Our PeopleOur people make us different. Falls River Group is a team of experienced, efficient and accountable problem solvers passionate about making a measurable impact in all we do. Our unique culture and approach deliver enduring results, true to each client’s specific situation. We apply the highest standards of professionalism to every client engagement, caring for our clients’ business as our business. We think and act like business partners. We share our clients’ aspirations, work to understand their reality, and align our incentives with their objectives—so they know we’re in this together.
Kerry C. Dustin, Founder and Chairman of Falls River Group LLC, has over 40 years of experience buying and selling businesses, structuring financing for acquisitions and the valuing of closely held businesses (and microcaps), in the United States, Europe, Mexico and South America. Kerry has extensive operational experience in the critical area of post-merger integration. Prior to founding Falls River Group, Kerry was the Managing Partner of the Ohio offices of an international consulting and accounting firm. Kerry has a J.D. from Case Western School of Law, holds a B.S. in Accounting from Ohio State University and is CPA qualified. Kerry is a former Chairman, President and Board Member of IMAP and of a number of private companies. He is a long-term member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Association of Corporate Growth. Kerry also serves as a Commission of the Naples Airport Authority. Kerry holds SERIES 62, 63 and SERIES 79 equivalent securities licenses as a representative of StillPoint Capital.
Dr. Maegan A. Evans , Managing Director, joined Falls River Group, LLC in 1997 bringing more than 35 years of diversified work experience in private industry, government and not-for-profit. Maegan specializes in client development, deal execution and marketing. Maegan currently serves on the Board of IMAP. Maegan started her career in Washington, D.C. where she was awarded a fellowship in the U.S. Attorney General’s Office while completing her PhD at the University of Maryland in Behavioral Sciences. While in D.C., Maegan worked for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mitre Corporation, Art Laffer and the Women’s Economic Round Table. Since joining Falls River Group, Maegan has worked on over 200 transactions both domestic and international. Maegan obtained both a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Business and a Master of Science degree in Criminology from the Florida State University. Later, she completed a Doctorate (PhD) degree in Philosophy from the University of Maryland.
Kurt Andersen is a Managing Director with Falls River Group, LLC. Kurt has over 30 years of transactional and operational experience in multiple industries. He has closed more than 75 transactions, many in health care and construction, and markets FRG’s services to new clients as well as providing transactional services to existing clients. Kurt’s previous background includes strategic planning at a major bank holding company, real estate securities syndication, construction management, head of a health care practice transition consulting group, and president of several dental practice management companies, both public and private. Twice a graduate of The University of Michigan, Kurt holds an MBA as well as a BS with a dual concentration in Ancient History and Computer Science. Kurt holds the SERIES 62,63,79 securities registrations as a representative of StillPoint Capital, Kurt also currently holds a Michigan and Kentucky Real Estate Broker’s license and a Michigan Builders license.
Rob Van Genderen is a Managing Director with Falls River Group. Rob comes to us with vast M&A and corporate finance experience. He has participated in finance and M&A deals valued in excess of $15 billion and worked with clients and projects in over 30 countries in 6 continents. While he has had extensive experience in the energy and metals sectors, over the course of his 25-year professional career Rob has worked with many industries including consumer products, natural resources, chemicals, industrial manufacturing, and technology. He has advised on several landmark developments and on a range of transactions including buy-sides, sell-sides, joint ventures and mergers. Just prior to joining FRG in 2015, Rob established Energy Advisors Group, Inc. and advised the High Court of London in an international dispute as an expert witness for M&A. Prior to that, Rob was a Partner in KPMG’s Corporate Finance group and in charge of Natural Resources M&A in Russia and the former Soviet Union. Prior to KPMG, he was a Director and Head of Oil & Gas Investment Banking for Deutsche Bank in Russia. Besides Russian clients, Rob ‘s clients were from many countries including the United States, Italy, India, Germany, and the UK. Earlier in his career Rob held management and corporate development responsibilities for Reynolds Metals Company and James McHugh Construction. Rob holds a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in Russian studies, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Virginia. He is FINRA registered as a StillPoint Capital representative and speaks fluent Russian.
Shawn McCarthy is a Director with Falls River Group. Shawn specializes in M&A Advisory and capital raising and brings almost 20 years of mid-market investment banking experience having executed on over 60 transactions across the North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia representing over $2.5 billion in transaction value. Working as both a lead advisor and investment principal, Shawn has led numerous cross-border transactions that included acquisitions, mergers, disposals, capital raisings, complex restructurings and joint venture investments on behalf of privately-owned middle market businesses, international and domestic trade buyers, banks, and private equity funds. Shawn’s primary industry focus is centered on the Consumer Markets, Technology, and Media sectors, and he has supported clients across a range of industries which include: Consumer Goods, Food & Beverage, Retail, Agriculture, Business Services, Information Technology, Media, Manufacturing, and Specialty Chemicals. Prior to joining Falls River Group, Shawn was a M&A Partner for KPMG in Russia and led the firm’s broader Consumer Markets Practice and its TMT M&A offering. Before KPMG, Shawn was a Corporate Finance Partner at Deloitte and lead the firm’s Market Entry/FDI service offering in the CIS. Prior to taking up an advisory role, Shawn worked as an investment Principal for an American technology development fund in Moscow and European private equity investor SigmaBleyzer. Shawn is fluent in Russian and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University in International Relations, and a Masters of Business Administration from Thunderbird School of Global Management (Arizona). He also holds a Corporate Finance qualification (CF) from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Robert Newman serves as a Director to Falls River Group, LLC broadly in the heavy machinery industry, and specifically within the railroad industry. For 35 years, Robert worked with Harsco Track Technologies, a company that designs, manufactures, and markets heavy machinery for constructing and maintaining railway track for railroad customers around the world. In his last 21 years with the company Robert served as President. The areas of Robert’s expertise are mechanical design, manufacturing including machining, fabrication, welding, and assembly. An extensive part of his background is in the management of engineering, research and development, manufacturing, sales and marketing of electronically and hydraulically controlled machinery. Robert has a BS and a MS in Mechanical Engineering, and is a Registered Professional Engineer. Robert has additional interest in marine engineering, and is an Accredited Marine Surveyor – Engines and Mechanics.
Erik Bindslev is a Vice President with Falls River Group and has broad transactional experience in manufacturing, distribution and consumer products. Erik is responsible for deal execution throughout the entire transaction process, structuring strategic and financial analysis, preparing go-to-market materials and due diligence management. Throughout his career, he has worked on over 40 middle-market transactions. Prior to joining FRG, Erik was the financial analyst for Data2Logistics, a Platinum Equity Company, where he focused on M&A analysis, corporate reporting, and process improvements. He also worked as a financial analyst for HD Supply’s Financial Planning and Analysis department. Erik graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and shortly after earned an MBA with dual concentrations in Finance and Marketing from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College. He also holds the CFA Level 1 designation.
Dylan Dierig is an analyst at Falls River Group. He is responsible for supporting senior firm members with creating pitch and marketing documents, conducting research and analyses, constructing detailed financial models, and collecting documents for due diligence throughout the transaction process. Prior to joining FRG, Dylan was an analyst for the hedge fund, BlueStone Capital, creating research reports, marketing materials and keeping accurate portfolio weights. He also worked at Fidelity Investments as a broker obtaining his FINRA Series 7 & 63. Dylan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Finance in 2015. In early 2018 Dylan earned a Master of Science in Finance from Villanova University. He also holds the CFA Level 1 designation.
AJ Krause joined Falls River Group in 2015 and is focused on creating new, long-term client relationships. Most of his time is spent communicating with family-owned businesses in Florida and the Great Lakes region as they consider and pursue succession planning. A.J. began his career in investment management as the Head Trader of a Registered Investment Advisor. During his tenure, assets under management grew from approximately $5mm to nearly $200mm. A.J. later entered the life insurance industry by joining a Member Firm of M Financial. There, A.J. assisted in the analysis and acquisition of large life insurance policies for ultra-high net worth families and individuals. A.J. graduated from University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s in Finance. He holds the CFA Level 1 qualification and is FINRA registered as a StillPoint Capital representative. A.J. is currently pursuing a certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute.
Kelly Schaut joined Falls River Group in September of 2017 as an Administrative Associate. Prior to FRG, Kelly held roles in administration, finance and marketing across multiple industries including travel, fashion, wealth management and M&A. She also assisted former employers in the creation and transformation of several divisions of a small company into their own separate businesses. Her 35 years of operational experience including budgeting, accounts payables and corporate development complement the rest of the FRG team.
Lin Walker joined Falls River Group in August 2016. Prior to joining FRG, Lin spent 20 years in the travel industry, firstly with British Airways as a senior Flight Attendant Trainer, and then with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a shipboard Training and Development and HR Manager. Lin also had her own very successful training consultancy in the UK for 13 years with a focus on communication, customer excellence and team building training. Lin holds a degree in Adult Education from Southall College in the UK.
EXECUTIVE TRANSACTION ADVISORS
Steven J. Smidler is an Executive Transaction Advisor with Falls River Group and has significant executive experience in industrial, distribution and technology products and channels. Steve is responsible for working with owners and companies on the initial transaction and strategic planning process and then working with the FRG team to provide, financial analysis, preparing go-to-market materials and due diligence management. In his most recent position as the President of Kaman Distribution a $1.1B business, he completed (14) acquisitions adding over $400M in revenue and conducted (2) divestitures of ($50M). In addition to his Kaman experience Steve held executive positions at Lenze AG, Eaton Corporation and Rockwell Automation. Steve graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology and Global Executive MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Warren Martin joins Falls River Group as an Executive Transaction Advisor with over 35 years of experience working with technology and life science companies. He has a very diversified professional background having been a senior partner with PwC where, among other roles, he was the market managing partner for their technology practice and led financial due diligence teams for a significant number of M&A transactions. He also co-founded a registered investment bank and was the COO of an AM LAW 25 global law firm. His career has included national and international public and privately owned clients where he participated in capital raising efforts through numerous IPOs, private equity and venture backed rounds of financing. He advised on a large array of M&A transactions including buy and sell side transactions and carve-outs. Warren’s career has also included extensive experience within the manufacturing, distribution and financial services sectors. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of a global software company and has held numerous other Board of Directors roles. Warren is a graduate of Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.
STRATEGIC ADVISORS Falls River Group, LLC maintains close relationships with top level executives in all industries. In the appropriate situation these “Captains of Industry” join our team as strategic advisors, bringing their credentials, credibility and contacts to enhance our sterling client services and transaction results.
K. Michael Benz is the retired President and CEO of United Way of Greater Cleveland, one of the largest and most innovative United Way programs in the nation. Under his 18 years of leadership, United Way raised more than $732 million dollars to fund health and human services in our community. Also under Mike’s leadership, United Way implemented one of the most innovative public art projects, GuitarMania®, that raised nearly $2 million and attracts national and international acclaim. In addition to raising funds, Mike invested as much energy in ensuring that United Way’s investments are sound. Today, United Way funds 216 health and human service programs and three federated agencies that help more than 450,000 Greater Cleveland residents every year. Mike is a Clevelander and his work reflects his passion for the community. He was instrumental in bringing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to Cleveland and served as the museum’s director. Mike’s career also includes 12 years as the Greater Cleveland Growth Association Executive Vice President and seven years as COSE Executive Director. Mike currently serves on several organization boards, including Cuyahoga Community College, Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, the City of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Investment Board and several United Way Worldwide national committees.
Jerry Bogo, serves as a Strategic Advisor for Falls River Group, LLC. Jerry spent more than 40 years in the jewelry industry and was involved in a variety of management roles with a nationally known retail jewelry chain. The last 30 years of his career was as the owner of a full line diamond importing and jewelry manufacturing company in Chattanooga, Tennessee, The Jerry Bogo Co. Jerry has extensive experience in the manufacturing, design and sale of jewelry to the retail and catalog sales industries. Jerry’s years of experience in international purchasing and his travels to Europe, Israel, India, Hong Kong and other countries has resulted in many trusted friends and colleagues around the world. Jerry now advises Falls River Group in jewelry industry transactions, direct sales force and manufacturing transactions and where his knowledge provides significant value to Falls River Group’s clients. Jerry previously served in the U.S. Navy and attended college in Augusta, GA.
Neil Goeren is a Strategic Advisor for Falls River Group, LLC. Neil is an experienced hands-on marketing executive involved in creating, sourcing and launching new products that have significantly grown some of the best known consumer products companies globally. Neil is best known for his white space thinking, technology transfer and linking brand names to unrelated categories. He has worked for Colgate Palmolive, Mennen, Bath and Body Works, Victoria Secret, Miller Brewing and Warner Lambert. As Vice President-Innovation for Bath & Body Works he is credited with adding over $800mm in sales in five years that helped grown the company from $675m to $2bn. As Director of New Products-Global Innovation Strategy Group at Colgate Palmolive Co, he converted technologies he discovered into meaningful consumer products in the Oral-Care, Personal Care, Laundry and Household Divisions. Earlier, as Director of New Products for Mennen Company, he helped expand revenues from $80mm to $650mm by developing Lady Speed Stick, expanding Baby Magic with Bath Cloths, Detergent and Skin Care. Neil holds a BS degree in Marketing/Finance from the University of Richmond, Virginia.
Bob McCashin is a Strategic Advisor for Falls River Group, LLC. Bob attended St. John’s University where he received a B.B.S. degree in 1968. During this time he also attended Officer’s Candidate School in Quantico, Va. and upon graduation, joined the United States Marine Corps and was commissioned a second lieutenant. He then spent a year as an infantry platoon commander in the Republic of Vietnam and was subsequently decorated with a Bronze Star. Bob joined Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in 1971 and over the next 28 years served in a variety of executive positions, ranging from Group Executive responsible for the Federal Government Business for EDS to responsibility for all of EDS’s European, South and Cental American business. Bob also served as President of Centrobe, a billion dollar wholly owned subsidiary of EDS that focused on fulfillment, distribution, warehousing and loyalty marketing. Bob retired from EDS and became CEO and eventually Chairman of Identix Corporation, a company specializing in Biometric Technology. During his term, Bob acquired Visionics Corporation that specialized in Facial Recognition Technology. This acquisition ultimately established Identix as the leading provider of biometric solutions to both the public and commercial market sectors. Under his leadership, Identix became a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq Exchange on October 29, 2001. Identix has since been acquired by L1 Corporation.