Huron Capital has appointed Brian C. Walker as partner in charge of strategic leadership at the portfolio company level. Also, the lower-middle market private equity firm has hired Sherry Mennenga as a partner. Walker is a former Herman Miller CEO while Mennenga is an ex-senior vice president at Smith & Nephew.
Detroit, MI – January 23, 2019 – Leading lower-middle-market private equity firm Huron Capital announced today that former Herman Miller CEO Brian C. Walker is joining the firm as an operations-oriented partner in charge of strategic leadership at the portfolio company level. Walker’s position as Partner – Strategic Leadership is intended to deepen the firm’s investment management expertise and strategic direction for its portfolio companies. The firm also announced that former Smith & Nephew SVP Sherry Mennenga is joining the firm as Partner – Human Capital.
The appointments of Walker and Mennenga to these newly created positions are part of a broader effort by Huron Capital’s leadership team to enhance value and accelerate the growth of the firm’s investments. As part of these efforts, Huron Capital has also:
· Created a third new position, Partner – Performance Enhancement, that is targeted to be filled by the end of January
· Added three transaction associates to its investment team
Walker will play a critical role helping Huron Capital drive operating and financial performance within its portfolio companies. Walker will work closely with the management teams at a number of Huron Capital’s portfolio companies to provide leadership, mentoring, business insights, and the strategic direction designed to drive value creation within the private equity environment.
“Brian Walker is recognized as an outstanding leader who led the transformation of Herman Miller globally into a premium lifestyle brand, scaled the business operationally and oversaw the integration of multiple acquisitions. We are excited about the strategic leadership expertise that he brings to our firm,” said Huron Capital Senior Partner Peter Mogk. “While we have been an operationally-focused firm for several years, we believe Brian’s knowledge and guidance will make a significant impact on our portfolio.”
Walker served as president and CEO of Herman Miller from 2004 until his retirement in 2018. Walker also is a director of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Briggs & Stratton Corp., and has a deep background in operations, accounting and finance.
“I am eager to begin working with the talented professionals at Huron Capital,” Walker said. “I have enjoyed a lengthy career primarily at one large company, and now I can apply that experience to the wide range of fascinating and diverse companies held by Huron Capital as we strive to deliver value for all of our stakeholders.”
Mennenga, who joins Huron Capital as Partner – Human Capital, will provide leadership and oversight of all activities related to human capital management, organizational development and change management initiatives at Huron Capital and its portfolio of 19 operating companies.
Previously, Mennenga led numerous domestic and global initiatives as a human resource executive as well as a consultant aligning human capital solutions with the overall strategic and financial objectives of a variety of companies, ranging from $10 million to $4 billion in revenue. Prior to forming OE Consulting Associates, Sherry was a SVP of Human Resources and Internal Communications for Smith & Nephew, a $4 billion medical technology company.
“The talent and management expertise of our team is our most important resource, and Sherry brings a tremendous amount of experience that we expect will help us continue to attract, retain and develop strong leadership throughout our portfolio,” said Huron Capital Senior Partner Mike Beauregard. “Over the past year, we have added three new, talented transaction associates, and Sherry will work to maintain that momentum internally and at the portfolio level.”
Since July, Alex Blum, John Denison, and Eric Knowles have joined Huron Capital as associates. Blum was a senior analyst at The Keystone Group, a boutique management consulting firm focused on manufacturing and distribution clients; Denison was previously an analyst in RBC Capital Markets’ Industrials Group in New York; and Knowles was an analyst in Houlihan Lokey’s Industrials Group before joining Huron Capital.
“As we mark our 20th anniversary, Huron Capital is reflecting on our achievements over the past two decades and making the changes necessary to continually enhance our company so that our team is aligned with the skills and capabilities we believe will be needed in the future,” said Huron Capital Managing Partner Brian Demkowicz. “We are very pleased to welcome these new members to the Huron Capital family.”
About Huron Capital
Based in Detroit, Huron Capital is an operationally-focused private equity firm with a long history of growing lower middle-market companies through our proprietary ExecFactor® buy-and-build investment model. We prefer complex situations where we can help companies reach their full potential by combining our operational approach, substantial capital base, and transaction experience with seasoned operating executives. Celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2019, Huron Capital has raised over $1.8 billion in capital through six committed private equity funds and invested in over 150 companies, and our portfolio companies have employed over 11,000 people throughout North America. The Huron Capital buy-and-build investment model includes equity recapitalizations, family succession transactions, market-entry strategies, corporate carve-outs, and management buyouts of companies having revenues up to $200 million.
Huron Capital targets both control and non-control equity stakes in fundamentally-sound companies that can benefit from the firm’s operational approach to creating value. Huron Capital’s sector focus includes business services, consumer products & services and specialty industrials. For more information, please visit: www.huroncapital.com