Blackford Capital’s Jeffrey Johnson Named Private Equity Professional of the Year by The M&A Advisor

Grand Rapids, MI, November 20, 2023Blackford Capital, a leading lower middle market private equity firm, is pleased to announce that its Managing Director Jeffrey Johnson has been named PE Professional of the Year by The M&A Advisor at the 22nd Annual M&A Advisor Awards, 2023 Future of Dealmaking Summit, on November 15, 2023 in New York City.

Martin Stein (left) and Jeff Johnson (right) at the 22nd Annual M&A Advisor Awards, 2023 Future of Dealmaking Summit

“We are extremely proud of Jeff for being recognized as the Private Equity Professional of the Year. It is a testament to Jeff’s outstanding contributions to our firm and the industry at large,” said Martin Stein, Blackford Capital’s founder and managing director. “As the most tenured member of the Blackford team, Jeff has played a pivotal role in shaping the success and growth of our firm. His visionary approach, coupled with a deep understanding of market dynamics, has contributed significantly to Blackford’s achievements and market standing.”

Jeff has served as the Chairman of the Board of four Blackford companies: PACIV, Mopec, Quality Aluminum Products (QAP) and Ellison Bakery. Under his leadership, the successful exits of QAP and Ellison exceeded expectations.

Prior to joining Blackford Capital, Jeff was a Managing Director and founding principal at Gilbert Global Equity Partners, L.P. (formerly Soros Capital, L.P.), a billion-dollar middle-market private equity firm headquartered in New York City. Jeff led growth equity and management buyout investments in the specialty manufacturing, consumer products and business services sectors. Throughout Jeff’s tenure, he worked closely with multiple global manufacturing and distribution companies to accelerate growth and transform their performance with superior customer-driven strategies, operations, organizations and technology. He was named a 2022 Notable Money Manager by Crain’s Detroit Business.

“I am truly honored to be recognized as Private Equity Professional of the Year by The M&A Advisor. This recognition is not just a personal achievement but a testament to the work and dedication of our entire team at Blackford, as well as the contributions of our exceptional portfolio company management teams” said Jeff Johnson. “In the dynamic world of private equity, success is a collective effort. I am very proud of our people and fortunate to work alongside some of the most talented and driven individuals in the industry.”

In addition to Jeff’s nomination for PE Professional of the Year, Blackford was named a finalist for Private Equity Firm of the Year and for Deal of the Year in two categories—Industrial Deal of the Year ($50MM – $100MM) and Private Equity Deal of the Year ($50MM-75MM)—for the firm’s 2022 sale of Quality Aluminum Products to Gibraltar Industries.

In total, Blackford Capital has been awarded with eight M&A Advisor awards: including three Private Equity Firm of the Year honors and three Deal of the Year Honors. Additionally, Blackford has been recognized as Small Business of the Year and a Michigan Economic Bright spot by Corp! Magazine in 2018 and was named to the Inc. 5000 in 2016 and 2017, and to Inc.’s 2023 List of Founder-Friendly Investors.

For more information, and for a detailed list of all the Award Finalists for the 22nd Annual M&A Advisor awards, please visit

About Blackford Capital
Founded in 2010, Blackford Capital is a private equity investment firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Blackford acquires, manages, and builds founder and family-owned, lower middle-market companies, with a focus on the manufacturing, industrial and distribution industries, a disciplined and relentless approach to value creation, and a focus on operational excellence and a compelling culture. Most recently Blackford was named to Inc’s 2023 list of Founder-Friendly Investors, was recognized by ACG Detroit with the 2023 M&A Dealmaker of the Year Award and won the 2023 Small Markets Deal of the Year by both Buyouts Magazine and Global M&A Network Atlas Awards. The M&A Advisor Awards named Blackford the Private Equity Firm of the Year in 2022, 2021 and 2018, and also awarded Deal of the Year honors in 2017 and 2015 and named Martin Stein Private Equity Professional of the Year in 2016. Several of Blackford’s portfolio companies have been included on the Inc. 5000. For more information, visit

About The M&A Advisor
Now in its 25th year, The M&A Advisor was founded to offer insights and intelligence on mergers and acquisitions, establishing the industry’s leading media outlet in 1998. Today, the firm is recognized as the world’s premier leadership organization for mergers & acquisitions, restructuring, and corporate finance professionals, delivering a range of integrated services to accelerate the pace of dealmaking. For more information, visit