CADIZ CAPITAL TEAM
William H. Ellison
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Ellison leads a team of seasoned professionals who have over 150 years of experience in investment banking, international finance and consulting, mergers & acquisitions, corporate law, and business/land development. Ellison has a history of deal-making. In 2003, Bissell Hills Shopping Center was purchased from Walpert Properties. Mr. Ellison has participated in a $700 million proposal to acquire Stationary Products from the Gillette Company with the support of DLJ. Ellison has also bought and sold nine companies and has been instrumental in the acquisition of numerous others, including Atapco Office Products (renamed Eagle OPG), a $300 million company. Mr. Ellison was Founder and President for Trico, a manufacturer of office products, staples, and paper clips produced for the Federal Government and for Swingline; President and CEO for Brands Manufacturing; and owner of corporations including Skem Manufacturing. The most recent endeavor of Cadiz was its participation with two other financial sponsors in a bid to acquire a Proctor & Gamble divestiture for $3.1 billion. Ellison is a former Executive Board Member of the Hartsville, SC Chamber of Commerce, and Board Member of the Regional Private Industry Council.
William H. Ellison, III
President, Strategic Business Development
Mr. Ellison is a dynamic executive with expertise in P&L, corporate strategy, business development, and IT management. Ellison has a solid background in solution sales, strategic relationship building, project and operations leadership, and technical due diligence. Mr. Ellison served as National Account Manager for JBE Incorporated, a world-class provider of complex and highly technical sub/final assembly manufacturing solutions, and global supply chain management solutions. Prior to joining JBE, Ellison served as President for Superior Staffing Solutions, an IT recruiting firm based in Princeton, NJ. In this role, Mr. Ellison forged senior level relationships with IBM, Dell, Compaq, Burger King, UPS, WebMD, Amazon, and MCI. Ellison also served as Director of Information Technology for Lot 21, a boutique advertising agency, with responsibilities for the New York and San Francisco offices. Mr. Ellison was also Director of Information Technology for APL Digital, an IPG subsidiary. Ellison is a MCSE, MCT, and has a Green Belt in Six Sigma.
Dan Hernandez grew up in the small steel town of Pueblo, located in southern Colorado. Both of his parents were first generation U.S. citizens whose families had come to the United States from Mexico to work as migrant farm workers. Like most of the children growing up in his lower eastside neighborhood, Dan faced several social-economic challenges and less than productive diversions including times of poverty, homelessness, and educational failure. Yet, through these experiences, he has found the power to ignite a “Personal Passion” for success within himself and others that propelled him to serve as an executive leader for Fortune 100 Companies by the age of 31. “I have found that the key catalyst for individual, organizational, and leadership success, is the ability to evoke the passion to act! You must dream big and inspire the confidence to passionately pursue those dreams regardless of the obstacles in front of you! When matched with a spirit of innovation and the desire to quickly adapt to succeed, all things are possible!”
Dan is an entrepreneur and currently serves as Operating Partner for Cadiz Capital, a private equity firm. He is also the owner of Parallax Fitness, a gym specializing in high energy group fitness, and he also serves as a business consultant and advisor to capital investment institutions. Prior to his current roles, Dan served as Executive Vice President of Global Strategy for Sykes Enterprises, Inc. In his role, he oversaw corporate development, including mergers, acquisitions, strategic partnerships and alliances, in addition to product development, marketing, public relations and community service. Sykes Enterprises,
Incorporated is a business process outsourcer focused on call center service solutions with 56,000 global employees. Prior to working with SYKES, Dan served as President and CEO of SBC (now AT&T) Internet Services, a $1billion business that he lead to become America's leading provider of high-speed DSL Internet Access services, and one of the nation's leading Internet Service Providers. This 4,000-employee SBC subsidiary served SBC’s consumer, business and government Internet and broadband customers. For the two years prior to his position at SBC Internet Services, he served as Vice President and General Manager of Ameritech Interactive Media Services, Inc. As vice president, Dan was responsible for leading the operational and information system strategies for Ameritech’s start-up Internet product portfolio. His accomplishments included leading Ameritech.net to a number one rating as the best regional Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the nation two consecutive years. Dan began his career with US WEST Communications (now CenturyLink) as an engineer in. His career has included a variety of leadership positions in engineering, project management, information technologies, business development, technology selection, and operations.
A native of Colorado, he graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with degrees in electrical engineering and computer engineering. Dan has served on the Board of Directors for the University of Colorado’s College of Engineering, the Minority Engineering Program at the University of Colorado and the Mathematics Engineering and Science Achievement Program (MESA), and the Inroads Program for the State of Florida. He has
also served on the Board of Directors for the Spanish Coalition for Jobs, the Minority Engineering Program at the University of New Mexico and as a member of Minority Engineering Advisory Council at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dan is a sought after speaker and has been recognized through many awards including being recognized as a finalist for the Minority Business Leader of the year, and being awarded the prestigious Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from the University of Colorado for his many business accomplishments and community service dedication.
Brian is an experienced non-executive outside Board Director, Qualified Financial Expert, Chief Audit Executive (CAE), and Senior Advisor with over 30 years of commercial experience leading financial, operational and information technology risk management. He served in these capacities for some of the largest multi-national and U.S. companies including KKR, Lazard, Morgan Stanley, D&T, and Grant Thornton, encompassing all ownership structures, from public, private, private equity, and non-profits, as well as start-ups. Brian currently serves as a Senior Advisor for Grant Thornton supporting their Private Equity Advisory and Execution Practices, and as an Operating Partner for Cadiz Capital. Brian has a great ability to advise, coach and shape strategic agendas, with a real passion for driving change and an imaginative approach to creating transformative outcomes. He is recognized for his skills in building effective relations, supporting investors and Boards of Directors, and rallying teams to achieve results materially beyond what would ever be expected. He places an ethos of fairness and integrity of all corporate, colleague and client-facing activity to enhance performance, engender mutual collaboration, and enable solutions that meet a need. Lastly, Brian is known for being adept at collaborating with boards of directors and executive teams to evaluate internal controls over operational, technological, financial, regulatory compliance and corporate governance and creating a culture of willingness to change. Prior to his current roles referred to above, Brian was the CAE for KKR, accountable to the Audit Committee and the Firm’s Board of Directors. This position worked closely with all levels of executive senior management, providing strategic direction, leadership and management of the Internal Audit, Enterprise Risk and SOX functions. Such role was responsible for developing, coaching, and leading teams, and developing best practices and nurturing a culture of commitment, with the highest order of integrity.
At KKR, Brian resided on various firm leadership committees: Operating Risk Committee, Global Valuation Committee, Portfolio Management Committee, Information Security Committee, Innovation Committee, and Business Approval Group Committees (Private Equity and Credit), and an active member of domestic and international subsidiary boards (AIFM [Dublin], UK [PE, Credit, Capital Markets], MENA, Asia). Brian has a great ability to advise, coach and shape strategic agendas, and to rally teams to achieve results materially beyond what would ever be expected. He has a real passion for driving change and an imaginative approach to creating transformative outcomes.
Prior to KKR, Brian held executive senior leadership positions at Lazard Freres & Co. and Morgan Stanley, with selected impactful achievements that included global SOX IPO readiness; top rated regulatory audit ratings; best in class audit functions that achieved firm-wide distinction; and a differentiated bench for which front office would tap as part of their hiring programs. Brian began his career at D&T where he secured his CPA license. Brian holds an MBA in Finance from Fordham University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance with Honors distinction from New York University. He received his certifications as a CISA and CFE, and is Series 7, 63 and 27 registered. Brian frequently speaks in public forums, serves as a part-time adjunct professor for Fordham University, and provides strategic advice to business leaders about governance and private equity.
Brian lives in Summit, New Jersey with his wife of 30 years, and has two sons. He is an active participant and avid fan of sports, loves to travel and is committed to health and fitness.
John Hale III is an experienced director with board experience in the financial services, energy, and healthcare industries. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of FSC First (community bank) and as an Operating Partner of Cadiz Capital. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Next Energy, an energy services firm focused on the development and dissemination of smart mobility and smart grid technologies. John previously served on board of the 600 bed St. John Providence Hospital System West Region – Ascension Health Great Lakes Ministry and on the board of the Michigan Education Trust (MET), the first in the nation tuition pre-payment trust with over $1.0 billion in assets.
John is founder and CEO of the Cornerstone Group, LLC, a project finance, and business consultancy that partners with businesses to develop and implement growth strategies and facilitates capital funding for renewable energy and commercial real estate projects. In addition, he is a co-founder and CFO of Raincoat Technologies LLC, which designs and develops proprietary software deploying blockchain, AI, and RPA. focusing on governmental activities such as grants administration, contract management and risk management.
John is shaped by his experiences holding leadership positions in the public and private sectors. He is an executive and entrepreneur with significant experience in financial services, technology, health care, energy, federal government, commercial real estate, and industrial sectors. He is a consensus builder who designs and implements strategies for companies and organizations interested in a values-based approach to sustain their growth.
Prior to launching The Cornerstone Group, LLC, John served, by Presidential appointment, in two federal government senior executive positions. First, he served as the Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Capital Access at the U.S. Small Business Administration. Second, John served as the Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) at the U.S. Energy Department. While Director of the OSDBU, he held the “Q” clearance (U.S. Department of Energy classification), which is a Top Secret/Restricted Data (TS/RD) security clearance.
Prior to his government service, John served as a CFO and CRO charged with the financial turnaround of under-performing mid-market companies. John holds the Certificate of Private Company Governance provided by the Private Directors Association. John earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in Finance from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University.
Kevin Bell is an Operating Partner for Cadiz Capital, an entrepreneur, and a long time business and civic leader in supplier diversity. Mr. Bell is best known for being Senior Manager – Diversity Supplier Development at Chrysler Group LLC. Mr. Bell’s objective was to identify qualified minority and women owned businesses and determine where they would fit in Chrysler’s supplier base. Under Bell’s leadership Chrysler’s spending with diverse suppliers increased from $1.4 Billion, to $6.5 Billion. Mr. Bell also connected MBE’s to other businesses and convinced corporations that supplier diversity is not just the right policy, but is also very important to the corporation’s bottom line because diversity groups are also consumers. By supporting MBE businesses you encourage minority communities to buy your products, thus increasing the bottom line and building long term customer loyalty.
Mr. Bell’s leadership interests are extensive, and include service as: Former Board Member of Real Life 101 Scholarship Fund, a scholarship program for at-risk African-American males; Former Board Member Detroit College Prep High School; Board Member and Treasurer of the Michigan Minority Supplier Diversity Council (MMSDC); Board Member and Vice Chair Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (MHCC); Former Board Member and Treasurer of the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC); Former Board Member and Treasurer Women’s Business Enterprise National Council – Great Lakes; Former Board Member of First Independence Bank, a Minority Owned bank Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan.
Dylan Young is a recent Cornell University graduate with a passion for financial services and private equity who has been a part of the Cadiz Capital team since May of 2020. Prior to his involvement with Cadiz Capital, Mr. Young has also worked with merchant bank IT Capital, assisting in the acquisition of middle market technology firms. Mr. Young has experience working for professional services firm Capvision in building expert networks and assisting various financial institutions in their search for advisors and independent consultants across an array of industries. As part of the Cadiz Capital team, Mr. Young has worked directly with Mr. Ellison to communicate the investment grand strategy and vision, worked on financial modeling, projection, and valuation of prospective acquisitions, and assisted in the organization and facilitation of joint ventures.
Percy L. Berger, Sr., MBA, CPA
A global executive with financial and operating experiences in Financial Accounting, International, Corporate, Investment and Community Banking, Private Equity and Integrated HealthCare governance. Mr. Berger was a Senior Vice President, Banker of America and a Managing Director, BA Securities where he led a team of finance professionals. As an international banker, he worked and lead teams in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean,
where he was Head of, become becoming Country Executive for Brazil and President of Wells Fargo Servicios, Limitada do Brasil. Head was Manager of Continental Bank’s Corporate Business and Head of its Banking Subsidiary in Puerto Rico, Corporate Banking in Mexico and the Andean Pact Countries.
As a Private Equity Banker and investor, Mr. Berger acquired, managed, and improved businesses in wireless telecommunications (AT&T, NEATT WIRELESS, PRIMECO Chicago, Verizon Wireless,US Cellular), community banking (Midwest Bank Holdings, Seaway National Bank), enterprise technology (AmeriTech Library Services, DYNIX, & EPIXTEC). He was Chairman, President and CEO of NEATT WIRELESS; Chairman of the Board, Midwest Bank Holdings; Vice Chairman and Director of PrimeCo Chicago, AmeriTech Library Services, DYNIX and EPIXTEC.
Percy is a director of a Top 100 US Hospital Systems ($3.6bil in assets) where has served for over twenty-four years, as a Director, Chairman of Patient Quality and Safety Committee, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Member of the Board’s Executive Committee, Corporate Governance & Nominating Committee. Most recently he was elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors of NorthShore University HealthSystem. He is a Trustee of Northlight Theater where he is Vice Chair of its Committee to build a new building in Evanston, IL. He has served as a Director and Vice Chairman of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, a member of the Board of Directors of The Girl Scouts of Chicago and the McGaw YMCA of Evanston, IL.
Mr. Berger’s broad background includes auditing and public accounting (Ernst & Ernst, Coopers & Lybrand) and corporate accounting (Deere & Co.) where he began his career. Percy received an M.B.A. from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business and holds a B.S.,with Honors, in Accounting and Business Administration from Southern University and A&M College. Mr. Berger is a Certified Public Accountant. He received his CPA Certificate from the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana. He is a former member of the Illinois Society of CPAs and is a Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Mr. Berger lives on the Northshore of Chicagoland where he has maintained a residence for many years.