DATE: December 02, 2020
Association for Corporate Growth® (ACG), the global dealmaking network, announced its annual leadership appointments for the upcoming year, reflecting a governance overhaul that nearly halved the size of its board of directors and created a stand-alone chapter council.
ACG’s Directors overhauled the board to create a more agile and strategic body whose decisions will impact the entire middle market ecosystem. Board members embraced the concepts outlined in the book, “Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations,” and retained governance consultants McKinley and Associates. McKinley recommended a departure from the current model that allocated Board positions based on geography in favor of a more dynamic model that leverages the strategic and financial expertise of high-level leaders. In September, the Board approved recommendations to decrease the board size from 27 to 15 members and establish a chapter council, ensuring chapter representation.
Brent Baxter, Managing Director at Nolan & Associates, will serve a one-year term in 2021 as Chairman of the ACG Global Board of Directors. Baxter has been an active contributor to ACG for more than two decades. Among his many roles, Baxter previously served as ACG’s Chairman of Finance, President of ACG Saint Louis’ Board of Directors and Chair of ACG Saint Louis’ Corporate Peer Group. Additionally, he leads ACG’s efforts to build corporate membership and engagement. Baxter’s extensive midmarket leadership experience and mastery of private capital make him ideal for this role.
Of his appointment to the Global Board of Directors and the ACG Chapter Council, Baxter said, “ACG is more than a dealmaking community. ACG is an organization dedicated to middle-market businesses and individuals who ensure that they continue to operate and thrive. ACG took brave steps this year, assessed the circumstances and is poised to serve its membership and the greater middle-market community like never before.”
“The challenges and losses the middle market faced over the last year catalyzed industrious thinking that prompted innovation and created opportunities among middle-market businesses,” said Tom Bohn, President and CEO of ACG. “On the heels of a pandemic and presidential transition, it is vital that the middle market remains engaged and determined to facilitate global economic growth. More than ever, ACG must continue to be a diverse and vibrant gathering place for middle-market deal-makers to grow this important segment of the economy.”
Baxter succeeds Martin Okner, President & COO of dpHUE, a middle-market hair care company. Okner will continue to serve the board and executive committee as ACG’s Immediate Past Chairman and continue to see the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force.
“This year, we solved problems for membership we never expected to solve,” said Okner. “Our entire live network foundation was disrupted and we never stopped delivering value. I’m honored to have led the ACG Board of Directors during a time of uncertainly. It reaffirmed my belief in this organization and my admiration for the resiliency of our members, our volunteers and our dedicated staff.”
The governance changes extend the current board terms through the end of the calendar year. The new board begins January 1, 2021, and members will serve staggered two-year terms that will run concurrently with calendar years. The new fifteen-member board fosters agility, and the staggered terms ensure an ongoing pipeline of new expertise.
The complimentary ACG Chapter Council is similarly governed. Chaired by a board of director member, the structure ensures the council is informed of board strategy and that its positions are duly represented to the board. The council is purposed with sharing best practices across all chapters to ensure that local ACG members are duly represented in the organization’s decision-making. Council members will also serve staggered two-year terms and will seek input about the future direction for the organization from boards and members in ACG’s 60 chapters. The council and future subcommittees offer additional volunteer opportunities and will seed a perennial group of active ACG candidates for council and board leadership positions.
In addition to Baxter and Okner, ACG’s 2021 executive committee includes:
• Vice-Chairman – David Gershman, Partner & General Counsel at Trivest Partners
• Finance Chair – Steven Castino, Shareholder at Vestal & Wiler
• Chapter Council Chair – David Hellier, Partner at Bertram Capital
Continuing Board of Directors members are:
• Christina Bui, CRO/SVP Business Development at Kranz & Associates
• Nate Olsen, Managing Director, Business Development at Insperity
• Christine Nowaczyk, Senior Vice President at BOK Financial
• Aaron Polack, Head of Business Development at Lion Equity Partners
• Curt Tatham, Managing Director at Lincoln International
New to the ACG Board of Directors are:
• David Acharya, Managing Partner at Acharya Capital Partners, LLC
• Suzie Doran, Partner at SingerLewak, LLP
• Kevin Prunty, Vice President & Co-Head at RGA Private Debt & Equity
The ACG Chapter Council comprises:
• Chair – David Hellier, Partner, Bertram Capital
• Vice-Chair – Stephen Lee, Partner, Goodwin Procter, LLP
• Brent Baxter, Managing Director, Nolan and Associates
• Darin Brock, Partner, TorQuest Partners
• Wendy Buxton, Consultant, LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions
• David Clark, Managing Director, Raymond James
• Tripp Davis, Partner, 7 Mile Advisors
• Josh Hollingsworth, Partner, Barnes & Thornburg, LLP
• Brent Kulman, Director of Business Development, Five Points Capital
• Gretchen Perkins, Partner, Avance Investment Management
• Dan Ryan, Managing Director, MidOcean Partners