Byron Smith is a Principal at Mountain Group Partners.
Mr. Smith currently serves on or has visitation rights to the board of directors of the following companies: MedCenterDisplay, a company that installs and owns digital health networks in hospitals and other provider settings; Myomo, a medical device company that has developed an IP-protected custom myoelectric elbow orthotic device that enables individuals afflicted with stroke and other neuromuscular conditions to self-initiate and control movement of a partially paralyzed arm using their own muscle signals; NuSirt Biopharma, a company focused on developing products that combine the Company’s discoveries with currently marketed and well defined pharmaceutical products that target unmet needs in our society; Overdog, a company that offers an Xbox One application which connects gamers online based on their sports and social preferences; Silicon Ranch, a developer and operator of utility scale solar facilities that provides turn-key renewable energy solutions to industry and utility partners; Evermind, a company that has developed a passive monitoring system for use in a residential independent living framework; and splitsecnd, a consumer product development and service company that develops telematics devices and associated applications that allow consumers and their loved ones to easily upgrade the safety of their vehicles.
Mr. Smith previously served on the board of directors of Aspire Health, a healthcare company that specializes in providing an extra layer of support to patients facing a serious illness.
Prior to his involvement with MGP, Mr. Smith held a long and distinguished career in the wireless and tech spaces. After receiving an MBA from the University of Chicago, Mr. Smith began his career at Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo in brand management and advertising. After eight years in packaged goods marketing, Mr. Smith transitioned into tech. First, in the early days of wireless, Mr. Smith served at Verizon (formally GTE); prior to the merger creating Verizon, all U.S. operating areas reported to him. In early 2000, Mr. Smith moved to Silicon Valley, where he was the EVP/GM and Chief Marketing Officer with Excite@Home. In Silicon Valley, Mr. Smith gained experience in media/content and internet technology/infrastructure. Mr. Smith moved home to Tennessee in 2002 with Asurion as EVP/CMO. He led the relocation of Asurion’s HQ from Silicon Valley to Nashville.
Mr. Smith was also a founding board member at The Nashville Entrepreneur Center and sits on the boards of The Trinity Forum in Washington D.C. and Lost Valley Ranch in Colorado. Recently, Mr. Smith taught entrepreneurship as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.
Mrs. Graham is a Bookkeeper at Mountain Group Partners.
Mrs. Graham joined MGP in 2011 and is responsible for managing and tracking financial transactions, documentation, and relevant tax data and forms, as well as future potential investments. Prior to joining MGP, Mrs. Graham held over two decades of accounting experience, most recently including serving as the Bookkeeper for AKG Acoustics, U.S. in Nashville, TN.
Mrs. Graham studied Accounting at Nashville State Technical Institute.
Mrs. Mraz is an Office Manager and Executive Assistant at Mountain Group Partners.
Mrs. Mraz joined MGP in 2012 and is responsible for the execution of Principal and office management activities, including scheduling, client relations, vendor interactions, administrative tasks and resource management. Prior to joining MGP, Mrs. Mraz held nearly three decades of administrative experience, including, most recently, Manager positions at Crowe Horwath LLP and Crowell & Crowell, PLLC, managing several key aspects of each respective office.
Mrs. Mraz studied Business at Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, TN.
Mr. Ferguson is the Chief Accounting and Administrative Officer at Mountain Group Partners.
In his role, Mr. Ferguson is responsible for day-to-day interactions with the Limited Partners on administrative items. As well, Mr. Ferguson is responsible for overseeing the funds’ accounting, audits, tax returns and other required reporting.
Mr. Ferguson brings a wide range of experience in a high growth environment having been a part of Asurion from 2000 to 2014. During this period, Mr. Ferguson helped develop the finance infrastructure and was involved in the launch of several international opportunities. Mr. Ferguson served several years as the Assistant Corporate Controller responsible for global consolidations and administration of global accounting policies. As well, in his last couple of years, Mr. Ferguson served in roles integrated into and supporting the business units directly, with the last role being CFO of the Customer Care business unit.
Prior to Asurion, Mr. Ferguson spent five years in audit with Arthur Andersen where he served clients in the entertainment, property and casualty insurance, music publishing and recording, real estate, logistics, construction and manufacturing industries.
Mr. Ferguson received a BS in Accounting, in addition to a Masters in Accounting, from the University of Tennessee. Mr. Ferguson is a Certified Public Accountant with a license in Tennessee and is a member of the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, as well as the American Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Joe Cook, III
Joe Cook, III is a Principal at Mountain Group Partners.
Mr. Cook currently serves on or has visitation rights to the board of directors of the following companies: ABT Molecular Imaging, a company manufacturing a next generation cyclotron which produces unit doses of PET biomarkers; Cerebrotech, a development stage company focused on developing a non-invasive monitoring device for early detection of cerebral bleeding and edema; Clearside, an ophthalmic company specializing in the research, development and commercialization of therapeutic products delivered through a proprietary microinjection platform targeting the suprachoroidal space; Lineagen, a chromosomal microarray and next generation sequencing genetic testing company serving children with autism and other related disorders and their families; and Castle Biosciences, a company developing and commercializing molecular diagnostics to aid healthcare professionals in assessing probability of tumor progression to metastasis and improving information for therapy choices.
Mr. Cook previously served on or had visitation rights to the board of directors of the following select companies: Pathfinder Therapeutics, a company selling a first in class, FDA approved image guidance software and tools for soft-tissue organ cancer surgery; Diagnovus, a molecular diagnostic company targeting rare and orphan diseases; and OnFocus Healthcare, a company selling proprietary performance management software to hospitals and other healthcare organizations; among others.
Prior to his involvement with MGP, Mr. Cook was a Director, Private Placements in the Investment Banking Group of Robert W. Baird & Co. in Nashville from January 2001 through February 2003. Mr. Cook, as head of Baird’s Private Placement Group, was responsible for the private placement of equity and debt securities for both private and public companies. During these two years, Mr. Cook helped originate and led the team executing nine transactions raising almost $400 million. Previously, Mr. Cook was a Vice President in the Investment Banking Group at J.C. Bradford & Co. in Nashville. He joined Bradford in July 1993 as a Financial Analyst, working on initial and secondary public equity offerings, public debt offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and business valuations. From December 1995 through June 2000, he specialized in private finance, including leveraged buyouts and private debt and equity placements. Mr. Cook is past Chairman and board member of the Martha O’Bryan Center, and was a founding board member of Ten Thousand Villages of Nashville.
Mr. Cook graduated with a BA in Economics from Davidson College, and moved to Nashville, TN in 1993.
Joe Cook, Jr.
Joe Cook, Jr. is a Principal at Mountain Group Partners.
Mr. Cook currently serves as Executive Chairman and President of NuSirt Biopharma, a biopharma company focused on developing products that combine the Company’s patented technologies with currently marketed and well defined pharmaceutical products with a focus on diabetes and NASH. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of: Castle Biosciences, a company developing and commercializing molecular diagnostics to aid healthcare professionals in assessing probability of tumor progression to metastasis and improving information for therapy choices and Corcept Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CORT), a biopharmaceutical company in Palo Alto, CA engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of drugs for the treatment of severe metabolic, oncologic and psychiatric disorders associated with the steroid hormone cortisol.
Mr. Cook previously served on the board of directors of the following select companies: Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMLN), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development and commercialization of medicines to treat patients with diabetes and other metabolic diseases; Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IRWD), a biotechnology company in Cambridge, MA focused on gastrointestinal therapeutics; and Diagnovus, a molecular diagnostic company targeting rare and orphan diseases; among others. At Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Cook served as CEO from 1998 to 2003 and Chairman from 1998 to 2009. Mr. Cook is a founder and past-Chairman of over 10 years at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Mr. Cook retired as a Group Vice-President, Global Operations, of Eli Lilly and Company in 1993 after more than 28 years of service. Mr. Cook serves as Chairman of the Board of Mercy Ministries International, Inc. with headquarters in Nashville, TN. He is also a past Chair and current member of the University of Tennessee College of Engineering Advisory Board. Mr. Cook has served on the national board of the American Diabetes Association and is past Chairman of the board of Life Science Tennessee.
Mr. Cook graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1965 where he received a BS in Engineering with High Honors and was a UT Torchbearer.
Dr. Flores is a Senior Analyst at Mountain Group Partners.
Dr. Flores joined MGP in 2013 and concentrates on evaluating and diligencing investment opportunities and actively engaging with existing portfolio companies to provide scientific guidance and financial and operational assistance. Prior to joining MGP, Dr. Flores was a Hoffman La-Roche Fellow at Duke University investigating the role of small RNAs in viral pathogenesis. Dr. Flores has authored eight peer-reviewed publications and received a National Institutes of Health pre-doctoral fellowship. Almost a decade of deep scientific experience enables Dr. Flores to identify strong opportunities, evaluate risk and work with entrepreneurs to build successful companies.
Dr. Flores holds a BS in Chemistry and Biology from the University of Miami, a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology from the University of Miami and an MBA from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Steve Singleton is a Principal at Mountain Group Partners.
Mr. Singleton currently serves on or has visitation rights to the board of directors of the following companies: JIT Services, a company offering supply chain management solutions to the automotive, high tech electronics and other commercial industries; Quality Filtration, a premier filter manufacturer, building high performance filter elements for the global industrial hydraulic and industrial lubrication market; and Wilkins Builders, a company that designs, manufactures and installs high quality modular buildings using state-of-the-art construction techniques.
Prior to his involvement with MGP, Mr. Singleton practiced corporate and securities law with the Trenam Kemker law firm in Tampa, Florida. With Trenam Kemker, Mr. Singleton advised public and private company clients in numerous merger and acquisition transactions ranging in value from under $1 million to nearly $700 million across a variety of industries. Mr. Singleton also counseled businesses with respect to capital raising transactions, federal and state securities law compliance, executive compensation, employment law and intellectual property.
Mr. Singleton received a BS in Finance from the University of South Florida and graduated Cum Laude from Stetson University College of Law, where he was an editor of the law review. Mr. Singleton is a member of the Florida Bar and the American Bar Association.
Mr. Whitmore is an Associate at Mountain Group Partners.
Mr. Whitmore joined MGP in 2012 and concentrates on evaluating and diligencing investment opportunities and actively engaging with existing portfolio companies to provide strategic guidance, financial and operational assistance, and additional services. Prior to joining MGP, Mr. Whitmore worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Sagent Advisors in the Automotive and Industrial vertical groups.
While at Sagent, Mr. Whitmore successfully executed several M&A, debt and equity transactions for public and private clients. Select transaction experience includes advising Bank of America Merrill Lynch Capital Partners on the acquisition of National Powersport Auctions, a provider of auction and remarketing services to the powersports industry in the U.S.; advising MSX International, a global business process outsourcing company, on the refinancing of $205 million of senior secured notes with a combination of $240 million of debt and equity; advising Daicel Corporation on the acquisition of Special Devices Inc., a provider of pyrotechnic products used in a variety of applications including for automotive airbag inflators, seat belt pretensioners and fire suppression systems; and advising Nemak on the acquisition of JL French, a supplier of high pressure die cast aluminum driveline and powertrain components, for $215 million of consideration; among several others.
Mr. Whitmore graduated Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University in 2010 with a BS in Engineering Science and a minor in Financial Economics.