Our Leadership Team
Chairman of the Board
Greg Wasson serves as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Wasson currently serves as President and Founder of his own family office, Wasson Enterprise. Wasson Enterprise’s focus is to partner with entrepreneurs and operators to build sustainable, high-growth businesses that do well by doing good. As the former CEO of Walgreens, Mr. Wasson has extensive global operational and management experience, as well as extensive knowledge of the retail and healthcare industries Mr. Wasson attended Purdue University’s School of Pharmacy, receiving his pharmacy degree in 1981.
As Walgreens CEO, Greg led this Fortune 35 company to record fiscal 2014 sales of $76.4 billion. He is credited with creating significant financial and shareholder value, initiating and completing game-changing mergers and Investments, leading complex organizational and structural change, assembling a diverse and high-performance senior leadership team, and establishing Walgreens’ position as an industry leader.
Michael Balkin serves as our Chief Executive Officer and Director. Mr. Balkin has over 30 years of experience in working with public companies in the small cap space. Mr. Balkin was a partner and formerly the co-Manager of the William Blair Small Institutional portfolio and the William Blair Small Cap Growth Fund which he and his partners, Karl Brewer and Mark Fuller started in 1999.Prior to joining William Blair, he was the co-founder of Cityview Associates, Inc., a real estate firm specializing in “value-added” real estate transactions.
Prior to starting Cityview Associates, Mr. Balkin had various roles at First Chicago and Bankers Trust. In addition to his work with William Blair, Mr. Balkin has helped dozens of small companies grow as an angel investor, mentor and board member. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Performance Health Systems, LLC and is an advisor on the board of the Innventure Fund, an Intellectual Property-based development fund started by Greg Wasson.
Advisor & Co-Founder
Karl Brewer serves as our Advisor and Co-Founder. Mr. Brewer is a private investor focused on small public and private growth companies. Until December 2017, he was Portfolio Manager of the Small Cap Growth and Small-Mid Cap Growth Funds at William Blair having joined the Small Cap Growth team in 1999 and the Small-Mid Cap Growth team in 2002. He joined William Blair in 1996, serving as a research analyst for three years. Before that, he was in the mergers-and-acquisitions and corporate finance departments at Lehman Brothers Inc. for six years. Karl graduated from Washington and Lee University with a BA in Economics and earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Our Sponsor Team
Mark Thierer, one of the most successful executives in the healthcare services industry. A lifelong leader in the healthcare space, he is known for his ability to bring companies to new levels of financial and operational success. In what has been called a “rags-to-riches” business tale, Mr. Thierer transformed a small pharmacy benefit management company (PBM) called SXC Health Solutions into one of America’s biggest and fastest growing players — and then facilitated a $12.8 billion sale to Optum. In the five-year period after Mr. Thierer joined the company he achieved a 3,400% increase in revenues and a 10-fold jump in profits. Following a merger with Catalyst Health Solutions, SXC moved its headquarters to Chicago. Under a new name, Catamaran (NASDAQ: CTRX), the company continued its ascent to the top of the pharmacy benefits technology space. When UnitedHealth Group, Inc. acquired Catamaran in 2015 to create OptumRx, Mr. Thierer stayed with OptumRx to continue to lead the business as CEO. After OptumRx, Mr. Thierer served as interim CEO at dental equipment giant Dentsply Sirona (NYSE: XRAY). He also formed the local investment firm, Assetblue Investment Group, where he serves as Managing Partner. Mr. Thierer serves on multiple public company boards and is active in private equity investing. Mr. Thierer holds a B.S. in Finance with distinction from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA from Nova Southeastern. He also holds a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation from the Wharton School.
Kermit Crawford is a pharmacy, health and wellness expert who has led transformational change and cost-saving programs in highly competitive consumer-focused businesses. He most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer for Rite Aid Pharmacy (NYSE: RAD), a Fortune 500 company with more than 2500 retail locations. He began his over 30-year corporate career at Walgreens (NASDAQ: WBA), the world’s largest drug store chain, where he rose from pharmacist/store manager to Executive Vice President and President of Pharmacy, Health & Wellness, the corporation’s largest business unit. Mr. Crawford’s private equity experience includes serving as operating partner, adviser, and consultant for Sycamore Partners, a New York-based firm specializing in retail and consumer investments. Mr Crawford is an Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee for Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) and he also serves as a Director and member of the Audit and Compliance and Technology, Privacy, & Cybersecurity Committee for TransUnion (NYSE: TRU). Mr. Crawford has received many notable honors for his expertise and contributions. Chain Drug Review honored him with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2014 and Drug Store News presented him with it’s 2014 “Pharmacy Innovator Award”. Savoy Magazine named Crawford one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America” in 2018, and Black Enterprise Magazine named Crawford to its prestigious list of “America’s Most Powerful Black Directors” in 2018. Mr. Crawford received his B.S. in Pharmacy from The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Texas Southern University.
Matt Shattock has served as non-executive chairman of the board of Beam Suntory Inc., the world’s third-largest premium spirits company, since April 2019. He previously served as chairman and CEO of Beam Suntory, having joined Beam in March 2009 as president and CEO. He led the company’s successful growth strategy transformation and subsequent transition to become a standalone public company in 2011. Subsequently he led the integration of the Beam and Suntory spirits businesses following Suntory’s $16 billion acquisition of Beam in 2014. Prior to joining Beam, he spent six years at Cadbury plc, an international confectionery manufacturer, where he led its businesses first in The Americas and then in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Prior to Cadbury, he spent 16 years at Unilever, an international manufacturer of food, home care and personal care products, in various leadership positions, culminating in his role as chief operating officer of Unilever Best Foods North America. Mr. Shattock brings significant experience in the consumer-packaged goods industry. He has a strong track record of driving organic growth through innovation, brand communication and operational excellence, together with significant M&A and integration experience. Mr. Shattock’s public company experience also includes his membership of the VF Corporation and Clorox boards in the US and Domino’s Pizza Group PLC in the UK where he chairs the board.
Craig Zummer, founder and Managing Director of Insight Advisory Partners, a merchant banking and strategy consulting firm. Prior to co-founding the firm, Mr. Zummer spent 15 years as a strategy and business development professional in the food and consumer products industries, most recently as Vice President of Corporate Strategy with the McDonald’s Corporation. Mr. Zummer has deep expertise in helping companies improve their core business strategy, launch new ventures, develop partnerships, facilitate acquisitions and divestitures, and raise capital. In addition to his experience at McDonald’s, he previously advised numerous consumer products companies while with the Boston Consulting Group and as an independent consultant. He also worked in both the Risk and New Venture groups at Capital One Financial. After college, Mr. Zummer served as a Marine Corps officer including service in Operation Desert Storm. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA in Economics from Northwestern University.
Theodore Koenig is the President, CEO and Founder of Monroe Capital and has over 30 years of experience in structuring and investing in debt and equity transactions. Mr. Koenig also serves as the Chairman, President and CEO of Monroe Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: MRCC), a publicly traded business development company (BDC). Prior to founding Monroe Capital in 2004, Mr. Koenig was President and CEO of Hilco Capital LP, a junior secured/mezzanine debt fund established in 2000. Prior to that, Mr. Koenig spent 13 years at the Chicago-based law firm of Holleb & Coff as partner and co-chair of the firm’s Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions and Business Finance groups, where he supervised and was responsible for structuring, negotiating and documenting acquisitions and sales of middle-market companies as well as representing the firm’s bank, financial institution and commercial finance clients in financing transactions for buyout, growth, recapitalization and restructuring transactions. Mr. Koenig is a graduate of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University (B.S.) in accounting with high honors and Chicago-Kent College of Law (J.D.) with honors.
Board of Directors
Robert Zimmerman has agreed to serve on the Board of Directors. Mr. Zimmerman has been an independent consultant since retiring from Walgreens in 2014, focusing on healthcare, specifically retail pharmacy services and pharmacy benefit management. His primary consulting work has been with knowledge transfer companies (GLG and Guidepoint) with significant short-term assignments with end business clients as well as hedge funds and consulting firms. He has also consulted directly with private equity and hedge funds. Until April 2014, Mr. Zimmerman served as Chief Strategy Officer and SVP of Corporate Development at Walgreens. In these roles, he worked directly with the CEO and Executive Committee on strategic plans transforming Walgreens from a drug store chain to an international integrated health care provider. He also led the development and execution of Walgreens M&A strategy, including the largest transaction in Walgreens history, the acquisition of Alliance Boots. Prior to his tenure as CSO, he served as CFO and EVP of WHP Health Initiatives, Walgreens managed care division. He held responsibility for the divisions finance, strategy, new business and product development initiatives, acquisitions, pharmaceutical trade relations, and Customer Care Center operations. Mr. Zimmerman currently also serves as a Board Member on the State of Illinois Board of Pharmacy (2016 - Present) where he was appointed by the Governor of Illinois. Mr. Zimmerman graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Finance, and from Northern Illinois University in 1984 with an MBA. We believe that Mr. Zimmerman is well qualified to serve as a director due to his extensive M&A and strategy experience at a large publicly traded company.
John Svoboda has agreed to serve on the Board of Directors. Mr. Svoboda co-founded Svoboda Capital Partners (“SC”) in January 1998 with Michelle Collins. John serves on the boards of SC portfolio companies BPI/Incite, One North Interactive, Sonoma Creamery and SWC Technology Partners. Prior to co-founding SC, John worked in the Corporate Finance Department of William Blair & Company LLC (1983-1997), where he managed Business Development and became a Partner in 1988. John graduated from Williams College with a BA in 1979 and received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1983. Mr. Svoboda serves as a trustee of the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mr. Svoboda also serves as a trustee for the Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute, the Auditorium Theatre where he was Chairman of the Board, as an honorary trustee of Marwen and as a life trustee of the Francis W. Parker School. He served on the Advisory Council of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and served on the Steering Committee for the Stanford Campaign. Mr. Svoboda has also served on several alumni and fundraising committees for both Williams College and the Stanford Business School, as well as capital campaigns for the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital. Mr. Svoboda is also active as a mentor and selection committee member for the Pat Tillman Foundation and is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago.
Brian Gamache has agreed to serve on the Board of Directors. Mr. Gamache was the former Chairman and CEO of WMS Industries Inc., a designer, manufacturer and marketer of games for the casino and on-line gaming industries. Prior to rejoining WMS, he served as President of Wyndham International’s Luxury and Resort Division. Before Wyndham, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of WHG Resorts and Casinos, Inc., a subsidiary of WMS Industries. He previously held various executive positions with Marriott Hotel Corporation and Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Mr. Gamache is on the Board of Directors at Welbilt and currently serves as an advisor to several private equity firms and corporations. He is a guest lecturer at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Gamache graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Business Administration, where he currently serves as a member of the Dean’s Council to the Warrington School of Business.