Blackford Capital In the Media

Blackford Capital Webinar

Beast Mode: How to Achieve Hyper Company Growth

Struggling to achieve growth at your company? Check out this Blackford Capital webinar that features first-hand company growth experiences and key strategies to drive accelerated growth. Hear directly from our portfolio company CEOs and how they have overcome growth challenges at their companies!


July 31, 2019   |   Cision PR Newswire

Davalor Mold Announces Additions to Board of Directors

Davalor Mold (or “Davalor”), a leading manufacturer of injection molded plastic products is excited to announce two new additions to the company’s Board of Directors. Blackford Capital acquired Davalor Mold in 2016 and has since built upon the company’s reputation for custom manufacturing capabilities and exceptional customer service.

April 30, 2019   |   Cision PR Newswire

Blackford Capital Exits Custom Profile

Blackford Capital, a national private equity firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., today announced its exit from its ownership of Grand Rapids, Mich. based Custom Profile.  Founded in 1992, Custom Profile is a leading manufacturer of premium plastic extruded parts servicing the office furniture, appliance, and medical device industries.

December 4, 2018   |   PE Hub Network

PE-backed Davalor recruits Puscas as CEO

Davalor Mold Corporation, a portfolio company of Blackford Capital, has named James Puscas as its new CEO. Previously, Puscas held leadership positions at Stanley Black & Decker, Cadence Innovation, ASC Inc and General Electric Plastics. Davalor is a maker of injection molded plastic products.

November 27, 2018   |   Corp! Magazine

Blackford Capital Named Private Equity Firm of the Year

Blackford Capital, a national private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich., is proud to share that it has been named Private Equity Firm of the Year by The M&A Advisor at the 17th Annual M&A Advisor Awards on Tuesday, November 6. Founded in 1998, The M&A Advisor is the preeminent organization for M&A, turnaround, and finance professionals and has been honoring the leading M&A transactions, companies, and dealmakers since 2002.

November 26, 2018   |   MiBiz

Blackford Capital taps into Southeast Michigan with new satellite office

 A new office in suburban Detroit gives Blackford Capital a market presence to scout for deals in the heart of the auto industry and center for American manufacturing. The Royal Oak office, which will provide the private equity firm with greater ability to recruit talent as it grows, was “the right next step” for the Grand Rapids-based Blackford Capital, according to founder and Managing Director Martin Stein.

November 7, 2018   |

Ellison Bakery Announces New CEO

Ellison Bakery (or “Ellison”), a portfolio company of Blackford Capital and a leading manufacturer of cookie and snack products for the industrial market, food service, and retail private label space, is proud to have welcomed Stephanie Chattillion as the new Chief Executive Officer.

October 2, 2018   |   PRWeb

Dickinson Wright PLLC Client is a Finalist for the 17th Annual M&A Advisor Awards


Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that its client, Blackford Capital, is a finalist for the 17th Annual M&A Advisor Awards.

The finalists have been selected from the nominees in the first stage of evaluation and an independent panel of judges will select the ultimate award winners that will be announced at the Awards Gala on Tuesday, November 6th at the New York Athletic Club. For more information, please visit

September 21, 2018   |   Grand Rapids Business Journal

Private equity firm acquires majority stake in A/V company

A local private equity firm has acquired a majority stake in an out-of-state maker of audiovisual hardware and software.

Grand Rapids-based Blackford Capital said this week it acquired the stake in Tustin, California-based Hall Research. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hall is Blackford’s sixth investment within its National Growth Practice and 13th portfolio company.

September 19, 2018   |   DBusiness

Grand Rapids’ Blackford Capital Invests in California Audiovisual Company

Blackford Capital, a national private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, Tuesday announced it has invested in Tustin, Calif.’s Hall Research, a designer, engineer, and manufacturer of audiovisual hardware and software systems that better communicate between audiovisual sources and displays.

Blackford completed the transaction with financing from Gun Lake Investments and Comerica Bank in Detroit.

February 20, 2018   |   Printing Impressions

Dickinson Press, Kingsport Book Launch New Short-Run Four-Color Commercial Printing Facility

Kingsport Book LLC is excited to announce the launch of its newly built Kingsport Book Commercial. Kingsport Book Commercial was built with the goal of being able to offer the most competitive, short-run four-color book and commercial printing solution available in the industry. Phase 1 of this multi-million expansion continues to build on the goals established by PCC (Printer Consolidation Co.), a Blackford Capital portfolio company to build a world-class company focused on the ever-changing needs of the book printing industry.

February 13, 2018   |   Mergers & Acquisitions 

Blackford completes backing of print cartridge supplier OTS

Blackford Capital has invested in Online Tech Stores, an aftermarket distributor of print and imaging supplies. OTS chief executive officer Bob Willmes says, “While we’ve seen significant growth in the past several years, we believe this partnership will enable OTS to add products and capabilities to continue to best meet the needs of our growing customer base.” 

Social Media


November 9, 2018

New Member Spotlight: Carmen Evola

Carmen Evola joined the Blackford Capital Team only a few months ago and is already making an impact as the company’s newest Managing Director. Mr. Evola is the Fund Manager for the Michigan Prosperity Fund and also directly oversees the Portfolio Company Operations Team. Using his prior fifteen years of experience, Mr. Evola has already proven to be a valuable asset to Blackford Capital.

We put our new MD, Carmen Evola, in the hot seat to learn more about him and his first few months at Blackford Capital.

August 9, 2018

We Know What Makes A Great Internship. Our Industrious Interns Agree

Challenging internships can be invaluable, especially in highly competitive industries. For interns to gain the most value and hands-on experience possible, internship programs need to include a few specific features to improve interns’ business acumen and future job hunts.

Before diving into these key aspects of effective internships, let’s talk about why people entering today’s workforce (or pivoting to new careers) should consider internships over entry-level positions.

Published Articles

Martin Stein   |   March 20, 2019   |

Buy, Hold or Sell? 3 Factors to Help You Make the Right Decision

In business, there’s an adage that it takes money to make money. That sounds simple enough, but real business is far more nuanced than that. Businesses have three options regarding how to treat their money: buy, hold, or sell.

Martin Stein   |   March 6, 2019   |   ReadWrite

Why Automation is the Only Path Forward for Manufacturing

As anyone working in the industry knows, manufacturing is going through a period of significant upheaval. Outsourcing and automation threaten current manufacturing processes, and as plants continue to close in places like Michigan and Ohio, many people on the frontlines are worried about their futures.

Martin Stein   |   March 5, 2019   |   Seeking Alpha

Commit Your Company To Hypergrowth, And It Will Happen

Backed by investor confidence relative to public markets, private equity assets have been gaining on hedge funds over the past decade and are projected to overtake them with a $2 trillion growth surge during the next five years. Firms hoping to hop aboard the private equity hypergrowth train need several factors pointing in their favor, starting with a willing leadership committed to properly executing all of the right moves.

Martin Stein   |   February 1, 2019   |   Innovation Enterprise

How private equity can supercharge a company’s innovation

Innovation is critical to the continued success of a company, yet it can be difficult for businesses to avoid slipping back into stagnancy despite the best intentions. Delivering the same performance levels, failing to create substantial value and rehashing what one has accomplished before is all too common for many teams.

When that occurs, opportunities for growth and strengthening a brand can be missed. It is vitally important to understand just how innovation happens – and how to generate more of it.

Martin Stein   |   January 2, 2019   |   GlobalTrade


Keeping a promise that he made during the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump continues to pick trade fights around the globe by imposing billions of dollars in tariffs on particular imports from Europe, Canada, Mexico and China. Trump says the tariffs intend to encourage investment and drive purchasing back to domestic suppliers, noting that necessities such as food and clothing—along with certain smartphones—have been exempted to spare consumers.

Martin Stein   |   December 5, 2018   |

​Can I Invest in Private Equity? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself

A lot of the most exciting things in life aren’t accessible to everyone. But sometimes, like private equity, it’s the best option if you can swing it. PE also has its downsides, so you should be fully aware of the pros and the cons as you decide whether to jump into the fray.

Martin Stein   |   November 30, 2018   |

Where Smaller Metros Are Driving Manufacturing’s Revival

Not long ago, most business experts considered manufacturing growth in America to be a lost cause. While it’s true that the U.S. doesn’t dominate globally as it did in the decades after World War II, there’s no denying the rejuvenation taking place in manufacturing jobs.

Martin Stein   |   October 31, 2018   |

Understanding the Goals and Processes of Private Equity

One of the best ways to be an informed investor in private equities is to understand how PE firms pursue their opportunities and encourage value in the companies they invest in.

It’s important to grasp the main divisions of all investment opportunities. They break into two main camps: public equities and bonds/debt offerings on the one hand, and “alternative investments” on the other. These alternative investments include real estate, hedge funds, venture capital and PE.

Martin Stein   |   October 26, 2018   |   YouTern

3 Steps to Becoming a Dream Intern (And Earning a Job Offer)

To most young adults navigating their college years, the word “internship” can be a source of both cautious excitement and unrestrained dread. A necessary evil, perhaps. The certainly don’t think about how to become a dream intern.

Martin Stein   |   October 26, 2018   |

​The Common Trait Shared by the Best Private Equity Firms

In the private equity world, buzz terms like “strip and flip” or “burn and churn” are used to describe horror stories of cutthroat investment strategies in which private equity firms give little thought to their obligations to multiple stakeholder groups in order to drive quick (and presumably thoughtless) returns.

Martin Stein   |   July 3, 2018   |   CEOWORLD MAGAZINE

The Benefits of Good Governance: Risk Mitigation and Sustainable Value Creation

As leaders of organizations, founders and CEOs get a large share of the credit and the blame for business developments, both good and bad. But the decisions to influence and inspire a company’s vision, values, culture, and direction should not be made in a vacuum. While CEOs certainly play a part in setting the stage for a company’s long-term success, a meaningful factor is at play that boils down to one word: governance.

Martin Stein   |   May 16, 2018   |   Innovation Enterprise

Beast Mode: 3 Rules For Achieving Hyper Company Growth

There’s one important step a company must take to grow faster in today’s marketplace: overcoming the common hurdles of corporate stagnancy. Leaders in some organizations don’t make the time to pursue growth. Other management teams want to grow but can’t because optimizing the current business model and facilitating growth require different skill sets.

Martin Stein   |   March 22, 2018   |


Deal sourcing can be arduous, and many private equity firms can spend a lot of time on the wrong deal that, for one reason or another, is never executed. But the most effective private equity firms efficiently reject the wrong deals so they can spend more of their valuable time on good deals. It’s critical to find the “deal killers” — such as undisclosed liabilities, declining revenue, toxic business cultures, etc. — early on so that you can resolve them before spending valuable resources and save immeasurable frustration for both the buyer and seller. Ultimately, the typical problem associated with deal sourcing is a case of missing the forest for the trees. The PE firm might like the management team, the business model, or the industry, but it often fails to see the factors that may prevent the deal from closing.

Jeff Johnson   |   January 29, 2018   |   Entrepreneur


With the passage of President Donald Trump’s tax plan, family-business entrepreneurs seem to be getting a big bump in social investment and corporate growth. Given that 80 to 90 percent of U.S. businesses are family-owned and that such companies contribute 64 percent of the GDP, according to Kennesaw State University research, the administration has taken a hardline stance in highlighting those businesses’ economic and cultural value.


Blackford Capital has received recognition from a number of nationally recognized organizations

for its growth and M&A expertise. Below is a snapshot of Blackford’s most recent awards.


Blackford Capital was selected as the 2018 Private Equity Firm of the year – M&A Advisor


Blackford Capital’s portfolio company, Custom Profile was named as a 2018 Best and Brightest in Wellness Company.


Blackford portfolio companies, Ellison Bakery, Custom Profile, Quality Aluminum Products, and Grand Power Systems were recognized on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies.


Blackford Capital was selected for the international Private Equity Deal of the Year for its investment in Ellison Bakery. ($10MM -$100MM) – M&A Advisor

Corp! Awards 2

Blackford Capital was recognized as Small Business of the Year and Overall Winner for the 2018 Michigan Economic Bright Spots Awards.


Custom Profile, a Blackford Capital portfolio company was honored as one of Michigan’s Economic Bright Spots in the Medium Business category.


Blackford was recognized as one of America’s fastest-growing private companies, ranking No. 2,758. – 2017

awards photos

Blackford Capital was selected for Consumer Staples Deal of the Year. (Under $100MM) – The M&A Advisor


James Cook was recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 professionals in the M&A industry for his successful accomplishments during the previous year. – The M&A Advisor

executive of the year

Martin Stein was recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 Professionals of the Year for his successful accomplishments during the previous year. – MiBiz

awards photos

Joseph Presutti was recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 professionals in the M&A industry for his deal making accomplishments at Blackford Capital. – The M&A Advisor


Blackford was recognized as one of America’s fastest-growing private companies, ranking No. 1,610. – 2016.


Blackford Capital has paid nomination and/or application fees, as applicable, for each of the recognitions and awards it has received from several organizations.  These accolades were received based on information submitted by Blackford Capital that met certain objective selection criteria and/or were reviewed by an independent selection committee. Further details concerning eligibility fees, selection criteria requirements and competition may be provided by Blackford Capital upon request. In addition, the information submitted by Blackford Capital was not externally audited. It is possible that information utilized may not fully or accurately represent the full state of affairs at Blackford Capital or that certain information may have been excluded. Information provided to organizations that was used to determine award recipients should be considered historic, and it may be out of date and no longer accurately reflect the current state of affairs for Blackford Capital.  Furthermore, prospective partners (including prospective investors) should not make any decisions based upon any awards or recognition that Blackford Capital may have received, and it should not be used as a surrogate or forecast for future returns. Each partner should complete their own, independent and comprehensive due diligence before engaging in a business relationship with Blackford Capital.


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