Thriving Personally and Professionally with Increasing Business Uncertainty

Date and Time
Thursday, September 22, 2022
12:00pm— 1:00pm
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Barbara Sagusti

Join us virtually on Thursday, September 22nd for a panel discussion with private equity investors, C-Suite executives and corporate advisors on how they are navigating professionally and personally through this extraordinarily uncertain environment.

Some of the questions that may be answered include:

  • What new behaviors are required to compete?
  • Where will new habits lead to lasting changes?
  • What underlying trends will have deeper and faster impacts?
  • What business analysis should be prioritized?
  • What messaging is resonating with both employees and customers?
  • Should business weigh in on political matters?
  • What is Plan B or beyond?

Ben Brandes | Event Moderator

Director of Private Equity | CrossCountry Consulting

Ben is known as a three-tier executive with experience in private equity investment, financial advisory, and transactions. Leveraging an established network of relationships with capital providers, investment bankers, and business owners/founders, Ben has invested, managed and advised on more than $2B for mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, and joint ventures.

Ben joined CrossCountry’s Private Equity practice to help lead a dedicated team focusing on the needs of private equity firms throughout the country. In this role, Ben utilizes his deep industry knowledge and expertise in improving the finance function of companies to provide an integrated approach to working with private equity firms and their portfolio companies throughout the fund and transaction life cycle. 

Prior to joining CrossCountry, Ben was a Managing Director for Accordion Partners, focusing on financial consulting to private equity and VC firms, and as a National Director with Grant Thornton, he spearheaded their entry into the private equity space. In 2012, Ben founded Hyde Investment Group to invest in and grow franchised businesses in beauty, health, and wellness. Earlier in his career, Ben launched a $100M+ private equity firm that invested $500M in total capital for mid-tier deals.

Ben earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and his Bachelors degree in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School.

Bryce Youngren | Panelist

Managing Partner, Polaris Partners

Bryce is a managing partner of the Polaris Growth Fund based in our Boston office. He joined the firm in 2002 and focuses on investments in profitable software and technology-enabled services businesses.
Bryce currently represents Polaris on the boards of Amplifire, ARInsights, ATC, Baxter Planning, Blue Rabbit, and Strata Health, and has also served on the boards of Cardlytics (CDLX), Cityworks (Trimble), Cushcraft (Laird Group), Dealer Spike (True Wind Capital / TA Associates), Digicert (TA Associates), Liaison International (Warburg Pincus / Meritage), National Electronic Attachment (Accel-KKR), Research Now (Court Square Capital Partners), TRG (Pamlico Capital) and Xpressdocs (Reynolds and Reynolds).

Prior to joining Polaris, Bryce worked at Great Hill Partners, where he sourced and executed investments in SmartMail Services (Deutsche Post) and ManagedStorage International (Incentra Solutions) and served as a director on the boards of both companies.

Previously, Bryce worked for Willis Stein & Partners in Chicago, Bear Stearns & Co.’s technology investment banking group in New York, and George K. Baum & Company in Kansas City.
Bryce holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Omar Simmons | Panelist

President, Exaltare Capital

Mr. Simmons is a seasoned private equity professional who has closed over 18 principal transactions exceeding $2.6B in aggregate transaction value over a 20-year private equity career.

Omar ran ECP Planet Fitness as CEO from 2012-2015 and is currently executive chairman of the Company. Prior to co-founding Exaltare, Omar was a Director at Windjammer Capital Investors, a leading middle-market private investment firm with over $2B under management.

Prior to Windjammer Capital Investors, he was a co-founder and Managing Director at Reliant Equity Investors, a $120mm private equity firm based in Chicago. Omar also worked at leading private equity firms such as Summit Partners and McCown DeLeeuw. He started his career helping Fortune 500 businesses as a management consultant at Marakon Associates.

Omar graduated from Harvard Business School with honors, after graduating from Princeton University.

Shawn Ellis | Panelist

Executive Vice President and CEO, Amynta Warranty

Shawn has over 20 years of experience with Amynta as leader of PDP Group. His experience with process, people, and customers led him to be named EVP and CEO of Amynta’s Warranty Division in June 2021. Shawn has had relationships with leaders at automotive OEM’s, lenders and dealerships across the US. He currently leads almost 800 people servicing the businesses daily. Shawn splits his time between PDP’s offices outside of Baltimore, MD and Warranty Operations outside of Dallas, TX.

Shawn has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Loyola University Maryland.

Date:  September 22, 2022

Time:  12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

This is a virtual meeting on Zoom.  You will receive the zoom information upon registration.

This is a free event for all




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