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M&A Forum

BizTimes Media’s annual M&A Forum helps buyers and sellers learn what they need to know as they consider their options and move through the process. Each year, the Forum provides valuable insight on a host of buy-sell concerns, from exit strategies to finding the perfect acquisition.

HOLD 'EM or FOLD 'EM: Understand when to grow your company - and when to sell it.

The 2016 M&A Forum, which was held April 21, included a keynote presentation, followed by a sit down with the experts for discussions of key growth strategies, sale considerations, the psychology of change and more.

Keynote: “The joys and challenges of rapid growth”, Frank Unick, CFO, Uline (1)

Uline is a 36-year-old, privately-held company headquartered in Pleasant Prairie. Still led by its owners and founders, Liz and Dick Uihlein, the company has enjoyed rapid organic sales growth. Frank shared the Uline story and key lessons learned about guarding the company culture, talent development, cash pressures and succession planning.

Panel: The psychology of growing your business or deciding to sell

For privately-held companies, knowing whether to keep or sell goes beyond the numbers. In this session, owners who have made both decisions discussed their outcomes and the psychological aspects of growing or selling their businesses.

Click here to download additional audience Q&A


  • Steve Ziegler, CEO, Inpro (2)
  • Paul Stewart, Partner, PS Capital (3)
  • Thomas A. Myers, Shareholder, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. (4)
  • Jim Feeney, Former CEO/owner, Wisconsin Film and Bag (5)

Moderator: Ann Hanna, Managing director, Schenck M&A Solutions (6)

Panel: Who is your ideal buyer?

This session focused on the advantages and disadvantages of selling to family, employees, private equity and financial and strategic partners.


  • Lisa Reardon, CEO and chairman, OwnersEdge Inc. (7)
  • Dave Strand, President and CEO, Wisconsin Oven Corp. (8)
  • Mark Grosskopf, President, CEO and owner, NRC (9)

Moderator: Greg Larson, Senior VP, director of commercial banking – Bank Mutual (10)

Breakout Sessions:

Business Owner’s Playbook: Three ideas to create long-term value

  • Why is exporting good for my company?
  • Developing an internet strategy
  • How to develop proprietary products


  • Larry Marmon, CEO,
  • Bill Burnett, Director Export Services, M7/WMEP
  • Jim Frater, Founder, BB7

Moderator: Russ Plewa, Regional Commercial Banking Manager, Bank Mutual

Beyond EBITDA: How Private Equity Views Your Business

  • Subjective variables that matter
  • How your competitors and customers affect worth
  • The landscape of Wisconsin-based private equity and family offices


  • Ann Hanna, Managing director, Schenck M&A Solutions
  • Corey Vanderpoel, Managing director, Schenck M&A Solutions

So You’ve Sold Your Business, Now What?

Post-sale asset allocation and alternate investments

  • Overview of traditional investments
  • Review of alternative investment vehicles
  • Private equity investment alternatives

Speaker: Timothy Reardon, Shareholder, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

Click here to download additional audience Q&A

Highlight Video

Event Details

  • Thursday, April 21, 2016
  • 7:00 – 11:00 AM
  • Milwaukee Marriott Downtown

Presented By


Supporting Sponsor

Interested in sponsoring an event? To reap the benefits of the ultimate in-person marketing opportunity contact Linda Crawford, Director of Sales, to discuss opportunities. Event sponsorships are limited.