leadership and consultant bios

Our consulting team is comprised of industry experts from around the globe. Our leadership has more than two decades of experience delivering actionable research.

  • Kit Lisle
    Kit Lisle
    Founder
  • John Ziegler
    John Ziegler
    CEO
  • Chris Longiaru
    Chris Longiaru
    COO/CFO
  • Russell Chapman
    Russell Chapman
    Partner
  • Dave Hoag
    Dave Hoag
    Partner
  • Peter McNally
    Peter McNally
  • Mark Hamachek
    Mark Hamachek
    Senior Consultant
  • Larry Earley
    Larry Earley
    Partner
  • Elizabeth (Beth) Hattel
    Elizabeth (Beth) Hattel
  • Pat McMartin
    Pat McMartin
    Principal
  • Karen Morrissey
    Karen Morrissey
    Principal
  • Gary Byala
    Gary Byala
    Engagement Director
  • Jay Menton
    Jay Menton
    Engagement Director
  • Martha G. Gleason
    Martha G. Gleason
    Engagement Director/Healthcare
  • Jack Bragg
    Jack Bragg
    Director, Quantitative Analysis
  • Ray Regan
    Ray Regan
    Consultant
  • Bev Darvin
    Bev Darvin
    Consultant
  • Todd Kuciunas
    Todd Kuciunas
    Consultant
  • Molly Langridge, PhD
    Molly Langridge, PhD
    Consultant
  • Leslie Prager
    Leslie Prager
    Consultant
  • Monette DeBaun Stransom
    Monette DeBaun Stransom
    Consultant
  • Micki Tiffen
    Micki Tiffen
    Consultant

Kit Lisle
Founder

Founder, Managing Director

As the founder of Acclaro, Kit directs Corporate Development and Strategic Planning for Acclaro and supports teams delivering projects in M&A, marketing, corporate growth planning and quasi-turnarounds.

His experience in market intelligence is based upon his military intelligence services as well as his work for private companies. Prior to Acclaro, he served as Vice-President of Acquisition Services for Markowitz and McNaughton, developing extensive experience with market-entry analysis and market due diligence. During his military career, Kit served as the intelligence officer for an infantry battalion in the U.S. Army and worked as the Eurasia Desk Officer at the National Joint Intelligence Center within the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.

Kit served on the Board of the Strategic Leadership Network, a professional society for those involved in strategy, leadership, and strategic leadership in the private sector, association community, and in the government. He is also active in the Association for Corporate Growth.

Kit has an undergraduate degree from Franklin and Marshall College in Government and a Master’s degree from the University of Virginia.

Kit has written for several publications and spoken at a number of conferences on topics ranging from customers insights to market diligence to growth strategy and exit planning.

Mr. Lisle has been a featured speaker for numerous industry events including:

John Ziegler
CEO

John Ziegler

With his roots in strategic market research and market assessment for private equity and corporate clients, John brings 15 years of broad-based consulting experience to Acclaro to include strategy development and growth consulting, operational optimization, new business development, account management and project management. John’s focus is on driving growth for our clients.

John also has an entrepreneurial pedigree. Most recently, he was part of a team to launch Solar Feeders, Inc., a solar-powered innovation in the livestock feeding market. He and his family have always owned and operated small businesses– including flower shops, laundromats, scrap metal recycling yards, along with commercial property. He leverages this hands-on experience to optimize Acclaro Growth Partners from enhanced client support to internal operational improvements.

Over the past two years, John has pioneered significant internal change at Acclaro resulting in enhanced efficiency and improvement in the quality of critical deliverables and service that Acclaro’s clients receive. His financial acumen led to significant improvements in cash flow management and net margin identification and improvement. He has led the development of new quantitative methods and market sizing capabilities to raise the internal bar. He has initiated new products proven to drive client growth and customer loyalty. Operationally, he has automated accounting and staffing management to improve team deployment and client management.

John earned his B.A. from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania and his M.B.A. from Wake Forest University with a focus in finance and consulting.

You can reach John directly at john.ziegler@acclaropartners.com or (479) 431-2694.

Chris Longiaru
COO/CFO

Chris Longiaru

Chris brings more than 20 years of primary and secondary market research expertise to Acclaro. Notably, he has worked inside private equity on buy-side transactions adding the invaluable skills of valuation, business analysis, M&A due diligence and investment consulting from the private equity perspective. He also has delivered critical evaluations of publicly traded companies.

Chris is involved in primary and secondary research as it relates to acquisitions and strategic management advisory services for Acclaro's private equity clients and middle market companies.  He is well versed in evaluation of capabilities, business analysis, assessing market opportunities and size and synthesizing strategic direction from competitor and customer data. His experience includes technology, manufacturing, industrial and commercial services, distribution, along with deep expertise in consumer goods.

His background in technology and commercial services had led to significant modernization of Acclaro operations. His focus on process and people have yielded improvements in client deliverables and enhanced our high performing teams. His overall general management expertise results in pragmatic client recommendations based on market insights and provides strong vision and guidance to our teams.

Chris graduated with a BA degree in Economics and Business from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.

You can reach Chris direct at clongiaru@acclaropartners.com or (914) 984-3815.

Russell Chapman
Partner

Russell Chapman

Russ focuses on the Private Equity practice for Acclaro. He leads project teams conducting the full range of business diligence activities and works with portfolio company management groups to develop and implement strategies for growth.

With almost three decades of senior operating experience at Fortune 500 companies, Russ brings a valuable hands-on perspective to strategy development at Acclaro. His background includes progressively challenging turn-around assignments for RJR Nabisco, L’Oréal, and the Gillette Company. Russ was also Managing Director of Atlantic Capital, an M & A boutique in Brazil that focused primarily on consumer product company transactions. Prior to joining Acclaro, Russ was asked by a leading private equity firm to transform an unprofitable retail artisan bakery into a world-class branded food company as CEO. Russ speaks three languages and has extensive international operating experience in Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Switzerland, and Eastern Europe.

Russ has a wide range of experience in consumer and industrial products, business services, health care, distribution, and logistics. As a former CEO focused on bottom line performance, Russ’ real world experience helps ensure that Acclaro consistently delivers fact-based, and actionable results. Russ has an undergraduate degree in Physics from Earlham College and received his MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Dave Hoag
Partner

Acclaro Partners Team

Dave's skill set includes a valuable combination of business analysis experience, buy-side and sell-side M&A advisory and due diligence, synergy analysis and competitive analysis. Dave graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics/Management from the Wharton School and a B.A.S. in Engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Dave specializes in primary research and strategic management advisory services for Acclaro's private equity clients and middle market companies. He also plays a key role in managing and conducting in-depth, customized market research for Acclaro’s association clients. Dave has experience in many industries including consumer products and retail, industrial/manufacturing and distribution, professional audiovisual and lighting (Pro AVL), construction equipment and mobile work machinery, business-to-business/professional services, home and building products, and social expression products. With over twenty years of experience, Dave brings a comprehensive, experience-based approach to market and strategic analysis.

Peter McNally

Peter Mcnally

Peter focuses on the Private Equity practice, working with senior executives and their organizations in the areas of strategic assessments, growth strategy execution, and organization development. With over 30 years of global marketing, sales and general management experience, Peter McNally has a track record of delivering breakthrough results and thinking.

During Peter’s 14-year tenure at PepsiCo with the Frito-Lay, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut divisions, he led breakthrough initiatives that included: Taco Bell’s value strategy repositioning, the introduction of Tostitos Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips, and the turn-around of the Frito-Lay single serve business. Peter has held positions as the SVP & General Manager, Au Bon Pain Choices, CMO for American Security Group, SVP Strategic Planning for Assurant Group, Managing Director at Cyberstarts, and CEO of Sunaro Inc.

Peter brings Acclaro clients proven expertise in both B2C and B2B marketing, across a range of industries that include consumer packaged goods, foodservice, technology services, and financial services.

Peter earned a Bachelor's degree in Management from Babson College in 1980. He received the Babson Alumni Distinguished Service award in 1999. He is on the Board of the Atlanta Urban Fellowship for Christian Athletes.

Mark Hamachek
Senior Consultant

Mark Hamachek

Mark Hamachek
Seattle, Washington

Mark Hamachek has a proven track record in strategic consulting, private equity, buy-side M&A and market due diligence, having begun work in the field of research-based consulting in 1997. His skills also include business development, senior operations management, strategic planning and merger integration. Previous roles include assignments at Amazon.com, a Senior Manager of Corporate Development for Amazon.com, with global responsibility of leading merger integration and strategic operations across all acquisitions including Audible ($300M public merger). Mark also worked at Boston Scientific, and as Chief Operating Officer of a 70-employee e-commerce and global services firm, RMI.

He started his career at a research-based Corporate Development consulting firm, Markowitz and McNaughton, Inc. Mark received a BA from Williams College and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

Larry Earley
Partner

Larry Earley

Larry has over 30 years of experience leading market analysis for industrial, construction equipment, healthcare, financial services, and consumer products. Larry has conducted hundreds of customer and market due diligence projects for private equity clients rolling up MRO, manufacturing and distribution companies, healthcare products and many industrial businesses. Larry has an extensive background conducting engagements in construction and industrial rental equipment, industrial safety products, testing and certification, HVAC along with similar initiatives in other industries including healthcare.

Larry specializes in supporting corporate clients and private equity firms in their growth, diversification and acquisition initiatives. This includes engagements identifying and analyzing offensive and defensive growth strategies and tactics. An emphasis is identification and evaluation of mid-market transactions of privately held companies and divisions of public companies that represent diversification and rollup opportunities. Evaluation of existing portfolio companies is an additional area in which Larry assists private equity clients in achieving return on investment.
Prior to joining Acclaro as held the positions of Sr. Vice President at nxtMOVE and Markowitz and McNaughton.

Larry earned a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania.

Elizabeth (Beth) Hattel

Beth Hattel

Beth is a market strategy professional with extensive expertise in market diligence and go-to-market strategies. Utilizing a combination of qualitative and quantitative inputs to ascertain competitive strengths and weaknesses and develop actionable conclusions, Beth delivers strategic guidance that is rooted in the reality of the market. Beth is acutely in-tune with structural, strategic and client-specific implications with a keen ability to navigate complex multi-step market delivery systems.

Beth is the author of a range of industry articles focusing on services value proposition, disintermediation, effective strategic services programs, consolidation and marketing delivery system dynamics with vast understanding of market and buy behavior segmentation and market life-cycles.

Beth’s work has spanned customer diligence, competitive assessments: gauging market position, uncovering and investigating trends and dynamics, revenue projections as well as strategic diligence and planning advisory; deep analysis of routes to market, gauging channel conflict, positioning and strength of brands, performing risk assessment, estimation of hidden opportunity all with a keen disposition of market understanding.

Earlier in her career, Beth held a Senior Manager role Frank Lynn & Associates, an international market strategy consulting firm specializing in routes to market and channels of distribution. Beth was focused on helping clients across a broad range of industrial and commercial market sectors to understand and leverage the value of their offering and develop go-to-market strategies. During her tenure at Frank Lynn & Associates she managed the firm’s European practice headquartered in London, England.

Pat McMartin
Principal

Acclaro Partners Team

Pat has a proven track-record of success as a Fortune 1000 Chief Marketing Officer and over 25 years in senior global operating roles with an A-List company roster including: PepsiCo, Capital One Financial Corporation, Dell, Nestle, Kellogg’s and Colgate Palmolive

She began her career with McKinsey & Company as a research associate and consultant focused in the Oil & Gas, Transportation and Consumer Goods sectors and has recent strategic consulting experience in Wireless Telecom, Technology, FMCG, Healthcare, Financial Services, Travel & Hospitality, E-Commerce, Retail, Restaurant (QSR and Fast Casual), and Entertainment.

Pat has an undergraduate degree from Trinity University in Business and Economics and an MBA from The University of Texas/Austin in Marketing and Finance. She has served on the local board of the American Red Cross and as a board advisor to equity investors for small to mid-market companies. Pat has been a guest lecturer at many universities including UT/Austin McCombs Graduate School of Business, Baylor University, UVA/Darden School of Business, Duke Fuqua School of Business, and IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Karen Morrissey
Principal

Acclaro Partners Team

Karen brings over a decade of project management and primary research experience to assessing and advising upon competitive strategy, acquisition due diligence, market opportunities, and strategic planning. Strengths include gathering and analyzing in-depth primary source insights to provide corporate leaders with actionable intelligence and guidance on key business issues. She has served multinational corporations, private equity firms, and prominent niche players in such industries as consumer products, health care, manufacturing, financial services, and industrial services. She holds a B.A. from Williams College and an M.A. from Northwestern University.

Gary Byala
Engagement Director

Acclaro Partners Team

Gary has more than fifteen years of consulting experience, working with clients in a wide range of industries. He is skilled in evaluating external capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, identifying key performance metrics and competitive benchmarks, and building business analyses and improvement options for clients seeking to grow or taking advantage of clear market opportunities.

Gary graduated from the Management & Technology program of the University of Pennsylvania with Honors. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Economics with concentrations in Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Jay Menton
Engagement Director

Jay Menton

Jay has over 15 years of experience supporting private equity sponsors, family offices, and portfolio companies. As a strategy and investment executive he is experienced in portfolio management, corporate development, operational leadership, strategic development, market assessments, forecasting, investment research, project management, and transaction execution. Jay has originated and exited multiple private equity transactions and served in leadership capacities as both a CFO and COO at institutionally-backed growth enterprises in the US and Europe. He has held Director roles on four corporate boards and has been an Observer on two others.

In addition to supporting the Private Equity franchise at Acclaro, Jay is a Managing Director of a fee-based registered investment advisor in Chicago. He has a BA from Colgate University and an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Martha G. Gleason
Engagement Director/Healthcare

Martha G. Gleason

Martha Gleason is a recognized thought leader in healthcare strategy. She specializes in understanding competitor, customer and market trends, and converting them into results-oriented business strategies.
Martha has extensive experience analyzing healthcare markets and will be the Engagement Director on this project. Martha was with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) for 20 years serving in various roles within the Company’s finance, strategic planning and marketing organizations. In her various roles Martha helped BCBSF respond to regulatory changes such as the Accountable Care Act and Medicare Modernization Act. She also supported BCBSF’s provider reimbursement and contracting strategy development initiatives including value-based payment models.

Martha’s extensive knowledge of the healthcare industry includes access to leaders within the healthcare supply chain which includes distributors, hospital systems, group purchasing organization, large independent healthcare provider groups, payers, regulators, and industry associations. Martha has led several healthcare projects that included the following markets: remote monitoring devices, enteral pumps, safe patient handling equipment, movable and fixed medical equipment, and telemedicine.
In addition to her subject matter expertise in health care, Martha also possesses a strong background in financial services and pharmaceutical industries, having previously held roles with A.M. Best, Prudential Insurance Company and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical.

Martha served as President and Vice President of the Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) association. SCIP is a 3,000-member, global nonprofit organization providing education and networking opportunities for business professionals working in the rapidly growing field of strategy and competitive intelligence. She also served as Chair of the Competitive Intelligence Foundation Board of Trustees.

Martha received her MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University and has a B.S. in Business Administration from the College of Mount St. Vincent. She received her Competitive Intelligence Professional designation from the Fuld-Gilad-Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence. She is a public speaker in the areas of Strategy, Market/Competitive Intelligence and Healthcare.

Jack Bragg
Director, Quantitative Analysis

Jack Bragg

Jack is an experienced survey statistician and researcher with a strong focus in data analytics and data science. As a former data science specialist and proxy advisor, Jack brings an inquisitive mind and a drive for providing best-practice insights and data driven decision-making to the Acclaro team and our clients.

Jack graduated with a BA in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He maintains a strong focus on behavioral economics, applied microeconomics, and econometric analysis and incorporates those with into his research to help turn data into actionable insight.

Ray Regan
Consultant

Acclaro Growth Partners - Ray Regan

Ray Regan has over 25 years of experience in mergers & acquisitions advisory services, strategic market analysis, and private equity market due diligence. Ray has the unique ability to “see in the dark” when it comes to emerging technologies and/or converging trends; whether disruptive threats to existing business models or new product market viability, his diverse background enables him to accurately communicate a complete picture on industry growth.

Ray has completed almost 200 market due diligence projects in a wide range of industries including A/V, aerospace & satellite, GPS & telematics, telecom, specialty & petrochemical, oil and gas, light industrial equipment, automotive, consumer and retail products, food technology, healthcare, medical and dental device, Internet & e-commerce, IT and various “niche” industries.

Ray is skilled in constructing and managing market due diligence studies, including competitor landscape analysis, customer opinion analysis, acquisition search, growth strategies and market entry. Ray has consulted various Fortune-1000 companies, early stage & start-ups, venture capital funded and private equity owned companies. His consulting career started at Markowitz & McNaughton where he managed acquisition search and market research intelligence projects.

As an entrepreneur and operator, Ray was cofounder of Acuity Mobile, a location-based mobile advertising platform (acquired by Nokia in 2008). Acuity Mobile was the first location based mobile marketing delivery platform and was awarded a patent in the area. Ray continues to be active in various start-up enterprises and remains an advisor to a number of angel and venture-funded companies.

Previously, Ray was a Senior Product Development Manager Consultant for mobile business intelligence platform technologies for Microstrategy (MSTR) where he marketed and developed new products focused on the convergence of mobile, social media, big data, cloud, and the Internet of Things (IOT).

Ray has worked as a Corporate Consultant to Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), advising publically traded corporations (CXO teams and Board of Directors) on matters of Corporate Governance and institutional proxy voting.

Ray was also a NASD Registered Representative (Series, 7, 63, 65) with Wellington Financial Group, PaineWebber (now UBS/Union Bank of Switzerland), and Alex Brown & Sons (now Deutsche Bank).

Ray graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Economics.

Bev Darvin
Consultant

Acclaro Partners Team

Bev Darvin has worked as both an employee and consultant to Fortune 500 companies in the areas of marketing, communications, project management, strategy, analysis and market intelligence. One of Bev’s specialties is analyzing research data into executable strategies.

Bev has an MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland in Education. Bev has served for the past 10 years as an elected member of her local Board of Education overseeing a budget of over $100M supporting 5,500 students. During her tenure, her school district has been awarded several National Blue Ribbon Awards and been consistently acknowledged as a top public school district by Newsweek and US News & World Report.

Todd Kuciunas
Consultant

Todd Kuciunas

Todd Kuciunas has almost 30 years of experience in the field of research and consulting. He has assisted clients in functional areas such as strategic planning, business development, marketing, product development, and sales. He brings a wealth of cross-industry and cross-functional expertise to clients, and provides unbiased and valuable insight to client engagements.

As a research-based consultant, Todd gathers hard-to-find information mainly through in-depth interviews with competitors, customers, suppliers, and other specific industry followers, providing clients with the most accurate, up-to-date intelligence available. He has experience over a wide array of industries and topics, both in the US and internationally.

Todd has been a guest speaker on various topics for SCIP (Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals) and ASIS (American Society for Industrial Security).

Molly Langridge, PhD
Consultant

Acclaro Partners Team

Molly Langridge has worked with various Fortune 500 firms and private equity firms for the past 12 years as a senior researcher, project manager, analyst and a quantitative research manager. Prior to this, she worked in consumer and international research at AT&T, and managed the market intelligence department at Dun & Bradstreet.

Molly has a BS from Iowa State University, an MBA from the University of Nebraska and a PhD from The Chicago School. Her doctorate dissertation addresses Organizational surveys: A qualitative examination of active non-respondents and reluctant respondents. Molly also has Burke Institute certifications for quantitative and qualitative research. Her expertise includes a full array of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, with a particular emphasis on focus groups, in-depth interviews, quick-turnaround telephone surveys and panel research.

Leslie Prager
Consultant

Leslie Prager

Leslie is a visionary marketing professional with extensive strategy and insights expertise through 25+ years in marketing and strategy consulting, and 6 years in consumer products marketing.

She specializes in leading client/agency/consulting teams to delve into their brands and marketplaces and create insight-driven positioning, branding, portfolio, innovation, segmentation, path to purchase, and marketing strategies that drive meaningful business results. A hallmark of her approach is providing innovative and collaborative team leadership and hands-on participation with clients and business associates at all levels to develop and bring strategies to life.

Leslie’s breadth of experience enables her to bring unique insights to every engagement. She has consulted to a wide variety of B2C and B2B clients (consumer packaged goods, OTC/ pharmaceuticals, universities, appliances, professional organizations, healthcare/medical products, media, marketing agencies, financial services, spirits, telecom, insurance, energy, mattresses, casual dining). Her engagements have included strategic planning, marketplace landscapes and competitive benchmarking, marketing strategy development, creative concepting, brainstorming, and more. She is also an ‘insights expert’ with qualitative techniques and has developed and managed extensive quantitative research studies.

Leslie graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in biology and psychology. She earned her MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Monette DeBaun Stransom
Consultant

Acclaro Partners Team

Monette DeBaun Stransom has 25 years of sales and marketing experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, and six years of marketing research and growth strategy development experience. She helps guide private equity groups through the acquisition due diligence process (market) and develops post-acquisition growth strategies. Monette holds cross-industry expertise that ranges from Insurance, Health, and Manufacturing to Information Technology and Consumer Goods sectors. She is focused on developing areas for growth through detailed understandings of unmet customer needs, purchase decision factors and competitive intelligence.

Monette studied Political Science at the University of North Texas, and is a resident of Portishead, England, after emigrating from the USA in 2005. She has participated in market research projects across Europe, the USA, and South Africa. Monette thrives on complex projects and is experienced working within multicultural environments.

Micki Tiffen
Consultant

Acclaro Partners Team

Micki Tiffen provides strategic consulting supporting marketing and sales, including market due diligence, shopper marketing, custom survey design/development and analysis/reporting. Micki is experienced in a wide range of industries, including personal care, supplements, batteries, QSR, food and beverages, snacks, adult beverages, advertising and cable services. Ms. Tiffen is skilled in secondary research, trend spotting, expert interviews and market intelligence.

Prior to working with Acclaro, she was a consultant in analytics at IRI Worldwide, focused primarily on working across various packaged goods clients (bakery, snacks, frozen foods among others). She also supported and produced shopper marketing and integrated trade marketing programs for Dulcolax and Zantac products.

Micki earned an MBA in Marketing from the Stern School of Business at NYU where she was awarded the NW Ayer Scholarship for leadership potential in marketing and a member of Alpha Mu Alpha, the honorary society of the AMA. She also holds a BA in Anthropology/French from Binghamton University where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Trained as an anthropologist, she approaches business issues from an unique perspective bringing a convergence of art and science to surround a topic from a 360-degree perspective.