The Private Directors Association® Board of Directors

Budd D. Berro
Acting CEO and Ex-Officio Member
Private Directors Association®

Budd was named to his current position with the Private Directors Association® in September of 2021. Previously he served in the following capacities with the organization: Founder and Co-President of the Charlotte, NC Chapter; Chair of the Board Development Opportunities Sub-Committee; Vice President for Chapter Development; and, member of the Executive Committee of the PDA Board.

Budd’s extensive professional experience includes the founding of a fractional CFO firm that focused on small to mid-size businesses before its customer base was merged with a similar organization; business director of a private school; and, a risk manager for Citicorp’s North American trading activities and its global emerging markets corporate finance activities.

He has served on nearly ten boards, including non-profits, business alliance and economic development organizations and a residential real estate management company.

Budd received an undergraduate degree in economics from the State University of New York (Purchase) and a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from Columbia University.

Larry_Molinari_1Lawrence M. Molinari
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Director, Perlick Corporation

Larry Molinari serves on the Board of Directors of the Perlick Corporation and represents the fourth generation of family members involved with the business. Perlick is a manufacturer of commercial and residential refrigerators and freezers, with the commercial business producing a complementary line of underbar stainless steel and beverage dispensing products found in bars, restaurants, and stadiums worldwide.

Larry served as the Co-CEO of Perlick for 20 years, and since retiring from day-to-day management several years ago, Perlick has dramatically increased the role of the board in the business with a very active advisory board composed of senior leaders from other companies. Perlick has also increased the engagement of the Perlick family fifth generation through a family council.

Larry has an undergraduate business degree from the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce, an MBA from the University of Toronto, and serves as the moderator (board chair) of his church.

BuddigBob Buddig
Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors
CEO, Carl Buddig & Co. 

Bob Buddig is part of a sibling team that, along with several non-family Board members, manages Carl Buddig and Company based in Homewood, Illinois.

Carl Buddig and Company is a 77-year old third-generation meat company that produces Carl Buddig lunch meats, Old Wisconsin sausage, Kingsford ribs and BBQ, and many retailer’s private labels. Carl Buddig serves retail, convenience/drug stores, big box, club, and food service throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Company operations are located in ten facilities in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin with approximately 2,550 employees. Bob and his siblings have been involved with the Loyola Family Business Center for approximately 25 years, and have held several leadership roles in the Center at Board and Chairman Level.

Dennis_Kessler1Dennis Kessler
Founder, Director, and Vice-President & COO
President, Midwest Family Business Advisors

Dennis Kessler is the president and founder of Midwest Family Business Advisors, a firm specializing in helping families 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 and several non-profit boards.

A founder of the Private Directors Association®, Dennis earned a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering and a Master's Degree in Engineering Administration from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Marcela_(2)Paul Marcela
Director and Vice President & Corporate Secretary
President, Governance Partners Group LLC

Paul Marcela is the president of Governance Partners Group, a corporate governance services firm that specializes in providing external corporate secretary services to companies seeking 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 without sufficient 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, a member of the National Board of Directors and the Southeast Chapter Advisory Council, and as president of the Society's 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 his BS from Allegheny College, an MBA from Central Michigan University, and a JD from Case Western Reserve University.

Alan W. Aldworth
Director and Former President & CEO

Alan Aldworth was named Chief Executive Officer and President of the Private Directors Association® in January of 2021. Previously he was the founder and president of the Houston Chapter of the organization.

Alan served as the CEO of ProQuest Company, a publicly-traded technology company, and as CFO for Tribune Publishing Company.  He founded and led the Education and New Media division of Tribune Company until its sale to McGraw Hill. Alan has served on over a dozen boards, including public companies, private companies, venture-backed early-stage companies, and not-for-profit organizations.

Alan received an undergraduate degree in commerce and accounting from DePaul University and a master’s degree in management from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Steve Barth
Director
Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP

Steven Barth is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP where he is a member of the firm's Management Committee. Steve practices in the areas of mergers, acquisitions, leveraged recapitalizations and buyouts; venture capital and private equity fund formation and portfolio company investment; public and private offerings of equity and debt securities; public corporation securities laws and reporting compliance; corporate governance; and the organization, development, and financing of startup and development stage corporations.

Steve also has extensive experience in counseling mid-market and closely-held firms, including many family businesses. He has helped many mid-sized companies adopt and implement their strategic plans and transition ownership and management to the next family generation, to employees, and to strategic or financial buyers.

Steve is a member of the Food & Beverage, Manufacturing, and Health Care Industry Teams.

031616_PDA_Program_Moderator_Burrell_1Cindy Burrell
Founder and Director
CEO, Diversity in the Boardrooms

Cindy Burrell leads Diversity in Boardrooms where she consults with corporate boards and advisory boards. Cindy contributes over 20 years of executive search expertise with a special focus in recruiting and referring diverse director candidates who enhance a company’s growth, profitability, and social responsibility reputation.

Cindy earned her BA from DePauw University and an M.Ed from Boston University. 

Colleen Chappell
Founder & Director
CEO, ChappellRoberts

An executive advisor and private company director, Colleen Chappell is CEO of ChappellRoberts. She brings a unique blend of corporate and entrepreneurial leadership experience building a technology Fortune 100 brand (Verizon Wireless) then one of the most sought-after advertising and branding agencies in the Southeast representing top-tier brands.

Colleen has extensive experience in advising mid-market and closely held family businesses as well as leadership positions on dozens of nonprofit boards. She was named Business Woman of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Woman of Influence by the Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame. A founding member of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Private Directors Association, she serves as Membership/Engagement co-chair.

Accredited by the Public Relations Society of America, she is a graduate of the University of South Florida now serving on the Muma College of Business board. 

Don_DelvesDonald Delves
Director
Director, Willis Towers Watson

Don Delves is a Managing Director of Executive Compensation for Willis Towers Watson’s Rewards Line of Business and Practice Leader for Executive Compensation North America. Based in Chicago, Don is a leading expert and highly sought-after consultant and speaker on corporate governance and executive pay and performance, with over twenty-five years’ experience consulting with major corporate boards and executive teams across the country. Don leads Willis Towers Watson’s Closely Held Business Practice and is a recognized expert on principles-based corporate governance, incentive design, performance measurement, and value creation.

Don has published two books and over one hundred articles, and he is frequently interviewed and cited as a governance expert in major media outlets, including Harvard Business ReviewFortuneThe New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Today ShowCNBC, and National Public Radio.

1_-_Marc_FortuneMarc Fortune
Founder and Director
Founder, Force Five

An executive advisor and private company director, Marc Fortune was the Board Chairman and CEO of Century II before its sale in 2005 to FFI, then an Indiana public company.

In 1990, after eleven years in corporate America, including five with Aladdin Industries and six with Rodgers Construction Fortune founded CSM, an outsourced sales management company He sold CSM after he acquired Century II.

He has served on one public company board, eight private company boards, a dozen nonprofit boards, of which he chaired six. He is an alumnus of Leadership Nashville and was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Nashville Business Journal in 2005. He is the founder of the Private Directors Association® Nashville Chapter and the Nashville Sailing Foundation. The Nashville Sailing Foundation operates a youth sailing camp at the Harbor Island Yacht Club where Marc served as Commodore.

Marc has an undergraduate business degree from Marquette University and received his MBA from Vanderbilt, where he also served as board president of the Owen Alumni Association.

Jim Gagnard
Director
Managing Director, Rocket Wagon IoT Venture Studio

Jim Gagnard has over 30 years of executive management experience leading enterprise software companies.  He has worked closely with the venture capital community and strategic investors to raise over $80 million for his companies and generate $480 million of enterprise value for his investors.

Jim currently serves as the Managing Director of the Rocket Wagon Industrial IoT Studio. Until March 2011, Jim was Chairman and CEO of SmartSignal Corporation, which GE acquired in January 2011. Before SmartSignal, Jim led the privately-funded software companies Diffusion, Launchpoint, Questra, and publicly-traded company Trinzic Corporation.

Jim serves on the Board of Agentis Energy, Vertex Analytics, and A3 Solutions. He also serves as a Venture Partner of Hyde Park Venture Partners, a Life Trustee of Illinois Institute of Technology, a board member of the Mies van der Rohe Society, and a board member of the Ryan Banks Academy. 

GrybasPhil Grybas
Founder and Director
Chairman of the Board, Great Plains Communications

Phil Grybas is an experienced Board member, having served as Chairman of the Board for a family-owned telecommunications/technology company, a Compensation Committee Chair, and an independent director for various non-profit organizations.  Phil is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Global Management Accountant, a Certified Global Business leader, a Governance Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors, and a member of the AICPA.  Phil has served as a CFO for publicly traded companies, recently led and completed an M&A transaction, and is broadly experienced in International Finance, process improvement, and financial planning/analysis.

Sara_HamiltonSara Hamilton
Director
Founder & CEO, Family Office Exchange

Sara Hamilton, the Founder, and CEO of Family Office Exchange, is a respected visionary in the private wealth industry. Sara witnessed the emergence of family wealth management as an industry while a trust officer at Harris Bank in Chicago. She was the first professional to recognize family offices as a unique client segment of both institutional and taxable clients. Sara is the co-author of Family Legacy and Leadership: Preserving True Family Wealth in Challenging Times and serves on the executive education faculty of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business for the Private Wealth Management course offered twice per year in Chicago.

M_Jay_Heilbrunn_5v1M. Jay Heilbrunn
Founder and Director
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 the Selfhelp Home of Chicago Board of Directors.

042016_PDA_Program_Moderator_Hoganson_1Kenneth B. Hoganson, Jr.
Founder, Director, and Chairman Emeritus
Managing Partner, RBI Advisors, LLC

Ken Hoganson is the founder and former CEO of the Private Directors Association®. He has served as a private board director with Lovejoy, a multinational metalworking company, for more than 25 years as well as teaching for over a decade at the Keller Graduate School of Management in a senior business planning faculty position.

Ken has been a valued leader for a number of associations, including the Association for Corporate Growth, serving 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 BS and his MBA from The University of Chicago.

Karen Kane
Director
President, Karen Kane Consulting

Karen Kane is a speechwriter, executive communication consultant and the former board secretary and senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She works with CEOs and directors to improve board effectiveness.

Ms. Kane is NACD Board Certified, a NACD Governance Fellow, author of the book, “Voices of Governance:  Why Oversight Is Important to All of Us”,  and writes and speaks frequently on governance topics.

042016_PDA_Program_Speaker_Klein_v2_1Mathias J. Klein, III
Director
Retired Chairman, Klein Tool, Inc.

Mat Klein III is the oldest member of the 5th generation of the Klein family to own and operate Klein Tools since its founding in Chicago in 1857. Mat retired in 2015 as Chairman of the Board for Klein Tools and he served in various management roles in his 46 years of employment at Klein.  He remains on the Board as a Director.  He attended St Norbert College (DePere, WI).  Mat is married and has 4 children and 6 grandchildren and enjoys skiing, water sports, tennis, gardening and travel.

LeichtweisCharles Leichtweis
Founder and Director
Founder, Experts in How LLC

Charlie Leichtweis is the founder of Experts in How LLC, a business consultancy focused on helping businesses identify, prioritize, and eliminate/mitigate their barriers to sustainable, profitable growth.

Charlie has over 30 years of global, strategic, operational, and financial leadership experience with a record of success in helping organizations achieve sustainable, profitable growth.

Before Experts in HOW, Charlie shared his skill and experiences as a partner with Phoenix Strategic Advisors and as managing director of Process Solutions, Inc. He has held several C-suite roles including, CEO and president of The Testor Corporation, COO of North American Wholesale Group of Blyth Inc., CFO of Rand McNally Book Services, and CFO and Comptroller of Rust-Oleum Corp.

Charlie has significant experience in strategy development and execution, alignment of strategy with process, leading global sourcing and operations, business transformation, driving growth, and creating a culture of continuous improvement. His international experience includes managing sourcing and manufacturing organizations in North America, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe.

Charlie has authored several books on business, is a popular speaker and serves on the board of directors for private companies.

Joseph S. Poehling
Director
Chairman and CEO, Prometheus Group, Inc.

Joseph Poehling is the Chairman of the Prometheus Group, the holding company of First Supply, Gerhards Kitchen and Bath Stores, The Kohler Signature Stores, Park Real Estate, and other related companies.

With over 125 years in business, First Supply has evolved from a family-owned supplier of pumps and windmills to the single-source supplier that most Midwestern contractors rely on for plumbing, HVAC, municipal, waterworks, well & septic, builder PVF, and industrial supplies.

Serving contractors, industrial, home centers, and consumers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Western Iowa, Northern Illinois, and the Upper-Peninsula of Michigan, the companies employ 600+ people at 28 distribution operations, one CDC operation, and 18 retail stores and does approximately $300 million in sales annually.

Pic-sullivan_marc-6-2020Marc Sullivan
Founder and Director
Managing Director, Phoenix Management Services

Marc Sullivan is a Managing Director at Phoenix Management Services; a boutique advisory firm focused on operational excellence in the middle market. Marc has served as Interim CEO, Interim CFO, Chief Restructuring Officer, and advisor to the board of directors of several companies, primarily in old economy hard asset industries such as printing, manufacturing, steel, engineering and construction, mining, etc.

Before becoming a manager of businesses, Marc worked for several private equity firms and hedge funds both domestically and internationally. He also served as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of an international private equity fund for seven years.

Marc is the President of the Atlanta chapter of the Private Directors Association and an NACD Board Governance Fellow. He sits on several boards, including the national board of the Private Directors Association, the board of the Atlanta chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, and the board of the Harvard Business School Club of Atlanta.

Marc earned a BA in Finance from Morehouse College and an MBA from Harvard Business School and earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

012418_PDA_Detroit_Program_Speaker_VerstraeteRoy Verstraete
Founder and Director
Retired CEO, Anchor Danly; Current Director of 4 Private Manufacturing Companies

Roy Verstraete is a corporate director, senior executive, and internationalist with over 30 years of experience in operating leadership, including 20 years serving on the board of directors for private, public, and startup companies.

Roy currently specializes in corporate and advisory board roles, strategy and implementation, executive mentoring, and succession planning.

Roy earned a Bachelor of Engineering, Chemical, and Metallurgical Engineering from McMaster University and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Schulich School of Business at York University.

Mary Zappone
Director
CEO, BRACE Industrial Group, a Sterling Partners Portfolio Company 

Mary Zappone was appointed Chief Executive Officer of BRACE Industrial Group (a Sterling Partners Portfolio Company) in October 2017.

A top-tier strategist, she has forged an impressive record of success in areas ranging from merger integration, portfolio management, commercial negotiations, cost reduction initiatives, and performance management systems.

Immediately prior to joining BRACE, Zappone served as President & CEO of Service Champ where she led the expansion into adjacent automotive aftermarket segments and the subsequent sale of the business. Previously, she served as President & CEO of RecoverCare where she led the business transformation and sale of the business. Prior to her RecoverCare experience, she held high-influence management positions with Exxon, Alcoa, Tyco, General Electric, & McKinsey & Company.

Zappone holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

Zappone has been active in organizations that encourage women and girls to pursue STEM careers with a passion for mentoring colleagues. She serves on the boards of Blucora (NASDAQ: BCOR), Alsco, and Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.