Our Team

We’re structured for value transformation

We work together to increase your total value

Meet
the Team

Now, let us introduce you to the architects of your future success: the Orchid Black team. Each biography is a testament to the skill and strategy we bring to your table—a preview of the personalized expertise you’ll experience when we partner to elevate your business to its highest potential.

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Steven Horwitz

Founding Managing Partner

30+ years in executive leadership and VC consulting, propelling software and tech services through complex challenges with innovative strategies and high-performance teams.

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Steven Horwitz

Founding Managing Partner

I am a visionary, performance-driven strategist with over 30 years of executive leadership and venture capital consulting experience across software and technology-enabled service organizations. With a hands-on leadership approach, high energy, and exceptional skills in critical thinking and creative problem-solving, I excel at building and inspiring high-performance teams to tackle complex organizational challenges. My track record spans from steering high growth environments to managing turnaround situations in both early-stage, venture-backed software startups and Fortune 100 companies. My expertise is deeply rooted in identifying and achieving product-market fit, harnessing the voice of the customer for strategic insights, and crafting effective channel strategies to maximize market penetration. I have a proven ability in enterprise sales, fostering a solution provider ecosystem that enhances value delivery, and adept deal making that ensures sustainable growth. My approach to governance and due diligence ensures operational integrity and risk mitigation. As a storyteller, I articulate vision and strategy compellingly, fostering a culture of innovation and resilience. I prioritize team building and leadership development, creating cohesive units that excel in execution and adaptability. Specializing in growth strategy development, I focus on demand/category creation, leveraging my comprehensive skill set to drive organizational success.

Industry & Type Expertise

Enterprise & SMB HiTech Professional Services Enterprise Software

Mastery and Unique Skills

Product Market Fit Voice Of Customer Channel Strategy Enterprise Sales Solution Provider Ecosystem Deal Making/construction Governance/due Diligence Story Telling Team Building

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Jim Barnish, Jr

Founding Managing Partner

Maximizing growth, enterprise value and profitability. 20 years of experience in scaling tech firms.

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Jim Barnish, Jr

Founding Managing Partner

Over the past twenty years, I've immersed myself in the tech industry, growing companies as an entrepreneur, operator, and consultant. At the helm of Orchid Black, my team and I specialize in propelling SaaS and tech-forward companies into new realms of growth and value. Our mission at Orchid Black is clear: to leverage our unparalleled track record to maximize growth and enterprise value. With a deep understanding of the tech landscape and a strategic approach, we navigate through the complexities of scaling businesses, ensuring our partners not only grow but thrive in competitive environments. My expertise lies in strategically positioning tech companies for success, from crafting and implementing innovative go-to-market strategies to managing the intricacies of mergers & acquisitions and fine-tuning operations through revenue operations. This focus is the cornerstone of my approach, guiding tech-forward companies to sustainable growth and industry leadership.

Industry & Type Expertise

Startups VC PE SaaS

Mastery and Unique Skills

Design Thinking Launches & GTM Mergers & Acquisitions RevOps Startups Strategy

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Howard Joyce

Managing Partner

Experienced in leading SaaS and tech services, building dynamic teams and implementing strategic improvements to drive efficiency and scale.

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Howard Joyce

Managing Partner

I am a seasoned senior operations executive with extensive leadership experience across SaaS and technology services sectors. My expertise lies in spearheading strategic initiatives and tactical operations to foster organizational growth and efficiency. A proven high-performance team builder, I excel in the acquisition and retention of top talent, strategically aligning human resources with business goals to drive substantial outcomes. My professional journey is distinguished by a robust track record in crafting and executing operational improvements and process innovations aimed at enhancing efficiency and scalability. These initiatives have consistently resulted in significant advancements in operational capabilities and competitive positioning. My skill set encompasses a broad spectrum of areas critical to organizational success, including business and finance transformation, channel strategy & management, and distribution. My experience in mergers & acquisitions extends to both the buy-side and comprehensive IT due diligence, underscoring my versatility and strategic depth in navigating complex corporate landscapes. Additionally, my capabilities in operations management, product management, and sales strategy have been pivotal in driving forward company objectives. I have successfully led ERP implementations and merger integrations, projects that demonstrate my ability to manage change and integrate advanced technological solutions effectively. This combination of strategic foresight, operational expertise, and leadership acumen positions me as a dynamic executive capable of steering technology-focused companies through periods of growth and transformation. This diverse toolkit of skills and experiences makes me a versatile and strategic leader, adept at guiding technology-focused companies through growth and change, always with an eye toward the future.

Industry & Type Expertise

Enterprise & SMB Enterprise Software Professional Services Media & Entertainment

Mastery and Unique Skills

Business/Finance Transformation Channel Strategy & Management Distribution Mergers & Acquisitions Operations Product Management Sales Erp Implementations Buyside M&A IT Due Diligence Merger Integration

We know how
to bypass the
mistakes

Vertical Mastery Meets Market Savvy

Orchid Black’s core is our outstanding ‘leadership collective’, uniting diverse expertise and market insight. From nurturing startups to refining Private Equity portfolios, our experts excel in financial foresight and sales strategy, driving transformative growth.

Our highly collaborative approach safeguards against the inefficiencies of misalignment, ensuring a seamless infusion of expertise.

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Jim LaPalermo

Operating Partner

Over 30 years of experience with top technology and consulting firms, such as Intel, PWC, Accenture, as well as startups. I’ve specialized in defining strategies for client profiles, ensuring pipeline growth, and creating strategic revenue programs.

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Jim LaPalermo

Operating Partner

Over the past 30 years, I have worked with iconic global technology and strategy consulting firms (including Intel, PWC, and Accenture) and startups, focusing on solving complex business problems and helping clients innovate to bring enterprise product and service solutions to market at scale. The last 20+ years have been dedicated to defining and delivering what success looks like through co-developing strategies for ideal client profiles, ensuring repeatable predictable pipeline growth, and creating consumption models with strategic revenue programs. I have executed go-to-market (GTM) offering roadmaps alongside the world’s leading semiconductor, spatial computing VR/XR (wearables), multi-cloud infrastructure, telco 5G/ORAN stack, CRM, and IoT-Edge, AI/ML foundation providers. This has involved aligning people, processes, capabilities, and programs for new routes to market, fostering partnerships, and offer co-development investments to differentiate, build preference, and generate IP with value creation at scale. Currently, I serve on two not-for-profit boards, leveraging my experience to contribute to broader societal goals. My career is built on a foundation of growth through Strategy, Tactics, Metrics (STEM methodology), innovation at scale, demand creation, and category creation programs, among others. I pride myself on building teams that execute co-innovation, utilizing design thinking for offers that drive a predictable quality pipeline. Leadership for me is about leading with stories, fostering diversity, inclusion, and empathy within teams. With over 30 years of global leadership, client strategy, and consulting delivery experience in the high-tech sector, my focus has always been on building, operating, and transferring client innovation co-development with revenue scale. My expertise in GTM capabilities, leadership, collaboration and orchestration, executive alignment, and delivering innovation at scale underscores my approach to opening up new markets and achieving predictable revenue.

Industry & Type Expertise

HT (Products, Services, Consulting And Advisory) Innovation New Categories

Mastery and Unique Skills

GTM Capabilities Leadership Collaboration And Orchestration Executive Alignment Results Orientation Through Servant Leadership To Open Up New Markets Agile Methodology For Validation Partnership + Client Credentialing Delivering Innovation At Scale (Client Problem, Ideal Customer Profile, Tech Enablement, Offers, Assets, Capabilities, Predictable Revenue)

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Jon Reeves

Operating Partner

30+ years in technology sales and value creation, focusing on Private Equity, with a passion for fostering trust-based relationships and enhancing efficiency, visibility, and valuation.

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Jon Reeves

Operating Partner

With over three decades immersed in the realms of technology sales, business development, and Private Equity Value Creation, my career is a testament to the power of enduring relationships built on trust. For the past 20 years, I have dedicated myself to demonstrating to Private Equity sponsors, C-suite executives, and board directors the transformative impact of technology on efficiency, visibility, scalability, and ultimately, on enhancing valuation for exit strategies. My passion lies in identifying and seizing opportunities to assist clients in accelerating revenue generation, refining go-to-market strategies, and cultivating alternate sales channels and partnerships for sustained growth. As a Strategic Business Development and Sales Executive, I've established a formidable track record in leading sales teams within Fortune 100 Technology companies. My experience encompasses spearheading and nurturing high-performing teams adept at leveraging technology to address the mission-critical priorities of commercial stakeholders. I excel in forging collaborative partnerships with C-suite leaders, delivering professional service solutions tailored for private equity-owned organizations. My commitment to fostering long-term partnerships is driven by a desire to act as a catalyst for competitive growth, ensuring the alignment of diverse cross-functional teams towards common objectives. My expertise spans critical areas such as Private Equity, Sales, Business Development, Customer Success, ERP/CRM, Fintech, Strategic Partnerships, and Strategy. These competencies allow me to drive significant business transformation, positioning the organizations I work with to not only meet but exceed their strategic goals. My approach is characterized by a deep understanding of the nuances of technology sales and the unique challenges and opportunities it presents, making me a pivotal figure in navigating and thriving in the competitive landscape of technology sales and private equity value creation.

Industry & Type Expertise

Enterprise - Technology Telcom/Media Professional Services Finance InfrastructureEdge/Hyperscalers, AI/ML SaaS

Mastery and Unique Skills

Private Equity Sales Business Development Customer Success ERP/CRM Fintech Strategic Partnerships Strategy

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Bob Caruso

Managing Partner

Seasoned business leader with expertise in forming top-tier teams and delivering swift, tangible results.

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Bob Caruso

Managing Partner

I am an accomplished business leader renowned for my ability to drive customer-focused changes across various professional services firms. My leadership is defined by building high-performance teams through empowerment, innovation, and creativity. Known as a practical problem solver who focuses on outcomes, my operational style is designed to deliver real value promptly. Beyond my role in organizational leadership, I am a dynamic keynote speaker and a published writer, particularly on the subjects of customer and employee engagement. These platforms allow me to share insights and strategies for enhancing engagement and fostering a culture of responsiveness and innovation within organizations. My expertise encompasses a broad range of areas critical to organizational success, including customer experience development, change management, marketing, and organizational change. I am deeply committed to leadership development and practice leadership, principles that have guided significant and impactful organizational transformations. I also specialize in business process re-engineering and implementing the voice of the customer initiatives. These areas highlight my ability to align organizational processes and strategies with customer needs, ensuring an integrated and customer-centric approach to business operations. This comprehensive approach to leadership and change management, underpinned by a steadfast focus on customer and employee engagement, positions me as a transformative leader. I excel in guiding organizations through periods of growth and change, ensuring they remain aligned with their core mission of serving customers effectively while achieving enhanced organizational effectiveness.

Industry & Type Expertise

Enterprise Manufacturing HiTech

Mastery and Unique Skills

Customer Experience Development Change Management Marketing Organizational Change Leadership Development Practice Leadership Business Process Re-Engineering Organizational Effectiveness Voice of the Customer

The Ring-fenced
Revolution

Growth Without Disruption

We embed within your ecosystem, protecting core functions while advancing offerings, ensuring progress without disrupting current success.

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Glenn Schwartz

Operating Partner

Glenn is a technology solutions and enterprise architect who has lead research, design, development, and delivery of platform solutions across many industry sectors.

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Glenn Schwartz

Operating Partner

Operating at the intersection of business, technology, and people, I am recognized as a highly collaborative technology solutions leader and enterprise architect. My career is defined by a proven ability to develop and deliver groundbreaking products and services across diverse sectors such as Financial Services, Insurance, Healthcare, Retail, Manufacturing, Software Development, and Entertainment. With substantial experience in leading the research, design, development, and delivery of platform solutions, I have consistently created significant value and delighted customers. As an analytics enthusiast with a broad experience spanning the private, public, and non-profit sectors, I leverage comprehensive research and data-driven insights to inform actionable decisions throughout various stages of company growth. My passion for problem-solving and crafting creative solutions drives me to continually push the boundaries of possibility. My involvement in mission-focused investing and a persistent optimism for the future further motivate my professional endeavors. My expertise encompasses Application Portfolio Consulting & Development, employing Design Thinking to navigate Business and Technology Transformation challenges effectively. I have spearheaded New Product Launches and Go-To-Market (GTM) strategies, underlining my capabilities in Solutions and Product Development. This comprehensive skill set allows me to drive innovation and strategic transformation, positioning organizations for success in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Industry & Type Expertise

Business Info Services Cloud Computing HiTech Fintech Healthcare Insurance Cable/Entertainment Consulting

Mastery and Unique Skills

Application Portfolio Consulting & Dev Design Thinking Business and Technology Transformation New Product Launches & GTM Solutions and Product Development

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Barry Saltzman

Operating Partner

30+ years of experience in global sales and business development, establishing high-quality service delivery frameworks, that guide companies through turnaround scenarios.

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Barry Saltzman

Operating Partner

As a senior executive with over 30 years of extensive global experience, my career is characterized by robust leadership skills and deep expertise across both public and private sectors. My tenure has included pivotal roles at Global 100 companies, alongside positions within innovative technology and service organizations, industry-leading distributors, and software firms. Renowned for a hands-on leadership style, I've successfully guided global sales and business development efforts, led complex project teams, established high-quality service delivery frameworks, and navigated companies through turnaround scenarios as CEO. My commitment to elevating the productivity and success levels of business owners and professionals has been a hallmark of my approach, fostering strategic advancements to achieve higher productivity and success. Leveraging my comprehensive experience, I serve as a certified coach and business consultant, employing industry-leading tools and programs to tailor solutions that meet the unique challenges of my clients. My expertise spans coaching, communication, marketing, negotiation, and organizational strategies—essential skills for catalyzing growth and operational improvements. My leadership endeavors encompass a broad spectrum of responsibilities, including steering global sales, spearheading business development initiatives, managing complex projects, and directing service delivery. Having held CEO positions in critical turnaround situations, I've demonstrated a consistent ability to drive tangible results and uphold excellence. I am dedicated to aiding clients in navigating and excelling within today's competitive business landscape. I specialize in strategic planning and implementation, executive and professional coaching, business development, and cultivating strategic partnerships. My ability to network effectively, generate innovative ideas, and lead organizational development initiatives complements my skills in marketing, product management, service management, IT outsourcing, professional services, and technology consulting. This diverse skill set enables me to lead with innovation and guide organizations toward achieving their strategic objectives in the evolving corporate world.

Industry & Type Expertise

SMB & Early Stage Hardware/IoT Saas Development Pro Services Infotech

Mastery and Unique Skills

Business Development Sales Strategy Team Builder

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Lori Kendall

Operating Partner

30+ years of experience as serial entrepreneur, engineer, and technology executive within the realms of networking, computer equipment, and venture-backed AI and data mining startups.

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Lori Kendall

Operating Partner

With 30+ years of experience, I have carved a niche as a serial entrepreneur, engineer, and technology executive, deeply involved in the evolution of voice and video communications and the contact center industry. My journey has been marked by leadership roles and co-founding ventures that have grown to be industry leaders, reflecting a profound capacity to drive innovation and growth. My expertise spans executive and staff roles in R&D and marketing within the realms of networking, computer equipment public companies, and venture-backed AI and data mining startups. As a Silicon Valley alumna, my career has been primarily focused on technology companies in the software, hardware, and networking sectors. I specialize in new venture incubation and acceleration, guiding companies through hyper-growth phases, and adeptly pivoting stalled firms at critical inflection points. My experience is underpinned by a comprehensive skill set that includes SaaS/PaaS/Cloud New Product Development, Business/Research Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Product/Portfolio Management, Digital Innovation Models, Agile/Lean Development, Design Thinking, Leadership and Culture, and Mergers and Acquisitions. Currently, I serve as a senior lecturer at The Ohio State University, following an associated faculty role at Case Western Reserve University. There, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in quantitative methods, entrepreneurship, business strategy, problem-solving, and leadership. My work as a mixed methods researcher focuses on the organizational dynamics surrounding innovation practices, sustainable value creation, and achieving a net positive impact. This blend of practical leadership experience and academic insight positions me uniquely to contribute to the fields of technology and education, fostering the next generation of leaders and innovators.

Industry & Type Expertise

Mastery and Unique Skills

Change Management Multinational Teams Mergers & Acquisitions Product Management Strategy Turnarounds

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Craig Potts

Operating Partner

30+ years of experience with a foundational strength in sales across business transformation, channel strategy & management, mergers & acquisitions, and leading multinational teams.

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Craig Potts

Operating Partner

As a high-growth, transformative Executive with a notable track record in sales, senior sales management, and operational leadership roles including CEO and Board Member positions, I have consistently driven value and growth within small, medium, and large companies. My ability to surpass sales goals and corporate objectives is matched by a reputation for building authentic, long-term relationships across multiple industries, thereby catalyzing sales transformation and rapid growth. With over 30 years of experience as a dynamic Business Executive, I have demonstrated success in both Private Equity-funded companies and Public Companies, navigating through pre-IPO stages to successful IPOs and creating multiple successful liquidity events for shareholders. My expertise extends across business transformation, channel strategy & management, mergers & acquisitions, and leading multinational teams with a foundational strength in sales. My career is distinguished by an adept ability to generate high growth and establish solid, long-term relationships with executives and decision-makers across various sectors. This skill set is crucial in environments ranging from large to small companies, where I am recognized for my strategic insight and operational acumen. I have excelled in fostering team cohesion and leading by example, providing essential training that underpins a culture of excellence and accountability. My strategic execution encompasses transitioning strategies that align with corporate objectives and adapt to market demands, showcasing my comprehensive experience in P&L management, business development, sales management, and professional services marketing management. These capabilities have been instrumental in achieving organizational goals and driving sustainable growth, positioning me as a pivotal leader in transforming businesses to surpass their growth targets.

Industry & Type Expertise

SMB Ecommerce Fintech Healthcare Telecom Pro Services ERP/CRM Infotech SaaS Development

Mastery and Unique Skills

Business Transformation Channel Strategy & Management Mergers & Acquisitions Multinational Teams Sales

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Rob Nix

Operating Partner

25+ years of in accounting, financial, and operational leadership roles, utilizing processes, data, and technology to enhance revenue, achieve cost efficiencies, and foster scalable operations.

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Rob Nix

Operating Partner

With over 25 years of experience in accounting, financial, and operational leadership roles, my expertise is centered on utilizing processes, data, and technology to enhance revenue, achieve cost efficiencies, and foster scalable operations. My approach is founded on servant leadership, prioritizing the team's needs to drive strong collective performance and deliver superior value to our clients. Holding credentials as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), I bring a comprehensive knowledge base and expertise to finance and business management. My career has been dedicated to aiding organizations in refining their operations and strategic decision-making, underpinned by an in-depth understanding of financial systems and management strategies. In my consultancy roles, I have successfully partnered with a broad spectrum of clients to enhance financial stability, streamline operations, and improve business performance. My ability to communicate complex financial concepts clearly has established me as a valuable consultant and trusted advisor for firms targeting sustainable growth. My commitment to process improvement and operational excellence, alongside my extensive educational background and track record of achieving significant results, positions me as a leader in the consulting industry. I apply my skills in business process optimization, ERP implementations, cost accounting, financial modeling, and project accounting to empower businesses to navigate and prosper in the dynamic economic environment. My focus extends to areas such as distribution, mergers & acquisitions, market research, operations, and revenue operations (RevOps), driving comprehensive strategies that address today's market challenges and opportunities.

Industry & Type Expertise

Enterprise & SMB Food & Bev Hardware/IoT Healthcare FinOps EdTech BioTech Construction ERP/CRM Manufacturing

Mastery and Unique Skills

Distribution Mergers & Acquisitions Market Research Operations RevOps

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Frank Donny

Operating Partner

Frank is a specialist in sales operations and marketing, focused on driving top-line revenue through a strategic combination of process improvement, skills development, and technology deployment.

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Frank Donny

Operating Partner

I am a specialist in transforming the revenue performance of underperforming and erratically performing B2B companies. By refining sales tech stacks from lead to cash, I enhance process efficiency, system adoption, data quality, and overall implementation. My expertise is rooted in a strong background in sales operations and marketing, where I focus on driving top-line revenue through a strategic combination of process improvement, skills development, and technology deployment. My approach is holistic, targeting the core of sales operations and enablement to streamline the lead-to-opportunity and closed-won processes. By optimizing sales processes and enhancing demand generation strategies, I ensure that companies not only reach but exceed their revenue goals. Key to my strategy is the meticulous definition of CRM business requirements and the expert implementation of CRM systems, tailored to fit the unique needs of each business. This enables seamless sales and marketing integration, bolstered by advanced analytics to monitor and improve the quality of the sales pipeline. With a keen eye on both the strategic and tactical aspects of sales and marketing, my work ensures that companies achieve improved revenue performance, predictability, and deep insights, setting the stage for sustained growth and success."

Industry & Type Expertise

Enterprise HiTech Fintech - Payments Pharma Industrial Business Services

Mastery and Unique Skills

Sales Operations and Enablement Lead-to-Opportunity Closed Won Process Sales Process Demand Generation CRM Business Requirements CRM Implementation Sales and Marketing Analytics Quality of Pipeline

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Jim Hughes

Operating Partner

Specializes in revenue performance, predictability, and insights through strategy, structuring, and sales execution, including detailed work on segmentation, performance metrics, and assessing the quality of the pipeline.

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Jim Hughes

Operating Partner

I help underperforming and erratically performing B2B companies assess their revenue performance, predictability, and insights through a unique data correlation service called Revenue Analyzer™. My focus extends to enhancing revenue strategy, structuring, and sales execution, including detailed work on segmentation, performance metrics, and assessing the quality of the pipeline. At the heart of my approach is the science of sales, encompassing the entire lead-to-cash lifecycle. My expertise allows organizations to gain a comprehensive understanding of their revenue performance, enhance revenue predictability, and derive meaningful revenue insights. This holistic view is crucial for refining the sales strategy and execution, ensuring that efforts are not only aligned with the company's goals but also effectively implemented for maximum impact. By focusing on the quality of the pipeline, I ensure that companies are not just chasing numbers but are strategically positioning themselves to attract and retain high-value clients. This approach not only improves current revenue streams but also sets the stage for sustained growth and success in competitive B2B markets.

Industry & Type Expertise

Enterprise Hitech Fintech - Payments Pharma Industrial

Mastery and Unique Skills

Revenue Performance Revenue Predictability Revenue Insights Quality Of Pipeline Sales Strategy & Execution

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Steve Palm

Operating Partner

30+ years of experience delivering swift, impactful results Steve’s expertise is in expanding the total addressable market (TAM), and enhancing enterprise value while securing consistent revenue and EBITDA growth.

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Steve Palm

Operating Partner

I am a collaborative leader, adept at delivering swift, impactful results for both private equity and publicly held global organizations across a spectrum of sectors like education, media, data, advertising, and business services. With over 30 years of leveraging my broad, functional, and international expertise, I've been at the forefront of driving business transformation, expanding the total addressable market (TAM), and enhancing enterprise value while securing consistent revenue and EBITDA growth. My approach integrates a dynamic blend of strategic foresight and hands-on leadership, characterized by high energy and an unwavering commitment to critical thinking and creative problem-solving. This enables me to build and galvanize high-performance teams poised to address complex organizational challenges head-on, navigating both high-growth environments and turnaround situations with precision and agility. At the heart of my success is a deep-seated proficiency in catalyzing growth through strategic alignments, such as account-based marketing, strategic partnerships, and the adept integration of CRM and marketing automation technologies. I excel in harnessing the power of data monetization and navigating the intricacies of mergers & acquisitions to unlock and cultivate value. My methodical approach to enhancing go-to-market capabilities has yielded substantial results, from surging e-commerce performance to expanding affiliate revenue streams and bolstering divisional EBITDA margins. As a visionary and performance-driven strategist, I articulate a compelling narrative that unites vision with strategy, fostering a culture of innovation and resilience. I place a premium on team building and leadership development, creating synergistic units that excel in execution and adaptability. By focusing on strategic growth development, demand creation, and category innovation, I employ my comprehensive skill set to propel organizations towards unparalleled success.

Industry & Type Expertise

SaaS DaaS Media Marketing Services Business Services Education Private Equity Retail

Mastery and Unique Skills

Management Account Based Marketing Business Transformation Business Development Data Monetization Mergers & Acquisitons Strategic Partnerships 3P Marketplace

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Michael Colton

Operating Partner

A unique Design-focused business strategist and a translator of complex business strategies into actionable brand creative and marketing executions.

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Michael Colton

Operating Partner

I am a design-focused business strategist and a translator of complex business strategies into actionable brand creative and marketing executions. Mastery in every aspect of brand development and marketing—from business strategy, brand design, to marketing operations and campaign deployment—defines my professional landscape. Translating business challenges into designs that accelerate progress forms the core of my work ethos. My strength lies in designing and visualizing complex processes and systems, a skill that allows for the creation of impactful and understandable solutions from complex challenges. Creative problem-solving motivates me, driving every project I undertake towards innovative solutions that resonate on multiple levels. My contributions are directly measurable: through the sales of products and services, enhanced team and client satisfaction, elevated audience engagement, and the fostering of lasting loyalty. Among my greatest achievements is the transformation of a fast-moving, decentralized corporation—from a $7 billion family business into a $23 billion fully integrated global leader in its category. This wasn’t just about scaling; it was about creating a brand that embodies resilience, innovation, and leadership. With skills spanning writing, illustration, design, research methods, workshop facilitation, team mentoring, marketing planning, and creative deployment, I bring a comprehensive toolkit to any project or challenge. My expertise in value proposition and positioning, brand strategy, product and brand portfolio architecture, systems and knowledge mapping, as well as visual and verbal branding, marketing operations and deployment, service model design, and sales strategy and messaging, allows me to build and guide brands to achieve their full potential in the marketplace.

Industry & Type Expertise

Mastery and Unique Skills

Value Prop & Positioning Brand Strategy Product and Brand Portfolio Architecture Systems & Knowledge Mapping Visual and Verbal Brand Marketing Ops & Deployment Service Model Design Sales Strategy & Messaging

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John Blake

Operating Partner

20+ years maximizing the potential of underperforming mid-market challenger brands through an approach deeply rooted in leveraging market and customer insights.

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John Blake

Operating Partner

I specialize in discovering and maximizing the potential of underperforming mid-market challenger brands, with a career that demonstrates an exceptional knack for turning adversity into strategic opportunity. With more than two decades of experience as a domain expert in consumer internet, publishing, media, and B2B information services, my approach is deeply rooted in leveraging market and customer insights. This allows me to craft bold strategies and pioneer innovative digital platforms that not only establish but significantly boost growth, profitability, and value creation for early-stage and mid-market companies. As an innovator at heart, I excel in engaging markets and stakeholders during challenging times, identifying hidden value, and reimagining pathways forward. My leadership reshapes team cultures, fostering environments where creativity and bold vision thrive. With a proven track record as a four-time President & CEO, my sales and marketing-driven growth mindset is backed by over 25 years of global, corporate, and entrepreneurial experience. This unique blend of skills has empowered me to guide businesses ranging from $1MM to $100MM through early-stage development, growth stalls, major market shifts, and comprehensive business transformations. As a pragmatic chief business architect, I have generated over $200MM in new enterprise value for companies in the information services, software, marketing, and media sectors. My agile, entrepreneurial leadership style, predisposition for action, and adeptness at reengineering business models and cultivating new growth engines are particularly effective in scenarios that necessitate significant change. My expertise encompasses organizational change, strategic leadership, revenue management, process improvement, product commercialization, strategic partnerships, brand positioning, and digital transformation. My approach not only accelerates time-to-traction through well-crafted GTM strategies but also ensures that new product initiatives and positioning fully capitalize on untapped opportunities.

Industry & Type Expertise

Start-Ups & Early Stage & Portfolio Co. Mgmt & Mid Market <$200MM SaaS Publishing & Media Information Services SalesTech EdTech ElderTech Senior Care

Mastery and Unique Skills

Organizational Change Strategic Leadership Revenue Management Process Improvement Product Commercialization Strategic Partnerships Brand Positioning Digital Transformation

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Nick Bialaszewski

Operating Partner

Nick is an expert in software delivery methods as well as promoting and implementing scalable agile frameworks enabling organizations to become more responsive and adaptable to market changes.

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Nick Bialaszewski

Operating Partner

I have honed a strong ability to simplify, streamline, and improve operational processes throughout my career. As a devoted and inspiring technical leader, my focus has always been on bridging the gap between business objectives and technical execution. By employing Agile software delivery methods and qualitative measurement techniques, I've successfully guided organizations of varying sizes to align their business and technical strategies effectively. My expertise encompasses a wide range of areas essential for the modern digital enterprise. This includes process & quality measurement, where I've developed and implemented metrics to ensure continuous improvement and excellence in delivery. My work in promoting business agility and implementing scaled agile frameworks (SAFe) has enabled organizations to become more responsive and adaptable to market changes. In product design and product management, my approach has always been user-centric, ensuring that product development aligns with customer needs and business goals. My background in software engineering management has equipped me with the skills to lead and inspire engineering teams, fostering a culture of innovation and high performance. Digital transformation is another key area of my expertise. I've led initiatives that leverage technology to fundamentally transform business operations, creating new opportunities for growth and competitiveness. My strategy work focuses on leveraging technology to achieve business objectives, ensuring that IT investments are aligned with strategic goals. Moreover, my knowledge in database design & theory and engineering change management has been instrumental in developing robust technical infrastructures and managing the evolution of engineering practices within organizations. This comprehensive skill set makes me a versatile leader, capable of driving significant technological and business improvements.

Industry & Type Expertise

Enterprise & SMB & Early Stage Gov Contractors/Agencies Higher Education/Academia Tech/Software Fintech Retail Enterprise Insurance

Mastery and Unique Skills

Process & Quality Measurement Business Agility/Scaled Agile (Safe) Product Design/Product Management Software Engineering Management Digital Transformation Technology Strategy Database Design & Theory Engineering Change Management

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Noel Burkman

Operating Partner

Noel has excelled in the startup scenes of Chicago and Silicon Valley with expertise in tech. integration, client management, strategic planning, and P&L management.

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Noel Burkman

Operating Partner

I am a dynamic thinker, celebrated for my exceptional pattern recognition abilities and profound emotional intelligence. My journey began in the bustling startup scenes of Chicago and Silicon Valley, where I honed my skills through strategic and technical collaborations. This foundation, combined with over 15 years in the corporate world, has sharpened my knack for achieving what often seems just out of reach. In my role as Chief Strategy Officer and Partner at Big Chalk, I am at the forefront of a team committed to dismantling business and market challenges, propelling our clients toward unprecedented growth. My diverse 20+ years of experience across various sectors have equipped me with a dynamic and comprehensive approach to crafting and implementing impactful solutions. My expertise spans several critical domains, including technology integration, client management, strategic planning, and P&L management, all underscored by a relentless drive for innovation. My ability to anticipate market trends and fluidly navigate across industries has been a key to success, offering technology, strategy, and marketing consulting across the news media, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail sectors. This versatility and unconventional intelligence have been my greatest assets in steering businesses toward success in a rapidly evolving landscape. Driven by a passion for big data, I am committed to empowering CMOs, brand managers, and sales leaders with the tools and insights necessary for making informed, data-driven decisions. My career is a testament to my dedication to application consulting & development, branding, marketing, organizational transformation, raising capital, and nurturing startups. My vision is clear: to unlock the full potential of data and technology, creating lasting value and transformative impact in every endeavor.

Industry & Type Expertise

SMB & Early Stage – Cloud Computing Retail/CPG Digital Media Digital Marketing E-Commerce EdTech Food & Beverage Info Tech Manufacturing – Light Publishing/Media Software & SaaS Development

Mastery and Unique Skills

Application Consulting & Dev Branding Marketing Organizational Transformation Raising Capital Startups

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Patrick Cox

Senior Associate

With 7+ years dedicated to spearheading growth and transformation for Seed to Series B companies, Patrick is an expert in predictive modeling, strategic planning, business innovation, and market entry.

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Patrick Cox

Senior Associate

With 7+ years dedicated to spearheading growth and transformation for Seed to Series B companies, I bring a distinctive ability to merge analytical rigor with creative strategy. This approach enables me to tackle strategic challenges effectively and spearhead entry into new markets. In my journey across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, I've honed my skills as a devoted analyst. My methodology leverages in-depth research and data-driven insights, facilitating actionable decisions that drive company growth at every stage. My passion lies in problem-solving and innovating, pushing the boundaries to explore what's possible. My experience is also deeply rooted in mission-focused investing, driven by a forward-looking optimism. This perspective is crucial as I engage in areas such as predictive modeling, strategic planning, business innovation, and market entry, not to mention the design of sustainability programs. This array of skills not only underscores my commitment to impactful work but also my capacity to influence and guide companies towards a sustainable and prosperous future.

Industry & Type Expertise

SMB Enterprise Software Green Transformation Retail

Mastery and Unique Skills

Predictive Modeling Strategic Planning Business Innovation Market Entry Sustainability Program Design

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Nick Tarsi

Associate Operating Partner

Dedicated to building frameworks and teams in promoting technology offerings that foster a genuine partnership between buyers and sellers.

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Nick Tarsi

Associate Operating Partner

Since joining Orchid Black as the first Associate Partner in May 2018, I have dedicated myself to building commercial frameworks and teams aimed at promoting innovative technology products and services. These endeavors are designed to foster a genuine partnership between buyers and sellers, ensuring mutual benefits and advancing the field of technology commerce. Throughout my tenure, I've been involved in various client projects, dealing with companies at different stages of growth, from diverse industries and disciplines. This exposure has enabled me to understand the nuances of business development, sales strategies, and customer success methodologies, enhancing my ability to contribute meaningfully to our clients' success. A deep passion for 21st-century organizational design initiatives, such as holacracy and teal organizations, drives my professional pursuits. I am fascinated by the impact of these innovative organizational structures on the evolving workforce, believing that they represent a significant shift towards more dynamic, responsive, and employee-empowered business models. My expertise also extends to the intricacies of pricing & packaging strategies and strategic planning. These competencies allow me to design and implement frameworks that not only support the growth and scalability of technology products and services but also align with the overarching goals and visions of our clients. The combination of my experience, passion for modern organizational design, and skill in developing strategic partnerships positions me as a pivotal figure in navigating the complexities of today's business landscape, driving success for both our clients and their customers.

Industry & Type Expertise

Ideal Stage: Seed > Series B Ideal Cybersecurity/infosec Salestech + Martech

Mastery and Unique Skills

Business Development Sales Customer Success Pricing & Packaging Strategic Planning

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Anthony Siragusa

Associate

6+ years of experience in finance and market research, utilizing insights into human behavior, disrupting cognitive biases, and fostering innovative thinking to solve complex business challenges.

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Anthony Siragusa

Associate

With over six years of experience in finance and market research, my career has spanned roles in a dynamic tech startup, a globally recognized Fortune 500 company, and a sell-side M&A investment bank. This diverse background has not only enriched my professional skills but also allowed me to leverage my psychology background in utilizing insights into human behavior, disrupting cognitive biases, and fostering innovative thinking to solve complex business challenges. My journey as a former Division 1 athlete has instilled in me the quintessential values of teamwork, discipline, and clear communication. These qualities have been pivotal in developing my ability to work well under pressure, maintain accountability, and consistently deliver high-performance results. My expertise encompasses due diligence, financial modeling, business plan consolidation, and conducting thorough market and competitive analysis. These skills are complemented by my ability to devise and implement strategies for growth, ensuring businesses are not only prepared for the current landscape but are also poised for future expansion. In addition, my proficiency in data analysis, market research, understanding the voice of the customer, and UX/IX design, coupled with a strategic mindset and critical thinking abilities, positions me as a versatile professional ready to tackle the next challenge. I am keen on pushing my limits and continuing to grow, leveraging my diverse skill set to drive success in the evolving business environment.

Industry & Type Expertise

Startups & Enterprise Tech Manufacturing / Distribution Facility Services Healthcare

Mastery and Unique Skills

Financial Modeling Data Analysis Market Research Voice Of Customer UX/UI Design Strategy Critical Thinking