Our conference speakers are credentialed and seasoned mergers and acquisitions professionals.

Representing various industries, they blend theory with real-world application to offer a learning experience that helps you approach any deal.


John Howe, M&AMI, CM&AP
John Howe, M&AMI, CM&APDirector, Business Transition Strategies
John Howe is director of Business Transition Strategies, an M&A advisory firm with offices in New

Hampshire and Massachusetts. He is a Fellow of the M&A Source, holds the M&AMI and the CM&AP designations. He is a past chair of the association and in 2021 was presented the Darrell Fouts Award. Prior to this career he was in the daily newspaper business for 32 years. He served as the first chair of International Association of Business Intermediaries.

Philip King, MVM, MBA, CMSBB, CBI
Philip King, MVM, MBA, CMSBB, CBI Mergers & Acquisitions – M&A Evolution Inc.
Phil has been involved in the Mergers & Acquisitions space for over 20 years as a private consultant. He has also owned and sold multiple companies personally over the past 30 years. After his exit from his last company, Phil had a brief affiliation with Sunbelt Business Brokers. Phil and colleagues have since opened the boutique Middle Market M&A firm, M&A Evolution, serving Ontario, Canada. Phil has held the most senior roles in each of sales management, agricultural development, hardware distribution, manufacturing & distribution, automotive supply & service and clothing manufacturing & distribution, all on an international basis.
Dean McDonald, CBI, M&AMI, CM&AP
Dean McDonald, CBI, M&AMI, CM&APPrincipal, Walden Business
Dean McDonald brings many years of accounting and marketing experience to Walden Businesses. He began his professional career in 1994 after graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and minor in Accounting.

Dean sold his ownership in a cleaning business and began his career as a business intermediary in 2005. He specializes in specific service companies, wholesale, distribution, and manufacturing. Dean’s background as a partner in an Atlanta-based business has provided him with a thorough understanding of the complexities of business ownership, which further enable him to service his Walden clients. He is also a Real Estate broker licensed in Georgia as an an associate broker.

Pat McDonald, M&AMI, CM&AP, FMAS
Pat McDonald, M&AMI, CM&AP, FMASCEO/Managing M&A Broker, Align Corporate Advisors
Pat is an established industry leader and has demonstrated, exceptional skills in customizing the personal service required to best benefit each client.

Pat started her own M&A Company in 1990 and decided to sell and relocate after her children graduated from college. She earned the CBI (Certified Business Intermediary) designation in 1992 with the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and the M&AMI (Merger & Acquisition Master Intermediary) certification in 2005 with the M&A Source. In 2015 she earned the CM&AP (Certified M&A Professional) at Coles College of Business (KSU).

She served on the Board of Governors with the M&A Source as Education Chair for 6 years and is recognized locally and throughout the United States as a developer, author and approved instructor of education courses with the M&A Source and the IBBA University.

Pat specializes in B2B Service companies, Manufacturing, wholesale distribution, Strategic Business Valuations, and Consulting services to maximize the value of a transaction from a proactive planning perspective. She is a member of the CEO Round Table with the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

She is a licensed real estate broker in Georgia, Florida and North Carolina

Evan Ottaviano
Evan OttavianoSenior Manager, Bennett Thrasher
Evan Ottaviano is a Senior Manager and Atlanta Market Lead in Bennett Thrasher’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice. He assists private equity and strategic clients with due diligence related to merger, acquisition and divestiture transactions. This includes buy-side and sell-side accounting and financial due diligence as well as other transaction- related projects. His industry experience includes construction, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, private equity, professional services, real estate, restaurant, technology and telecommunications companies.
Vijay Vaswani
Vijay VaswaniPartner - Transaction Advisory Services, Bennett Thrasher
Vijay Vaswani is a Partner at Bennett Thrasher and leads the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions Transaction Advisory practice. Vijay advises both strategic and private equity investors on buy-side and sell-side transactions. Vijay also assists clients with early-stage investments, equity recapitalizations and debt financing transactions. He has more than 15 years of experience across a wide variety of accounting and finance disciplines, highlighted by his time spent in corporate development at two publicly traded companies and in the transaction advisory services practice at a Big 4 accounting firm. Throughout his career, Vijay has worked on more than 250 M&A transactions. With hands-on experience across the full spectrum of the deal cycle, Vijay brings a unique set of skills and experiences to Bennett Thrasher that separate him from many of the traditional transaction advisors in the market.
Monty Walker, CPA, CGMA, CBI
Monty Walker, CPA, CGMA, CBI Owner, Walker Business Advisory Services
Monty Walker is a Certified Public Accountant with a diversity of experience in the private, closely held business arena. Monty supports entrepreneurial clients throughout the country, and focuses in the business transfer industry, providing support to small business owners in the areas of business transactions, business structuring and design, business tax planning, and business exit planning. Due to his background in the area of business transfers and business transitions, he is often referred to by his clients and colleagues as a “Business Transaction CPA.”
David Wimer, CBI, M&AMI & Fellow of M&A Source
David Wimer, CBI, M&AMI & Fellow of M&A SourceFounder, Value-Prep Partners LLC
David W. Wimer, CBI, M&AMI & Fellow of M&A Source is Founder of Simplified Value-Prep® the EASY way to monitor, grow and protect value for any business owner. Presented as an ‘intelligent’ vault room, input tasks are assigned, simplifying the value-preparation process. Advisors transform low value prospects to a state of market readiness. Licensed ‘Value-Prep Partners’ revenue-share with each subscriber. Mr. Wimer has 40+ years’ experience as an entrepreneur/owner, turnaround executive and M&A Advisor.


Scott Buskhie
Scott BuskhieManaging Partner & Founder, Cornerstone Business Services, Inc.
Scott Bushkie is the Managing Partner and Founder of Cornerstone Business Services. With more than 20 years in the M&A industry, Scott is a recognized leader in the field, providing exit strategies, sell- and buy-side transitions, along with valuation services in the lower middle market. Scott has successfully executed hundreds of transactions, domestically and internationally. Scott founded the Cornerstone International Alliance, a group of premier firms serving the lower-middle market. He is the founding president for the Entrepreneur Organization (EO) Wisconsin chapter and the chair of M&A Source 2021. Scott has the trust and respect of CPA and financial advisor alliances, investment banks, and other professional service firms around the M&A marketplace. Scott holds the Mergers & Acquisitions Master Intermediary (M&AMI) designation. He is a Certified Business Intermediary and a registered representative of the broker dealer StillPoint Capital with the Series 62 & 63 securities licenses.
Blair Badham
Blair BadhamManaging Director, Lafayette Square
Blair Badham is a Managing Director at Lafayette Square. Prior to joining Lafayette, Blair served as Managing Director, Mergers and Acquisitions at Butler Snow Advisory. During his time at Butler Snow Advisory, he lead sell side, buyside and capital raise transactions for privately owned and closely held businesses. Prior to joining Butler Snow, Blair managed the market launch and business development activities of EBSCO Capital, the investment division of EBSCO Industries. Headquartered in Birmingham, EBSCO Industries is a privately held conglomerate comprised of over 20 businesses and more than $2.5 billion in annual revenue. Blair began his career in commercial banking, and spent five years with First Commercial Bank’s commercial and industrial lending team, where he managed numerous middle market relationships for the bank. Blair earned a B.S. from the University of Alabama in 2003 and an M.B.A., with honors, from Samford University’s Brock School of Business in 2009.
John Dalton
John DaltonFounder & Managing Partner, IDI
IDI Founder and industrial products veteran, John has experience in all company areas and as a private equity investor. John started with GE and Black & Decker, and moved on to lead and own with smaller companies focused on technologies within basic industries. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Cornell and an MBA from UNC. The education doesn’t compare to the bumps and bruises of leading and operating companies for 30 years.
Jonathan Ives
Jonathan IvesManaging Director, SCG Partners
Jonathan Ives is a Managing Director with SCG Partners. He leads all private equity and corporate development efforts, including deal sourcing strategy and execution, managing deal flow, analyzing and executing on acquisition opportunities, and developing and maintaining intermediary relationships. Jonathan has more than 20 years of financial advisory, equity research and investment banking experience. Prior to joining SCG Partners, Jonathan worked for Fifth Third Investment Banking and Harris Williams.
Robert McCormack, CVA, MBA, M&AMI, C&AMP, CBI
Robert McCormack, CVA, MBA, M&AMI, C&AMP, CBI Managing Partner, Murphy McCormack Capital Advisors
Bob McCormack is Managing Partner and Founding Partner of Murphy McCormack Capital Advisors, a boutique investment banking and corporate advisory firm in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Mr. McCormack has more than 32 years of financial services experience, including CEO of a commercial bank. Bob also is an adjunct professor at Alvernia University teaching Corporate Finance and Economics in Alvernia’s MBA program. Bob is past chair of M & A Source. Bob also serves on a number of for profit and non-profit boards.
John W. McGee
John W. McGeePresident, Blue Sky and Keystone Muse Companies
John is a seasoned professional with a proven commitment to translating business objectives into bottom-line results. By utilizing a diverse and strategic set of skills and experiences, John has created thriving organizations that excel at their mission. Central to John’s success is using new and evolving technologies and business intelligence to create competitive advantage and sustainable financial performance.
Scott Mashuda
Scott MashudaManaging Director, REAG
Scott Mashuda is the cofounder and managing director of REAG. He is responsible for the firm’s growth and strategic vision. With over 20 years of mergers & acquisitions and business valuation experience, he has represented both public and private companies in matters of sale, purchase, valuation, and restructuring.
Mr. Mashuda is the incoming chair for M&A Source for 2023 where he has served on the Board of Directors since 2017. In addition to the Board, Mr. Mashuda has served in various capacities for M&A Source including past chair of the marketing committee, past chair of the sponsorship committee, and current chair of the conference planning committee.
Mr. Mashuda was named one of the 2013 “40 Under 40” top M&A service providers by The M&A Advisor. He is an active member of the Cleveland Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. He has served as an adjunct professor of entrepreneurial finance at Duquesne University’s Palumbo Donahue School of Business and is a past Treasurer of the Allegheny HYP Club.
Prior to founding REAG with Mr. Todd Torquato in 2004, Mr. Mashuda served as a senior valuation analyst at accounting firm Ernst & Young.
Daryl JW Mackin
Daryl JW MackinFounder/Executive Director, A Soldier's Child Foundation
Daryl JW Mackin has been married for 26 years to his wonderful wife JoJo and he is a father of three; son Zachariah and twins Malakai and Nadia.

Daryl is a U.S. Navy veteran and founded the nonprofit A Soldier’s Child Foundation (ASC) in 2008 after his neighbor’s son, Marine Staff Sargent Marcus Golcyznski was killed by sniper fire in Iraq.

Marc wrote in a letter to his family and friends, “We are warriors, we fight and sometimes die so our families don’t have to, stand beside us, we would do it for you.”

Daryl believes it is our responsibility to love the child left behind, to honor our fallen, and give their children a hope to live out a courageous life.

Through ASC, this is now happening where the people of our nation are making the widows and orphans of our fallen, first on their list of giving.

Kyle Madden
Kyle MaddenPartner, KLH Capital
Kyle is a Partner with KLH Capital and is primarily responsible for identifying investment opportunities, including initial financial, operating, and competitive analysis of businesses. He is a member of the KLH Investment Committee and serves on the board of directors for BMI Merchandise.

Prior to joining the firm in 2009, Kyle was involved in a variety of brokerage-related capacities within the wealth management and insurance industry. An active member of the M&A industry, he has served on the board of directors of the M&A Source, was the 2013 chairman of the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors (AM&AA) and is asked to speak regularly at industry-related events and conferences.

Kyle is a native of Amherst, New Hampshire. He graduated from the University of Tampa’s John H. Sykes College of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. He enjoys fishing & boating, snow skiing, and spending time with his wife, Christine, son, Grant, and daughter, Grayson.

Laura Maver Ward, M&AMI, CM&AP, CBI, CBC
Laura Maver Ward, M&AMI, CM&AP, CBI, CBC Founder and Managing Partner, Kingsbridge Capital Partners
Laura Maver Ward is the Founder and Managing Partner of Kingsbridge Capital Partners, a lower middle market M&A Advisor firm in Kansas City, Missouri. Laura is an accomplished entrepreneur and businesswoman with 40 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, management consulting, executive coaching, manufacturing and business services. Laura has advised hundreds of business owners on mergers and acquisitions, financial advisory matters and business growth strategies.

Laura is a sought-after speaker, author, educator and facilitator. She believes in helping others and giving back. In 2019, she served as Chairperson for the M&A Source Board of Governors, served on the Board of IBBA, and served as Chair of the IABI.

Laura has earned certifications as a Mergers & Acquisitions Master Intermediary (M&AMI), Certified Mergers & Acquisitions Professional (CM&AP), Business Intermediary (CBI), Exit Planner (CExP), Business Coach (CBC), Machinery & Equipment Appraiser (CMEA). She has been awarded numerous awards over the course of her career.

Paul Murphy
Paul MurphyOwner/Operator, ChemMasters, Inc.
Paul Murphy is the owner/operator of ChemMasters, Inc., and JTM Products, located in northeastern Ohio. Both companies formulate and blend of chemicals used in various aspects of the construction industry. Paul has 20+ years of experience in manufacturing and business management. He holds graduate degrees from the London School of Economics, New York University’s Stern School of Business, and the University of Denver, where he studied public administration, analytics, and business administration.
Jaclyn Ring, CM&AP
Jaclyn Ring, CM&APVice President, REAG
Mrs. Ring joined REAG in 2013 and has nearly 10 years of mergers & acquisitions experience. She is responsible for the execution of both buy-side and sell-side engagements. Mrs. Ring has a proven track record of client service, satisfaction, and retention.

Mrs. Ring is an active member of the M&A Source earning the prestigious CM&AP designation in 2020. She is part of the M&A Source Leadership team serving as the 2022 Sponsorship Chair. Mrs. Ring is also a member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth and an active participant in the ACG Womens Network. Prior to joining River’s Edge Alliance Group, Mrs. Ring worked in the front office of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Troy Smith
Troy SmithNegotiation Instructor & Coach, The Black Swan Group
Troy Smith is a Negotiation Instructor and Coach at The Black Swan Group who joined the team in July 2020. Troy is a retired San Antonio Police Department officer who spent 23 years with the department, including 22 years in specialized units—such as the SWAT/Crisis Negotiators team and the U.S. Marshals’ Fugitive Task Force. During his career, Troy was involved in more than 300 hostage negotiations, including 270 as a lead negotiator, and never lost one of them.

In 1990, he founded the San Antonio Police Athletic League (PAL) and became its president. The PAL was tasked with building a better relationship between law enforcement and low-income communities. He was also the founder and commissioner of the Spurs/Pizza Hut Midnite basketball program, a basketball league for young men and women that required them to attend one-hour workshops about employment opportunities before each game.

Having had a successful career in law enforcement, Troy is now focusing his energy on something he’s passionate about: giving younger people the opportunity to improve their communication skills. He brings a warm smile, pleasant demeanor, and helpful attitude to Black Swan and looks forward to using his talents to help clients get better.

Ryan Theret
Ryan TheretSVP Enterprise Banker
Ryan Theret is an Enterprise Banker for KeyBank where he focuses on syndicated credit relationships as well as change of control transactions. Ryan brings over 15 years of corporate banking experience with a focus on middle-market, large corporate and private equity companies. Ryan has advised on/closed over $1.5B of senior debt across 30+ transactions. He has served a variety of industries including b2b service providers, consumer products, manufacturers, distributors, hospitality/restaurants, sports/fitness, retail, software, healthcare, contractors and logistics/transportation. Prior to KeyBank, Ryan led the Structured Finance Group at CoBiz Financial prior to the BOKF acquisition and was a team lead for the Middle Market group at Guaranty Bank. Ryan began his banking career in San Diego with Comerica Bank and eventually joined BBVA to build out their de novo San Diego Corporate Banking Group. Ryan is a native of Denver and received his Finance degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Barbara Thomas
Barbara ThomasNegotiation Instructor & Coach, The Black Swan Group
Barbara is a Negotiation Instructor and Coach at The Black Swan Group. Barbara retired from the San Antonio Police Department in 2020 after 30 years of service. She worked in various units during her career as a San Antonio Police Officer starting off as a Patrol officer. She was selected to the SAPD Hostage Negotiation Team and worked as a negotiator for 14 years. Later she was assigned to the SAPD Training Academy as an Instructor where she taught various academic subjects to Police Cadets. Barbara worked undercover while assigned to the Repeat Offenders Program (ROP), she was also on the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), where she worked with federal agencies on terrorism-related activity. Upon being promoted to the rank of Detective Investigator, she was assigned as a Uniformed Evidence Detective where she processed crime scenes. She was also on the Crisis Response Team (CRT), working with Family Violence Detectives while working with the Joint County and City Domestic Violence Task Force.

Prior to and during the beginning of her career in Law Enforcement, she was an active duty and reserve member of the United States Air Force (USAF), for a combined 14 years of service. She worked as a Jet Engine Mechanic where she worked on B-52 Bombers and KC-135 Tankers. Later, Barbara cross-trained into the Intelligence field where she worked as an Intelligence Analyst.

Josh Welk
Josh WelkManaging Partner - Lancer Capital Management
Josh Welk founded Lancer Capital and is responsible for developing investment theses, sourcing and evaluating opportunities, and managing the firm’s investment portfolio through strategic and executive support. Prior to founding Lancer, Josh spent several years as a C-level executive of a rapidly growing telecom and technology services company. Prior to his operating role, Josh spent over a decade in private equity and mergers and acquisitions of privately held and family owned businesses, primarily with Argosy Private Equity. During his career, Josh has been involved in and completed over 30 transactions. Josh holds a BA from Franklin & Marshall College and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Alex Welles
Alex WellesDirector, Union Capital Associates, LP
Alex currently heads up Union Capital’s sourcing efforts and has been working in private equity since 2011. Founded in 1968, Union Capital has an over 50 year history working with business owners to provide solutions and support growth. Our fund looks for unusual businesses in defensible niches, focusing on food manufacturing, specialty manufacturing, BPO, marketing services, franchise restaurants, and staffing. Alex graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in Economics and enjoys sailing and hiking.
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