Board of Directors

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

Larry Molinari is a 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.  In addition on the commercial side Perlick produces a complimentary line of under bar stainless steel and beverage dispensing products found in bars, restaurants and stadium worldwide.

Larry served as the Co-CEO for 20 years and since retiring from day to day management four years ago Perlick has dramatically increased the role of the board in the business.  We have a very active advisory board composed of senior leaders from other businesses.  We have also increase the involvement of the fifth generation of the Perlick family with a family council.

Larry has an undergraduate business degree from the University of Virginia’s McIntyre School of Commerce.  In addition he has an MBA from the University of Toronto.  Larry also is the Moderator (board chair) of his church.

Alan W. Aldworth
Founder and Ex-Officio Member 
Chief Executive Officer & President, Private Directors Association®

Alan was named to his current position with 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 the Education and New Media division of Tribune Company and led it until its sale to McGraw Hill.

He 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.

042016_PDA_Program_Moderator_Hoganson_1Kenneth B. Hoganson, Jr.
Founder, Director and Former President & CEO
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.

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 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.

Marcela_(2)Paul Marcela
Director and 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. 

Steve Barth
Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP

Steven R. 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.

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

Robert Buddig is part of a sibling team that, along with several nonfamily Board members, manages Carl Buddig and Company based in Homewood, Illinois (a southwest suburb of Chicago).

Carl Buddig and Company is a 77-year old 3rd generation meat company that produces Carl Buddig lunch meats, Old Wisconsin sausage, Kingsford ribs and BBQ, as well as, many retailer’s private labels. Carl Buddig serves all channels including retail, convenient/drug stores, Big Box, Club, and Foodservice throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. The company operates out of ten facilities in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, and has approximately 2,550 employees. Robert 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.

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

Diversity in Boardrooms consults with Corporate Boards and Advisory Boards. Leading the firm, Ms. Burrell 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.

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, 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 a hundred articles, and he is frequently interviewed and cited as an expert in major media 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 Fortune founded CSM, an outsourced sales management company after eleven years in corporate America, including five with Aladdin Industries and six with Rodgers Construction He sold CSM after he acquired Century II.

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

Fortune 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
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.

He 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 was acquired by GE in January, 2011. Prior to SmartSignal, Jim led the privately-funded software companies Diffusion, Launchpoint, and 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, as a Compensation Committee Chair and as 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
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 that was 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 a member the Selfhelp Home of Chicago Board of Directors.

042016_PDA_Program_Speaker_Klein_v2_1Mathias J. Klein, III
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 with HOW to 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. Prior to Experts in HOW, Charlie shared his experiences as an advisor to clients as a Partner with Phoenix Strategic Advisors and Managing Director of Process Solutions, Inc., He has held a number of 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 deep international experience includes managing sourcing and manufacturing organizations in North America, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe and he maintains business relationships in those areas of the world. Charlie is the author of top selling books on business, a popular speaker and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for private companies. He is one of those rare individuals who can help your organization understand WHAT needs to be done, and can enable your organization with HOW to do it.

Joseph S. Poehling
Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Directors
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, Parkk Real Estate and other related companies. First Supply is a distributor of plumbing, heating, industrial, utility, pump, well and building supplies, while the Kitchen and Bath Stores are available for the consumer to make their product selections. They server 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, 1 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 a number of companies primarily in old economy hard asset industries such as printing, manufacturing, steel, engineering and construction, mining, etc. Prior to becoming a manager of businesses, Marc worked for a number of private equity firms and hedge funds both domestically and internationally.  In addition, Marc served as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of an international private equity fund for 7 years.  Marc has traveled to over 40 countries, lived in 4, and undertaken projects in approximately 20.  Marc earned a BA in Finance from Morehouse College and an MBA from Harvard Business School in addition to having earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.  Marc Sullivan sits on a number of 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 is the President of the Atlanta chapter of the Private Directors Association and a Board Governance Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors.

012418_PDA_Detroit_Program_Speaker_VerstraeteRoy Verstraete
Founder and Director
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.

Mary Zappone
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.

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