Our Team

Investment Team:

Mountain Group Capital is unique in combining veteran operating executives with experienced transactional professionals. As operating executives MGC principals have acquired firsthand knowledge of how successful companies adapt and adjust when market realities dictate changes in the business plan. In addition we have extensive experience in helping companies navigate key disruptive events in the company life cycle, such as the negotiation of major contracts, financing transactions, acquisitions, licensing contracts, and joint ventures. We believe a key element of our success lies in allowing company management to lead the company’s daily operating efforts, while drawing upon our experiences to assist management in working through unusual events.

Joseph C. Cook, Jr.
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  • Seasoned Operator
  • Operations Expertise
  • Life Science Expertise
  • Public Company CEO
Byron W. Smith
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  • Seasoned Operator
  • Marketing Expertise
  • Consumer Technology Expertise
  • Vanderbilt Entrepreneurship Faculty
Joseph C. Cook, III
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  • Private Equity Expert
  • Buyout Expertise
  • Finance Expertise
Steven D. Singleton
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  • Deal Structure Expert
  • Buyout Expertise
  • Legal Expertise

Advisory Board:

Mountain Group Capital is pleased to have the support of an Advisory Board composed of individuals with experience spanning a variety of industries and all stages of the company life cycle. The Advisory Board is made up of the following members:

Bert Ackermann Jr., PhD

Dr. Ackermann is founder and CEO of Spinlab Utility Instrumentation, Inc., headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Spinlab supplies testing instrumentation to the electric utility industry world-wide.

From 1985 to 1994 Dr. Ackermann was CEO of CONINCO, Inc. CONINCO provided seed capital investment and management consulting services to start-up and growth-oriented technology-based businesses. While at CONINCO, Dr. Ackermann spawned a portfolio of companies in the fields of electric utility instrumentation, biomass-fueled power generation, computers and telecommunications, textile instrumentation, medical information management, and photographic processing. CONINCO was closed in 1994 with a return of more than 500 percent to its investors.

Prior to forming CONINCO, Dr. Ackermann was founder, President, and CEO of Technology for Energy Corporation (TEC) providing consulting engineering services, field measurement services, and specialized instrumentation and controls systems to the energy production industry. Under Ackermann’s leadership, TEC was recognized by INC magazine as the 4th, 13th and 67th fastest growing company in America in 1981, 1982, and 1983 respectively.

Prior to starting TEC, Dr. Ackermann held research and management positions from 1968 to 1975 at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN, and was a Research Instructor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Dr. Ackermann received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and was named an Outstanding Engineering Alumnus of UT in 1974. In 1994 he was named as one of UT’s 200 most outstanding graduates as part of UT’s bicentennial celebration.

A nationally recognized entrepreneur and an internationally recognized expert in industrial plant measurement and controls, Dr. Ackermann is the author of numerous papers in these areas. In 1990 he received the Coopers and Lybrand Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Dr. Ackermann is also a nationally recognized college football official having worked as a linesman for 32 years in the Southeastern Conference.

James C. Blair

Mr. Blair has been a Partner of Domain Associates since its founding in 1985. Present board memberships include Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Cell Biosciences, Clovis Oncology, Inc., CoDa Therapeutics, Five Prime Therapeutics, GenVault, Helixis, Meritage Pharma, Microchip Biotechnologies, NeuroPace, and Zogenix. Mr. Blair has over 40 years experience with venture and emerging growth companies. In the course of this experience, he has been involved in the creation and successful development at the Board level of over 40 Life Sciences ventures, including Amgen, Aurora Biosciences, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Applied Biosystems, Dura Pharmaceuticals, GeneOhm Sciences, Molecular Dynamics, Nuvasive, Pharmion and Volcano. A former managing director of Rothschild Inc., Mr. Blair was directly involved at a senior level with Rothschild/New Court venture capital activities from 1978 to 1985. From 1969 to 1978, he was associated with F.S. Smithers and Co. and White, Weld and Co., two investment banking firms actively involved with new ventures and emerging growth companies. From 1961 to 1969, Mr. Blair was an engineering manager with RCA Corporation, during which time he received a David Sarnoff Fellowship.

Mr. Blair currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and he is on the Advisory Boards of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, and the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

Vaughn D. Bryson

Mr. Bryson has over 40 years of experience as an executive, a director and advisor in the healthcare industry. Mr. Bryson spent 32 years with Eli Lilly and Co. completing his career there as President and Chief Executive Officer. From April 1994 to December 1996, Mr. Bryson was Vice Chairman of Vector Securities International, a healthcare focused investment banking firm. Mr. Bryson was President of Life Science Advisors, LLC, a healthcare consulting company from 1995 to 2004. Mr. Bryson has served on the board of directors of many public and private companies including Eli Lilly & Co., Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., Quintiles Transnational and Chiron Corporation. Mr. Bryson received a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina and completed the Sloan Program at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Administration.

Alexander Casdin

Mr. Casdin is founder of Casdin Advisors LLC where he serves as a strategic advisor to the Life Sciences industry. In addition, he is a member of the advisory board of the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School. Before founding Casdin Advisors in 2008, Mr. Casdin, an investment professional, worked as CEO and Portfolio Manager of Cooper Hill Partners, a healthcare investment fund. He joined Cooper Hill in September 2001 from Pequot Capital Management, where he was the Portfolio Manager of the Pequot Healthcare Fund. Prior to that, Mr. Casdin worked at the Dreyfus Corporation as a health care analyst, covering all areas of health care including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical device companies. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, and a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

George Conrades

In April 1999, George Conrades was named chairman and chief executive officer of Akamai, bringing a broad range of business experience in the computing, Internet, telecommunications, and media industries. Mr. Conrades became Executive Chairman of Akamai in April 2005 and was succeeded as CEO by Paul Sagan, Akamai’s president.

Before joining Akamai, Mr. Conrades was executive vice president and president of GTE Internetworking following the firm’s acquisition of BBN Corporation in 1997. At GTE, he was responsible for creating GTE Internetworking and leading GTE’s rapid growth in the data and Internet business, including integrated telecommunications services.

From 1994 until GTE’s acquisition of BBN, Mr. Conrades served as CEO of BBN, which became one of the industry’s top-tier ISPs. BBN helped build the ARPANET, the forerunner to today’s modern Internet.

Prior to BBN, Mr. Conrades was an IBM senior vice president and member of IBM’s Corporate Management Board. There, he was responsible for several of its key businesses including IBM United States, IBM Asia/Pacific and two manufacturing and development groups.

Mr. Conrades serves on the Board of Directors for Oracle, Harley-Davidson, BBN Technologies and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals. He also serves as a venture partner at Polaris Venture Partners, an early stage investment company. In addition, Mr. Conrades serves on the Board of Trustees for the Scripps Research Institute, Ohio Wesleyan University and New Profit, an early stage venture philanthropy investment organization. Mr. Conrades also is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Conrades is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University with majors in physics and mathematics. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Chris Corrado

Chris Corrado is Senior Vice President of Technology Solutions, Governance and Asurion Mobile Applications for Asurion. Prior to joining Asurion in 2005, Mr. Corrado was the Chief Technology Officer at eBay. Prior to working at eBay, Mr. Corrado was with AT&T Wireless, where he was Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President. While at AT&T Wireless, he oversaw the alignment of the company’s technical infrastructure with its business strategy. Prior to joining AT&T Wireless, Mr. Corrado was the head of the Security Solutions Practice at Wipro Technologies. In addition, he held CIO and CTO positions domestically and abroad at three marquee investment banks; Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley. Mr. Corrado helped Merrill Lynch manage through the 9/11 tragedy, restoring their capital markets businesses. Mr. Corrado started his career at IBM.

Joann Data

Since 2006, Dr. Data has been working as a drug development and regulatory affairs consultant in the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industries. From 1999 – 2005, Dr. Data served as Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance for Amylin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AMLN). Prior to her service at Amylin, Dr. Data served as Executive Vice President, Product Development and Regulatory Affairs at CoCensys. Prior to her employment with CoCensys, Dr. Data held several positions at The Upjohn Company, the most recent of which was Corporate Vice President for Worldwide Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs and Project Management. Previously, Dr. Data held a number of positions at Hoffman-La Roche, including Vice President of Clinical Research and Development. Dr. Data has been an adjunct assistant professor in medicine and pharmacology at Duke University Medical Center since 1982 and at Cornell Medical Center since 1986. Dr. Data earned her M.D. from Washington University School of Medicine and her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University.

Jim Flautt

Jim Flautt is Senior Vice President of Asurion’s Technology and Logistic Center. Prior to this, Mr. Flautt led the program management teams for Asurion’s Handset Insurance (HI), Warranty Management (WM), Roadside Assistance (RA) and optimization of the company’s Reverse Logistics and Repair capabilities. Mr. Flautt joined Asurion from DigitalThink, a Silicon Valley technology company where he held business development, business strategy and product management responsibilities, most recently as Vice President of Marketing. In addition, Mr. Flautt has served as a strategy and management consultant for a wide range of technology and industrial companies with McKinsey and Co. Mr. Flautt holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the United States Naval Academy, as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Philosophy from Cambridge University and an MBA from Stanford University. Mr. Flautt served five years in the US Navy as a Nuclear Engineer.

Terrance G. McGuire

Terry McGuire is a co-founder and general partner of Polaris Venture Partners, a venture capital firm with over 90 companies and over $3.0 billion in invested capital. Polaris focuses its early stage investing on companies in the life sciences and information technology areas.

Prior to starting Polaris, Mr. McGuire spent seven years at Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co. investing in early stage medical and information technology companies. Mr. McGuire began his career in venture capital at Golder, Thoma and Cressey in Chicago.

Mr. McGuire has co-founded three companies: Inspire Pharmaceuticals, AIR (Advanced Inhalation Research, Inc.), and MicroCHIPS. Currently, Mr. McGuire represents Polaris on the boards of directors of Acceleron Pharma, Adimab, Arsenal Medical, Inc., Cerulean Pharma Inc., Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Life Line Screening, MicroCHIPS, Inc., Pulmatrix Inc., and Trevena Inc. He has also served on the boards of Akamai, Aspect Medical Systems, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, deCODE Genetics, GlycoFi, Transform Pharmaceuticals, and Remon Medical Technologies.

Mr. McGuire is currently Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, which represents ninety percent of the venture capitalists in the United States. Mr. McGuire also serves on the boards of the Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College (Chair), MIT’s The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and The Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship at HBS.

Mr. McGuire received a MBA from Harvard Business School, a MS in engineering from The Thayer School at Dartmouth College and a BS in physics and economics from Hobart College.

Mr. McGuire is a recipient of the Albert Einstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Life Sciences, awarded by Forbes/Gottlieb Medical Technology Investor, Harvard MIT Biomedical Engineering Center, the New Jerusalem Foundation, the Jerusalem Development Authority, and Rodman and Renshaw.

Bryan Roberts, PhD

Dr. Roberts joined Venrock, the Rockefeller family’s venture capital fund, as a Kauffman Fellow in 1997. Previously, he earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry & Chemical Biology at Harvard University and, prior to his doctoral program, held corporate finance positions at Kidder, Peabody and Co. Dr. Roberts was named a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute in 2006, he was named to healthspottr’s 2009 Future Health 100 list and was the highest-ranking healthcare investor on Forbes’ Midas List in 2008 and 2009.

Terry Vance

Prior to co-founding EGS Healthcare Capital Partners, Mr. Vance co-founded and ran Eagle Partners, a healthcare focused financial advisory firm. Previously with StoneyHill Ventures, Mr. Vance provided strategic and investment advice to a number of healthcare companies and investors, including Goldman Sachs’ merchant bank and Quintiles Transnational, Inc., the world’s largest contract research organization. Mr. Vance formerly managed private equity distribution at Goldman Sachs and was later a group head within the Capital Markets Division, where his clients included Merck, Warner-Lambert, American Cyanamid, SmithKline Beecham and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer. Mr. Vance graduated with High Honors from Princeton University and received an MBA from Stanford University. Mr. Vance is a member of the Board of Directors of CytoLogix Corporation and Endius, Inc.

Mountain Group Capital, LLC | 1600 Division Street, Suite 580, Nashville, TN 37203 | Phone: (615) 843-9100 | Fax: (615) 313-9996
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