Team | Yellow Wood Partners

The Yellow Wood Team

The firm's background reflects a differentiated combination of skill-sets developed over multiple economic cycles at a number of leading investment firms, financial institutions, consumer product companies and consulting firms.

Our firm is differentiated by our dedicated team of both investment professionals and senior operating professionals who span all of the various functional areas including Marketing, Sales, Finance and Operations, International, and have spent their careers successfully leading these functions in consumer businesses. This experience enables Yellow Wood to develop strong partnerships with management teams that maximizes strategic value creation.

Team

Dana Schmaltz PARTNER
Tad Yanagi PARTNER
Joe Atencio PARTNER
Tracy Pizzi Chief Financial Officer
Kevin McCafferty PRINCIPAL
Jennifer Roach SENIOR ASSOCIATE
Susie Campbell ASSOCIATE
Payton McVey ASSOCIATE

Operating Partners

Gerry Butler OPERATING PARTNER
Mike Fink OPERATING PARTNER
Rich Howard OPERATING PARTNER
Eric Millar, Ph.D. OPERATING PARTNER
Mario Soussou OPERATING PARTNER

Dana Schmaltz

PARTNER

dschmaltz@yellowwoodpartners.com

Dana is a partner of Yellow Wood Partners.  Currently Dana is a Director of PDC Brands, Inc. and Walker & Dunlop, Inc. (NYSE:WD).  Prior to that, Dana co-founded Blacksmith Brands, Inc. where he was the CFO, EVP of Business Development and a Director. In this role, he led the establishment of the company’s financial, accounting, IT and personnel infrastructure to create a stand-alone company group of consumer brands (including Efferdent®, Luden’s® and PediaCare®) that were purchased from Johnson & Johnson.  Blacksmith Brands was later sold to Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc. in 2010.

 

Previously, Dana was President of J.W. Childs Associates, which he joined in 1997 after working at DLJ Merchant Banking Partners. At J.W. Childs, Dana was involved with investments in the consumer/specialty retail sector where he was responsible for numerous investments over his 10 years at the firm including Mattress Firm, W/S Packaging Group, Fitness Quest, Murray’s Discount Auto Stores, Esselte, The Meow Mix Company, Bass Pro Shops and Dobson Communications. Dana received an A.B. from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Dana currently is a Trustee of St. George’s School.

CLOSE

Tad Yanagi

PARTNER

tyanagi@yellowwoodpartners.com

Tad joined Yellow Wood Partners at its founding in 2011.  Previously, Tad was at TA Associates, a private equity firm with $16 billion under management, where he focused on investments in the healthcare, consumer, and retail sectors. Prior to TA, Tad was the Treasurer of the Sunny Delight Beverages Co., where he was part of the initial management team that performed the carve out of the beverages brands from Procter & Gamble. Previously, Tad was an Associate at J.W. Childs Associates, where he was involved with investments in the consumer and specialty retail sectors. His previous J.W. Childs’ portfolio company involvement included Sunny Delight Beverages Co., Murray’s Discount Auto Stores, Pinnacle Foods, and Aurora Foods. 

Prior to J.W. Childs, he worked at Morgan Stanley in the real estate group within the investment banking division. Tad received an B.A. in Economics, cum laude, from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

CLOSE

Joe Atencio

PARTNER

jatencio@yellowwoodpartners.com

Joe joined Yellow Wood Partners in 2016.  Previously, Joe was Chief Executive Officer of ChemAid Laboratories, a premier formulator and manufacturer of high performance, premium hair care and skin/body care products for branded personal care customers.  Prior to joining ChemAid Labs, Joe was with Cosmetic Essence, Inc. in roles that included CFO and then Executive Vice President.  As EVP, Joe was responsible for the execution of the company’s globalization strategy and opened operations in Shanghai, China and Strykow, Poland.  Prior to CEI, Joe spent fifteen years as an investment banker with Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette most recently as Managing Director and Co-Head of the Consumer Products Group.  Joe earned a BS in Accounting, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  Joe is also on the Board of the industry trade group ICMAD (Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors).

CLOSE

Gerry Butler

OPERATING PARTNER

gbutler@yellowwoodpartners.com

Gerry was the Chief Sales Officer of Blacksmith Brands, Inc. Previously, he was Co-CEO of Nutrition 21 and Chief Sales Officer of Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc. He also served as Chief Sales Officer of Medtech (Prestige’s predecessor company.)

Gerry is a senior management executive with over 35 years of consumer products experience. Prior to joining Medtech, Gerry worked for Block Drug Company, Inc., from 1974 to 2001, where he held positions of increasing responsibility including Vice President, Sales. Gerry at the age of 34 was named Block’s youngest Vice President. In the latter part of his 26-year career at Block, Gerry reported directly to the president of Block Drug and provided sales, marketing and strategic leadership for all of Block’s consumer brands. Previously, he held sales management positions with Procter & Gamble and Purex Corporation. Gerry has a B.S. degree and an M.B.A. degree from Manhattan College.

CLOSE

Mike Fink

OPERATING PARTNER

mfink@yellowwoodpartners.com

Mike was the Chief Marketing Officer/OTC of Blacksmith Brands, Inc. He is the former Co-CEO of Nutrition 21. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President of Marketing at Prestige Brands, Inc., and previously served as a Senior Vice President of Marketing of Medtech (Prestige’s predecessor company.)

Mike is an executive with extensive experience in marketing over-the-counter personal care and nutraceutical products. Prior to joining Medtech, Mike served as Vice President & General Manager Business & Marketing Development for Block Drug from March 1998 to May 2001, where he reported directly to the president. Mike left Block Drug in May 2001 in connection with its sale to GlaxoSmithKline and worked as an independent consultant until joining Medtech in February 2002. In his 25-year career at Block Drug, Mike held various executive positions including Vice President-General Manager of the Household Products Division, where he oversaw such brands as 2000 Flushes, X-14, Carpet Fresh and Lava. Mr. Fink has a B.S. degree from American University and an M.S. from the Zicklin School of Business.

CLOSE

Rich Howard

OPERATING PARTNER

rhoward@yellowwoodpartners.com

Rich joined Yellow Wood Partners in 2013. He has been an independent consultant and most recently served as COO of Cosmetic Essence, a private equity sponsored company.

Rich has over 35 years of executive level responsibility in Consumer Products, having held the positions as President and CEO of Tristar Fragrances, Principal at KPMG/Supply Chain Consulting, Executive Vice President of Global Operations at Elizabeth Arden, and Sr. Vice President at Charles of the Ritz. His background also includes senior level responsibilities at Philips Van Heusen, and Chesebrough Ponds. Mr. Howard received a B.S. degree from Monmouth College.

CLOSE

Eric Millar, Ph.D.

OPERATING PARTNER

emillar@yellowwoodpartners.com

Eric was the Chief of Operations at Blacksmith Brands, Inc. He was formerly Senior Vice President for Operations at Prestige Brands Holdings and served as Senior Vice President for Operations for The Spic And Span Company, a predecessor of Prestige Brands.

Eric has more than 25 years of senior-level operations experience managing all aspects of R&D, new product development, production, sourcing, planning and logistics for companies in a variety of manufacturing industries. Prior to joining Prestige Brands, Eric served as COO and SVP Operations for the Aris-Isotoner and Champion divisions of Sara Lee Corporation. He has also managed operations and R&D at Fisher-Price / Mattel, Michelin Tire and Unilever. Eric earned B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

CLOSE

Tracy Pizzi

Chief Financial Officer

tpizzi@yellowwoodpartners.com

Tracy joined Yellow Wood Partners in August 2016. As Chief Financial Officer, Tracy is responsible for oversight of the financial and accounting operations for the firm. She is responsible for the financial reporting and tax compliance for all of Yellow Wood’s limited partnerships. Tracy also oversees the financial reporting, tax compliance and human resource management of Yellow Wood Partners LLC. Additionally, she is the Chief Compliance Officer and is responsible for all aspects of the firm’s federal investment advisor requirements.

 

Prior to joining Yellow Wood, Tracy was the Controller for Battery Ventures, a global, technology-focused investment firm, where she had been for more than 6 years. Previously, Tracy also served as Hedge Fund Administration Analyst for Wellington Management, a Senior Accountant for Atlas Venture, and an Audit Senior for Deloitte. Tracy holds a BS in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Bucknell University and a MS in Taxation from Bentley University. She is a Certified Public Accountant.

 

CLOSE

Mario Soussou

OPERATING PARTNER

msoussou@yellowwoodpartners.com

Mario has over 40 years experience in the consumer products industry and currently serves on the board of PDC brands and Ranir. Mario has been working in the Private Equity world for the last 25 years, including 15 years with JW Childs owned companies. Mario's most recent executive position was as CEO of American Safety Razor co. Previously he held a number of International executive positions in CPC International/Best Foods, Snapple, PCG brands and served on the boards of Freshpet, Sunny D and ASR.

CLOSE

Kevin McCafferty

PRINCIPAL

kmccafferty@yellowwoodpartners.com

Kevin joined Yellow Wood Partners in 2014. Previously, Kevin was the Chief Operating Officer of Superior Cake Products, a wholesale bakery which manufacturers brownies, eclairs, madeleine cookies, and other desserts.

Prior to Superior Cake, Kevin was a Principal at New England Capital Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm, where he was involved with investments in the consumer, industrial manufacturing, and business services sectors. Prior to New England Capital, he worked at the Monitor Group as a strategy consultant.  Kevin received an A.B. in Economics, cum laude, from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where he graduated as a Tuck Scholar with high distinction.

CLOSE

Jennifer Roach

SENIOR ASSOCIATE

jroach@yellowwoodpartners.com

Jennifer joined Yellow Wood Partners in 2014. Previously, Jennifer was a Senior Analyst at Analysis Group, an economic consulting firm providing economic, financial, and strategy consulting to Fortune 500 companies and leading law firms in the context of complex litigation. At Analysis Group, Jennifer concentrated in the securities and financial instruments practice area, working on a variety of matters involving private equity firms, auction rate securities, and mortgage backed securities.

Prior to Analysis Group, Jennifer worked at JP Morgan Chase & Co. in the Commercial Banking Division. Jennifer received an B.A. in Economics, cum laude, from the University of Rochester.

CLOSE

Susie Campbell

ASSOCIATE

scampbell@yellowwoodpartners.com

Susie joined Yellow Wood Partners in 2016. Previously Susie worked in equity research at Putnam Investments covering the consumer / retail sector. At Putnam, Susie was responsible for covering industry trends as well as working on stock specific investment ideas. Prior to Putnam, Susie was an Equity Derivative Trader at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she worked for 5 years. Susie received a B.A. in Finance and Accounting, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University.

CLOSE

Payton McVey

ASSOCIATE

pmcvey@yellowwoodpartners.com

Payton joined Yellow Wood Partners in 2017. Previously, Payton was an analyst in the Consumer & Retail investment banking group at William Blair & Co. While at William Blair, Payton worked on a variety of M&A transactions and capital raises across the consumer spectrum including Consumer Packaged Goods, Specialty Retail and Food/Restaurants. 

Prior to William Blair, Payton was a CPA with Deloitte & Touche. He received an Honors B.S. in Business Administration (Accounting), cum laude, from The Citadel. 

 

CLOSE