Operating Officers


Roy Verstraete
Retired CEO, Anchor Danly; Current Director of 4 Private Manufacturing Companies

Corporate director, senior executive and internationalist with 30+ years of operating leadership including 20 years serving on Board of Directors for private, public and startup companies. Currently specializing in Corporate and Advisory Board Roles, strategy and implementation, exec mentoring and succession planning.


Kenneth B. Hoganson, Jr.
Managing Partner, RBI Advisors, LLC

Ken is the CEO and Founder of the Private Directors Association®.  In addition, he has served as a private Board Director for more than 25 years with Lovejoy, a multinational metalworking company.  Ken has also taught for over a decade at the Keller Graduate School of Management in a senior business planning faculty position.  As a past member of their Board of Directors and/or Chapter President, Ken has been a valued leader for a number of other associations, including the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), serving the private equity and private corporations; the Alliance of Merger and Acquisitions Advisors serving investment bankers, and the Family Firm Institute serving family owned business advisors.  His own privately held business—in existence for more than 24 years—provided investment banking services to private family businesses, private equity companies, and large public companies and completed successful M&A transactions in all major business sectors.  Ken earned his B.S. and his MBA from The University of Chicago.


M. Jay Heilbrunn
Vice President for Operations
President, The Distributor Board, Inc.

M. Jay Heilbrunn has worked in numerous company executive, business ownership, and board of director positions.  The focus of his work has primarily been with privately owned and family companies in wholesale distribution businesses.  Mr. Heilbrunn currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Alliance Paper and Foodservice Equipment, a Midwest family owned and operated distributor of non-food products to supermarket and foodservice market segments. Mr. Heilbrunn serves on the Board of Directors of Top Notch Distributors, a national company that has distributed Architectural Door Hardware products since 1975.  Mr. Heilbrunn is on the Private Directors Association Board of Directors; a member of the Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries Board of Directors; and a member the Selfhelp Home of Chicago Board of Directors.


Kathy Graham
Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
Principal, The HQ Companies, Inc.

Kathy Graham is the Founder and Principal of The HQ Companies, Inc., a group of four consulting firms focused on corporate and executive growth.

Relevant activities of note:  Member of the Chicago Finance Exchange, an invitation-only organization of the top 200+ Chicago women leaders in finance; Chair, 2020 Women on Boards Chicago’s education efforts to increase the number of women on U.S. corporate boards; and Board Member/current Chair, Engagement/former Co-Chair Governance Committee, The University of Chicago’s Alumni Club of Chicago Board.

Kathy earned an MBA in Analytic Finance, Econometrics, and Statistics from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BSBA with a Marketing concentration from North Central College.


Bruce Goldstein
Vice President for Financial Services
Managing Director, Restructuring Advisory, Amherst Partners

Bruce Goldstein is a Managing Director at Amherst Partners and a cofounder of the Private Directors Association.  He is a seasoned operations and financial advisor (CEO, CRO, COO, CFO, VP Finance, etc.) with 35+ years of experience in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, corporate finance, general management, market expansion and franchising, including executive positions at Amherst Partners, MorrisAnderson, SALA Capital Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers.


Morris Saunders
Vice President for Legal Services
Partner, Levin Ginsburg

Morris Suander’s legal practice concentrates in business and tax areas, including, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, business succession planning, deferred compensation, qualified and non-qualified employee benefit plans, and also in wealth preservation and estate planning. He deals extensively in the negotiation and preparation of commercial real estate and equipment purchase and sales agreement and leases, software licensing agreements and other business agreements.


Rebecca Wing
Vice President for Membership Services
COO, General Counsel, Corp Secretary, LW Lands Inc.

Rebecca Wing is an internationally experienced CEO, COO, General Counsel, Financial Services Expert and Private Company Board of Director (Qualified SEC Financial Expert).    Her global experience traverses multiple continents and countries to include Europe, Eastern Europe, United Kingdom, Canada, Latin America, China, Australia, Mexico, Middle East, BVI, the Caymans, and the Bahamas.     Ms. Wing is known for leveraging strong business acumen, strategic vision, and operations/risk management/legal/compliance knowledge to grow private and public businesses organically and through mergers and acquisitions and for her ability to identify legal issues and their potential impact on business operations, then mitigate those risks while achieving solution driven desired outcomes. 


Paul Marcela
Vice President & Corporate Secretary
President, Governance Partners Group LLC

Paul Marcela is President of Governance Partners Group, a corporate governance services firm that specializes in providing external Corporate Secretary services to companies that seek support in attending to the corporate governance requirements of their Boards of Directors. GPG focuses on providing governance services to private companies, small to mid-cap public companies and not-for-profit organizations that may not have sufficient internal resources to practice good governance in a robust manner.

Paul is the Secretary of the Private Directors Association and has served the Society for Corporate Governance as Chair of the Society’s Private Companies Committee, as a member of the Society’s National Board of Directors and the Southeast Chapter Advisory Council and as President of the Detroit Chapter.

Previously, Paul has been Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel of two Cerberus Capital Management private equity portfolio companies and Associate General Counsel & Assistant Secretary of Dow Corning Corporation.

Paul earned a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University, a M.B.A. from Central Michigan University and a B.S. from Allegheny College. 


Dennis Kessler
Vice President for Chapter Affiliates
President, Midwest Family Business Advisors

Dennis Kessler is the President and founder of Midwest Family Business Advisors, a firm that specializes in helping families to overcome the challenges inherent in mixing business with family. He advises clients on, succession planning, conflict resolution, and strategic planning. Dennis is the former Co-President of Fel‑Pro Inc., which was in his family for 80 years. He has served on  six Public and  Private Company Boards as well as numerous non-profit Boards. Dennis is a founder of the PDA.


Diane Meister
Vice President for Strategy
Founder & President, Meridian Associates, Inc.

Ms. Meister leads Meridian activities in advising boards of directors and assisting company leaders to both anticipate and prepare for changing industry environments using non-traditional, scenario-based strategic planning approaches. Meridian also assists in development and implementation of new client company initiatives, including small “early bets,” that can mitigate strategic risk and achieve new, mission-critical progress for company clients.

With an Executive MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a branding and innovation background, Diane has been a highly-rated speaker on “Re-imagining Strategic Growth Planning” at 5 industry conferences in the past three years. As a member of PDA since 2016, she currently chairs the new PDA Model Board MeetingSM committee and is collaborating with the PDA Board Chair and board members in establishing and implementing the strategic direction of the organization.    


Dave Watkins
Retired, Former Executive VP & CFO, East Balt Bakeries

Dave is a seasoned CEO, COO and CFO with Big Four Audit and International Ex-Pat experience. A hands-on leader with a broad operational and financial skill set. Demonstrated success with privately held, family-owned and private equity backed companies in dynamic, turn-around and multi-national environments.Dave began his career at KPMG where he spent 20 years, the last 10 as an audit partner before moving to the Corporate world.  Dave has had a number or roles, most notably serving as the CEO for Maritz Europe while living in London and his pre-retirement role as EVP-CFO of East Balt, the largest supplier of bakery products to four of the most significant global quick serve restaurants. 


Scott Eisenberg
Assistant Treasurer for Detroit Banking
Partner & Co-Founder, Amherst Partners

Scott Eisenberg is a Partner and co-founder of Amherst where he specializes in advising middle market companies on restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, financings, business valuations and other advisory services for companies in the manufacturing, automotive, service and distribution industries.  In his career he has worked on over 75 investment banking transactions with middle market sized companies and has advised over 200 such companies in regards to their operations, business plans, projections and other financial matters.  He is on the board of directors of six private companies in the manufacturing and e-waste industries.