Our People

Unparalleled Expertise, Innovative Outlooks

Meet the Team

We are a team of accomplished business leaders, industry experts and experienced financial managers who use their skills to guide and support our companies. We are dedicated to building trust, stewarding investments and improving the value of our portfolio companies.

Leadership Team

Martin Stein

Martin Stein

Founder and Managing Director

Martin leads our acquisition sourcing activities and has served on the boards of 15 platform portfolio companies, with over 18 years in the private equity industry.

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Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson

Managing Director

Jeff has 27 years of experience in investment banking and private equity investing and over his career has served on the boards as a director of seven portfolio companies.

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Carmen Evola

Carmen Evola

Managing Director

Carmen has 25 years of leadership experience within diverse, multinational companies and direct oversight of our Portfolio Company Operations Team.

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Paul Doyle

Paul Doyle

Managing Partner

Paul has held senior leadership positions for over 30 years, with extensive experience in strategy and leadership identification and development.

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Ken Wagner

Ken Wagner

Chief Financial Officer

Ken Wagner has extensive experience in asset restructuring, financial management and operations, with a history of creating significant equity value for companies.

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Rishabh Mukherjee, CFA

Rishabh Mukherjee, CFA

Vice President of Deals (T/IPP)

Rishabh is a private equity professional with more than 6 years of experience in executing complex mandates focused on financial modeling, project finance and equity research.

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Emily Heist

Emily Heist

Manager of Investor Relations

Emily joined Blackford in 2015 and currently leads Investor Relations. She has a background in administration and office management.

Operating Partners

Sherika Ekpo

Sherika Ekpo

Operating Partner

Sherika is a diversity, equity and inclusion leader with nearly 20 years of experience in strategic human capital consulting and management. She designs and executes strategies that contribute to an organization’s bottom line.

Steve Feniger

Steve Feniger

Operating Partner

Steve is an internationally experienced CEO who has led an IPO on the HK Stock Exchange and works with western brands and retailers to professionalize their buying and sourcing operations in Asia.

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Rob Leonard

Rob Leonard

Operating Partner

Rob has 14 years of experience at Blackford, with over 41 years in business and leadership roles. He specializes in M&A, post deal integration, new business ventures, start ups and turnarounds.

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Steve Parker

Steve Parker

Operating Partner

Steve has 40 years of expertise in organizational management, sales and marketing, manufacturing systems, M&A, new business creation, leadership and strategy.

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Chris Wilson

Chris Wilson

Operating Partner

Chris has a track record of driving rapid, profitable growth and a broad skill set spanning marketing, e-commerce, technology, data science, merchandising, finance and operations.

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Investment Team

John Gutmann

John Gutmann

Analyst

John has worked with Blackford for over two years on the Deal Execution Team, focusing on financial modeling and analysis, due diligence, and raising capital to complete acquisitions.

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Sarah Pagel

Sarah Pagel

Analyst

Sarah has 8 years in private equity and portfolio experience with a focus on finance, analytics, economics and data science. She has worked for Blackford since 2019.

Kent Walters

Kent Walters

Associate

Kent Walters joined Blackford in 2021, bringing experience in investment banking, corporate finance and entrepreneurial roles. Kent works within the Portfolio Company Operations Team.

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Administration

Garry Charles

Garry Charles

Controller

Garry has 35 years of experience in finance and accounting both in the USA and the UK, where he attained his qualifications. He has worked as the controller at Blackford since 2019.

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Lisa Long

Lisa Long

Office Manager

Lisa joined Blackford in 2018 and has over 10 years of administrative experience in legal offices, venture capital and private equity industries.

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Join Our Team

Maximize your potential under the guidance of some of the country’s most successful leaders. Check out our available positions and inquire about portfolio company openings today.