Dave and Ben Robinson, the Managing Partners, are the co-founders of Wheelock Partners. They manage the day-to-day operations of the firm and its operating companies. They prefer hands-on operating roles over ivory tower oversight functions. With roots tracing back to working together on their family farm in rural Maine, Dave and Ben have a proven 9 year track record as professional partners.
The firm is backed by advisory and investment teams comprised of experienced, successful business professionals with considerable acquisition and operating experience in companies of all sizes. They assist in assessing potential transactions and provide advisory support on an ongoing basis for our portfolio companies.
Advisors and Selected Investors:Click on name to see bio
David Robinson – Managing Director
Dave co-founded Wheelock in 2004. After leading Wheelock’s acquisition of Gardner, MA-based New England Peptide in 2006, Dave served as NEP’s chairman and CEO until 2012. At NEP, he built on the prior owner’s success, recruiting a world class team, building a scalable infrastructure for growth and developing customer relationships with virtually all major biopharma organizations and academic and government research institutions. Before founding Wheelock, he developed and managed a regional consulting organization for Motive, Inc., a software upstart which held its initial public offering in 2004 with $92 million in revenue. Dave began his career as a project manager for Onyx Software, a start-up software company which held its IPO in 1999 on revenues of $36 million. Dave’s operating focus includes sales, marketing and strategic management.
He is a member of the CMD Bioscience Advisory Board, the MWCC Biotech Program Advisory Board and the CEO Roundtable. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Dave lives in central Massachusetts with his wife and 3 children.
Benjamin Robinson – Managing Director
After co-founding Wheelock in 2004 and leading Wheelock’s acquisition of New England Peptide in 2006, Ben served as an NEP director and its CFO/COO until 2012. His operating improvements included transitioning operations from prior owner and expanding key bottleneck capacity through process redesign, enabling scalability in a high touch custom manufacturing setting. Ben also refined the financial systems and management of the firm. Before Wheelock, Ben worked at Abbott Laboratories as a program manager where he created a new supply chain model for its blood glucose monitoring product line through several large-scale manufacturing outsourcing projects. Ben’s operating focus includes manufacturing and financial management.
He is a member CEO Club of Boston. Ben earned a B.S. in Engineering from Dartmouth College and Master of Engineering Management Degree from the Thayer School at Dartmouth College and the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration. Ben was a Division I NCAA All American in alpine skiing. He lives in central Massachusetts with his wife and 2 children.
Naren Nayak – Senior Associate
Prior to joining Wheelock, Naren accumulated nearly 10 years of operating and acquisition integration experience with Philips Electronics, Astra Zeneca and Universal Technologies. At Philips, Naren led much of the technology integration of 6 Philips Healthcare acquisitions, ranging in scale from 100s to 1,000s of employees. Naren’s responsibilities include deal origination, due diligence and deal integration.
Naren is a member of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Center for Resource Recovery & Recycling, an industry-university collaborative exploring the economics of material recovery to help reduce waste in the metals recycling industry. He earned an M.B.A. from the WPI School of Business and a Master’s degree in Marketing and Technological Innovation from WPI. He holds a Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Electronics & Communication Engineering.
Brad Yount – Advisor
Brad has more than 25 years of executive management experience and has personally purchased or directed the acquisition of over 25 companies since the mid-80′s.He is the Founder and President of Odyssey Bay Ventures, a firm that specializes in acquisitions and management consulting. Brad is the Chairman and CEO, and majority shareholder of FMB Inc. FMB, located in Harrison, New Jersey, is a leading producer and installer of miscellaneous metal fabrication in the New York metropolitan area. He is also the President and CEO of Lightblocks, a manufacturer of luminous architectural resins used by architects and interior designers to create bold, colorful and innovative design features for building interiors. Brad is the Executive Vice-President at Forbes Consulting, a market research firm located in Lexington, MA. He also is on the Board of advisors of Cambridge Biomedical and Boston Logic.
William Alfond – Investor
Bill was an owner/operator of Dexter Shoe Company, through its sale to Berkshire Hathaway. He has cross-functional expertise ranging from the production floor to the corporate office to customer interface. Bill also has extensive marketing and consumer brand management experience, including negotiating athlete and professional league contracts. He is on the Board of Trustees at Colby College and Governor Dummer Academy and is an owner of the Boston Red Sox.
Peter Bell – Investor
Peter is General Partner at Highland Capital Partners. Previously, Peter founded Stowe Capital, where as Managing Director, he helped emerging growth companies secure financing and find their place in the market. Before Stowe, he served as Chairman and CEO of StorageNetworks, Inc., an information storage software and services firm, from its founding through 2002. Peter is a summa cum laude graduate of Boston College, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an Honorary Doctorate from Babson College. He is on the Board of Trustees of Boston College.
Owen Colligan – Investor
Owen is president and founder of Hunter Valley Company, a holding company that focuses on acquiring and building lower middle market companies for long-term ownership. Before Hunter Valley, Owen co-founded RockWood Equity Partners, a private equity firm. Prior to forming RockWood, Owen worked in the New York and Hong Kong offices of Kelley Drye & Warren as a corporate attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions. Owen also worked as an investment banker at Schroder & Co. in New York. Owen received a BS in finance from the University of Buffalo, a JD from New York University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Winfield Robinson – Investor
Win is the president and founder of Flagstaff Ventures LLC, a provider of consulting services to the forest products industry and an importer of manufactured wood products. Prior to Flagstaff, he founded, operated and sold the Timber Resource Group LLC, a forest resource management and procurement firm. Win served as the VP of Operations for United Timber Corp., a lumber manufacturing firm, before founding TRG. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of UnitedKingfield Bank and is on the board of directors of Camden National Corp. Win earned a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Wharton MBA program at the University of Pennsylvania.
Barbara Couch – Investor
Barbara is the VP of Human Resources at Hypertherm. Recognized as one of the best places to work in the United States and in NH, Hypertherm is ranked #12 on Fortune Magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in the United States” as well as one of the Business NH Magazine’s Ten Best Companies to Work for in NH. Hypertherm was recently recognized by the Principal Group as one of the top ten US companies providing employee financial security. She also heads Hypertherm’s Corporate Philanthropic Committee. Barbara received a B.A. degree from Bradley University and graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Masters in Counseling Psychology.
Richard Couch – Investor
Dick is the founder and CEO of Hypertherm, Inc., an innovator in plasma cutting technology. Under his leadership, the company has grown from two associates housed in a small garage to close to 600 associates in a 135,000-square-foot facility in Hanover, New Hampshire. Currently, he has over thirty patents in the fields of plasma cutting and pollution control and is serving on the Thayer School of Engineering Board of Overseers at Dartmouth College, as well as the National Electrical Manufacturers Association Board of Governors. Dick is also a founding member of the Ledyard National Bank in Hanover, NH. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering.
Rodney Irish – Investor
Rod is a retired tax partner from the New England CPA firm of Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker in Portland, Maine. While at Berry, Dunn, he served for many years on the firm’s Management Committee and specialized in taxation of financial institutions. He currently is an owner and treasurer of Pleasant River Lumber Company, a large softwood lumber sawmill located in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. Rod serves on a number of profit and not-for-profit boards, consults in the field of taxation and business acquisitions and also serves as a qualified intermediary in tax-free real estate exchanges.
Brett Keith – Investor
Brett is a Principal of RockWood Equity Partners, a private equity firm he co-founded. Earlier in his career, Brett worked as an investment banker in the Mergers & Acquisitions group of Lehman Brothers’ New York office, and as the Controller of Jacobson Machine Works, a turnaround company owned by the private equity firm of Goldner, Hawn, Johnson & Morrison. Brett began his career as a financial consultant and Certified Public Accountant at Grant Thornton LLP and Arthur Andersen LLP. Brett received a BA, with dual degrees in finance and accounting, from the University of St. Thomas, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Matthew Kelly – Investor
Matt is a private equity professional with the JBG Companies, a real estate private equity firm in Washington, DC. Previously, Matt was the co-founder and CFO of ODAC Inc., a software company that was ultimately sold to Encoda Systems, Inc. Prior to founding ODAC, Matt was a private equity professional at the Thomas H. Lee Company in Boston, MA. Earlier in his career, he was an investment banking analyst with Goldman Sachs, & Co. in New York. Matt received his BA, with honors, from Dartmouth College and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Michael O’Connell – Investor
Michael is currently the Managing Director at M2O Investments – a family investment fund. He was formerly the Managing Director and President of Anhalt, O’Connell & Steffanci, Inc., an investment management firm specializing in debt securities with $1 billion under management. Previously, Michael owned and operated the National Lines Bureau, a ship mooring company for the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors. Michael is currently an investor in over 20 private companies. He received his BA, with high honors, from Harvard College, and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
James Southern III – Investor
Jim is a founding director of Pacific Lake Partners, a $35 million private equity fund investing in small-cap buyouts. Pacific Lake backs promising entrepreneurs searching for established, profitable service companies in high growth industries. In addition, Jim manages a portfolio of private equity investments in small to medium sized companies. Earlier in his career, Jim acquired Uniform Printing, a $43 million printer of specialty insurance documents, where he served as its CEO and chairman for 10 years. Investor returns from distributions and exit exceeded 30x the acquisition capital. Jim holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Craig Burr – Investor
Craig’s career has been devoted almost exclusively to venture capital and private equity activities, having founded Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co. in 1979. Previously, Craig was a Partner at TA Associates. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the New England Venture Capital Association. He is presently a private investor and serves on the Boards of Directors of several private companies. Craig received his AB, cum laude, from Harvard College and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Robert Englert – Investor
Bob has over twenty-five years of medical device and in vitro diagnostics experience. He is currently the CEO and Founder of Biomedtrics, Inc., a privately funded technology company pursuing improved health outcomes through connectivity and analytics. Previously he was COO of Pelikan Technologies where he established a global supply chain, resourced and managed external and internal engineering, product development, manufacturing and Quality. Prior to this, he held executive level positions covering Operations, Product Development and Commercialization spanning twenty years with Abbott Laboratories Diagnostics Division. Robert has extensive experience across all management disciplines, multiple geographies and cultures. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Das Narayandas – Investor
Das is the James J. Hill Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He is currently the Senior Associate Dean, Chair, Harvard Business Publishing and Senior Associate Dean, Chair, Executive Education. In addition, he is co-chair of the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program, Building Client Management Capabilities in Professional Service Firms. His academic credentials include a Bachelor of Technology degree in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, and a Ph.D. in Management from Purdue University.