Member Spotlight

Meet our Featured ACG St. Louis Members:

ACG St. Louis is excited to launch a monthly Member Spotlight featuring its most engaged members, its committees. Each month get to know a different ACG St. Louis Committee and how they are making an impact on corporate growth in the middle market. The Member Spotlight is designed to help foster new, meaningful connections by generating a greater understanding of our members, their roles, and their needs.

BOD 2021-2022


ACG St. Louis announces 2021-2022 Board of Directors

August 31, 2021, St. Louis – The St. Louis chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), an international membership association for professionals involved in corporate growth, corporate development and mergers and acquisitions, announced three new appointments to its board of directors and recognized four retiring board members for their outstanding service and leadership.

The new directors include Jeff Giles, vice president corporate development, Core & Main; Bethany Michel, managing director, Harbour Group; and Jeff Sackman, partner, RubinBrown.  Retiring directors include Lee Tilghman, vice president and senior relationship manager, Commerce Bank; Christy Oldani, marketing and business development lead, BKD; Ted Sengpiel, account executive life sciences, Jaggaer; and Heath Hunter, vice president corporate development, Dot Family Holdings. 

“We are pleased to welcome our new board members, all of whom have demonstrated a strong commitment to the organization through their past involvement, while extending our deep appreciation to former board members who have contributed greatly to making the St. Louis chapter a premier membership organization,” said Holly Huels, president of the ACG St. Louis chapter and managing partner, Holleway Capital Partners.

As new members, Jeff Giles will chair the ACG St. Louis Corporate Peer Group; Bethany Michel, who will serve as a director on the board, previously served on the ACG St. Louis Emerging 20 committee; and Jeff Sackman, who will chair the ACG St. Louis Programs Committee, previously served on the ACG St. Louis Emerging Leaders and Emerging 20 committees.

As retiring directors, all of whom served eight years, Tilghman was past chair of the Elite Speaker Series and a member of the Emerging Leaders and Membership committees, Oldani was past chair of the Membership committee and a member of the Emerging Leaders committee and Corporate Growth Conference, and Sengpiel was past chair of the Programs committee.  In addition, Hunter was past chair of both the Corporate Peer Group and Family Office Peer Group.

The ACG St Louis chapter, established in 1985, currently has more than 350 members, including private equity investors, intermediaries, corporate development professionals, lenders, M&A advisors and service providers. Programs include in-person and virtual networking events, corporate executive roundtables and high-level educational seminars. More information is available by contacting Amy Ruebsam, ACG St. Louis Executive Director, or at

With the new members, ACG St. Louis 2021-2022 Board of Directors includes:

  • President-Holly Huels, managing partner, Holleway Capital Partners
  • President Elect- Joe Mantovani, shareholder, Polsinelli
  • Past President-Patrick Nolan, president, Nolan & Associates
  • ACG Global Board Liaison-Kevin Prunty, vice president and co-head, RGA Private Debt & Equity
  • ACG Global Chairman of the Board-Brent Baxter, managing director, Nolan & Associates
  • Secretary-Greg Coonrod, vice president, Barry Wehmiller
  • Treasurer-Matt Ticknor, partner, RSM
  • Membership Chair-Mandy Fritz, vice president, PNC
  • Sponsorship Chair-Mike Andrews, managing director, Husch Blackwell
  • Emerging Leaders Chair- Kelsey McGonigle, attorney, Greensfelder
  • Programs Chair-Jeff Sackman, partner, RubinBrown
  • DealSource Chair-Ray Wagner, director, Thompson Street Capital Partners
  • Corporate Peer Group Chair-Jeff Giles, vice president corporate development, Core & Main
  • Communications Chair-Robyn Frankel, principle, Frankel Marketing/PR
  • Strategic Relations Chair-Tom Horlacher, managing principle, Wolverine Business Advisors
  • Special Events Chair-Peggy Northcott, managing member, Capital Performance, LLC
  • Golf Chair- Nick Chambers, director of Private Equity Services, UHY LLP
  • Director-Rose Thompson, chief operating officer, ButcherJoseph & Co.
  • Director-Bethany Michel, managing director, Harbour Group

Founded in 1954, ACG is the premier M&A deal-making organization with 59 chapters worldwide.  ACG’s global network comprises more than 100,000 middle-market professionals who invest, own and advise growing companies. ACG’s mission is focused on driving middle-market growth by bringing professionals together and giving them the resources to successfully navigate the industry landscape. More information is available at


Communications Committee


Meet the Communications Committee:

Robyn Frankel
Principal at Frankel Marketing/PR

  1. Tell us about your role/firm. An independent consultant, I create opportunities for companies and professionals to impact their target audiences more effectively through strategic, persuasive and results-oriented public relations programs, media/speaker coaching and crisis communications management. My industry-specific experience includes healthcare, biotech, automotive, senior living communities, education, construction, manufacturing, distribution, pharmaceuticals, technology, early-stage and start-up companies. Earlier in my career I was executive vice president and general manager for the St. Louis office of a global marketing agency.
  2. What are you looking for? I am interested in advising companies and executives to identify and achieve strategic business goals and objectives, enhance their corporate reputation, grow their business, positively influence their target audiences, differentiate themselves from their competitors, and enhance executive leadership opportunities. I am also interested in assisting companies and organizations to be better prepared to effectively manage communications during periods of major transitions and/or crisis situations.
  3. What do you think is biggest challenge to middle market today? The strength and leadership of the middle market is not attracting adequate recognition as an important business leadership category from business news media and other market influencers. From a communications perspective, I believe the middle market deal makers and companies themselves are overlooking strategically significant opportunities to communicate more frequently and effectively with their target audiences. This is true both for middle market dealmakers and the companies that emerge from a successful merger or acquisition.

Aaron Randolph
Vice President of Business Development at UMB Bank

  1. Tell us about your role/firm.
    1. UMB Bank is a 108 year old financial institution based in Kansas City MO. UMB offers complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management.
    2. UMB serves the M&A industry in several ways which tend to include:
      1. Financing for acquisitions, equipment, real estate or working capital
      2. Payment solutions for integrated payables automation across single or multiple portfolio companies  
      3. Trust and Escrow Services   
      4. Private equity fund administration and servicing through UMB Funds Services
    3. My role at UMB is to drive new relationships to the bank with a focus on new lending and payment solutions clients. In addition to driving new relationships I am responsible for managing and supporting my existing book of business. UMB’s core client base are companies within the following industries:
      1. Manufacturing
      2. Distributing
      3. Construction & engineering
      4. Higher education
      5. Healthcare
      6. Real estate development.  
  2. What are you looking for?
    1. UMB remains focused on growing our core client base via lending and payment solutions. The uncertainty generated by 2020 and the global pandemic led to a significant influx of deposits to UMB. This resulted in a significant amount of dry powder on top of our already solid balance sheet. That influx allowed UMB to continue to strengthen our capacity to lend and grow earning assets and as a result we continue to produce record loan growth that we intend to maintain.
    2. Equally important to a business’s financing needs is their treasury management platform. With a move toward payment automation across the board, UMB has invested a significant amount of time and capital in developing our treasury management platform to support payables automation. Payables automation has the ability to reduce costs, errors, fraud and time making it an essential tool for most all but especially the growing business. UMB continues to seek new clients focused on payables automation and we have the people and technology to make these transition seamless.
  3. What changes do you foresee happening in the middle market in the next 3-5 years? One of the biggest changes we see in the middle market is an acceleration of payment automation adoption. This shift was occurring in years prior however the pandemic has created even more of a sense of urgency for most to automate both their accounting, banking, payables and receivables platforms into a single platform. Companies are looking for ways to get, stay or grow lean and payment automation can reduce or reallocate FTEs in ways that better serve the business to achieve that goal. This part of the business can even turn into a profit center when utilizing virtual credit card and premium ACH within the payables platform. Both of which can provide a significant amount of rebate.

Craig Palubiak
Board Member - SpearTip

1.   Tell us about your role/firm.  I have been on the Board of SpearTip for nearly a decade.  Our 60 person cyber counterintelligence team understand the        methods and mindsets of cyber criminals. We confront the global threat of state-sponsored attacks and organized crime, including ransomware, corporate espionage, intellectual property theft, digital fraud and breach of confidential data.  We are cloud-based and technology agnostic enabling us to integrate with any existing tools and systems in the marketplace.  I assist in growth strategies and business development.

2.    What are you looking for?  We look to assist middle-market organizations during the M&A process including post acquisition.  We help you identify cyber risks and vulnerabilities and ensure full, continuous, end-to-end protection. Our breadth of services fall within four main functional areas: Incident Response, Managed Detection and Response (MDR) on our proprietary ShadowSpear Platform, Digital Forensics and Risk Assessment/Pre-Breach.  We offer you premier global cyber protection of assets throughout all industry sectors including financial, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, services and technology.

3.    How has ACG helped you in your career?  I have been affiliated with ACG since 2003.  The resources were significant in the strategy and sale of two manufacturing companies I owned and operated.  Numerous consulting clients have benefited from strategies and connections growing organically and through acquisition as well as selling business units.  SpearTip is looking to benefit as we continue developing relationships throughout the global ACG network.

Bruce Hoskins
Director of Jet Card Sales at JET LINX

  1. Tell us about your role/firm - Bruce Hoskins, Director of Jet Cards Sales for Jet Linx Aviation.  Jet Linx is the 2nd largest aircraft manager for private jet owners (110+ in fleet) in the United States.  We differentiate from other providers due to our ability to control the entire experience (our jets, our pilots, and our flight operations team) for our Members which ensures the best end-to-end travel in the industry.  In summary, Jet Linx bridges the gap between charter and aircraft ownership by enabling you to have maximum flexibility along with the highest level of personalized concierge service and reliability.  We currently have 19 private terminals in the U.S. and growing!  As the Director of Jet Card Sales for Missouri and Michigan, my role focuses on growing our corporate and personal Jet Card membership base as well as building brand recognition in the region.
  1. What are you looking for?  Jet Linx is seeking individuals or companies who are interested in private aviation services which could include jet ownership, aircraft management services, or simply access to our fleet of jets via our Jet Card Membership program.  Whether you are looking for more efficient travel for your executives or seeking a safer approach to personal travel due to COVID, Jet Linx is a full service provider and the only Official Private Aviation Company of Forbes Travel Guide.
  1. How has ACG helped you in your career?  I have often said the ACG St. Louis is likely to very best membership organization I have been involved with in my career.  The caliber of corporate and vendor members is top notch.  I can always count on meaningful and productive networking, solid real-world speakers and educational events that leave me well informed and ready to tackle a new idea to grow my business.  I have met a number of great members who I will consider life-long friends and I have closed business as a result of meeting key decision-makers at ACG events.  The ACG team of leaders locally are the best in the business and they are always open to new ideas and are great to involve members to advance the organization.  The Wine Tasting event has long been my favorite event in St. Louis!  This group works hard, has fun and produces results!  What more could you want?

John Knicely
Founder & Chief Storyteller of VITA LUX Agency

  1. Tell us about your role/firm - I am the founder of VITA LUX Agency, which helps organizations get crystal clear on who they need to reach and the message that will best resonate. We work with various groups in the M&A world. Investment banks use VITA LUX to produce a 2-minute video story on the companies they line up to sell, which serves as a great introduction to the CIM. Private Equity groups turn to VITA LUX to help tell their own brand story along with the stories of their portfolio companies. We find well-crafted customer testimonial stories have tremendous impact in reaching ideal future clients.
  2. What are you looking for? We are looking to help investment banks and private equity groups grow through effective storytelling. 
  3. How has ACG helped you in your career? ACG has helped my company grow tremendously. First, ACG St. Louis has been a great client and partner for VITA LUX as we've helped tell the ACG story during the global pandemic. Through involvement with ACG I've built wonderful relationships with people in the M&A world.

Mary Sumner
Managing Director of SumnerOne

  1. Tell us about your role/firm - SumnerOne is a dealership network which offers office technology, copy/print/production print IT services and document management solutions.  "Welcome to the place where everything works."  SumnerOne is one of the largest independent office technology dealers in the Midwest, with operations in St. Louis, Columbia (MO), Kansas City, Springfield (MO), Bentonville (AR), Wichita (KS), Tulsa (OK), Oklahoma City, and Highland (IL).  We are an organization united by one goal:  to exceed your expectations in helping you get the most from your investment in printing, IT, and document technology.  SumnerOne stands for Service Excellence.  
  2. What are you looking for? Our goal is to provide a roadmap, including information technology, talent, and processes, to guide our customers to using office technology which supports their businesses.  Owners and businesses leaders want to run their businesses and organizations, and they don't necessarily want to manage IT or IT people.  Our team of solutions architects, business analysts and systems engineers can provide the assessment of the current information technology and network infrastructure, and then create a roadmap and a series of projects to design a proposed information technology and network platform to drive business performance, reduce costs, and provide a safe, secure, reliable platform for doing business.  We provide the IT talent to organize, management and implement IT solutions to support the business.
  3. What do you think are the biggest obstacles in the middle market today?  The biggest challenge most mid-market companies face is creating a digital platform for work.  COVID19 created "remote work," and going out of COVID19, organizations and businesses now foresee an "anytime/anywhere" workplace.  Creating and building a digital infrastructure is the foundation for the "anytime/anywhere" workplace that provides connectivity 24/7/365 using hosted cloud technology, software as a service, hybrid cloud backup, electronic communications using Office 365, and collaboration using MIcrosoft TEAMS, Zoom and other e-collaboration platforms.  SumnerOne speciallizes in planning, designing, and implementing the digital technology foundation for work, by organizing technology, people, and processes for the "anytime/anywhere" workplace. SumnerOne also owns an IT talent and IT staffing company which helps identify the right candidates to drive the digital transformation.


Membership Committee

ACG St. Louis is the area’s most trusted and respected resource for middle-market deal-makers and business leaders who invest in growth and build companies. Maintaining a productive, dynamic organization is our top priority. To this end, the ACG St. Louis Membership Committee works diligently to ensure that each prospect applying for membership is properly vetted.  The Committee reviews and evaluates membership applications on a monthly basis.

Meet the Membership Committee:

Mandy Fritz
Vice President at PNC Bank

  1. Tell us about your role/firm. I’m a relationship manager in PNC’s Corporate Banking group focusing on business development efforts for middle market and large corporate companies.  Generally speaking we define the middle market and LC as those companies with $50 million in revenue up to $2 billion in revenue.  I am not industry specific, but rather a generalist.  I deliver debt capital solutions (senior debt, syndicated credit facilities, asset backed finance, equipment finance), treasury & liquidity management solutions, rate and currency strategies, and M&A advisory.   PNC is a 160 year old diversified financial services firm headquartered in Pittsburgh.  We have a national presence yet deliver our products and services through a local relationship model.
  2. What are you looking for? My current focus is on providing flexible and innovative senior secured financing solutions to privately held, family run businesses where we can provide a comprehensive and collaborative banking proposal that encompasses not only debt, but the full suite of bank products PNC has to offer.  This has evolved to include business succession strategies for the owners whether that be a strategic or financial sale or ESOP.
  3. What do you think are the biggest obstacles in the middle market today? The financial services industry is perceived to be highly commoditized.  I’ve created a professional brand where I focus on cultivating meaningful relationships that go behind credit by providing provocative and insightful advise, connectivity to others, and strategic ideas.  By taking this approach, I shift buyers historic perception and they see me as a thought leader focused on supporting the company’s overall growth strategy.    

Christy Oldani
Marketing and Business Development Leader at BKD

  1. Tell us about your role/firm. My ultimate goal is to connect the business owner's and finance leadership vision with solid accounting strategy and resources at BKD, CPAs and Advisors. I drive business development efforts in the firm by helping to manage communication with CEOs, CFOs, Presidents and executive management teams as they relate to overall business goals, developing into opportunities. There are many pieces of deal, BKD can help with from transaction services support, audit, tax to information technology. In addition, I oversee marketing strategy and work closely with the firm’s leadership team to develop, implement and manage strategic growth opportunities.
  2. What are you looking for? BKD wants to be your trusted advisor, but that first starts with having a trusted contact who will go beyond to get you the answers you need in that moment or make connections for you. I want to meet you, to see how I can help your business grow, whether you are on the corporate side or a banker, lawyer or other trusted advisor.  We work with a lot privately held businesses, family-owned business and private equity firms.
  3. How has ACG helped you in your career? ACG brings a level of connection and business networking that is beyond compare. Being able to learn from the strongest minds in the business community and collaborate with them on opportunities has advanced my career and network.  I have learned a lot about myself as well through the personal growth speakers ACG has brought in over the years, which has challenged me to think critically, make better decisions and become a stronger communicator. ACG has been a big part of my leadership journey and I’ve also developed life-long friends.

Marty Stammer
EVP & CFO at Milestone Equipment Holdings

  1. Tell us about your role/firm. I am the CFO at Milestone Equipment Holdings.  Milestone is one of the largest and fastest growing transportation equipment lessors in the United States, operating a fleet of 90,000+ pieces of equipment, including trailers, chassis, and containers. We offer our customers a wide variety of flexible leasing and rental programs, ranging from only a few units to over 10,000 units. Our customers include trucking companies, third-party logistics companies, package carriers, private shippers, railroads, steamship operators, retailers, manufacturers and other companies throughout the transportation sector.
  2. What are you looking for? Milestone is private equity-backed and we are very focused on continuing our growth. I am always interested in meeting with corporate peers who may be facing similar opportunities and challenges.  In addition, I enjoy learning from capital and service providers who are experts in their fields and can often identify unique solutions and share market perspectives.
  3. How has ACG helped you in your career?  I have been involved with ACG for several years and have made a number of meaningful connections through the organization.  In addition, the frequent meetings and panels keep me informed on areas of finance and industries that I might not otherwise encounter on a day-to-day basis.  These experiences and interactions have helped me to develop both personally and professionally.  

Amy Rudolph
Director, Transaction Advisory Services at RSM

  1. Tell us about your role/firm. I’m a director within RSM’s Transaction Advisory Services practice. I specialize in financial due diligence, providing buy- and sell-side transaction services, working with private equity firms acquiring platform companies, assisting strategic buyers with add-on acquisitions, and assisting in all phases of the sell-side process.
  2. What are you looking for? RSM meets the domestic and international needs of private equity firms and strategic buyers and sellers with a full suite of integrated services. With our focus on the middle market, we serve clients nationwide in a variety of industries and throughout the transaction life cycle. Our approach to client service delivery offers speed, accuracy and responsiveness to meet transaction needs.
  3. How has ACG helped you in your career? I moved to St. Louis 8 years ago, having virtually no connections outside of RSM. Through ACG, I’ve built a network of fantastic professionals who share my enthusiasm for M&A and make me feel connected to the community.

Taiwo Ogunjobi
Consultant at Slalom Consulting

  1. Tell us about your role/firm. I am the Lead M&A Consultant at Slalom, a modern consulting firm focused on strategy, technology, and business transformation. We operate 39 offices globally, have supported over 200+ strategic and private equity acquirers, and focus on ‘people above all else’, on ‘doing what’s right’, and leveraging our local presence to be cost-effective. I have focused on providing strategic, transaction, and post-merger optimization support to middle market clients in the manufacturing, consumer goods, healthcare, and technology industry.
  2. What are you looking for? We are looking to leverage our broad expertise to advise local acquirers and mature the St. Louis’ M&A market. We’ve supported corporate development teams with advisory services from defining acquisition thesis, developing M&A strategies, identifying targets, conducting operational due diligence, and preparing integration plans including target operating model. We have helped private equity acquirers with due diligence including industry analysis, portfolio process improvement and cost optimization. We take pride in harnessing our global knowledge base combined with our fiercely local community focus and talent pool.
  3. Can you tell us about your greatest success story/proudest achievement? One of my proudest achievement was in helping a middle market consumer goods retailer develop its inorganic growth strategy, evaluate acquisition options, and design the future that doubles its revenues to $6B in 3 years. My team started the relationship with diligence and became a truly trusted advisor that served as the client’s interim corporate development office.

Dan Parkins
Vice President of Finance at Precoat Metals

  1. Tell us about your role/firm. I am the Vice President of Finance for Precoat Metals, a private equity owned metal coating process manufacturing business with annual revenues between $500 million and $1 billion. Precoat is an industry leader and our products are used in the construction, appliance, HVAC, container, transportation and various other industries.
  2. What are you looking for? We are growing organically and through acquisition, actively looking to deploy capital in strategic initiatives that allow us to further diversify and increase capacity across our footprint.
  3. How has ACG helped you in your career? ACG provides me the opportunity to build relationships with talented professionals from all industries. I have engaged service providers from ACG to help our business navigate complex projects requiring additional expertise. While participating in ACG events, I have learned additional leadership and growth strategies from other business leaders.

Jonathan Jones
Chair at Vistage

  1. Tell us about your role/firm. I provide executive coaching and lead private peer advisory boards of CEO’s, Business Owners, and C-Level Executives to increase their effectiveness and enhance their lives.  I facilitate a consortium of manufacturing companies committed to strengthening the St. Louis region’s manufacturing workforce  and reputation.
  2. What are you looking for? High performing CEOs, Executives, and Owners of midsize busineses who want to take their companies and themselves to another level
  3. Can you tell us about your greatest success story/proudest achievement? Over the last few decades my members and clients have significantly increased the number of good paying jobs in St. Louis and have found greater a purpose in their lives.  During this time, I have supported many successful ownership transitions of local and family run businesses to second and third generations.

Eryn Bassett
President at Environmental Operations, Inc

  1. Tell us about your role/firm. Environmental Operations, Inc. (EOI) is a turnkey environmental consulting and contracting firm known for thinking outside of the box and providing clients with alternatives to environmental challenges.  . We work nationwide to assess and manage client’s due diligence, compliance and safety needs. Founded in 1986, we are headquartered in St. Louis with branches in Chicago, Indianapolis and Miami. I have been with EOI since 2005 and have worked in all facets of the organization. I was named President in 2019. My focus is on corporate strategy and growth, strategic partnership, engaging new clients, developing internal personnel and attracting top talent.
  2. What are you looking for? Given our turnkey abilities and business friendly approach, we are looking to expand our reach in the M&A world and develop strong relationships with family organizations. Our goal is to be a partner to our clients and help them expand capabilities and operate sustainably and efficiently. ACG allows me the opportunity to meet people in this world and organically develop those relationships.
  3. What do you think are the biggest obstacles in the middle market today? The biggest challenge facing many of our friends in the middle market is acquiring the right talent to make visions happen successfully. Key personnel can make or break the growth of an organization.

Curt Kinney
Senior Partner at Alliance Advisors, LLC

  1. Tell us about your role/firm.  Alliance Corp is comprised of three connected but independent business units. Alliance Technologies is a 12-year old company that provides IT managed services management to hundreds of clients. Alliance Systems was born in late 2019 as the result of merging two companies to form a high-level web, app, and software development group. Alliance Advisors is the group that I am directly associated with, and our team provides c-level consulting, training, and educational assistance in operations, finance, project management, and talent solutions.
  2. What are you looking for?  Alliance wants to connect with companies in need of support and assistance across our three platforms, those being IT support and management, consulting services, talent acquisition, and web and app development. We bring decades of hands-on experience to our practice. We offer fractional expertise to the M&A community and service providers across a broad spectrum.
  3. How has ACG helped you in your career?  ACG has offered unmatched access to some of the best professionals in the St. Louis market, allowing us to build trusted relationships that are mutually beneficial regardless of whether they result in business or not.

David Layton
Senior Vice President at Charles L. Crane Agency

  1. Tell us about your role/firm. The Charles L. Crane Agency is the oldest independent insurance agency west of the Mississippi. Founded in 1885, the Crane Agency has offices in Downtown St. Louis, Chesterfield, Springfield, MO and Kansas City, MO.  The Crane Agency provides its clients with Property Casualty Insurance, Benefits, Bonds, Safety and Loss Control services, and Personal Lines.  I am one of the Brokers and shareholders at the Crane. 
  2. What are you looking for?  We are looking for opportunities to be of service to new clients.  Our goal is to provide our clients with the best available coverage options and risk management services.  ACG gives me the opportunity to learn more about what businesses are doing outside the scope of my industry and clients and to expand my network.
  3. What do you think are the biggest obstacles in the middle market today?  The Chinese symbol for Risk combines the characters for Risk and Opportunity.  The insurance market is adjusting to insufficient investment income by raising rates and restricting coverages.  This presents difficulties in the insurance marketplace for insurance buyers, but gives the Crane Agency the opportunity to demonstrate its services and marketing ability and the strong relations we have with our insurance company partners.

Christy Viviano
Vice President- Commercial Relationship Manager at Regions Bank

  1. Tell us about your role/firm.  I am a Commercial Relationship Manager with Regions Bank who is responsible for delivering banking solutions to middle market businesses in the St. Louis area.  Regions ranks among the top 25 U.S. Banks with $147 billion in assets and a 15-state footprint.  In the St. Louis, we are 5th in terms of deposit market share and have the 2nd largest branch network in the area.
  2. What are you looking for? I focus on family owned businesses with revenues of $20-$250 million.  I work to understand the goals and objectives of the Family Enterprise, not just operating business.  This allows me to leverage my teammates and capabilities to help the leaders of Family Enterprises overcome obstacles and achieve success-- not only in their businesses but in the Family Enterprise as a whole.
  3. How has ACG helped you in your career?  ACG has been instrumental to me with respect to developing my network.  The events have great content and a welcoming atmosphere where members and guests feel comfortable making new introductions. I have been particularly impressed with what the leadership team been able to accomplish in a remote environment.  



Emerging 20 Member Spotlight


The STL Emerging 20 Committee is responsible for recruiting and managing participants of the STL Emerging 20 Leadership Program.  They curate the program's content including educational sessions focused on deal structure and execution, leadership development, relationship building skills and current industry trends.  They organize social/networking events to connect the class and facilitate growth through the mentor program.  

The STL Emerging 20 program is geared towards rising young professionals in the M&A community.  The 2020-2021 class of 24 participants represents the next generation of deal-makers supporting corporate growth including private equity investors, intermediaries, corporate development professionals, lenders, M&A advisors and service providers.

Meet the STL Emerging 20 Committee:

Tripp Kahle
Vice President - Relationship Manager at U.S. Bank

  1. Tell us about your role/firm. I am a Vice President, Relationship Manager with U.S. Bank focused on providing our full suite of banking needs to Middle Market Companies in the St. Louis area.  U.S. Bank, the fifth largest bank in the Country, and one of the largest by share in St. Louis continues to offer customer first service in St. Louis since we were Mercantile Bank, stretching over 171 years.  What drew me to U.S. Bank was the team and culture within the bank and the chance for growth and opportunities.  The Commercial Lending group truly promotes collaboration under the one U.S. Bank approach.
  2. What are you looking for? We look for Companies in the $40-$500 million revenue range across many industries including manufacturing, industrial, service and not for profit.  We have specialized teams including but not limited to our Sponsor Finance, Large Corporate and ABF Teams that allow us to touch a lot of industries and bring customized lending solutions to potential customers.  We want to be your Company’s trusted advisor and the person you go to first for what you need.  We understand that changing banks does not happen overnight but by getting to know you, we’ll be ready when that need arises.   
  3. How has ACG helped you in your career?  My first experience with ACG was pouring wine at the annual wine tasting event as a fill in and I think I left with a bottle or three as a thank you that night so that wasn’t a bad start.  But overall, ACG has allowed me to broaden my network and connect with leaders and COIs I might not otherwise get the chance to meet.  In addition, through the different events and speakers you get to learn something and continue to grow overall as a person.  That continues to hold true today, even if I don’t get to walk away with a couple bottles of wine from every event!  

Bethany Michel
Managing Director at Harbour Group

  1. Tell us about your role/firm.  I am a Managing Director at Harbour Group. Harbour Group is an operating company that was founded in 1976 and has invested in over 200 businesses. We invest in product-oriented businesses that are either a provider of proprietary products or a niche, value added distributor. We bring an in-house team of operations, finance and acquisition experts to our companies to really drive growth both organically and through acquisition. My role is to source new opportunities and complete the diligence on and acquisition of new businesses.
  2. What are you looking for?  We invest in companies serving many different industries but have a long history of success in acquiring industrial products businesses. We are highly focused on industrial technology as we see the shift from traditional manufacturing to technology-enabled manufacturing. Additionally, we have invested in branded product businesses serving the building products and consumer markets. We are always looking for add-on acquisitions for the businesses we currently own as well.
  3. What do you think are the biggest obstacles in the middle market today?  I see the biggest obstacle in the middle market today as the high volume of capital committed to investing in the space. Harbour Group was one of the first institutional funds to invest in the middle market back in the 1970s. Today, we find the market to be highly efficient and competitive. The investor that buys the company has generally paid the most rather than won because of their unique ability to create value. We have been able to successfully navigate the changing market but this is certainly a challenge that will continue to grow.

Joe Mantovani
Shareholder at Polsinelli

  1. Tell us about your role/firm.  I am a shareholder in the Corporate and Transactional Practice Group of Polsinelli, a highly ranked national law firm with over 900 attorneys in 21 offices across the country.  I specialize in mergers and acquisitions as well as other complex transactional matters such as joint ventures, strategic partnerships, and commercial contracts.  Having spent years as an in-house attorney, I also provide outside general counsel advice to clients on a daily basis.  
  2. What are you looking for?  As a firm we are constantly striving to build relationships throughout the middle market, whether that be with financial or strategic acquirers, investment banks, or other M&A intermediaries and service providers.  Today my clients consist primarily of privately held businesses, including private equity firms and their portfolio companies, as well as closely held family businesses.
  3. What changes do you foresee happening in the middle market in the next 3-5 years?  The pandemic greatly accelerated the world’s adoption of new technologies and it seems safe to assume that this trend will only increase over the next 3 – 5 years, especially as millennials assume leadership roles in business and, more broadly, in our society.   The acceleration in the adoption of emerging technologies, such as electric vehicles, artificial intelligence and improved automation, renewable energy, and even cryptocurrencies (just to name a few!), is sure to cause significant disruption throughout the middle market and beyond.  And it will all be fascinating!    

Carter Smith
Vice President at ButcherJoseph

  1. Tell us about your role/firm.  ButcherJoseph & Co. is an investment bank specializing in M&A advisory services to provide customized solutions for middle market companies. We provide a full spectrum of liquidity options for our clients including traditional M&A, ESOP buyouts, recapitalizations, and capital advisory, all supported by an independent valuation practice. In addition to our advisory and valuation practices, we launched a principal investment platform in 2020 with the goal of investing in high-performing employee-owned companies. I am a Vice President with eight years of tenure at ButcherJoseph – I joined the firm near its infancy, and have spearheaded key developments within the firm including the building of an industry-leading team.
  2. What are you looking for?  Primarily, we are looking to educate and inform business owners who may have not yet come across the ESOP as a sale option. The financial implications (including tax advantages) of a well-structured sale to an ESOP for both the Company and the selling shareholder are significant. However, business owners who chose to sell to an ESOP are often driven by a desire to maintain and build their legacy as well as maintain their Company’s independence. In addition, we are looking to help Companies that have been in the ESOP structure for some time and are considering corporate advisory services including a refinancing or recapitalization.
  3. What changes do you foresee happening in the middle market in the next 3-5 years?  The implications of changes to tax policy over the next few years could have a significant impact on M&A activity in the middle market. reports that the Biden administration targets taxing long-term capital gains and qualified dividends at the ordinary income tax rate of  up to 39.6%. This change would make the tax-advantaged sale to an ESOP particularly appealing for business owners who are eligible to defer capital gains tax on sale proceeds under § 1042 of the Internal Revenue Code (similar to the real estate provision § 1031 and life insurance § 1035).

Jeff Sackman
Partner and Vice Chair of Private Equity Services at RubinBrown

  1. Tell us about your role/firm.  I am a Partner and the Vice Chair of RubinBrown’s national Private Equity Services practice.  RubinBrown is a CPA and business consulting firm with offices in Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Nashville and St. Louis.  I’m fortunate to be part of a team of dedicated financial and tax M&A professionals with significant transaction and valuation experience in lower-middle market transactions.  It is also my privilege to lead a team dedicated to providing audit, tax and consulting services to portfolio companies of private equity and family office groups. 
  2. What are you looking for?  We look to cultivate relationships with private equity firms and family offices whom value an accounting partner that provides partner-level involvement that is responsive, proactive, and flexible to their needs and the needs of their portfolio companies.
  3. How has ACG helped you in your career?  I have found ACG to be an incredible organization from which to build a network of like-minded professionals.  The events, both local and national, provide unparalleled opportunities to catchup with existing acquaintances and foster discussions with new connections.  Undoubtedly, ACG has been a significant contributor to my professional network.