Thomas R. Korzenecki
Principal Managing Director
Tom has 45 years of diversified operating, financial and M&A experience in the petroleum and chemical industries. While at Atlantic Richfield he worked in both refining and chemical plant operations, was a crude oil trader in PADD V, financial planning and analysis for ARCO’s chemicals division, corporate planning at headquarters and M&A assignments in Europe. He sold his first company in Hamburg, Germany in 1979. Tom was then the Director of Merger/Acquisitions for Occidental Petroleum in Los Angeles with responsibilities for advising on major joint ventures in Europe (EnOxy), acquisitions in the US (including the OXY Cities Service acquisition) and divestitures of major businesses in the coal, oil/gas/refining, chemicals and food processing industries.
Tom initiated and financed the acquisition of four companies in the packaging industry for his own account and managed them for several years.
Since returning to the deal business in 1998, Tom has advised primarily private companies in the food, engineered products, IT, consumer products, chemicals, energy, business/healthcare services, and a wide variety of manufacturing companies.
He is the founding member and current CEO of Grand Avenue Capital Partners, a FINRA licensed, SEC audited investment banking firm focused on middle-market companies providing M&A and capital raising services. He maintains current Series 24, 63 and 7 securities licenses. At one time, 15% of the practice included investment banking services in China for private companies with revenues exceeding $US 2.5 billion. Tom’s first PRC project was a $140+ million Carlyle-led recapitalization of a Chongqing fiberglass company.
Tom holds two engineering degrees from Illinois Institute of Technology, an MBA in Finance from the University of Houston, and an MBT in Corporate Tax from the University of Southern California.
Robin Hwang was instrumental in Grand Avenue Capital’s successes in China, providing M&A operations and financial analyses of complex transactions. Robin has a combination of 18 years experience in corporate management and the investment banking industry as well as comprehensive experience with multiple large private equity groups.
He participated in a private placement which involved the US$110 million recapitalization of a large fiberglass manufacturer in the PRC. Mr. Hwang has led private placements for several projects in China, including growth capital recap of US$50 million for a Chinese liquor producer in Guizhou Province, recap of US$20 million for a textile manufacturing company in Shanghai and recap of US$32 million for a pharmaceutical/paper chemical company in Suzhou, China.
He has extensive experience in operations, management, logistics, IT, and software development for private companies. Mr. Hwang also has expertise in doing pre-IPO private placement for Chinese companies in industries of pharmaceuticals, chemicals, manufacturing, IT, E-commerce, consumer products, and retail chains.
He primarily resides in Southern California. He resides in Shanghai while working on projects in the PRC. Mr. Hwang holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and an IMBA in international business, both from the University of Southern California.
Stefano Cavalleri is a licensed lawyer who has extensive business experience in a wide variety of industries. He has worked on various Grand Avenue Capital projects in the PRC involving US companies. An example was a US producer of powertrains for electric vehicles which built a new manufacturing facility in Beijing. Stefano initiated dialogs with European automotive investors for this project. He also worked on a US start-up that manufactured clean tech buses, assisting in setting up a JV agreement with a major Chinese producer. Stefano has also counseled Italian companies doing business in China.
His law firm in Milan has dealt with bankruptcy and environmental infringement issues in Italy, cross-border joint ventures and trademark issues.
Stefano holds a BA in Political Science and a JD from the Universita Degli Studi, Milan, and an MS in Corporate Finance from Universita Bocconi. He has current residences in Milan and Vancouver.
Alison Winter retired in 2006 from Northern Trust Corporation, completing a highly successful 35-year career. When she retired, she was serving as the founding president and chief executive officer of Personal Financial Services -Northeast. In 1987, she was named the founding president and chief executive officer of Northern Trust of California, and over the ensuing 11 years, she and her team opened 11 offices in California, becoming one of the largest trust companies in the state. She subsequently was named president of Personal Financial Services-Midwest, Co-President of Wealth Management and a member of the Management Committee of Northern Trust.
She served as a director of Nordstrom, Inc. from 2001 to 2016, and currently serves as Lead Director of a private company, Blain’s Supply, and a Director of Bolton & Co, a private insurance agency. She is the co-founder of Women Corporate Directors, a national organization of women serving on corporate boards, which grew to 74 chapters on six continents at the time it transitioned to a not-for-profit organization in 2015.
In 2016, after years of informal consulting with friends and organizations, she founded Gracious Exit, with her daughter, a business focused on helping individuals and families plan for end of life. The website, graciousexit.com, includes resources and blogs on various related subjects, as well as a series of helpful workbooks to spell out one’s wishes about how they want to be remembered.
William H. Baribault
William Baribault has served as an officer, board member, or advisor to private, public, and private equity owned businesses within vastly different sectors during both growth and recession economic cycles. His professional career experience includes ownership and operations of industrial and building products manufacturing, wholesale distribution, retail sales, financial and operational consulting, robotics automation, banking and financial services. He has founded startup ventures and grown established businesses by expanding product portfolio, services, market share, and team productivity. He has executed acquisition strategies to add product, capacity, and new geographic opportunities. He has led the turnaround of businesses facing financial challenges.
Mr. Baribault is a graduate of Stanford University and resides in Flintridge, CA, and Reno, NV.
Nick has spent over 18 years advising small business owners. After many years at Morgan Stanley, he started his own firm to focus solely on closely held business owners who are considering a sale or other transition for their businesses. Nick has deep expertise in service industries and wealth management firms. He has also spent time analyzing hundreds of businesses, across multiple industries, for potential acquisition.
Nick has an MBA from the University of Chicago with concentrations in Finance, Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management and Operations Management, as well as a BS in Finance from Minnesota State University. He also holds the CVA®, CFP® and CIMA® designations. Nick lives in Hermosa Beach, California.
Dave has excelled with over 25 years of leadership in a wide variety of industries: metals, composites, electronics, plastics, food, apparel/retail and education markets. His career encompasses M&A, operations management, finance, marketing sales and distribution. Above all, he is a great leader and has built great management teams.
He is currently the CEO of the Training Resources Maritime Institute, a provider of maritime training to military and merchant mariners. His prior experience includes Vice Chairman and owner of Reyn Spooner, the iconic manufacturer and retailer of classic Hawaiian/resort apparel. He was CEO and then Chairman and part-owner of the Passport Food Group a manufacturer and distributor of Asian food products to Food Service, Private Label, Retail, Industrial, and government markets. He was CEO of Jain Irrigation, a manufacturer of micro-irrigation products with three US manufacturing facilities.
Dave was a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy, Commanding Officer of the USNS Navasota.
He holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and a BA from the University of Rochester.
During his career, Dennis has completed over 60 mergers and acquisitions mostly related to the food and real estate industries. In addition to founding Ready Pac Foods and retiring as Chairman and CEO after 40 years, Dennis has served as Chairman of the International Fresh-Cut Produce Association. Dennis has been active in the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, Western Growers Association, Fresh Produce and Floral Council, Produce Marketing Association and California Community Foundation.
Currently Dennis serves as CEO of Foxdale Properties, LLC a family business he founded 22 years ago.
Since practicing as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in London, Colin has had a successful history of starting-up new companies and turning-around underperforming ones. He has gained a reputation for maximizing total enterprise value, establishing industry leadership, and optimizing investor return.
He has started, run, and successfully sold companies in several industries: Consumable Goods (Bluelounge), Environmental Services (Medical Air Care) and Aesthetic Services (Skin Deep Laser Medspa). His work as a turnaround consultant has also been in several industries and sectors: manufacturing of natural fiber products, distribution of door locks, manufacturing and distribution of skin care products, and the manufacturing and distribution of vaccum forming machines. He has provided consulting services to clients in Entertainment, Food Processing, Banking and Real Estate.
He is the Principal of Pivotal Business Consulting, a consulting firm helping CEOs and stake holders of small and medium size businesses overcome challenges of all kinds.
Colin is a graduate of Warwick University, England in Management Science.