Jay is a co-founder and Managing Partner at Lariat Partners and leads the LaMi Products and SubSea Global Solutions partner company relationships. Prior to co-founding Lariat Partners in January 2013, Jay spent 12 years with KRG Capital Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm with over $3 billion of capital under management. He started at KRG as an Associate in 2000 and was promoted to Managing Director and elected to the Investment Committee in 2007. During his tenure at KRG, Jay closed 36 platform and add-on acquisitions and served on numerous portfolio company boards including Fire & Life Safety America, Varel, Avizent, UniversalPegasus, Federal and Focus Corporation. He has been an active investor in numerous industry verticals including healthcare services, energy services, engineering and construction, building materials and transportation and logistics. Jay started his career at Banc of America Securities in middle-market Financial Sponsor Leveraged Finance.

Education: B.S. Marquette University




Kevin is a co-founder and Managing Partner at Lariat Partners and leads the Willowood, Northern Seed and Ecoserv partner company relationships. Prior to co-founding Lariat Partners in January 2013, Kevin was the Managing Partner of RedCloud Capital, an independent private equity firm focused on the lower middle-market that he founded in 2005. He has focused on building industry-leading companies through both buy-and-build consolidations and growth capital investments. During his tenure with RedCloud, Kevin was responsible for originating and executing all five RedCloud platform acquisitions and served on all portfolio company boards. Previously, he was Managing Director of FMI Corporation, a middle-market investment banking and management consulting firm focused on the engineering and construction industry. During his tenure at FMI, Kevin was responsible for creating and building their financial sponsor practice and focused primarily on targeted buy-side proprietary searches for select middle-market financial sponsors.

Education: M.B.A. University of Michigan Ross School of Business, B.A. University of California Berkeley




Josh is Vice President at Lariat Partners. Josh joined Lariat Partners in 2016. Prior to joining the team, he was an Associate at Grey Mountain Partners, a Boulder-based private equity firm with approximately $700 million of capital under management, where he managed the due diligence process and supported in transaction execution for leveraged buyouts across several industries. He acted as the Affiliate Manager for the Dimex and Varial investments. Prior to Grey Mountain, Josh was an Analyst in the Mergers & Acquisitions group at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey in Atlanta, where he provided sell-side, buy-side, take private and divestiture advisory services.

Education: B.A. Vanderbilt University




Sam initially partnered with Kevin Mitchell at RedCloud Capital in 2005. His primary role as Operating Partner with Lariat Partners is to advise and assist portfolio company management teams on the development and execution of aggressive growth strategies. Sam has extensive management and operating experience in several industries, including consumer products, wholesale distribution, and the oil and gas business. He was the founder and CEO of Stewart’s Beverages, Inc., a publicly-held soft drink company. Stewart’s became a leading national brand in the super premium soft drink segment with significant market penetration in all 50 states and Canada. In 1998, Sam led the sale of Stewart’s to the parent company of Snapple Beverages, where he remained as President of the Stewart’s brand and also served on Snapple’s senior management team until 2001. Prior to starting Stewart’s, Sam was a principal in Capvest Limited, a Melbourne, Australia-based investment company, with primary responsibilities of identifying, financing and managing the firm’s investments in the U.S. and Canada. Sam was also a co-founder of Energy Prospects, Inc. and Wazee Energy LLC, two oil and gas businesses with operations in the Rocky Mountain and Mid-Continent regions. He also served as corporate counsel for Frontier Land and Exploration, Inc., a Denver-based oil and gas business. Sam began his career as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division.

Education: J.D. University of Utah College of Law, B.S. University of Utah



Mike Zawalski

Mike has a proven track record of value creation in public and private equity owned businesses. He has significant experience as a Chairman, Operating Partner, CEO and CFO. Mike is currently a Chairman and Operating Partner for a private equity owned company, Chairman of a health care technology business, strategic consultant for various private equity firms and working with various founders/entrepreneurs as a coach/mentor. Prior to these current roles, Mike was an Operating Partner at Marlin Equity Partners. At Marlin he was responsible for leading operational due diligence, developing and executing strategy for long term value creation, providing ongoing portfolio oversight, and implementing add-on integrations. Mike was Chairman of seven Marlin portfolio companies and has led operational due diligence for over 100 potential opportunities spanning multiple industries globally. Prior to Marlin, he was President and CEO of Workflow One, an $820 million print management, technology and services provider in North America. Prior to joining Workflow, Mike was Group President at Gores Technology, a private equity firm and has held senior executive positions at Mail-Well, Inc, Ryder, The Coleman Company, Quaker Oats, Heller Financial and Arthur Andersen.

Education: M.S. Northwestern University and a B.S. in Accounting and Business Administration at Illinois State University. Mike also has a CPA.



Jim Nixon is the President of Sandvik Venture a 4,000 employee and $1.4BN business area and a member of the Sandvik’s Group Executive Management. He previously was President of Texas-based Varel International Energy Services. Before their acquisition by Sandvik, the Varel Companies stood as the largest independent drill bit suppliers to the oil and gas and mining industries, with DHP as a market leader in casing accessories and completion tools. Under Jim’s stewardship, Varel’s annual revenue grew from $30M to more than $375M, while EBITDA grew 20 fold. Jim’s combination of engineering, technology and entrepreneurial skill, along with extensive international business experience, helped him lead the company to become a global player in drilling and completion technology. He has more than 30 years of entrepreneurial experience and in 2016 will be a Global Judge in the EY World Entrepreneur of The Year Awards. Jim has served three terms as SW USA Regional Judge, three Terms National USA Judge, two Terms as EOY Global Finalist coach and was a 2010 SW USA EOY winner and National Finalist.

Education: O.N.C. Stow College of Engineering (Glasgow, Scotland)



Wade Groetsch is the recently retired CEO/COO of Colorado-based Noosa, LLC, which was acquired in 2014 by a Boston-based private equity firm. Founded in 2010, Noosa has become a nationally recognized brand of yogurt. Wade joined the company in 2012 where he was responsible for strategic direction and profit and loss, as well as day-to-day operations, sales, marketing, production, sourcing, engineering, R&D and quality control. Prior to Noosa, Wade spent 13 years with Blue Lake Citrus Products (Noble Juice), where he served as President. In that time, he grew the retail and commercial brands by 500% and established the company as a leader in natural and organic juice. Wade has spent most of his career in leadership roles in the consumer products space. His prior experience includes leading operations at Dole, Dannon and General Mills.

Education: B.S. Purdue University



Ben has over 25 years of experience advising construction companies on strategy, mergers and acquisitions, management transitions, and capital transactions. From 2005 to 2008, Ben was Managing Director of a Denver-based private equity firm where he led a team responsible for purchasing and improving distressed businesses. Previously, he was a principal of FMI Corporation’s investment banking practice, advising clients on strategy, transactions, capital and structuring transactions. Since 2008, Ben has provided advisory services to a broad range of entities, including all of Lariat’s partner companies. His unique background provides him the ability to understand the organizational, leadership, and strategic issues necessary to help implement successful changes to strategy, leadership, ownership and governance.

Education: B.A. and M.B.A., University of Denver

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