After raising four children, Heidi Deiner was looking for a way to jump-start her business, HLM Consulting, so she headed over to the New York chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.
“When I first walked in to an ACG New York meeting, I didn’t know anybody,” Deiner said. “It took me a short amount of time to realize that by attending ACG I would build my network, and that prompted me to get involved. My consulting practice would not have existed if not for ACG.”
Deiner served in the New York chapter’s Women of Leadership from 2009 to 2011. She went on to be VP of Membership (2011 to 2013) and VP of Programming (2013 to 2014), before being named the first woman president of the chapter in 2014.
Deiner wears a lot of hats. In addition to running HLM Consulting and serving as president of ACG New York, she is director of client relations for Murray Devine and represents Citizens Bank as director of the bank’s Private Equity CFO Association.
Founded in 1954, ACG supports middle-market businesses by providing face-to-face events, online tools and market intelligence for deal-makers and business leaders.
All told, ACG has 14,000 members who belong to 56 chapters in the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe. New York is home to the largest chapter of the organization, with approximately 1,000 members.
To spur more growth, ACG New York hired a public relations firm to raise its profile as a voice of the middle market. ACG New York also supports the middle-market lobbying efforts of ACG Global in Washington, D.C., led by Amber Landis, vice president of public policy.
With its annual Year-End Middle Market Survey, ACG tracks the sentiment of its membership. The most recent survey drew responses from 142 members and event attendees. It revealed a bearish outlook on public markets in 2016, with 83 percent of respondents expecting private equity investments to outperform the S&P 500 in the new year. About two-thirds of those surveyed expect their firms to hire more people. Thirty-seven percent said fundraising would be more difficult this year than it was in 2015.
Through surveys such as this one, along with industry gatherings and other efforts, ACG continues to adjust to meet the needs of its growing membership.
“One of the reasons ACG thrives is because it’s always changing and growing, along with the industry,” Deiner said.
Photo of Heidi Deiner courtesy of ACG New York