Chicago | The Value of an Independent Board and Getting Started with a PDA Model Board Meeting SM

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019
05:00 PM - 07:30 PM CST
Bank of America
135 S. La Salle Street
Chicago, IL 60603



Please join the Private Directors Association in Chicago for an evening program featuring a panel discussion on "The Value of an Independent Board and Getting Started with a PDA Model Board Meeting SM."





Tom Goldblatt
Managing Partner
Ravinia Capital LLC

Tom is Managing Partner of Ravinia Capital LLC, an investment bank which specializes in helping middle market companies maximize their value through sales, capital raises, and advisory work. He helps company owners understand how to tap capital markets or sell their companies for the best possible outcomes. Tom earned the ‘Distressed Dealmaker of the Year’ award from the M&A Advisor Turnaround Association. He’s a frequent speaker on alternative capital sources in challenging situations and distressed company investing. Tom is also involved in a number of non-profit organizations, including the Chicago Anti-Defamation League and the Old-Town School of Folk Music. He earned a BA in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a JD law degree from the University of Chicago, and MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University.


Ed Holland
President & CEO
M. Holland Company

As the President and CEO, Ed Holland oversees M. Holland Company’s long-term strategy and business planning, spearheads mergers and acquisitions, leads the Executive Leadership Team, and is the proud protector of the company’s culture. Under his leadership, M. Holland has grown from a small regional plastics distributor to one of the top four distributors in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Ed has spent his entire career at the company, beginning as a sales representative in 1976. He was promoted to sales manager and sourcing manager in 1980 and became vice president of sales and sourcing in 1984. In 1994, he was named president and CEO. Ed has a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from the University of Illinois. He has been married to his wife, Ann Dee, for more than 40 years. They have three children and five grandchildren. He is active with several charitable organizations, enjoys spending time with his family, and playing golf.


Cece Matot
President & Owner
Matot, Inc.

With her sister Anne, Cece Matot is president and fourth generation owner of Matot, Inc. The company is a sheet metal fabricator and assembler specializing in dumbwaiters, material lifts and associated products for the elevator industry as well as industrial dampers. Cece began her career at Matot in 1986. She and Anne purchased the company from their father in the mid-1990s. Cece led two successful acquisitions for Matot and leads the marketing side of the business. She’s served on the boards of several non-profits, is an active member and one of the founding families of the Loyola Family Business Center and volunteers at Maryville Crisis Nursery. Matot participated in a PDA Model Board MeetingSM. Cece and Anne plan to create an ongoing board with independent directors in Q3’19.


Fred Sasser
Chair Emeritus
Sasser Family Holdings

Sasser Family Holdings is a 5th generation family held transportation asset finance and management company. The company provides rail, truck and aircraft ground support equipment in North America and Australia. After 36 years as CEO, Fred in 2017 turned over daily management to the company’s first non-family CEO, retaining the position of Chairman of the Board. In 2019 Fred has subsequently retired to Chair Emeritus, turning over Chair of the Board to a long time independent director. 4th generation family members are active in governance of the family and the business. The company remains 100% owned by Sasser family members, all direct descendants or in-laws of the founder, Fred H. Sasser.


David Smith
Gallagher Fluid Seals

David Smith is an experienced CEO and public and private company director. In helping to establish a fiduciary board for Gallagher Fluid Seals, he provided critical coaching to facilitate the transition from a second-generation family CEO to a third. He has also served on the PE owned Optellios, Inc. board and two public company boards along with non-profit boards.

David earned a BS Mechanical Engineering degree from the US Naval Academy and an MBA from Syracuse University. Following a 14 year career in leadership at General Electric and interspersed with other roles, he was President of SenSyTech and IAC Acoustics and CEO of Metal Storm, Optellios and the MOREY Corp.



Rob Sligh
Director on Various
Private Business Boards

Rob Sligh is with the Family Business Consulting Group where he helps family enterprises prosper across generations.

From the start of his career where he was in brand management at SC Johnson Wax for several years, Rob went on to become majority owner, Chairman & CEO of Sligh Furniture & Clock manufacturing company whose fiduciary board included a majority of independent directors. Rob has served on twenty business fiduciary or advisory boards and non-profit boards, serving on many as Board Chairman or Chairman of the Compensation, Finance or Nominating Committee.

In addition to his current positions on three private company boards, Rob is active in the National Association of Corporate Directors, the Private Directors Association and the Young Presidents’ Organization.