Chicago Program | Private Equity and Private Company Boards

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
05:00 PM - 07:30 PM CST
University Club
76 East Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603



It’s clear that Private Equity plays a large role in growth strategies and exit planning for many private companies. But what role does the private company’s board – and specifically private directors – play before, during and after Private Equity gains control? Hear from Partners of leading Private Equity firms, as well as from C-level executives of middle market companies that have been through the process.

This event’s discussion is designed for private company business owners and management, PE and VC firm management, board members, prospective board members, and those who work directly with private boards.

Key takeaways addressed will be:

  • What private board characteristics will attract and impress Private Equity?
  • How should a board best evaluate the prospect of a PE partner?
  • What mistakes should be avoided by the private company board?
  • What commonly happens to the board after PE takes control?
  • How does PE gain value from the boards prior to PE involvement? And how do they gain value after the company joins the PE firm’s portfolio?
  • Does any of this differ for “platform” companies vs. “add-on/tuck-in” acquisitions? 
  • How can private directors best position themselves for board opportunities with PE portfolio companies?

Join us for this unique and interactive experience to learn how private company boards and private directors can best collaborate with private equity. Please come with your questions for the Q&A portion.


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Scott Daum
Managing Director
Parallel49 EquityCapital

Scott joined Parallel49 Equity in 2005 and is based in Lake Forest. He is involved in all aspects of business development, acquisitions, operations, and the investment, divestiture and management decisions of the firm.

Scott is a board member of Avison Young, Gold Standard Baking, Questco and Tiger Calcium, and is the Chairman of Consolidated Infrastructure Group, all current portfolio companies. He has served on the boards of former portfolio companies, including Consolidated Utility Services and Beresford Box Company, the latter as Chairman. Prior to joining Parallel49 Equity, Scott was a Senior Vice President with the Global Sponsor Finance group of GE Capital, where he spent 10 years. During his tenure at GE, Scott filled multiple roles, including account management, risk underwriting, and new business development. He was involved in several work-out situations, all of which were resolved without a loss being incurred. As an originator, he had responsibility for transaction generation and structuring, covering Boston, the Midwest and near-west U.S., and western Canada.

Scott obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio summa cum laude (#1 in the School of Business). While at GE, he obtained a Masters of Business Administration, with honors, from the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business.


Patrick Jensen

Prairie Capital

Patrick Jensen currently serves as a Partner of Prairie Capital, and is responsible for sourcing and evaluating potential investments, structuring and negotiating transactions, and working with portfolio companies. Patrick currently serves on the board of directors for Architectural Lighting Works and Premier Dealer Services, Inc.

Prior to joining Prairie Capital in 2012, Patrick enjoyed a successful fifteen-year career in investment banking, most recently as a Managing Director in the Chicago office of Duff & Phelps, which he joined in 2000. Patrick began his career at Vine Street Partners, Inc., a boutique investment bank focused on sell-side, buy-side and capital raising transactions.

With over fifteen years dedicated to the middle market, Patrick has closed more than 50 transactions, working predominately with entrepreneurs, families and privately held businesses.

Patrick graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in Finance. He received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Patrick lives with his wife and two children in Clarendon Hills, Illinois.

In addition to his responsibilities at Prairie, Patrick and his wife have been active supporters in a variety of volunteer and fundraising services, including the Hope4Bridget Foundation, the Little City Foundation, and Clarendon Hills Little League. For additional information about these organizations, please see the Civic Engagement section of this website.


Vaughn Moore
President and CEO

AIT Worldwide Logistics

Vaughn Moore is President and CEO of AIT Worldwide Logistics. He became co-owner of AIT in 2012 after leading his team in executing a friendly leveraged buyout of the company. A 23-year industry veteran who most recently served as President for AIT, Moore’s diverse background includes extensive sales, public speaking, recruitment and management experience.

A member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Moore has also been recognized by the Madison and Strathmore’s “Who’s Who” lists of business leaders and professionals. Presented with the lifetime member award, he was honored for his leadership, achievements and dedication to his profession and industry.

As a member of the global community of logistics leaders, Moore has been lending an influential voice through his service on the World Freight Alliance’s Board of Directors since 2013.

Moore received his MBA from J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC.

As part of his ongoing commitment to community service, Moore began his tenure as a member of the Board of Directors for The Center for Enriched Living in July 2017. Recently, he served on the Executive Committee for the 2016 Chicago Select Golf Invitational, an annual fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. Moore also gives back as an active supporter of the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation.

He and his wife reside in the western suburbs of Chicago with their daughter. In addition to spending time with his family, Moore enjoys golfing and actively supporting his alma mater’s renowned Tar Heels.


Sally Washlow

Cobra Electronics Corporation

Ms. Washlow is a past CEO until 2017 of Cedar Electronics, the holding company for the Escort, Cobra and WASP product brands, and prior to that role was President of Cobra Electronics since 2013. Cobra Electronics was acquired by the private equity firm Monomoy Capital Partners II, LP in a 2014 tender offer. In her role as CEO, she led the integration and restructuring of the Escort and Cobra electronics businesses, driving acquisition strategy, strategic alliances, synergy savings, and product development, and she negotiated product licensing and outsourced manufacturing to improve economics. Ms. Washlow holds a MBA from DePaul University - Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, and a BA in Business and Materials & Logistics Management from Michigan State University.



Arthur E. Mertes, Esq.

Synergy Law Group L.L.C.

Arthur E. Mertes, is the law firm’s founding Partner, and a founding member of PDA and part of its Private Equity Committee. Art counsels companies, investors, business owners, boards and executives in the areas of Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities & Finance, and Technology & Licensing Law, many times acting as an outside general counsel for his clients. A classically-trained M&A, securities private placement and IP / IT licensing deal attorney, his experience is transactions-intensive and includes work with privately-held middle market and emerging growth companies, financial institutions, family offices and investors. Art started his law career in the mid-1990s with the M&A practice of Altheimer & Gray. He also has Fortune 500 sales and distribution experience. Art has presented and lectured on topics including Mergers & Acquisitions, Venture & Angel Financing, Intellectual Property, Joint Ventures and others. He has been an active Board Member with M&A trade group MBBI, chairing several annual conferences, and he serves on other non-profit boards. He and his firm earned the 2017 MBBI Award for the “Largest Transaction Involving a P/E Group,” an award he has earned consecutively for two years. Art received from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign his J.D. (magna cum laude), MBA (highest honors for academic achievement), and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.