David L. Kessenich
Spend enough time with Excellere and you will notice that there is something different about us. This is intentional. We built an organization around individuals who have backgrounds, skill sets, and attitudes that enhance and perpetuate the firm’s unique culture and philosophy.
Background : People
Prior to joining Excellere, each of our investment professionals and staff had diverse backgrounds and a history of success and achievement. As importantly, we have assembled a team with character and a unique passion for excellence and service to others.
Further reinforcing our differentiated approach, the phrase Strive for Excellence graces the back of Excellere business cards, a wall in our headquarters, and our collateral materials. Strive for Excellence reflects the manifestation of our commitment to a higher standard of service – to our investors, portfolio company managers/partners, lenders, intermediaries, and service providers.
Background : Robert A. Martin
Mr. Martin has spent virtually his entire career as an entrepreneur (founded two companies) or working with entrepreneurs as a middle-market investment banker and a private equity investment professional. Mr. Martin has extensive experience in operations, sales and marketing, strategic planning and value-creation.
Background : David L. Kessenich
Mr. Kessenich, a co-founder of Excellere Partners, has more than 25 years of principal investing and investment banking experience, including originating investment opportunities, leading investment teams, providing strategic and operational oversight, and board governance. Mr. Kessenich has helped many entrepreneurs successfully grow their companies into best-in-class, industry leading businesses. He has extensive industry experience, including healthcare services, medical technology, life sciences; energy services spanning the upstream, midstream and downstream continuum; industrial technology and services, and transportation logistics industries. Prior to forming Excellere Partners, Mr. Kessenich was a senior investment professional and served on the investment committee at three highly successful middle-market private equity firms. Prior to that, Mr. Kessenich was an investment banker with Continental Bank / Bank of America where he advised middle-market companies and entrepreneurs.
Background : Matthew C. Hicks
Mr. Hicks has more than 20 years of experience in private equity investing and financing entrepreneurial owned and managed businesses. Prior to forming Excellere Partners, Mr. Hicks served as an investment professional at Stone Arch Capital, LLC (“SAC”), an Upper Midwest focused middle-market private equity firm. and at George K. Baum Merchant Banc, LLC (“GKB”), a private equity firm focused on a buy and build investment strategy primarily within the food and beverage, consumer products and business service industries. Prior to SAC and GKB, Mr. Hicks began his career as both an investment professional and financing professional in Bank of America’s private equity subsidiary, BankAmerica Capital Corporation. Bank of America’s and Continental Bank’s Leveraged Finance Group, respectively.
Through his career, Mr. Hicks has partnered with numerous entrepreneurial owned and led businesses through recapitalizations and supported those organizations in buy and build growth strategies in the food and beverage, healthcare services, healthcare products and technology, outsourced marketing services, consumer products, office furniture products, and industrial and municipal products industries. Mr. Hicks currently serves on the board of directors of Advanced Infusion Solutions and previously served on the board of directors of Advanced Pain Management, MTS Medication Technologies, PhyMed Holdings prior to their sales.
Mr. Hicks earned an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship, finance and strategic management from The University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and earned a BS in Finance from the University of Utah.
Background : Patrick J. O’Keefe
Mr. O’Keefe joined Excellere Partners in 2007 and is a key deal team member for ASI Government, Medtech College/Institute and prior to its sale, served on the board of directors of U.S. Water Services. Over the course of his career, Mr. O’Keefe has closed over twenty-five middle-market transactions with aggregate transaction value of over $1 billion. Prior to joining Excellere, Mr. O’Keefe was an investment professional with H.I.G. Capital, a middle market private equity firm and an Analyst at JPMorgan in their mergers and acquisition group.
Background : Ryan Glaws
Mr. Glaws joined Excellere Partners in 2007 and has more than 13 years of private equity and leveraged finance experience working with middle market companies. Mr. Glaws currently serves on the board of directors for Advanced Infusion Solutions, DentMall, and Mentis Neuro Rehabilitation, and previously served on the board of directors for AxelaCare Health Solutions. Mr. Glaws was a key team member for MedExpress Urgent Care and MTS Medication Technologies prior to their sales. Prior to joining Excellere, Mr. Glaws was Assistant Vice President for GE Capital’s Healthcare leveraged finance group. Mr. Glaws began his career with Bank One’s Capital Markets Group.
Background : John Lanier
Mr. Lanier has over 30 years of experience advising, leading, and investing in middle-market, entrepreneurially-focused businesses. His early career with Bank of America involved small business working capital financing, which evolved into private equity portfolio company support services with GE Capital. Core to his responsibilities was pioneering the Access GE program. Mr. Lanier is a process efficiency expert, with specialties in process reengineering, change management, and Six Sigma (Master Black Belt). In 2002, Mr. Lanier became KRG Capital Partners' Chief Quality Officer, and developed the firm's first generation operational support toolbox. In 2006, he formed Middle Market Methods, to offer strategic planning, process improvement and/or reengineering, acquisition integration, and change management best practices to private equity portfolio companies. Mr. Lanier's consulting engagements spanned several private equity sponsors (including Excellere, where he was awarded the 2012 Project Expert of the year) and numerous portfolio companies across multiple industry verticals.
Background : Brad Cornell
Brad Cornell joined Excellere Partners in 2011 and is responsible for sourcing, evaluating, and executing new investments and supporting management teams on value creation initiatives at existing portfolio companies. Mr. Cornell has over 17 years of experience in private equity investing, mergers and acquisitions, and financing of middle market companies across a number of industries, including energy; engineering, industrial, and infrastructure, services; and technology enabled solutions. He focuses on the energy products and services sector across the upstream, mid-stream, and downstream value chain, and the business services industry, and currently serves on the boards of directors of Integrated Petroleum Technologies, Systems Integrity Management Solutions, and TrialCard. Mr. Cornell previously served on the board of directors of Personable Insurance prior to its sale.
Prior to joining Excellere, Mr. Cornell served as a Director at Lake Capital, an operationally oriented private equity firm investing in a wide range of entrepreneurially owned and operated services businesses. During his time with Lake, he executed numerous buy-and-build strategies and served on the boards of directors at five of its portfolio companies. His past experiences include leverage finance with GE Capital, investment banking with William Blair & Company, and capital markets and corporate banking with Bank One, formerly known as First Chicago Corporation. Mr. Cornell earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a major in Finance and a BA in Finance from James Madison University.
Background : Scott Friar
Mr. Friar joined Excellere Partners in 2008 and has been a key team member on Integrated Petroleum Technologies, Medtech College/Institute, TrialCard and U.S. Water Services prior to its sale.
Director of Accounting and Administration
Background : Brenda Goscha
Ms. Goscha joined Excellere Partners in 2007 and is responsible for the firm’s accounting, operations and administration. Ms. Goscha has more than fifteen years of private equity experience in administration and operations.
Background : Justin Unertl
Mr. Unertl joined Excellere Partners in 2010, and has been a key team member on AxelaCare, Personable Insurance and PhyMed prior to their sales. He is primarily focused on opportunities within healthcare and business services.
Background : Emmett Nelms
Mr. Nelms joined Excellere Partners in 2011, and has been a key team member on ASI Government.
Background : Bryan Armstrong
Mr. Armstrong joined Excellere Partners in 2012, and is a key deal team member on Advanced Infusion Solutions, Integrated Petroleum Technologies, and Systems Integrity Management Solutions (SIMS).
Background : Nate Raulin
Nate Raulin joined Excellere Partners in 2012 and serves as a key deal team member for several of the firm’s portfolio companies including Mentis, DentMall and PhyMed prior to its sale.
Background : Matt Halverson
Mr. Halverson joined the Excellere team in early 2014 as an Analyst. Previously, Mr. Halverson worked as an Associate for Pfingsten Partners, LLC, a middle-market private equity fund, where he was responsible for evaluating new investment opportunities and providing transaction generation and execution support across a variety of industries. His past experience also includes two years as an Analyst with Lincoln International, a middle-market investment bank.
Background : Nick Coleman
Mr. Coleman joined Excellere Partners in 2013.
Previously, Mr. Coleman worked as an Analyst for Northwestern Mutual Capital, LLC, the private investment manager for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, providing mezzanine debt and equity co-investments for private equity sponsor backed portfolio companies. His primary responsibilities included structuring, underwriting, and monitoring investments across a variety of industries and asset classes.
Mr. Coleman earned his Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin.
Background : Eric Mattson
Mr. Mattson brings to Excellere over 25 years of merger & acquisition, strategic consulting and senior operations experience. Prior to joining Excellere, he was Executive Director at United BioSource Corporation (an Express Scripts company). During his tenure with UBC, a global provider of pharmaceutical support services, he was responsible for several acquisitions/integrations and the start-up and growth of multiple new business activities.
Prior to that, Mr. Mattson was Executive Vice President with HealthStar Communications, an international medical communications company, where he was responsible for business optimization across several subsidiary operations. Key aspects of each of Mr. Mattson’s past two roles include executing acquisitions and divestitures, acquisition integration and developing growth strategies. In addition, he also has advised companies in the areas of strategic planning, marketing and corporate value enhancement. From 1989 to 2002, Mr. Mattson was a Vice President and Managing Director of the Southeast regional practice of Citi Capital Strategies (and predecessor Geneva Capital Markets), the middle-market investment banking division of Citigroup. During his 12-year career at Geneva/Citi, he was responsible for all areas of origination, valuation and M&A transaction management and execution, advising more than 200 clients across a broad range of industries.
Mr. Mattson began his career in corporate finance for Paradyne Corporation, a then NYSE-listed manufacturer of telecommunications equipment. He earned a degree in Business Administration with majors in Finance and Economics from the University of South Florida.
Background : Mike Vieth
Mr. Vieth joined the Excellere team in 2014 as an Associate and has been a key team member on TrialCard Incorporated. Previously, Mr. Vieth worked as an Associate for Maranon Capital, LP, a provider of mezzanine and senior debt to middle-market companies, where he was responsible for evaluating and executing investments across a variety of industries. His past experience also includes two years as an analyst with Harris Williams & Co., a middle-market investment bank.
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