Eagle Rock is a partnership between one entrepreneur and an industry-leading group of investors, operators, and advisors.
christopher sykes, founder & Managing director
I founded Eagle Rock to accomplish one objective: buy and run a small business.
I’ve devoted my career to building businesses, both as an operator and as an advisor. I’ve witnessed firsthand the value that small businesses create for employees, customers, communities, and our country. My career has taught me that small businesses are the engine of the economy, the backbone of most communities, and a force with tremendous potential for good.
Through Eagle Rock, I hope to harness that potential by leading a business that creates American jobs, provides value for customers, gives back to the community, and makes a positive difference in the world.
For more information on my background, please see my LinkedIn profile.
I’ve assembled a world-class team of investors, operators, and fellow entrepreneurs who believe in me and my mission. Collectively, Eagle Rock’s investors have centuries of experience spanning a range of industries, with expertise in growing businesses and managing transition through succession. This group has invested significant time and capital behind my mission and offers the financial resources to ensure that a deal will be completed quickly and seamlessly.
Sandro Mina, Managing Director
Sandro Mina is a co-founder and Managing Director at Relay Investments. In 1993, Sandro, along with Gunnar Bjorklund, Martin Steber and Nick Babchuck, co-founded Sverica International, where Sandro spent 20 years as a co-founding Partner. During Sverica’s early days, Sandro served as President and CEO of Cameraworld.com, one of Sverica’s pre-fund portfolio companies that he sourced, managed and eventually sold.
Sandro currently serves on the board of Eclipse Cash Systems, Richmond Alarm Company, Omatic Software, Travelmax, WholesalePet.com, Sullab Diagnósticos, and Fleming Medicina. He also serves on a local non-profit board, the Swedish School of Boston.
Mr. Mina earned his BSc degree in Computer Engineering from Imperial College at the University of London and his MBA degree at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
Martin Steber, Managing Director
Martin Steber is a co-founder and Managing Director at Relay Investments. In 1993, Martin, along with Gunnar Bjorklund, Sandro Mina and Nick Babchuk, co-founded Sverica International. During his early tenure, Mr. Steber was CEO of two pre-fund investments in Birmingham, Alabama, Automatic Detection Systems Inc, an electronic security company, and AccuDocs LLC, a billing services company. Both of these entities were eventually sold to larger industry leaders. Later, Mr. Steber was actively involved in raising Sverica’s first and second private equity funds.
Martin currently serves on the board of Chronus, MST, Alert Protective Services, Subatomic Digital, UCIT Online Security, Kivuto Solutions, and National Center for Faculty Diversity & Development.
Mr. Steber completed his BSc in Computer Engineering from Imperial College at the University of London and his MBA degree at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
Search Fund Partners
Dave Carver, Principal
David Carver co-founded Search Fund Partners along with Rich Kelley. He is on the boards of Datum Technologies, FastSpring, Great Bay Software, Grey Heller, PlanetDDS Software, Raptor Technologies, Remarkable Health and StaffOne.
David spent thirty years as an executive in software, technology and related services, and has extensive experience in all phases of business, including M&A, fund-raising, strategy and operations. He was CEO of HiFive Networks, CEO of Hipbone Networks, EVP and GM at Network Associates; COO of Network General, an EIR at Institutional Venture Partners; and an executive in software and services at the Hewlett-Packard Company.
Dave has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Arkansas. Dave and his wife Julia have two sons, RJ and Sam.
Rich Kelley, Principal
Rich Kelley co-founded Search Fund Partners in 2004. He currently serves on the boards of Pet Loss Center, DCI Caravel Autism Services, RIA in a Box, ISC Water, FMT, Attainia, and MST.
Rich Kelley has been involved in numerous small businesses and start-up companies as an operator, owner, and investor. His varied experience includes: CFO of Score Learning Centers, CEO of San Jose Giants, General Partner of the Stanford Terrace Inn, developer of houses and subdivisions, owner of office buildings and hotels, investor in successful tech start-ups (Coinstar, PLX Technology, Corcept Therapeutics). He has also invested in many limited partnerships, including venture funds, and has been involved as a search fund investor since 1994.
Rich has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Stanford. Rich and his wife Gina have two children, Riley and Sam. He has served as an elected school board trustee and is active with the Positive Coaching Alliance and Sustainable Conservation as an advisor.
Jim Edmunds joined Search Fund Partners in 2008 after running a company sourced through the search fund model. Jim and his partner found and acquired Celebrity Kids Portrait Studios, a leading provider of upscale children’s photography in 2005. Jim served as President and CFO of the company. He currently participates on the boards of Microdea, Neuro International, Consumeraffairs.com, Gogotech, and UCIT Online.
Before launching a search fund, Jim was an Associate at McKinsey & Company in Palo Alto. Prior to attending business school, Jim conducted business development for PetSmart.com, managed a successful political campaign in Texas, and worked in Investment Banking and Equity Capital Markets at Bear Stearns.
Jim holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was named a Siebel Scholar, and an A.B. in History from Harvard University. He is the treasurer of Building Futures Now, a non-profit dedicated to helping high potential students in East Palo Alto. He lives in Menlo Park with his wife Christine, daughters Emiko and Mika, and son Koji.
Todd Tracey joined Search Fund Partners in 2016 after acquiring, running, and successfully exiting HemaSource, a company he sourced through the search fund model. HemaSource is a distributor of medical disposable products to the blood therapies markets and at the time of the sale it was one of the most successful ‘single searcher’ exits. Todd served as President and CEO of the company. He currently participates on the boards of ComplianceLine, TDR, Detroit Dental, and Elevated Billing Solutions.
Prior to launching his search fund, Todd filled leadership roles in operations, sales, and finance for a variety of lower middle market companies. His broad industry background includes agriculture, telecommunications, web advertising and healthcare. He also worked as a Senior Associate for Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman).
Todd holds an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University where he was a Lerner Scholar and the Harry W. Gillies Management & Strategy Student of the Year. He graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with an A.B. in Economics.
Trilogy Search Partners
Scott Alderman, Managing Director & President
Scott is a Managing Director and President of Trilogy Search Partners. Most recently, he was on the investing team of Trilogy Equity Partners, where he is still a Partner.
Previously, Scott spent 11 years at Western Wireless Corporation in various roles, including Chief Financial Officer of Western Wireless International which operated mobile networks in Europe, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.
Scott graduated from Whitman College, where he serves on the Board of Overseers, and he has an MBA from Harvard Business School. He serves on the boards of Botanical Designs, eRequester, Inspired eLearning, Market Equipment, and ProPoint Solutions.
Cregg Baumbaugh, Managing Director
Cregg is a Managing Director of Trilogy Search Partners. Previously, Cregg served as Executive Vice President – Finance, Strategy and Development for VoiceStream Wireless (now T-Mobile US). In addition, he served as SVP – Corporate Development of both VoiceStream and Western Wireless Corporation. Prior to his wireless career, Cregg worked at The First Boston Corporation.
Cregg received his BS and MBA degrees from Indiana University. He is also a Partner of Trilogy Equity Partners and lives in Marin County, California. Cregg previously served on the boards of Asurion and Pacific Pulmonary and currently serves on the boards of ABS, Dynamic Growth Dental Support, and ResponseLink. He is a board observer at TDR and BEX Realty.
Mitch Cohen, Managing Director
Mitch is a Managing Director of Trilogy Search Partners. Mitch was a Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman from 1989 until 2008, where he sourced and oversaw portfolio investments, as well as led the firm’s fundraising and client relations. Mitch worked closely with other Trilogy partners while representing Hellman & Friedman on the boards of Western Wireless and VoiceStream. Prior to Hellman & Friedman, he was an Associate at Shearson Lehman Hutton. Recently, Mitch has been managing his family office, investing in a range of private companies. He graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. Mitch lives in Marin County, California and serves on the boards of Falcon Critical Care Transport, Morningside Translations, and Kantola Training Solutions, among a number of other for-profit and non-profit boards.
Rich Augustyn is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the NIP Group Inc., one of the top 100 largest U.S. insurance intermediaries. Mr. Augustyn has been a successful entrepreneur and innovative commercial insurance executive for more than 20 years. In addition to founding NIP Group, Mr. Augustyn has founded and directs a portfolio of several highly successful ventures in the commercial insurance and financial services industries. His business success led to being named in 2003 to NJBIZ’s Forty Under 40, a program that honors young men and women who have made outstanding contributions to their fields.
Rich serves on the board of Housing Wire, KGHP, PEC Safety, Sage Data Security, FIMC and World Wide Security.
Brad Brown is the managing director of Bradford Brown Capital Partners (BBCP), a private investment partnership that invests in search funds and profitable small-cap companies. He has over fifteen years’ experience in small-cap growth investing, and has acquired over 50 operating companies across different industries. Brad is on the board of five private growth buy-outs: Blue Sky Network, ISI Telemanagement, Attainia, CloudX, and D2C Brands.
Mr. Brown is also a Senior Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company, where he advised senior executives on their most important business technology issues. He was a senior member of the Digital Technology practice, and the global leader of the Big Data practice, and worked with clients to implement strategies around digital, automation, analytics, cloud, and agile.
Mr. Brown is a graduate of Dartmouth College, receiving his bachelor of arts degree, cum laude. He received an M.S.E.E. in Computer Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA with distinction from the Wharton School.
Craig Burr was a founder of Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co., a private investment firm. Mr. Burr's career has been devoted almost exclusively to venture capital and private equity activities, having founded Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co. in 1979. Previously, Mr. Burr was a Partner at TA Associates. In addition, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the New England Venture Capital Association and currently serves on the Board of Directors of several private companies.
Mr. Burr received his Bachelor's Degree, cum laude, from Harvard College and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Matthew Burr is a general partner at Matland Capital, where he is responsible for a hedge fund portfolio and is also active in making private investments. He previously 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 manager selection, and market research.
Matthew Burr received his BA, cum laude, from Harvard University, and has a master's degree from Duke University in Environmental Management.
Mr. Cassutt has made more than 130 investments in search funds. He is also the CFO of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011, Mr. Cassutt was Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identification based in Los Angeles, California. From 1978 to 1984, he was the Controller of Bristol Corporation, the parent company of 10 manufacturing entities.
Mr. Cassutt currently sits on the boards of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Dynamic Growth Dental, and Positive Coaching Alliance. He received a Bachelor of Physics Degree in 1982 from the University of California, Irvine, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate. In 1986, he received an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar and the recipient of the Alexander A. Robichek Award, given each year to the top student in finance.
Lawrence J. Dunn III
Larry Dunn is CFO of NIP Group, Inc. and a member of its management committee. Mr. Dunn’s business career spans over 25 years in the insurance and financial services industries. Prior to joining NIP Group, he was Managing Director at Ally Financial and a Director of M&A and divisional CFO at AIG. He began his career at KPMG.
Larry graduated from Pace University earning a BBA in Accounting with highest honors. Larry is also a Certified Public Accountant. Larry serves on the board of Housing Wire and World Wide Security.
Mr. Lazier is a private investor who has made more than 130 investments in search funds. He is also the president of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011, Mr. Lazier served as Controller, Vice President of Sales and then Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identification based in Los Angeles, California. From 1982 to 1984, he worked as an engineer for IBM Corporation.
Mr. Lazier currently sits on the boards of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Datum Technologies, and Gogotech. He has previously served on the boards of Glendale Memorial Hospital Foundation, the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University.
Chris Lueck is CEO of FastSpring, and is responsible for guiding the company towards their mission of becoming the leading end-to-end e-commerce solution for digital goods and software sellers to start and grow their online businesses.
Prior to joining FastSpring, Chris was a co-founder and Managing Partner of Pylon Capital, an entrepreneurial investment firm focused on investing in high growth, technology-enabled service companies. Chris previously managed product development for Nyko Technologies, the leading video game accessory company in North America. Before Nyko, he was a product engineer at Qualcomm, where he worked on the development of mobile communications chips, including the world's first 3G communications chip.
Chris holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia, and an MBA with honors from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, where he was a Leadership and Academic Scholar.
Michael F. O’Connell is the Senior Managing Director at M2O, Inc. He oversees the assessment of investment opportunities and reviews the ongoing performance of portfolio companies. For most of his career, Michael was President and Managing Director of Anhalt, O’Connell & Steffanci Inc., a Los Angeles-based investment management firm with almost $1 billion under management.
In 1992, Michael purchased the National Lines Bureau, a ship mooring company operating at the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors, the largest (combined) commercial port in America. This initial, successful investment prompted many more and Michael soon shifted his focus from investment management to venture capital. Today, he leads M2O with a portfolio of more than 40 companies.
Michael also sits on the board of American Biosurgical Inc., Veri-Tax, and Yates & Associates Insurance. Michael holds a B.A., with high honors, from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Michael-Kevin (M-K) O’Connell joined M2O, Inc. as a Managing Director in 2009. He is responsible for sourcing and reviewing new investment opportunities as well as monitoring the performance of portfolio companies.
Prior to joining M2O, M-K was a Manager with L.E.K. Consulting. During his tenure there, M-K led project teams across a diverse range of industries and business issues. His projects included the strategic due diligence of a $1 billion building materials company, the development of a customer contact and support strategy for a legacy airline, the strategic realignment and long-term plan for a major Los Angeles attraction, and the strategic due diligence of a leading equipment supplier to solar cell manufacturers.
Before L.E.K., M-K worked in commercial real estate as the Director of Research for CB Richard Ellis in New England. M-K also sits on the board at Origo Commodities Management and is an advisor to Veri-Tax and Yates & Associates Insurance.
M-K received his B.S, magna cum laude, from Boston College and his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he was the recipient of the Thomas P. Gerrity Leadership Award for achieving “excellence in both academic and co-curricular pursuits.”
Kirk Riedinger manages Riedinger Search LLC, focused on making investments in small and medium sized businesses located in the U.S., Europe and South and Central America. He serves on several Boards directing these companies.
Kirk co-founded Alta Colleges, Inc. in 1987. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors (2006-2015) and previously served as Executive Chairman of Alta Colleges (1995-2006). As Executive Chairman he was responsible for developing and managing the company’s strategy, sales, marketing and acquisitions. Prior to that he served as President of Alta Colleges from 1987 to 1995.
Kirk earned his BA in International Relations from Stanford University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Richard H. Taketa (Rick) is a proven leader currently working with and investing in private and public high-growth companies with a focus on tech-enabled service businesses. Stepping down in Sept 2018, Rick was most recently the President and CEO of York Risk Services, Inc. With approximately $800 million in Revenue and more than 5,500 employees, York grew under Rick’s leadership to be one of the leading providers of integrated insurance services to the Property and Casualty insurance industry.
Rick originally joined York after the acquisition of Southern California Risk Management Associates (SCRMA), where he was CEO. Rick and a small group of investors had acquired SCRMA two years earlier when the company had $15M in Revenue and 120 employees. Early investors received MOICs ranging from 7x - 11x in less than two years.
Current and prior board service includes York Risk Services Group, Palomar Specialty, Axiom Medical Consulting, Alphaeon Corporation (the majority owner of recently public Evolus), Accume Partners, American Security, and Trumpet Behavioral Health. Rick resides in Newport Beach, CA, and earned his BA from Colgate University and JD from Stanford Law School.