Meet Our Team
Micah T. Smith co-founded Roland Equity Partners. Roland’s limited partners and institutional investors form a diverse group of entrepreneurs, investors, and operators, who bring decades of experience to the firm. The members of this group also serve as advisors, directors and board members in all of Roland Equity’s investments.
Micah T. Smith
Over the years, Micah has filled many roles as an Entrepreneur, Operating Executive, and Consultant. His experience as an Operator spans international geographies and organizations ranging from billion-dollar corporations to boot-strapped start-ups. Before founding Roland Equity, Micah spent several years as an Executive Vice President for Sansegal China – a medium-size multi-national consulting organization based in Southern China. He was responsible for China office operations, customer acquisition and retention, and new engagements.
He also held the position of a Senior Buyer and Consultant for billion-dollar corporations such as Polaroid and Intel Corporation, respectively. As a Senior Buyer, Micah was responsible for negotiating contracts with Tier-1 consumer electronics suppliers for a total annual spend of over $100 million.
Micah is married with four wonderful children and resides in the Tampa Florida area. He speaks three languages and holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business.
These investors brings in financial advantage and expertise for Roland Equity Partners.
Peterson Partners (http://www.petersonpartners.com), based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is one of the Intermountain West’s most successful private equity firms, specializing in small to mid-sized companies. Peterson Partners has a track record of successful investments including JetBlue, Vivint, Energy Solutions, 3form, Access CIG, and Diamond Rental. Founded in 1995, Peterson Partners has managed over $500 million in committed capital through eight funds.
Trilogy Equity Partners is a closely held investment firm based in Bellevue, Washington. Their roots include the formation and leadership of some of the largest mobile operators in the United States as well as other global technology and wireless companies. Trilogy applies a team-oriented approach, deep operational expertise and a flexible capital structure to help entrepreneurs build great companies.
Coley Andrews is a founding partner of Pacific Lake Partners. Since co-founding Pacific Lake, he has invested in over 30 search funds. Coley is a board member of multiple search fund companies including, Morningside Translations, IS Logistica, FieldEdge, Inspired eLearning, Circle Surrogacy and is an observer at AlphaCredit and Raptor Technologies. Andrews graduated from Dartmouth College and has an MBA from Stanford.
Jim Southern is a founding partner of Pacific Lake Partners. His personal portfolio includes more than 40 search funds. During the early stages of his career, he was a beneficiary of search fund investors.
His first search resulted in the acquisition of Uniform Printing, a $43 million company specializing in printing of specialty insurance documents, where he served as the CEO and the chairman for ten years. Southern currently serves on many boards of search fund operating companies. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Dr. Steven C. Wheelwright, is a former senior associate dean of the Harvard Business School's MBA program, a Baker Foundation professor and senior associate dean and director of Harvard Business School's publication activities. His research and experience have given him world-recognized expertise in solving complex managerial problems and foreseeing future business trends.
"Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation", 4th ed.; "Operations, Strategy, and Technology - Pursuing the Competitive Edge"; and "Dynamic Manufacturing: Creating the Learning Organization" are a few of his books.
Craig Burr is a founder of Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co., a private investment firm. He was a partner at TA Associates. He has been a member of the board of directors of the New England Venture Capital Association. He serves on the board of directors for several private companies.
Most of his career is based around venture capital activities. He has backed many leading companies in a variety of different industries. Burr received his B.A. cum Laude, from Harvard College and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
General partner at Matland Capital, Matthew is an active investor in the search fund community.
Previously he worked at Cambridge Associates, where he was a hedge fund analyst and also assisted universities, foundations, and high net worth families with asset allocation, investment management selection, and market research.
Matthew received his B.A. cum Laude from Harvard University, and has a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Duke University.
Tom Cassutt is the Managing Partner of TD Investment Company, which has made investments in more than eighty private companies. He is also the CFO of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. He currently sits on the board of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Scottish American Insurance Services, and Positive Coaching Alliance.
He served as the Controller of Bristol Corporation, from 1978-1984. Later, he was the co-president of Nelson Nameplate Company from 1984 to 2011, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identification based in Los Angeles, California.
Tom received his bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of California, Irvine where he was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate. He also has an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. At Stanford, he was an Arjay Miller scholar and the recipient of the Alexander A. Robichek award for outstanding achievement in finance.
Dave Lazier is Managing Partner of TD Investment Company. TD makes private equity investments in search funds and serves as President of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes.
He served as Controller, Vice President of Sales and Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of durable graphics and membrane switches based in Los Angeles, California. Before joining Nelson, he worked as an engineer with IBM Corporation from 1982 to 1984. Dave has been a board member for Glendale Memorial Hospital Foundation, The San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
Dave received his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University. He is currently on the board of Nelson-Miller, American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, CALO and Gogotech.
Bob Dahl is currently a private investor, focusing on the healthcare industry. He is a Director of several private companies and also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cancer Research Institute.
He was the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Arrowhawk Capital Partners, an investment company and the Vice President of Strategic Business Development and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Golden Pond Healthcare, Inc. He served as co-head of healthcare investment banking in North America at Credit Suisse First Boston.
Later in his career, Bob served as the head of Global Healthcare for the Carlyle Group (from April 1999 until June 2006), a leading private equity firm, where he was responsible for the firm's investments in the healthcare field.
Bob received a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA with high distinction from the Harvard Business School.
Kent Weaver is the Chairman and CEO of Progressive Home Care, a Northern California-based health care company. He currently serves on the board at VRI, Discovery Outsourcing, Integra, Onesource Water, Change Academy Lake of the Ozarks and Healthwyse.
Kent previously held a executive position in marketing and product management for a VC-backed marketing software startup, served as regional CFO and business analyst in Pepsico's Pizza Hut Division, and as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
He received his BS in finance from the University of Southern California and MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Tim Ludwig is a private investor with a focus on lower-middle market businesses and Managing Director of Ohana Capital. Previously, Tim worked for Pacific Scene, a real estate company where he served on the board and was President of the Commercial Property division. Tim’s prior experience includes roles in consulting with Arthur Andersen and a middle-market manufacturing company, and founding two online publishing companies.
Tim graduated from The College of Wooster and received his MBA from the Ross School at the University of Michigan. Tim is an active advisor and board member to several private companies.
James K. Johnson Jr. is Co-Founder and COO of Alloy Digital, one of the most important millennial-focused media and marketing companies of the past two decades.
During his tenure at Alloy, Jim led operational management and guided many of the company’s growth initiatives. Until 2005, Alloy, Inc. included the youth merchandise brands Alloy, CCS and dEliA*s. Under Jim’s direction, these businesses grew to be among the largest direct marketers (e-commerce and catalog) to teens and young adults in the U.S. and were divested via a public to public spinoff. He was instrumental during the Company’s media expansions, including the acquisition of Alloy Entertainment (formerly 17th Street Productions), the youth media behemoth behind pop culture phenomenon’s “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries,” and “Pretty Little Liars." Alloy Entertainment was sold to Warner Brothers in 2012. In November 2010, Jim and Matt participated in a go-private transaction of Alloy, Inc. with an investor group led by Zelnick Media. By the spring of 2014 the vast majority of Alloy’s businesses had been sold to strategic or financial buyers producing a significant return for investors.
Prior to founding Alloy, Jim was a member of GE Company's Corporate Audit Staff and a graduate of its Financial Management Program. He held a variety of financial, operational and business development positions within GE, most significantly in GE Japan and GE Brasil. Jim received his B.A. in History from Hamilton College in 1989.
In 1996, Matt Diamond co-founded Alloy, Inc. together with Jim Johnson, taking the company public in May 1999 and building it to become one of the most important millennial-focused media and marketing companies of the past two decades. Alloy Digital was the outgrowth of Alloy, Inc.’s interactive division, a dedicated unit formed in 2009 addressing industry needs amid shifting market trends.
When he was CEO of Alloy Digital, his keen vision was instrumental in the company’s meteoric rise in a rapidly evolving digital space and the significant growth of globally recognized and top-ranked media platforms. The recent key strategic role in the recent “merger of equals” with Break Media gave rise to Defy Media, and Matt guides corporate strategy and oversees company management as the new CEO.
Matt also serves on the board of Do Something, Inc. and, in 2009, the youth focused non-profit organization honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Alloy’s considerable contributions.
He has also supported youth education initiatives in New York City, dedicating his time to the Bronx Academy of Letters—awarded a rare A in both the Department of Education’s 2006-07 and 2007-08 progress reports—and as a member the PENCIL program pairing business leaders with public schools. Alloy supports other charitable organizations such as the Ad Council and the Lagrant Foundation.
Matt graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in International Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1991 and received his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1996.
Bill Egan is a founder and General Partner of Alta Communications and Marion Equity Partners, Massachusetts-based venture capital firms. He founded Alta’s predecessor firm, Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co. in 1979, and has identified and backed several of America’s leading growth companies in the information technology, life sciences, and communications industries. Prior to founding Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co., Bill was a Partner at TA Associates. He began his career as a Manager of Venture Capital for New England Enterprise Capital Corporation.
He is past President and Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, a Trustee of Fairfield University, a Member of the Board of Overseers of The Wharton School and a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Board of CRH plc, and a number of privately held companies.
Bill is also an owner of the Boston Celtics professional basketball team. Bill received a degree in Economics from Fairfield University and an MBA from the Wharton School.
Gerald Risk most recently served as Vice Chairman of Asurion, the world’s largest provider of technology protection services, partnering with the world’s top companies and brands to serve over 200 million customers globally. Prior to serving as Vice Chairman, he served as Asurion’s President from 2009 to 2013 and Asurion’s Chief Financial Officer for the 10 years prior to that. Before joining Asurion, Gerald helped a wide variety of clients, from Fortune 500 firms to early stage start-ups, execute their strategic and financial plans as an investment banker with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in San Francisco, Hong Kong and New York. He has also worked for Hambrecht and Quist and the private investment arm of Toronto Dominion Capital. Gerald is an active mentor of entrepreneurial leaders in the for-profit and non-profit worlds. In this capacity, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of Carillon Assisted Living (provider of assisted living services in the Southeast), HealthCPA (provider of medical expense management services for consumers), and QMC Telecom (cell tower operator in Brazil).
Gerald holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar and where he served as a case writer for Jack McDonald, the Stanford Investors Professor of Finance. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce with honors from Queen’s University in Canada where he was on the Dean’s List.
A.J. Wasserstein is the President of Onesource Water and is responsible for overall customer happiness, operational excellence, driving growth and building an exceptional business. Previously, A.J. was the founder and CEO of ArchivesOne, the third largest records management company in the United States. He successfully built ArchivesOne into a super-regional records management company employing 400 people before selling to Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM) after 17 years of operation. He has served on several mid-market Boards.
A.J. graduated from Colgate University and received his MBA from New York University. The U.S. Small Business Administration has recognized A.J. as the Small Businessperson of the Year in Connecticut. Further, A.J. was featured in the book Leadership Secrets of the World's Most Successful CEOs.
Jose Stella is currently Co-CEO and Co-Founder of QMC Telecom, LLC, a wireless infrastructure provider. Prior to that he was the Co-Founder and President of VIU Media, Puerto Rico's largest locally owned outdoor advertising company, until the sale of the company to Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR).
Prior to becoming President of VIU Media, he was the Co-Founder and President of Quest Management Corporation, a private equity group formed to identify, acquire, and operate a company in Puerto Rico. Previously, Mr. Stella worked at KPMG Peat Marwick in the middle-market Mergers & Acquisitions Advisory Group. He also worked for UBS and Chase Manhattan Bank and received, along with his partner, the 2004 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Puerto Rico. Currently he serves as a director of Rocket Learning, LLC , Penn Warranty, and New Media Learning.
Jose graduated with high honors, with a B.A. in Economics, Finance and Investments from Babson College and graduated cum laude with an MBA from The University of Michigan.
Rafael Somoza is currently Co-CEO and Co-Founder of QMC Telecom, LLC, a wireless infrastructure provider. Prior to that he was the CEO and Co-founder of VIU Media until the sale of the company to Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) in 2006. At the time of the sale, VIU Media was Puerto Rico's largest locally owned outdoor advertising company.
Prior to becoming CEO of VIU Media, Rafael was the CEO and Co-founder of Quest Management Corporation, a private equity investment company formed to identify, acquire, and later operate a desirable going concern in Puerto Rico. Previously, Mr. Somoza worked at the Chase Manhattan Bank and at CS First Boston where he was actively involved in structuring over $1.2 billion in lead managed bond and asset backed financings for both government and private issuers in varied industries. Throughout the years he has also been directly involved in the development of several successful residential and tourism real estate projects, including the Rincon Beach Resort, a 120-room beach front hotel on the west coast of Puerto Rico. From August 2006 to February 2007, Mr. Somoza was Senior Executive Vice President at Westernbank PR. Along with his business partner, Mr. Somoza is the recipient of the 2004 E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Puerto Rico. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of EM Assist, LLC.
Rafael holds a B.A., magna cum laude, in Economics and Political Science from Yale University and an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.