Annual Campaign, a member of the Board of Advisors of Our Generation Speaks, an organization that fosters cooperation and relationship-building between Palestinians and Israelis through start-up business ventures, and the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Friends of Yemin Orde Youth Village, which is located in northern Israel.
He received a B.S. (with distinction) from Cornell University in 1978, and a J.D. (magna cum laude) and M.B.A. from Cornell University in 1983. An avid Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots fan, Dale and his wife Marilyn live in Needham, MA, and have two adult children.
BENJAMIN P. PROCTER
ROBERT W. ACKERMAN
TIMOTHY C. EBURNE
Benjamin P. Procter
“Every good company needs creative entrepreneurial thinking and disciplined professional management. Our investment process and oversight bring both sides of this to the companies in which we invest.”
Benjamin Procter is a Senior Partner at The Watermill Group where he oversees the sourcing, due diligence and acquisition of new investments. Ben joined HMK Enterprises, Inc., (an affiliated holding company of The Watermill Group) in 1987. During more than 30 years with Watermill, Ben has led or been involved in over 50 acquisitions and numerous public and private financings. He also served as a senior executive of several HMK portfolio companies. Currently he serves on the Boards of Cooper & Turner and Enbi Global.
Ben is an active member of the Association for Corporate Growth where he served as President and CEO of the Boston Chapter from 2010 to 2013 and previously served on the Global Board of Directors. Ben received the ACG Meritorious Service Award in 2004.
Ben received his B.A. in Economics from Trinity College, his M.S. in Accounting from Northeastern University, and is also a CPA. He is married with three grown children and is an avid Boston sports fan.
Robert W. Ackerman
“We thrive on the quest for opportunity, and the possibility of identifying a path to success that may have been overlooked or underestimated by others.”
Bob Ackerman is a Partner at Watermill Group. Bob has held senior management positions at industrial manufacturing and value-added distribution companies for more than 30 years. He has been creating value for portfolio investments as part of the Watermill team for the last 20 of these years as an Advisor, portfolio company CEO and Partner to The Watermill Group and HMK Enterprises Inc. (an affiliated holding company of The Watermill Group). His management experience includes profit improvement through operational and cost improvement as well as the implementation of business strategies to drive top-line growth through formulation and process innovation and capital improvement planning.
Bob’s experience includes his management roles at Sheffield Steel Corporation, a mini-mill producer of SBQ and MBQ bars and concrete reinforcing bar. While at Sheffield, Bob served as Chairman and CEO from 1999 to 2000, and President and CEO from 1992 to 1999. Earlier, Bob was President and CEO of Lincoln Pulp & Paper Company from 1988 to 1992 and President of Premoid Corporation, a specialty paper manufacturer, from 1978 to 1986. He was CFO of Preco Inc., the parent to Lincoln and Premoid, from 1974 to 1978. From 1962 to 1966, he served as an auditor and consultant with the Management Services division of Arthur Young & Company.
Bob served as Chairman of the Steel Manufacturers Association, representing the North American mini-mill producers, from 1998 to 2000, as a Trustee of the Baupost Fund, a mutual fund, from 1992 to 2002 and as Chairman of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Nature Conservancy from 2002 to 2008. He is currently a director of the New England Forestry Foundation and several other public and private corporations.
Bob served as a member of the faculty of Harvard Business School from 1968 to 1974, teaching Business Policy and Management of Small Enterprises and again from 1986 to 1988 in the Advanced Management Program. His published works include The Social Challenge to Business, Harvard University Press, 1975 and Strategy and Organization, Richard D. Irwin Inc, 1976.
Bob graduated from the engineering school at Yale University, received his M.B.A. and D.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and is also a CPA.
Timothy C. Eburne
“We’ve developed the discipline to pursue only the deals where we can add value. We don’t chase opportunities that aren’t fully aligned with the interests of our investors.”
Timothy Eburne is a Partner at The Watermill Group. He has over 30 years’ experience in turnaround and workout situations. Since joining The Watermill Group in 1996, Tim has assumed several senior management positions in the firm’s portfolio companies. Tim has served as President and CEO of Watermill portfolio company Preferred Rubber Compounding Corp. from 1997 to 1999. Tim served as President and CEO of Crossville Rubber, Inc. from 1996 to 2001, and served Moore’s Lumber & Building Supplies, Inc. as interim-CEO and CFO from 2000 to 2001.
Prior to joining the team at The Watermill Group, Tim was Principal and Director of the Boston office of Corporate Recovery Services at Arthur Andersen LLP from 1992 to 1996. From 1989 to 1996, he served as the senior partner of Regenesis Group, a firm specializing in turnarounds and workouts. In 1983, he co-founded Invicta Consulting, a consulting company that focused on restructurings and bankruptcies. Tim also held senior positions in a variety of industries including manufacturing, construction, distribution and retail, seafood, and food processing.
Tim is a Chartered Accountant in London, England, and is a member of The American Bankruptcy Institute.
Director of Research
ANABELLE D. SKALLEBERG
Director of Research
“We take the Watermill value of Integrity very seriously. It permeates our everyday behavior as we live by the concept, “Do what you say, and say what you mean.” What I love about this is that it helps remove posturing so we can quickly get down to the key issues.”
Peter d’Entremont is Watermill’s Director of Research, where he is responsible for deal analysis and strategy research and development. He manages strategic market research for new investments and current portfolio companies including both primary and secondary research and contributes to all aspects of Watermill’s due diligence process. Peter began working with Watermill in 2003, and has led projects both as a senior analyst and as an operational consultant, helping to develop and implement programs resulting from Watermill’s strategy process.
Previously, Peter was an engineer with a wide range of experience in manufacturing, medical devices, biotechnology, and instrumentation and automation companies. He has significant experience as an independent consultant for a wide range of businesses and was a mechanical engineer for Apex Medical, a startup focused on implantable medical devices, Aphios a bio-pharmaceutical processing R&D company, and Zymark, a laboratory robotics company (currently part of Caliper Life Sciences). Peter is an inventor on four U.S. patents. Peter is a member of the Trustees of Reservations and often visits their reservations. He is also a founding member of the Trustee’s Community Supported Agriculture program at Powisset Farm in Dover, Massachusetts.
Peter earned an MBA with Highest Distinction from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He also earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, with a concentration in Government and Foreign Affairs, from the University of Virginia in 1989.
Anabelle D. Skalleberg
“As a values-driven organization, our guiding principles are present in everything we do – from ordinary, everyday interactions to difficult decisions in challenging times.”
Anabelle Skalleberg is a Principal at Watermill Group responsible for business development efforts and executing transactions. Prior to joining Watermill, Ms. Skalleberg worked for Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX: FLT) as part of the mergers and acquisitions team. Before joining FLT she worked for Pine Street Capital Partners from 2012 – 2018 and was primarily involved with deal sourcing, portfolio management and investment evaluation and execution. Before her role with the Wellesley based mezzanine investment firm, she was an Assistant Vice President at Meketa Investment Group. While at Meketa, she was part of the Private Markets team responsible for researching private equity funds, leading diligence efforts on Latin American focused funds, and implementing the firm’s business development efforts in the southeast U.S. and Latin America regions. Prior to Meketa, Anabelle was the Head of Finance and MIS for the Cards Business at Sovereign Bank / Santander. Early in her career Anabelle interned at Consilium Partners as a Financial Analyst and also worked at Grant Thornton in its Corporate Finance advisory practice as a Consultant.
Anabelle is on the Board of Directors of United South End Settlements, a Boston-based non-profit that offers programs that support the whole family in achieving economic mobility.
Anabelle is a graduate of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra (BA) and the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College (MBA).
“We understand how immense it can be to make the transition from family ownership. It’s humbling to be trusted with that responsibility, and even more humbling seeing the impact that successful transitions can have on founders, employees and communities.”
Scott Oudheusden is a Principal at the Watermill Group where he is responsible for the evaluation, due diligence and execution of potential transactions, as well as providing assistance to portfolio companies. Scott has over 5 years of experience as both an attorney and investor.
Prior to joining Watermill, Scott worked as an analyst at Stadium Capital Management, an investment firm based in Connecticut, where he was responsible for evaluating public market investment opportunities. Prior to his time at Stadium, Scott was an attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, where he advised corporate clients on a variety of transactional matters totaling several billion dollars in transaction value, ranging from initial public offerings to high-yield bond offerings and syndicated lending transactions.
Scott received his B.A. from Northwestern University, where he graduated with departmental honors in Economics. He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia and was an Editor of the Virginia Law Review. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors and is an avid fisherman and skier.
Director of Finance
Business Development Coordinator
Director of Finance
“Our hands-on approach and diversity of experience across so many functions are part of what makes Watermill so special.”
Olga Levin is the Director of Finance at Watermill and manages the firm’s corporate accounting and finance function, as well as supports Watermill investors.
Ms. Levin joined Watermill after four years at Cambridge Associates, LLC, a global investment firm, where she was a Manager in the Portfolio Administration Group, overseeing audits within investment operations. Prior to that, Ms. Levin was a Senior Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) where she provided assurance services in the alternative investment management space, spanning hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, and mutual funds, employee benefit plans, real estate and funds of funds. She is fluent in Russian and English.
Olga received her B.A. in Business Administration, Accounting and International Business from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business. She is a Certified Public Accountant.
“The decades-long history of Watermill is positive proof that high-performing and enduring teams are built on foundations of trust and respect.”
Yumi Sakuma is the Accounting Manager at Watermill Group. She works closely with the Director of Finance to support the corporate accounting and finance function of Watermill.
Prior to joining Watermill, she was the Senior Accountant at IBM where she managed inter-company accounting with worldwide subsidiaries.
She graduated from Northeastern University with a B.A. in Business Administration. She loves to travel and dance salsa.
Business Development Coordinator
“Integrity is a part of our DNA. There’s an incredible feeling of pride and fulfillment that comes from working with a team that shares high moral standards.”
Kaari Purstell is the Business Development Coordinator for Watermill Group. Kaari supports Watermill’s marketing efforts as well as business development initiatives. She joined Watermill Group in 2014 and previously held the role of Executive Assistant and Manager of Administration.
Prior to joining Watermill, Kaari received her B.A. in Finance and Retail Management at Simmons College. She received a Master’s Certificate in Marketing Management and Digital Strategy from Harvard Extension School.
RICHARD J. HALL
“As an empowered and supportive team, we celebrate every success as a collective achievement.”
Kim Gallagher joined Watermill in 2018 and is a member of the Administration team. She works closely with accounting handling day to day financial transactions such as invoicing, accounts payables and accounts receivables. She also provides administrative and technical support to the entire Watermill Group team.
Kim has more than 18 years of experience in office management and administrative support. Prior to joining Watermill, she was an Operations Manager at Carr Workplaces where she managed a shared office spare for more than 100 clients in varying industries. She loves to travel and is an avid Boston sports fan!
Richard J. Hall
“Trust, respect and honest communication underpin our culture, and create an environment in which everyone can do their best work.”
Richard J. Hall (RJ) is an Analyst at the Watermill Group where he supports with strategic and financial analysis on potential acquisitions and assists with deal diligence from pre-IOI to post-LOI.
RJ joined Watermill as an intern in 2019 after graduating from Tufts University. While at Tufts, RJ had a very successful baseball career as a pitcher. In 2017, RJ founded a wooden tailgating table company focused on sustainability. RJ majored in Economics and minored in Entrepreneurial Leadership.
In his free time, you will find RJ outdoors golfing, fishing, or skiing.
“Mutual respect is a powerful motivator. It’s something we nurture within our own team and flow out into every investor, partner and business relationship we have.”
Mary Rosone serves as a key member of Watermill Group’s administration team. Mary has worked with the Watermill partners since the late 1980’s, serving in various capacities with HMK Enterprises, Watermill Ventures and Watermill Group. From 2001 to 2007, Mary joined Sawyer Realty Holdings, LLC, a leading multifamily real estate investment and management firm, returning to Watermill in 2007. Mary enjoys water sports and the beach and lives with her family in Rhode Island.
Oliver Smudge was adopted from Great Dog Rescue New England by Watermill COO and President, Julia Karol. He enjoys burying bones, hanging on to pant legs.
WE PARTNER WITH A VIBRANT NETWORK OF ADVISORS
Watermill firmly believes that strategy directs corporate growth and the right team drives it. That is why we leverage our talented network to build Advisory Boards with impact. Watermill carefully curates boards with diverse backgrounds and an eye for the skill sets we believe will best support each management team and strategy. Watermill Advisors offer fresh insight, direction, guidance and feedback to support our Portfolio companies to achieve their aggressive goals.
John R. Allard
John R. Allard is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Allard Ventures Group & Allard Nazarian Group, Inc., privately held investment companies with holdings focused on manufacturing companies in the Defense and Industrial markets as well as various real estate holdings in the Hospitality industry.
His career in mergers and acquisitions over the past 25 years has focused on strategy development, financial management, team building and negotiation; critical skills that have enabled him to take several companies to high levels of performance in extremely competitive markets. During his tenure he has lead the company and its investors through over 30 acquisitions and divestitures.
Mr. Allard is currently a member of the Tenere Board of Advisors for Watermill Group.
He is a strong advocate for a number of non-profit organizations, including the Derryfield School in Manchester, NH where he has been a member of the Board of Trustees for the past 18 years. He is a member of the World President’s Organization (WPO) and was a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) (1993-2015).
Mr. Allard served as the New England Chapter Communications Officer (1995- 1997), Chapter Finance Officer (1997-1999), Shanghai University Hospitality Host (2001), Chairman of the International Boston University in 2002 and as Regional Governance Officer (2006) while with YPO.
In addition, Mr. Allard is a co-founder and Director of the Allard Family Charitable Foundation.
Mr. Allard received his B.S. from Pepperdine University and is a graduate of the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Mr. Allard is married with three children; enjoys golfing, skiing and cycling, as well as collecting fine wines and cigars.
Jeffrey Beck is a successful operating executive and board member with a track record of transforming and scaling industrial technology businesses by synchronizing organic growth, acquisitions, operational excellence and financial discipline.
Since April 2018, Mr. Beck has been an Operating Partner with Artemis Capital Partners, a Boston based middle market private equity firm specializing in industrial technology markets. In this role, Mr. Beck partners with CEO’s and management teams to develop and implement strategic plans designed to enhance a business’ value. He also assists with deal dynamics and talent selection across the firm’s portfolio.
From 2015 through 2018 Mr. Beck was President and CEO of Astrodyne TDI, a PE owned 1,000-employee leader in high performance power supply solutions that enable mission critical systems in medical, semiconductor, aerospace, military and automation industries. Under his leadership EBITDA more than doubled and the business was sold in 2017 resulting in a lucrative exit for shareholders. Prior to joining Astrodyne TDI, Mr. Beck served as President and CEO of Presstek Corporation, the leading provider of commercial scale direct imaging offset printing technologies.
Previously Mr. Beck was COO with iRobot Corporation, (NASDAQ, IRBT). Prior to being appointed COO he was initially recruited as president of the Home (consumer) Robot Division. During Mr. Beck’s five-year tenure at iRobot, the strategies he architected and implemented accelerated revenues, expanded margins and ultimately quadrupled the corporation’s market value.
Before joining iRobot, Mr. Beck served at AMETEK Corporation as SVP/GM of its flagship Aerospace & Defense Division. That division, with over 3,000 employees represented a substantial portion of AMETEK’s sales and profits. Prior to being appointed to lead the Aerospace and Defense Division, Mr. Beck built the Power Systems & Instruments Division from a small initial platform into a highly profitable large strategic division.
Mr. Beck developed many of his business leadership skills serving as a Division President with Danaher Corporation. There he learned and utilized the world-renowned Danaher Business System to build and lead a successful motion control and automation business called Danaher Precision Systems.
Earlier in Mr. Beck’s career he spent ten years with Emerson Electric Corporation progressing through increasing levels of responsibilities in engineering, sales and general management.
Mr. Beck has extensive board experience with public and private corporations in the semiconductor, robotics and automation markets. He served on the board of Sun Edison Semiconductor (NASDAQ Symbol: SEMI) which was acquired in 2016 by an overseas strategic buyer for a substantial premium. He currently serves on the board of inTest Corporation (NASDAQ INTT), Soft Robotics Corporation and ENBI Corporation.
Mr. Beck holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and an MBA from Boston University.
Until his retirement in 2011, Russell Goodman was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he was Managing Partner of various business units across Canada and the Americas. He also held global leadership roles in the services and transportation industry sectors.
Mr. Goodman is currently the Lead Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Northland Power Inc., a leading global clean and green power producer. He is also Chairman of IG Wealth Management Funds IRC, a member of the Power Corporation group.
Mr. Goodman is also a director and chair of the audit committees of; Gildan Activewear, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of basic apparel; and Metro, a leader in the Canadian grocery and pharmacy sectors.
He was previously on the boards of Whistler-Blackcomb Holdings and Forth Ports Limited.
Mr. Goodman is active in outdoor activities including alpine and backcountry skiing, trail running, kayaking, cycling, hiking, trekking and adventure travel. He was a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team (1968-1975) and is a member of the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame.
Mr. Goodman is a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants and a holder of the ICD.D. designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. He completed a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from McGill University and is a recipient of the Governor General of
Canada Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.
Kathleen Bowden is the CEO of CXO Communication, a leading brand strategy and communication firm that helps companies articulate what they do and why it matters and then communicate that story to the audiences that matter most to their success. Kathleen serves as a trusted advisor to top executives at companies ranging from start ups to Fortune 50 brands.
Prior to CXO, Kathleen was a managing director at Citigate Cunningham, a public relations firm known for its strategic work with the world’s most respected technology companies. Kathleen founded the firm’s Digital Consumer Practice and led communication efforts for brand names including Atari, Berklee College of Music, Cisco Systems, Creative Labs, Fast Company, IBM, Kodak, Motorola, Sears and Sun Microsystems. Earlier in her career, Kathleen worked for Weber Shandwick, the world’s largest public relations firm.
Kathleen holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising from Emerson College.
SAMANTHA T. BURMAN
Dr. Richard Bruno serves as the CEO of Beyond If Corporation. After twenty-five years as an entrepreneur, he now focuses his energy on mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs, managing technology investments and defining innovation policies for governments-industry. He also plays an active role on the boards of McGill University Innovation, OMGsignal Inc., Tenere Inc., TPG Inc., Univalor Inc., the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies and Walter Surface Technologies.
Between 2004-14, he played key roles as the founder and former chairperson of Quebec Angels, a two term member of the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program advisory board, a member of the CVT Corporation advisory board, a two term board member of the Foundation of the Mayor (Montreal Inc.), a board member of Toon Boom Inc. as well as having been a board member of the SAT, Stromatec Medical Devices Inc. and Medical Intelligence Inc. and, an advisory board member of Hexagram Inc., PassWordBox Inc. and Wajam Corp.. During this time period he also served as a venture partner at Cycle Capital Management, Cycle-C3E Capital, iNovia Capital, and MSBi Capital. Between 2004 and 2006 he was the director of McGill University’s Office of Technology Transfer and Industry Funded Research.
In 1989 he launched his first multimillion-dollar startup in the Karaoke space and, from then on, became a successful six-time repeat entrepreneur in the multimedia production, computer games, digital video & audio chipsets, video-conferencing and information security market spaces. Prior to that, he served as a research group manager and chief technology officer for over sixteen years at N.V. Philips Germany.
Richard began his career in 1971 as a university professor in solid state physics at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen and the C.H. Ludwig Maximillian Universitaet.
Richard earned a Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from McMaster University, an honors B.S. in Physics from McGill University, and an Executive Program MBA from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Richard has authored over a hundred and fifty publications, patents and books in fields as varied as solid state physics, epidemiology, clean-tech, software engineering, multimedia, cryptology, optical systems and chip set development.
Samantha T. Burman
Samantha Trottman Burman brings over 25 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions and board leadership with an emphasis on creating transformational strategic change.
Ms. Burman is currently a member of Beth Israel Deaconess- Needham Hospital’s Board of Advisors and serves on the Patient Care Assessment Committee. Ms. Burman was a member of the Hospital’s Board of Trustees from 2010-2019. She is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) and currently serves on the Investment sub-committee.
Ms. Burman served as a Director and a member of the Audit Committee of MedAssets, Inc., a publicly traded healthcare performance improvement company based in Alpharetta, GA from 1999-2012. From 1998 to 2003, Ms. Burman worked as a Principal and then Partner at Parthenon Capital, a Boston-based private equity investment firm. From 1996 to 1998, Ms. Burman served as Chief Financial Officer of Physicians Quality Care, a physician practice management firm. From 1993-1996, she served as an Associate at Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm.
Ms. Burman holds a M. Eng. and BA from Cambridge University in England, as well as an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School. She lives in Dover, MA with her husband, Mitchell Burman, and their four children. She enjoys travel, fitness, nutrition and reading.
In 2016, Rick Ekstein established Phaze 3 Associates, an Asset Management/Investment team that primarily engaged in managing various industrial and commercial real estate properties, investing in residential and commercial green-field and redevelopment projects, as well as private companies in both the Venture Capital and Private Equity spaces.
Along with the Phaze 3 Philanthropy team, Mr. Ekstein and his wife, Lillian, co-founded the Together We Stand Military Families Foundation to honour and thank Canadian military families for their service.
Prior to 2016, Mr. Ekstein was President and CEO of Weston Forest Products, and the Weston Forest Group of Companies.
Currently he is an Equity Partner and Board Member of Elevate Financial, Weston Wood Solutions, Brookside Capital Partners, Element 5 Co., Awz Ventures, Weston Forest Products, and The Logic, an online publication covering the Canadian innovation economy.
He also sits on the International Economic Policy and National Policy Councils of the C.D. Howe Institute, where he is a Board Member. Mr. Ekstein sits on the Boards of the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the Regimental Council of The Queen’s York Rangers, and the Association for Lumber Remanufacturers of Ontario, which he also founded.
Mr. Ekstein is a past Board Member of the National Hardwood Lumber Association, a former Chair of the North American Wholesale Lumber Association, and founder and former Chairman of the Canadian Lumber Remanufacturers Association.
Rick is married to his high school sweetheart Lillian, has two daughters, two wonderful granddaughters and a grandson.
Deb Coller is a highly respected Communications and Marketing executive with an extensive record of leadership in multi-billion dollar global enterprises. Coller was most recently the Vice President of Communications for Johnson Controls, a $42B global industrial company serving customers in 150 countries. As an executive with the company’s Building Efficiency Division, she was a global, strategic business partner responsible for communications strategy and execution. She managed a $40 million budget for the Division, which included 170,000 employees worldwide. Her experience helped the organization become the fastest growing enterprise within the Corporation.
Prior to Johnson Controls, Coller was Vice President of Global Marketing and Communications for ADT, a division of Tyco International. As the world’s largest electronic security company, ADT achieved revenue of more than $8B with 60,000 employees and operations in 40 countries. Coller’s successful career has been distinguished with notable accomplishments in: vision and strategic planning, innovative public relations and employee communications campaigns, operational leadership and diverse cross-functional assignments.
Coller’s commitment to excellence and personal integrity combined with her skills in business planning and operations management have helped her achieve a highly successful career. Recent career highlights include responsibility for brand management for the ADT trademark, one of the world’s most recognizable brands for electronic security with registrations in over 70 countries; global oversight for more than 50 websites; and public relations and crisis communications for global brands. As part of her unique ability to lead global operations teams in addition to her communications and marketing functions, Coller has managed a $90 million global account sales and operations channel, worldwide business continuity teams, and an award-winning customer service transformation program.
Prior to joining ADT and its parent, Tyco International, Coller served as Vice President of Corporate Communications for Sensormatic Electronics Corporation, the global leader in anti-theft systems serving 80 percent of the world’s top 100 retailers. She developed marketing and communications programs that ranged from Olympic Sponsorships to crisis responses resulting from legacy SEC, FTC and FDA issues.
Before Sensormatic, Coller was Vice President and a founding member of Advanced Promotion Technologies (APT) for eight years. APT was a joint venture of Procter & Gamble, Dun & Bradstreet and Schlumberger Technologies. Often credited with the first consumer chip-card program, APT pioneered technologies to help consumer goods manufacturers identify and market to target households based on specific purchases and demographics.
Graduating with High Honors from the University of Florida, Coller has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and a concentration in Computer Science. She was voted by faculty as the “Student of the Year” at graduation. In her free time, Coller enjoys boating, traveling with her family and the endless task of renovating her home.
W. DOUGLAS ROBINSON
PETER M. GRADY
Herbert Cordt is the Chairman and President of Cordt & Partner, an international corporate finance boutique in Vienna, Austria. He is presently also serving as Chairman of RHI AG, the Vienna stock market listed world market leader in refractories (Reuters: RHI VI, Bloomberg: RHI AV), and Chairman of Ebner Furnaces, the privately owned world market leader in industrial heating systems.
After an executive banking career with two of Austria’s leading banks- Austrian Postal Savings Bank and Osterreichische Landerbank- Herbert has been associated with Citigroup as a member of Citi’s Advisory Board in Germany.
Mr. Cordt has recently been invited to join the Board of Advisors of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service for its MSFS Program.
Mr. Cordt also actively supports a variety of non-profit organizations in Europe, including the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, where he has been awarded membership to the Hall of Fame, the Josefstadt Theater, where he is a benefactor patron, and the Vienna State Opera. In addition, Herbert is a founding investor of Respekt.net, the leading Austrian crowd funding platform for NGO’s and other social projects. Just last year, he was an associate producer of “A Shtetl in the Caribbean,” a documentary about two European Jewish families surviving the holocaust and seeking refuge in the Caribbean.
W. DOUGLAS ROBINSON
Doug Robinson was most recently the CEO and Director of West Marine the leading retailer of boating supplies with over 250 locations nationally. He was President of International Operations and Development for Lowe’s Companies until his retirement from Lowe’s in 2016. While reporting to Lowe’s Chairman and CEO, Mr. Robinson created new growth outside the U.S. including building Canadian, Mexican, and Australian subsidiaries to combined revenues of $5 billion.
Prior to joining Lowe’s, Mr. Robinson was Chief Executive Officer, President and as a Member of the Board of Directors of ARXX ICF – an innovative specialty building products company in Ontario, Canada. He improved the company’s cost structure, reorganized the supply chain, tested new distribution formats, and assembled a new management team.
Mr. Robinson was also CEO and President of Beaver Lumber Company in Ontario – a $1 billion 90-year old building supply retailer with 3,000 employees and 167 stores. He was recruited to transform the company from a B2C retailer to a B2B supplier and to lead the divestiture of the company by its parent (Molson). He turned around the business from an operating loss to a gain and completed the sale of the company in 2000.
Mr. Robinson began his career with 12 years at 84 Lumber Company – a $2 billion family-owned building materials supplier in Pittsburgh with over 250 locations and 5,000 employees across 35 states. He began as a management trainee and worked in a variety of store management roles including oversight of the 72-store central region where he transformed this group of stores from a historically break-even situation to one of the company’s most profitable regions. In 1992, Mr. Robinson was named a Member of the company’s Board of Directors and assumed the position of Corporate VP of Purchasing. He helped transition the company’s business model from B2C to B2B and helped deliver the highest net profit in the company’s 34 year history during a period of significant industry change.
Mr. Robinson is currently a Director of; Tradesmen International, a workforce recruiting company serving the construction industry, Conner Industries, Inc., a privately-held national lumber processor and provider of integrated packaging solutions, Merchants Metals the second largest fencing manufacturer and distributor in the US.
Doug and his wife Kristine currently live in South Carolina.
John Goodman currently serves as a Director for Proto Labs, a position he has held for over 14 years during which time the company has grown from start up to over $200 million in sales and gone public. John chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee and serves on the Audit Committee.
Mr. Goodman held several leadership positions with Entegris, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ENTG) from 1982 until October of 2010, most recently serving as Senior VP and CTO. John was a key part of the leadership team that grew Entegris from $10 to over $600 million in revenue. Goodman supported Entegris to IPO in 2000, drove several acquisitions and participated in two large mergers. Goodman led the integration of Poco Graphite into Entegris after it was acquired in 2008 and he served as the President of this key supplier of specialty materials. Throughout his tenure at Entegris, John led the R&D groups that developed the materials and products serving customers in the semiconductor and other demanding markets. In addition John has had full P&L responsibility at the business unit and division level and has led sales and marketing.
While at Entegris, Goodman started and served as President of the Fuel Cell business, a leading supplier of components and subsystems to fuel cell developers. Goodman served as Policy Chairman and then President of the US Fuel Cell Council in 2004 and 2005.
Goodman was a gubernatorial appointee to the Clean Energy Technology Collaborative which developed an R&D roadmap for the State of Minnesota and he lead the hydrogen and fuel cell work group for the project. John served as the first Chairman of the Industrial Advisory Board of the NSF funded Fuel Cell R&D Center at the University of South Carolina. He has also served on advisory boards for the University of Minnesota Institute for Renewable Energy and the Environment and for the Minnesota Hydrogen Initiative.
Goodman is a past President of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (IEST) and has chaired the International Confederation of Contamination Control Societies (ICCCS).
John earned a BS in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics and an MBA, both from the University of Minnesota.
Peter M. Grady
Peter Grady is an independent consultant, leveraging his extensive background in the automotive industry. Prior to joining Watermill Group portfolio company QMC’s Board of Advisors, he had completed a 30+ year career with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, most recently as a member of the Management Team from June 2009 until retirement in April 2015. He served as Head of Dealer Network Development for the company since 2009, as well as President and CEO of Maserati North America from 2013 to 2015. Mr. Grady led Global Fleet Operations from 2009 to 2013, as well as developing and launching Chrysler Capital, the company’s retail financing arm of which he maintained oversight until retirement. His other leadership roles within FCA included regional sales and after sales positions in the US and internationally. He served as President of Chrysler Taiwan Ltd from 1997 to 2000.
Mr. Grady has served on many industry Boards and task forces, and has been a frequent speaker at industry events. In particular, he is recognized for his experience in the fields of franchise distribution, auto finance operations, and leadership development. He has been active in the United Way of Southeast Michigan, a strong supporter of Forgotten Harvest, engaged other charitable agencies across the US, and served on the Walter P. Chrysler Museum Board of Directors.
Mr. Grady holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. A long-suffering Cleveland sports fan, his hobbies include boating, watersports, bird hunting, fly-fishing, and travel. He and his wife, Clare, reside in Rochester, Michigan and are blessed with three terrific children and a wonderful daughter-in-law.
RONALD M. KRISANDA
DAVID L. MALCOLM
JOHN T. McCARTER
Charles Kalmbach is a professional corporate director. He serves as a member of the board and Audit Committee of Lincoln Educational Systems,, Inc. He has served as a director and Audit Committee member of Midwest Airlines and Resources for the Future, Inc. and has been Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University Medical Center of Princeton. He has also served on numerous corporate and non-profit boards.
Charles has a rare blend of both global operating experience and strategic consulting background. He has spent a substantial portion of his career in the boardroom, as a director of both public and private companies, a CEO and a director of a multi-national company, an advisor to boards and as an active member of non-profit boards. He is a financial expert and has helped boards and senior management teams in the areas of strategy, leadership, governance, compensation, and risk management. He has a strong background working with complex organizations that are grappling with growth opportunities – particularly outside of North America.
Charles is the former Chief Executive Officer of DBM, Inc., one of the largest providers of human capital and career transition services in the world with 230 offices serving 85 countries. As CEO and Director of DBM, he restructured the company’s global operations, introduced new processes, and grew its profits while expanding the company’s footprint in India and China. Just prior to joining DBM, Charles had been asked by the President of Princeton University, his alma mater, to take on a new role at the school as the university’s first Chief Administrative Officer. As a member of the three person “Office of the President”, he supervised over 4,500 non-academic staff and oversaw the school’s physical plant, including leading the dramatically expanded building program. He used his expertise in human capital development and organization strategy to expand the influence and contributions of the human resource function as well as to create a new long term planning process for the university. He has also served as the Director of the School of Christian Vocation and Mission at the Princeton Theological Seminary.
Charles’ seventeen years in strategic consulting with McKinsey, PriceWaterhouse, and Accenture has given him experience and understanding in a broad range of industries including financial services, health care, hospitality, transportation, manufacturing and technology, both domestically and internationally. In addition to leading consulting projects for major clients, he served on Accenture’s Global Management and Global Leadership Councils. He has also been a global practice leader for five different practice areas at Accenture, specializing in human performance, organizational strategy and their link to the enterprises success. He has authored over 25 published articles on engineering, legal and business topics and has written two books.
He has received several degrees (BSE, MA, and PhD) from Princeton University in engineering and applied mathematics. He also holds a JD degree from the University of Pennsylvania in corporate and international law and a M.Div. from the Princeton Theological Seminary.
Charles and his wife live in Princeton, NJ and have four children.
Ronald M. Krisanda
Mr. Ronald M. Krisanda is the Former President and Chief Operating Officer at Milacron Holdings Corporation. Prior to that he was Chief Operating Officer and President of the Mold-Masters business and leader of the integration of Mold-Masters into Milacron post the acquisition in May 2013. Mr. Krisanda is skilled at driving significant operational improvement programs, leading and positioning companies for growth and market share gains and enhancing shareholder value. As a corporate officer he was part of the team that was responsible for a successful IPO in June 2015 on the NYSE.
Mr. Krisanda served as the Chief Operating Officer of Edwards Group Limited from January 2009 through November 2012, and led the Operations, Supply Chain, Engineering and Technology organizations, and was responsible for its extensive restructuring program that more than doubled the EBITDA performance of the business. This turn around led to an IPO on the NASDAQ in May of 2012, and an eventual trade sale to Atlas Copoco.
From 2002 to 2008, Mr. Krisanda held senior management positions with Tyco International, including President of $3.5B Tyco Fire & Security Europe, Middle East and Africa, President of Tyco Safety Products and Vice President of Operations for Tyco Plastics. Prior to Tyco, he was Senior Vice President of Operations of Multilink Technology Corp. from November 2000 to 2002, and Vice President Asia Operations for Motorola’s Broadband Communication Sector (the successor by acquisition of General Instrument Corporation), based out of Taiwan from 1997 to 2000.
Mr Krisanda started his career at the Ford Motor Company in 1984 and worked in both the Electronics Division and the Climate Control Division holding a variety of engineering, operations and supply chain leadership positions. He is a skilled international business leader experienced with both Private Equity owned and publicly held companies. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Watermill Group portfolio company, Quality Metalcraft, Inc.
Mr Krisanda received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University and a Master of Science degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Lehigh University.
David L. Malcolm
After earning his real estate license while still in high school, David Malcolm earned his broker’s license and never looked back. Over four decades, he has built an enviable career, while earning the highest commercial real estate designation (CCIM) and graduating from the Harvard Business School Presidents Program.
Under his leadership Cal West Apartments and its predecessor company have mapped thousands of lots, built thousands of homes and apartments, and provided financing for thousands of home buyers and commercial clients. From 2004 to 2020 alone, David Malcolm handled sales, acquisitions, management and loan renegotiations totaling more than $4 billion.
David Malcolm has served on numerous boards of directors, including several public companies. His extensive public service includes having been a City of Chula Vista Councilmember for 10 years, a Port of San Diego Commissioner for seven years, the longest serving California Coastal Commissioner over a period of 12 years and the first-ever appointee to the California Judicial Performance Commission after its creation pursuant to a state ballot measure in 1994.
For 31 years, he served on the Board of Directors of St. Vincent de Paul Management (part of Father Joe’s Villages), four years as Chairman. David Malcolm also chaired Board 1 of the San Diego County Assessment Appeals Board. He has served on the boards of directors of the American Cancer Society San Diego, Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate at San Diego State University, First International Bank of San Diego, People’s Bank, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., Scripps Institution of Oceanography and South Bay Family YMCA.
David Malcolm is current Chairman of the Lincoln Club of San Diego Political Action Committee and a member of the Board of Directors for San Diego Christian College, as well as a five-year member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego YPO Gold Chapter.
John T. McCarter
Mr. John McCarter started his career with General Electric, working for GE for more than thirty years, while serving in corporate officer roles in its Energy business and its corporate region management.
In his final position with GE, he was President and Region Executive, GE Power Systems Sales Europe. He was responsible for consolidating and directing commercial activities across the portfolio of GE’s business units dealing with electrical energy production and management, as well as the oil and gas energy industry. This included products and services for fossil fueled, nuclear, hydroelectric and wind power generation; compression and power systems for pipeline, refinery, petrochemical process and offshore platform applications; as well as a host of related offerings in the energy management arena.
Earlier positions were with GE Power Systems, working with electric utility and major industrial companies, independent power producers, and cogenerators. His experience covers the spectrum of power activities, from electrical distribution and transmission to thermal and nuclear power generation, including power project development. He held General Manager positions for operations in Latin America, North America Sales, and global Customer Service.
From 2010 to 2012, McCarter was a board member of Comverge, Inc., a publicly traded company which provides intelligent energy management solutions to utilities, commercial and industrial electrical users, and residential consumers.
In 2011, he became a member of the Advisory Board for Advanced Power, North America, an independent power project developer, which now has three large gas fired combined cycle power plants in construction or operation.
In 2014, he became an advisor to Columbia Power, a technology startup developing cost effective conversion of ocean wave energy to electric power.
McCarter was also GE’s University Executive liaison for NC State University, a volunteer position he held for more than a decade. He also served for many years on the North Carolina State Engineering Foundation board, six of those in executive roles, including its President, during an important period of streamlining and restructuring the board, helping guide it through a successful capital campaign and dealing with the transition to a new Dean for the school. He currently serves on the board of NC State’s Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science.
In prior board roles dealing primarily with trade related discussions and negotiations, he worked with the American Chamber of Commerce in Sao Paulo; as Vice President of the Washington based Association of American Chambers of Commerce of Latin America; and as Vice Chair of the Council of the Americas in New York City.
In earlier work, McCarter served on boards of United Cerebral Palsy in Schenectady, NY, the Center for the Disabled in Albany, NY (helping merge these two organizations), NCSU’s External Advisory Board for International Programs and the Editorial Advisory Board of “Latin Trade” magazine. He is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington based think which has also used his consulting help to grow its corporate and private client base.
Mr. John McCarter graduated with honors from North Carolina State University earning a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering.
David Robinson has served as an advisor to Watermill Group and select portfolio companies since 2011. He served as board chairman of “Global Tubes” from its 2012 formation until its successful sale to Ametek in 2015 and is currently serving as Chairman of the Board of Advisors for Watermill Group portfolio company, Quality Metalcraft, Inc.
Previously Mr. Robinson spent most of his career in large businesses, most recently in executive officer positions for Tyco International and Motorola and previously in general management, product management, business development and financial analyst positions.
Dave was the first major operating head hired as part of the successful management clean-up of Tyco International that began in 2002, initially as President of Tyco Plastics & Adhesives. He was President of Tyco Fire & Security from March 2003 until its break-up as part of a three-way Tyco International split in June 2007, leading a complex services-centric business with 80,000 employees in over 60 countries and $12 billion in annual sales.
Before joining Tyco, Robinson spent 17 years working at Motorola (formerly General Instrument), including Executive Vice President of Motorola, Inc. and President of its Broadband Communications Sector. At General Instrument, he earlier led the introduction and explosive sales growth of millions of digital set-tops and the intricately-integrated software and control systems that made them work and, before that, the successful start-up of the company’s fiber optics transmission product line. Dave also spent two years directing AT&T’s cable television product line in the early 1990’s.
In his spare time, Dave plays golf near home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and does a little skiing near his other home in Vermont. He serves as a trustee of Vermont Academy.
Robinson received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Bates College and earned an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Bob has 46 years of experience in heavy manufacturing, primarily in the steel industry. Bob started his career as a trainee at Lukens Steel Company after serving three years as an officer in the USMC. He worked his way up the corporate ladder becoming President of the Company. After leaving Lukens, he served as CEO of two separate steel companies; first, Gulf States Steel in Alabama, followed by Jindal Steel in Texas. Bob is currently COO and part owner of ARTCO Group International, which operates steel service centers and fabrication facilities in Houston, Texas and Hannibal, Ohio.
Bob has a BS degree from SUNY Oswego, and an MBA degree from Widener University.
Pierre Somers is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Walter Group headquartered in Montreal, Canada. The Group’s operating company, Walter Surface Technologies, provides specialized mechanical tools (abrasives, tooling and power tools) to the metal fabricating industries. Environmental solutions (cleaners, degreasers, lubricants and bioremediation parts washers) are offered to those industries by its Bio-Circle® Division. The company operates in 9 countries in the Western Hemisphere and in Europe.
Fluent in French, English and German, Mr. Somers initially worked after graduation in Germany as a Mechanical Engineer for Metabo AG. He later assumed different positions of increased responsibilities within Walter Surface Technologies in Canada and in the USA. Mr. Somers was appointed President of the company in 1989.
Mr. Somers is a founding member of the “Business Families Foundation”. He is a member of the World Presidents Organization, the CEO Organization, the Presidents Club of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Mount Royal Club.
Mr. Somers trained as a Mechanical Engineer and graduated from Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY where he obtained a B.Sc. in 1976. In 2005 he was appointed Alumni of the YPO/MBA Program at the Harvard Business School.