About M&A Source

The M&A Source offers strategic education & content to elevate M&A advisors to better serve their clients. Our goal is to ensure all M&A advisors know and work toward best practices in middle market transactions. Since its founding in 1991, we strive to be “the source” for all those working on mergers & acquisitions transactions, including CPAs, attorneys, investment bankers, business sellers, and others. This international organization currently has more than 500 members.

The goals of the M&A Source are:

  • To advance the members’ deal making opportunities
  • To advance the profession’s practice standards by providing a wide array of programs
  • To advance each member’s personal growth potential through a variety of forums whereby members exchange information and learn from one another

In addition, there are specific professional duties outlined for M&A Source members. They include:

  • Represent clients in accomplishing the sale of all or part of their businesses
  • Represent clients searching to acquire companies, divisions or product lines
  • Advise clients on the current values, structures, strategies and methods for ownership transfers of middle market companies
  • Facilitate the array of financing necessary to consummate the transaction
  • Preserve client confidentiality and transaction details

2022 Board of Governors

Jeff Swiggett

Chair of the Board

Jeff Swiggett,
VR Business Sales

Scott Bushkle

Immediate Past Chair

Scott Bushkie,
Cornerstone Business Services, Inc.

Scott Mashuda

Chair-Elect / Conference Planning

Scott Mashuda,
Rivers Edge Alliance

Robert J. McCormack


Robert J. McCormack,
Murphy McCormack Capital Advisors

Governor / Education

Tawnya Gilreath,
LA Business Pros

Kevin Dempsey

Secretary / Governance

Kevin Dempsey
Silicon Valley Financial Partners

Monty Walker

Treasurer / Finance

Monty Walker,
Walker Business Advisory Services

Governor / Deal Market

Phil King,
M&A Evolution

Lamar Stanley

Governor  / Webinars

Lamar Stanley
Gen Cap America

Jim Cumbee


Jim Cumbee,
Tennessee Valley Group

Tom Whipple


Tom Whipple
Falcon Advisors, LLC


Randy Bring
Transworld Business Advisors

The M&A Source has a variety of committees for members to get involved with.


Kathy Thiel This committee shall solicit articles for the M&A Source newsletter (The Bridge), serve as newsletter editor, and work with the Association management for the publication/distribution of The Bridge newsletter. This committee shall use its best efforts to ensure that communications adhere to and are consistent with the Association’s bylaws, policies & procedures, mission, and goals. The Committee is supported by the Marketing Manager as it relates to compiling and sending the monthly newsletter and weekly e-news.

Conference Planning

Scott Mashuda This committee shall set the overall theme for each conference; establish workshop and panel discussion schedules, subject matter topics, moderators, panelists, and other speakers, and when appropriate, select a keynote speaker within budget guidelines set by the Finance committee. If financially advantageous, coordinate venue selection and schedules with IBBA association management personnel in regards to future venues and facilities. This committee is supported by the Conference Manager.


Gary Papay, CBI, M&AMI, CMEA This committee shall develop guidelines and requirements for certification and maintain a pathway for CBIs and other M&A advisors to obtain the M&AMI (Mergers and Acquisitions Master M&A advisor) certification. This committee shall also oversee approval of Lifetime M&AMI and Lifetime M&AMI – Retired recipients, and the approval of candidates to be recognized as Fellows of The M&A Source. This Committee is supported by the Education& Certification Manager.

**Please note, all volunteers on the Credentialing Committee must be an M&AMI in good standing.**

Deal Market

Phil King This committee shall promote the Deal Market to Private Equity Groups and other capital providers; suggest additional revenue-producing opportunities for the Deal Market event; work with the conference planning committee to suggest updates or improvements to the event to keep it relevant and vibrant; work with the marketing committee to promote the Deal Market to membership and professional ancillaries. This committee is supported by the Director of Operations.


Tawnya Gilreath and John Howe, M&AMI Subject to approval by the board of directors, this committee shall be responsible for implementing and administering all policies concerning education and professional development. The committee shall set the education schedule for each conference; select appropriately approved instructors to teach each course; develop contracts specifically outlining remuneration, responsibilities and expectations of instructors; recruit new members whose practice is outside M&A advisor functions, such as legal, accounting, etc., to develop new courses; explore University-developed courses as an added vehicle to deliver relevant and current curriculum; suggest new course development subject areas; appoint subject matter experts to develop new courses; review market place for subject matter to be offered as appropriate educational courses from outside developers/presenters; and set instructor criteria and monitor instructor performance. This Committee is supported by the Education & Certification Manager.


Monty Walker This committee shall be responsible for supervising the financial affairs of the Association. The Treasurer shall serve as Chairperson of this committee. Additional members of this committee shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the M&A Source Chair and Chair Elect. Subject to approval by majority vote of the board of directors, the committee shall set the budget for the Association. The budget will provide clear direction to and definition of the Association Manager’s administrative resources anticipated to be required, including outsourcing certain functions where performance and economy can be improved. The committee shall monitor the monthly financial performance of the Association and the investment accounts of the Association. This committee is supported by the Executive Director and/or the Director of Operations.


Kevin Dempsey, CBI, CMEA This committee shall maintain and keep current the bylaws of the Association and shall inform the membership of any alteration, amendment, or repeal of these bylaws, and carry out all other duties as provided in the bylaws. This committee shall interpret the bylaws at the request of the board of directors. This committee shall work with the executive committee to periodically review for compliance and adherence by the board of directors, as well as evaluate, study, and recommend modifications or amendments. This committee is supported by the Executive Director and/or the Director of Operations.


Jim Cumbee This committee shall seek out opportunities to create positive publicity for the Association and shall provide guidance and support to members in their public relations efforts relating to the activities of the Association. This committee shall investigate and make recommendations to increase market awareness of the Association’s goals, vision, and purpose; promote informational, educational, marketing, and conference events. The committee is supported by the Marketing Manager.


Dean McDonald, CM&AP, and Kyle Griffith, CM&AP This committee shall review and recommend to the board of directors all administrative policies concerning membership, dues, and benefits. All such recommendations are subject to approval by a majority vote of the board of directors. This committee shall also promote the member benefits; develop & execute plans to grow membership and retain current members; and conduct surveys of webinar registrants. This committee is supported by the Membership Manager.


Bob McCormack The primary objectives of this committee are to present a slate of the most qualified candidates that meet the current needs of the board of directors and to ensure that the Association’s Manager prepares and distributes a ballot for the election of directors to the Association’s voting members. This committee shall be comprised of the M&A Source’s Immediate Past Chairperson, the current Chairperson, and the Chair-Elect. The Immediate Past Chairperson shall serve as this committee’s chairperson. This committee is supported by the Executive Director and/or the Director of Operations.


Jaclyn Ring This committee shall develop an annual brochure/prospectus that specifies sponsorship opportunities. This committee shall also suggest additional revenue-producing possibilities. Relationships with long-time sponsors and exhibitors are essential as long as mutually beneficial results are achieved. Other entities seeking sponsorship must be approved by a majority vote of the board of directors. This committee is supported by the Association management for the solicitation and execution of sponsorship contracts.

For Sponsorship Opportunities, contact [email protected]


Lamar Stanley This committee shall facilitate the development and presentation of webinars to increase the market awareness of the Association’s goals, vision, and purpose; determine webinar frequency, develop the webinar calendar; identify relevant topics for webinars; identify and recruit presenters for the webinars; and work in conjunction with the communications and marketing committees to promote webinars. This committee is supported by the Education & Certification Manager.

Member Resources

Russell Cohen M&AMI, CBI CM&AP This committee shall review and recommend new and exciting member benefits to the Board of Directors. All recommendations will be researched with a goal of providing reputable vendor benefits that will support all the members of our organization. In addition, the committee will be in charge of initiating and researching all potential benefits requested by the members, committee chairs and the Board of Directors. This committee is supported by the Membership committee.

Darrell Fouts Award

The M&A Source was founded in 1992 by Darrell Fouts, under the guidance of Tom West, founder of the IBBA. Before the association, Darrell led IBBA courses to help Main Street brokers make the transition to larger transactions. In 2001, the association established an award in his name to recognize and honor the selfless vision and leadership he generously gave to the profession. The Darrell Fouts Award is a prestigious award given to M&A Source members who have made outstanding contributions to the association. Those who are considered for this award display visionary leadership or accomplishments that uplift and expand our vision or the profession.

  • 2001 Darrell Fouts
  • 2002 Ed Telling
  • 2003John Johnson
  • 2004 Robert Gurrola
  • 2005 Dolliver Frederick
  • 2006 Walter Lipski
  • 2007 George Petrulis
  • 2008 Rob Firestone
  • 2008 Fred Jager
  • 2009 Tom Whipple
  • 2010 Ron Chernak
  • 2012 A.T. “Fred” Zirkle
  • 2012 Robert Groag
  • 2013 George Lanza
  • 2013 Chet Walden
  • 2014 Erik Maurer
  • 2015 David Ryan
  • 2016 Gary Papay
  • 2019 Kevin Dempsey
  • 2020 Patricia McDonald
  • 2021 John Howe

Conference Awards

The M&A Source is proud to announce a set of awards designed to recognize members of the association, private equity firms, and sponsors for their extraordinary efforts and to celebrate their success. Awards were announced during the Fall 2020 Conference & Deal Market. View the list of award recipients.

Award recipients will receive a plaque, customized press release for them to use in their market, recognition on the M&A Source website, a banner to put on their email signature, and a logo/banner to use on their website or marketing materials for the next calendar year.


This will be awarded to all deal makers that have completed sell-side or buy-side deals totaling more than $5M in combined enterprise value in the prior calendar year.

This will be awarded to all deal makers that have completed sell-side or buy-side deals totaling more than $15M in combined enterprise value in the calendar year.

This award will be presented to the one dealmaker who has the highest combined enterprise value of completed deals in the previous calendar year.

This will be awarded to the PE firm that had the most deals completed with an M&A Source M&A advisor in the past calendar year. The PE firm must have attended both of the Deal Market events. If there are no completed deals with an M&A Source advisor, the award will go to the PE firm with the most deals completed that attended both of our Deal Market events in the previous year and completed the most deals as a firm, both Platform and Add-On deals.

This will be awarded to an M&A advisor that has completed a deal with a PE firm that attended at least 1 Deal Market event in the previous year and/or works with one of the sponsors to complete a deal. To qualify you must have worked with a minimum of 2 parties but those that worked with more also qualify. i.e. M&A advisor, PE firm, and sponsor who is a Lender, etc.

This will be awarded to a sponsor or PE firm that has gone above and beyond to help in the previous year or over a number of years to enhance the vision and brand of the M&A Source and its members.


Fellow of the M&A Source

Fellowship is a lifetime award that is one of the highest honors bestowed by the M&A Source. The Fellow Award recognizes and honors M&A Source members who have made sustained and significant conulibutions to the Association. The key words for this award are “sustained and significant.” The Fellowship is awarded to members who distinguished themselves sufficiently to warrant prestigious recognition. The criteria for consideration are membership in the M&A Source for 10 consecutive years or longer and made significant contributions to the Association. Candidates must also be an M&AMI (Merger & Acquisition Master M&A advisor) in good standing or served at least one full term as Chairperson of the M&A Source.

Significant contributions to the Association are defined as any two (2) of the following:

  • Service of at least one three-year term on the Board of Directors
  • Service of at least one full year as a Committee Chairperson (as defined by the Board of Directors)
  • Service as a Chairperson of a Task Force (as defined by the Board of Directors)
  • Presenter of at least two (2) M&A Source conference workshops/panel discussions
  • Instructor of at least two (2) M&A Source educational courses
  • Lead Subject Matter Expert (LSME) in writing an M&A Source educational course
  • Completion of the 2nd M&AMI recertification period, or is in at least the 7th year of being an M&AMI.

M&A Source members who meet the above criteria should contact M&A Source headquarters for consideration for the Fellow of the M&A Source Award.

  • Mike Adhikari
  • Rob Firestone
  •  Dora Lanza
  • Edward Telling
  • Jim Afinowich
  • Darrell Fouts
  • George Lanza
  • Louis Vescio
  • Sara Burden
  • Dolliver Frederick
  • Walter Lipski
  • Chet Walden
  • Michael Camerota
  • Robert Gurrola
  • Joe Lindsey
  • Thomas Whipple
  • Greg Carpenter
  • Dan Hall
  • William Loftis
  • Phillip Wilhite
  • Keith Chapman
  • Kenneth Hoganson
  • Bob Wyatt
  • Ronald Chernak
  • Fred Jager
  • Gary Papay
  • Steve Wain
  • Kevin Dempsey
  • John Johnson
  • George Peululis
  • Fred Zirkle
  • Taylor Devine
  • Len Krick
  • David Ryan
  • Ron Johnson
  • Scott Bushkie
  • Pat McDonald
  • Pino Bacinello
  • Barry Berkowitz
  • Laura Maver Ward
  • Doug Robbins
  • John Howe
  • Dave Wimer
  • Amy Cole
  • Jeff Swiggett

Past Chairs

2019 Laura Maver Ward
2018 Mike Camerota
2017 John Howe
2015 & 2016 Joe Lindsey
2014 Dora Lanza
2013 Kevin Dempsey
2012 Chet Walden
2011 Taylor Devine
2010 George Lanza
2009 Dan Hall
2008 Tom Whipple
2007 Rob Firestone
2006 George Petrulis
2005 Walter Lipski
2003 Fred Jager
2002 John Johnson
2001 Robert Gurrola
2000 Mike Hannon and Robert Gurrola
1999 David Ryan
1998 A.T. “Fred” Zirkle
1997 Ronald Chernak
1996 Kenneth Hoganson, Jr.
1994 & 1995 Edward Telling, Jr.
1993 Frank Beane
1992 Darrell Fouts

About BIEF

In 2003, distinguished leaders in the business brokerage, M&A advisor, and merger & acquisition profession met to create a foundation. Each of the founding group has served as an officer and director of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA).

The goal was to advance and promote each of the professions. Therefore, they were especially mindful of the Association’s critical need to devote its resources into member programs. Hence, it had to be consistent with its charter and its commitments to conferences. This included Certified M&A advisor (CBI) and Merger & Acquisition Master M&A advisor (M&AMI) programs.

The Vision

The vision was to create a non-profit foundation capable of advancing and promoting the profession beyond IBBA’s scope and charter. It had to embrace the profession’s international aspects, be inclusive across the deal makers’ spectrum, and reach out to other industry organizations. Also, it was to create awareness and understanding among the public, other business advisors, owners, buyers, and sellers. Finally, advancement and promotion are to be based on information, understanding, cooperation, and education.

As a result, in 2005, the founders’ insight and efforts led to formation of the M&A advisor Education Foundation, Inc. (BIEF). Thought, care, work, and love of the profession were the primary ingredients. BIEF is about a commitment to growth of the profession, promotion of the highest standards, and prosperity for its professionals. Furthermore, creating awareness and knowledge among sellers, buyers, and others engaged in the process of change in ownership of privately held businesses.

The structure is in place. Initial funding was given as a one-time grant from the IBBA. Consequently, this has created an outstanding opportunity for the business brokerage, M&A advisor, and merger & acquisition profession and its professionals. Now, it is time for you to step forward and support this undertaking with your ideas, efforts, and financial support. So, please give back to your profession today to help plant the seeds for a better tomorrow.

Please see the materials below for up-to-date details:

Not-for-Profit Association made up of two specialty sections, IBBA and M&A Source.


  • Promoting Business Brokerage and Mergers and Acquisitions practitioners and their services;
  • Supporting Members’ professional development and interests to better serve their clients’ needs;
  • Promoting public awareness of professional Business Brokerage and Mergers and Acquisitions M&A advisor services.