Mahoney, Schmidtke join Ara Partners

Ara Partners Group said April 22 that Jim Mahoney joined as an operating partner and Johanna Schmidtke as a principal. Mahoney was previously CEO of Novomer Inc, Surface Logix Inc and Prolinx Inc. Schmidtke was previously a director at Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures.


HOUSTON, April 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Ara Partners Group (“Ara Partners”), an industrial private equity firm that invests in companies with sustainable competitive advantages, has expanded its senior investment team through the addition of Jim Mahoney as Operating Partner and Johanna Schmidtke as Principal. Both bring extensive operational and technical experience that closely aligns with Ara Partners’ investment strategy.
“The additions of Jim and Johanna build on the deep investment, technical and operational experience at Ara Partners,” said Mr. Charles Cherington, Managing Partner of Ara Partners. “Adding these experienced investors will enhance our capabilities in evaluating and executing investments, as well as in the hands-on management of our portfolio.”
“Jim and Johanna complement the strong team we’ve built at Ara Partners,” added Mr. Troy Thacker, Managing Partner of Ara Partners. “Their skills and insight will be a significant advantage as we continue to target opportunities in the industrial, chemicals and materials, and energy sectors that support the ongoing, multi-decade energy transition.”
Mr. Mahoney brings over 25 years of senior executive experience at various specialty chemicals and biotechnology companies. He was previously Chief Executive Officer of Novomer Inc., Surface Logix Inc. and Prolinx Inc. Prior to his CEO roles, Mr. Mahoney held general management and senior functional positions at Dade Behring, Baxter International, and FMC Corporation. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg School of Management, an MMA in international economics from the University of Southern California, and a BS from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Ms. Schmidtke brings over a decade of experience in investments and innovation in the materials and energy industries. Prior to joining Ara Partners, Ms. Schmidtke was a Director at Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (“SAEV”), the corporate venturing subsidiary of Saudi Aramco. Ms. Schmidtke also held prior roles in the advisory practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, corporate development and strategy at First Solar, and Lux Research. Ms. Schmidtke holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and a BS from the University of Arizona.
About Ara Partners Group
Ara Partners is an industrial private equity firm that invests in companies with sustainable competitive advantages employing greater resource efficiency. Ara Partners takes a thematic approach to investing within the industrial, chemical and materials, and energy sectors by seeking to build businesses that are sustainable, resource efficient, and compliant with ESG principles. For more information on Ara Partners, please visit