since 1998
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Our world class team of experts, including investment bankers, operators, crisis managers, Bank workout officers, CPAs, ASA, ABV-certified and Certified Insolvency and Reorganization Accountants, work hand in hand with our Clients. 

Investment Banking Services

David Brown, CTP, MBA

David is an expert at buying, selling and restructuring privately-held middle market businesses. He is Managing Director of Red Hawk Associates.  He founded the firm in 1998 to focus upon special situations.  David previously served in a variety of officer and leadership positions at Deloitte Consulting (previously known as Touche  Ross), Key Banc Capital Markets (previously known as McDonald & Co.), The Parkland Group and AIRINC. 

David has been an officer of the Ohio Venture Association, President of the Ohio Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association and was recently President of the largest Country Club in NE Ohio.  He has also been active in the Association for Corporate Growth, the Greater Cleveland Boy Scouts, the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund and with his alumni associations.  He is one of only eight Certified Turnaround Professionals based in Ohio and the only investment banker/consultant.  David was named to Crain’s Cleveland Forty under 40 List for making a positive impact in NE Ohio’s business community.

David has published numerous articles and co-authored a book, The Turbocharged Company: Igniting Your Business to Soar Ahead of the Competition.  Colleen Barrett, former CEO of Southwest Airlines, said that "its common-sense, easy-to-read style offers countless measures of wisdom".   He has spoken at numerous events including at Harvard Business School’s Turnaround Symposium.

David graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in International Economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.  He achieved an MBA from Carnegie-Mellon’s Tepper School.

David Brown's Representative Engagements:

Buy Side Advisory:

Led Acquisition Search – Fathom, one of the largest online marketing firms in the US, acquired Webbed Marketing

Led Acquisition Search – Kirkwood Holding, an ESOP-owned S-Corp diversified manufacturer, acquired Swissline Precision

Led Acquisition Search – For a technical manufacturer searching for niche precision contract manufacturers

Led Acquisition Search – For a diversified automotive-focused industrial company searching for middle market manufacturers in NE Ohio

Led Acquisition Searches – For different private equity funds searching for industrial investments or special situation opportunities

Led Acquisition Search - For W.W. Williams Company, a large OEM truck and aftermarket part distributor

Sell Side Advisory:

Sold - Custom Coach Corporation, $12 million motor coach modification manufacturer

Sold – Remacor, $25 million manufacturer of chemicals for steel makers’ hot blast furnace operations

Sold – Hupp Industries (predecessor firm), $20 million manufacturer of specialized products for the defense and HVAC markets

Sold – TennOhio, $20 million trucking company

Sold - Grabill Corporation (predecessor firm), $200 million manufacturer

Sold - Hough Bakeries (predecessor company), $25 million bakery and retailer

Sold - Mariclare, Inc., $15 million revenues auto part distributor

Sold - Polytuf, Inc., $10M manufacturer and distributor of a variety of natural and synthetic fabrics for commercial and consumer products

Sold - PHPK, Inc., manufacturer of proprietary cryogenic equipment with $8 million in revenues

Strategic Advisors Investment Banking Services:

Tower Corporate Advisors 

Tower, led by Todd Peter, is an investment banking partner of Red Hawk.  

Todd Peter is an expert at the buying and selling of middle market businesses. Todd brings over 25 years practical hands on experience with middle market firms serving industrial and commercial markets. His responsibilities center on development of new clients and oversight and execution of the engagements undertaken by the firm.

His experience includes investment banking for a private equity fund specializing in turnaround investing and general management positions with several privately held manufacturing companies. He has specific experience with turnaround management, technology driven product design and engineering, traditional “rust belt” manufacturing, and debt and equity financing. He is experienced in investing through Chapter 11 and related highly stressed financial situations. He spent 10 years with Eaton Corp with division level experience primarily in sales, marketing, and manufacturing.

Todd holds a B.S.E. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College.

Brad Eldridge, CPA/ABV, ASA, CIRA, MBA, CFFA 

Brad Eldridge is an expert at valuing businesses, financial analysis and accouting.  He is the Founding Member of BSE Partners, a valuation and assurance services firm based in Columbus, OH.  A 1976 graduate of Cornell University, Brad subsequently received an MBA from Carnegie-Mellon University.  While attending Carnegie-Mellon, he was the recipient of the alumni fellowship in economics.  He holds a Certificate of Accounting from Northwestern University which he received in 1978.  

Prior to affiliating with Red Hawk Associates, Brad was the managing partner of the local office of a regional accounting firm as well as lead partner for consulting, valuations and litigation support for another regional firm.  His experience also includes time spent with Arthur Young (now Ernst & Young) as well as with two large multinational oil companies. He has a strong background in real estate, not-for-profit organizations, mergers, acquisitions and debt restructurings, and has led valuation or assurance engagements for many privately held companies including manufacturers, retailers, insurance, oil and gas and construction companies. 

Brad is a member of the Ohio Society and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the American Society of Appraisers, the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors and has served on numerous boards of community organizations including BalletMet, Junior Achievement of Columbus, Children’s Hospital, Ohio Statewide Development Corporation, and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council. He has also served as a member of the Operations Improvement Task Force of the State of Ohio, the Committee to Select Tax Commissioners for the State of Ohio and the Governor’s Export Credit Committee.   


Turnaround and Workout Services

David Brown, CTP, MBA (see above for narrative, below for engagement experience)

David Brown's Representative Engagements:

Debtor Representation:

Custom Coach Corporation - $12 million motor coach modification manufacturer, service and leasing company with 4 senior lenders and hundreds of unsecured creditors

REMACOR - $25 million manufacturer of chemicals for steel makers’ hot blast furnace operations

HUPP Industries (predecessor firm) - $20 million manufacturer of specialized products for the defense and HVAC markets

Tenn-Ohio - $20 million trucking company

Film Transit - $5 million film delivery and supply company for retailers

Creditors Committee Representation:

Action Auto Rental – replacement auto rental company with $50 million in revenues

Sales managed under Section 363 of Chapter 11 Code, Chapter 7, or as Secured Party Sale:

Grabill Corporation (predecessor company) - $200 million manufacturer – Sec. 363

REMACORSection 363

Hough Bakeries (predecessor company) – $25 million bakery and retailer - Chapter 7

Custom Coach CorporationSection 363

Mariclare, Inc. - Article 9 sale under Ohio Commercial Code, $15 million revenues auto part distributor

Polytuf, Inc. Article 9 sale under Ohio Commercial Code, $10M manufacturer and distributor of a variety of natural and synthetic fabrics for commercial and consumer products

PHPK, Inc.Article 9 sale under Ohio Commercial Code, manufacturer of proprietary cryogenic equipment with $8 million in revenues

Lenders assisted include:

Huntington National Bank

National City Bank
Foothill Capital
Key Bank
First Merit
Wells Fargo
US Bancorp

Turnarounds, Workouts and Restructurings:

Assisted in the turnaround and refinancing of a large organic products manufacturer and retailer:
$40M Revenue business

Led turnaround of leading manufacturer:  Developed and implemented plan reversing average annual loss of more than $2 mm to profit of $1 mm per year for this $20M rubber products manufacturer.  Plan focused on improving productivity of assets and labor, improving customer satisfaction and on time delivery and changing the Client’s operating culture. In addition, developed and implemented compromise of trade creditors

Evaluated and developed turnaround plan for contract circuit board manufacturer:  Our plan included revenue increases through improved pricing analysis, selective customer acquisition and also cost reductions through facility consolidation, improved manufacturing yields and through implementing a global procurement approach. The plan implemented by our Client would improve cash flow from (3%) to 8% within one year on a same sale basis.

Led balance sheet restructuring of a contract manufacturer:  For our insolvent Client, we sourced, negotiated and closed on a debt financing which took out its current lender, paid off its IRS and State tax liabilities and provided the company enough working capital to grow and to subsequently acquire 2 businesses within 6 months. 

Assessed business status and developed turnaround plan within one week: Fairfield Machine Company - Contract manufacturer and replacement parts supplier with $5 million revenues

Developed turnaround plan, negotiated settlement between lender and guarantor resulting in loan recovery substantially in excess of liquidation: Dynatek Development - Telecommunications services contractor with $15 million of revenues

Developed turnaround plan, negotiated settlement between lender and guarantor resulting in loan recovery substantially in excess of liquidation: Dynatek Development - Telecommunications services contractor with $15 million of revenues

Determined status of business, recommended wind-down and sold assets for value well above liquidation: PHPK Industries - Manufacturer of proprietary cryogenic equipment with $8 million in sales

Evaluated business status and developed turnaround plan including drastically reducing operations: Team America - Review on behalf of lenders of troubled employee services company with $400 million of annual billings

Crisis Managed distressed manufacturer: Champion Boxed Beef - Crisis CEO of $150 million food packager and distributor during labor strike and loss of primary supplier

Developed and helped implement turnaround plan and restructuring: National Engineering Company (predecessor firm) - Heavy highway and bridge contractor with $100 million of revenues

Developed and monitored plan to wind-down operations and recover loan: Stanspec (predecessor firm) - Construction Equipment Manufacturer with $10 million of revenues

Managed crisis and developed turnaround and restructuring plan for debt and unpaid taxes: Electric Company - Largest Electrical Contractor in Central Ohio, $50 million of revenue 

Assessed business, developed turnaround and, subsequently, growth plan, sourced new debt and equity: Malone Specialty Inc. - Manufacturer of aftermarket truck accessories and also distributor of specialty fasteners, $5 million in revenues

Assessed and improved marketing and sales operations while restructuring debt: Allied Printing (predecessor firm) - Commercial printer with $8 million of sales

Developed turnaround and restructuring plan: - Textile manufacturer with $8 million of revenues 

Determined viability of business to determine value of additional capital infusion on behalf of investors: Permold Corporation – Manufacturer of aluminum permanent mold castings

Assessed business situation and assisted in loan recovery: Wood product manufacturer of $7 million of sales

Developed and implemented turnaround and debt restructuring plan including closing all retail stores, subsequently developed plan for revitalized business to grow: Shopsmith Inc. - Woodworking equipment manufacturer selling directly to consumers through direct mail, Ecommerce and now Lowe’s stores with $80 million of sales at the time of the restructuring

Assisted new management through development and implementation of turnaround plan: Grace Hospital - Non-profit hospital with $20 million of revenues

Assessed finances and operations and developed turnaround plan including re-merchandising and also closing some locations: Carnegie Body Company - Truck parts distributor with $11 million of sales

Led management and owners through turnaround: Plastics Molder - Specialized plastic injection molder with $8 million of revenues

Assisted management with recovery and growth after purchase out of Chapter 11: FitWorks - Chain of health clubs with $15 million of revenues

Assessed business then helped with wind-down and loan recovery: Industries - Minority owned manufacturer of after market auto parts with $7 million of sales

Assessed business and recommended strategy to owners and lender: Dpai - High technology consulting firm with $12 million of sales

Led development and helped implement turnaround and restructuring plan: Company - Manufacturer of after market auto parts and OEM marine parts with $9 million of sales

Developed liquidation and wind-down plan: Dennison Electric - Electrical contractor with revenues of $4 million

Assessed business, marketed and sold subsidiary: Ashman Enterprises (predecessor firm) - Multi-business, family-owned corporation

Guided board and management in the creation and implementation of turnaround plan for forging division: SIFCO Industries (predecessor firm) - Multi-business $90 million public company focusing of manufacturing for and servicing aerospace industry

Developed assessment and cash flow projection: Flxible Corporation (predecessor firm) - At lender’s request to assess status of very troubled city bus manufacturer

Value Building Experience:

Conducted North American search for unique business targets: W.W. Williams Company - Acquisition search for large family owned truck parts distributor and repair business

Developed growth strategy and sourced new debt and equity resulting in improvement of more than $1 million in EBTIDA: Specialized metal fabricator with $17 million of sales

Reviewed business strategy and developed and helped implement profit improvement program resulting in immediate annual improvement of approximately $500,000: Multi channel consumer products company (mail order, e-commerce, retail) with $200 million of sales

Evaluated call center and back office operations and developed program to reduce costs by up to 50% while improving service: JP Morgan Chase - Global financial services firms retail and credit card divisions with $8 billion in revenues

Reviewed and recommended improvements and growth strategy for new customer concierge initiative, now a key driver for the Company’s growth: Progressive Corporation - Top five property and casualty insurer with $11 billion of revenues

Valued investment and coordinated sale to management team: Midwest Venture Capital - Private equity fund, assisted regarding valuation and subsequent divestiture of portfolio investment

Assisted in obtaining growth financing to support new product line: Consumer heater manufacturer selling to mass merchandisers with $15 million revenues

Conducted operational and financial assessment as part of refinancing: Cheryl & Co. – Multichannel (retail, catalog, Ecommerce, distributor) baked goods and gift company with $25 million of revenues.  The firm serves the personal gift, entertaining and food at home markets and recently sold for much more value than that before this study

Designed and implemented, including training, new inventory and lot control system: S & Z Tool and Die Co. – Tier One auto stampings manufacturer with 200 employees

Conducted operational and strategic review as part of strategy development effort: Lojas Americanas (Brazil) – A leading Brazilian general merchandise retailer

Designed and helped implement a new merchandising system: Mark’s Work Wearhouse (Canada) - Soft goods apparel retail chain with $60 million of sales

Developed and implemented a new merchandising system: Do it yourself hardware retail chain with $50 million of sales

Strategic Advisors Turnarounds, Workouts and Restructurings:

Ron Caporossi, MBA

Ron is a pricing and marketing expert, helping Clients increase margins and volume by using a variety of tools. A general management professional with over 30 years of business experience, he has held various senior management positions with P & L responsibility and is recognized for having strong leadership skills and analytical ability. Areas of expertise include marketing/sales, business development, strategic planning and operations improvement. 

His corporate career was primarily in the rubber industry with BF Goodrich and successor organizations including Tire Centers Inc. and Michelin. His responsibilities spanned a wide range of functional areas from finance to marketing communications, sales, purchasing and ultimately business unit general management.  

Ron has advised a range of Clients from the middle market to the Fortune 500 on a broad range of assignments including process and operation improvement as well as turnaround situations. Beyond the rubber industry, he has experience in the chemical, pharmaceutical, distribution and custom chip fabrication industries.   Ron holds BS degrees in Administration, Management Science and Economics and an MS in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University.   He is also a certified Six Sigma black belt.  

David Huffman, MBA

David Huffman is the Managing Director of LakeCliff Capital, LLC. Founded in 1991, the firm specializes in advising middle market management, business owners, buyers and sellers and creditors in matters such as mergers and acquisitions, including due diligence, the public and/or private placement of debt or equity capital, equipment leasing, project financing, creditor issues, cash management, and financial modeling.

Mr. Huffman has over 35 years of corporate treasury, finance and lending experience during which time he has raised more than $15 billion of capital in both public and private transactions, frequently under difficult circumstances. He has held high level corporate finance and treasury positions with firms such as Republic Steel Corporation, Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical, LCI International, and The LTV Corporation. In addition, Mr. Huffman was also previously a Team Leader in Citibank’s Leveraged Capital Division in both its Cleveland and New York City offices. In mid-2015 he left Fifth Third Bank’s middle market workout group after a long-term engagement there during which time he directed the bank’s Northern Ohio middle market Special Assets activity, including the successful restructuring and reconfiguration of over $250MM of troubled middle market C&I credits.

These experiences give him a perhaps unique appreciation of the demands of both debtors and creditors.

Marty Cohen, MBA, H & M Management

Marty Cohen is a commercial real estate expert. Marty has been an active leader in the real estate investment property ownership and management fields in Northeast Ohio for 30 years.  He is the managing partner of H & M Management and is the sole owner of Capital Mortgage, and Smart Realty L.L.C.  At the peak of his career, he was the general partner/owner of nine apartment communities totaling 1200 apartment units, a half dozen retail shopping plazas, a 400 space parking garage, and a 71,000 square foot industrial building.  In addition, Marty had been involved and invested in commercial properties in Florida, Texas and California and the rehabbing or construction of single family homes in the Cuyahoga County area.   He had served as a consultant to Broadview Savings and Loan (1983-1986) advising and assisting the institution with a $300,000,000 loan and development portfolio in Florida.  In 1994, Marty served as President of the Northeast Ohio Apartment Association. 

Marty earned his B.S. at Carnegie Mellon University (1975) and his M. B. A. at Case Western Reserve University (1977).  While earning his graduate degree, Mr. Cohen taught the introductory classes of Finance and Banking at the Graduate School at Case Western Reserve.  After graduating, Mr. Cohen continued teaching part time at Case Western Reserve until 1984.  He started his professional career as an Assistant Vice President in the Internal Financial Reporting department at Cleveland Trust, (laterAmeritrust and now Key Bank) in 1977-1980.  Upon leaving the bank, he has devoted his energies to his own businesses. 

William Sinn, MBA, Sinn & Company

William Wai-Chung Sinn is a Southeast Asia and China marketing and manufacturing expert. William is President of Sinn & Company,  and was born in Hong Kong. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, and a masters degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. He also holds an MBA in finance & management from Eastern Michigan University. His firm helps U.S. companies develop successful business strategies involving China as a purchasing source, a manufacturing base and a marketing destination.

Shamim (Sam) Ahmad, MS in Polymer Science 

Sam is a leading expert in manufacturing. He provides consulting services related to manufacturing, planning and procurement. He has a special set of skills and experiences to share with Clients related to rubber, plastics and chemicals. He was Manager of Materials for Michelin North America where he led a effort that reduced production costs by over $100 million in 6 years.  That project included directing 11 teams across the continent to identify and execute on cost reduction opportunities in production, sourcing, design and process technology.  Also with Michelin and Uniroyal-Goodrich, he served variously as Manager, Quality and Technology, and Senior Director of Materials and Product Development.  Sam holds a Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering, an MS in Polymer Science and an Executive MBA.

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