Velocitel Appoints New Chief Executive Officer

NORTHBROOK, IL - November 25, 2014 - Velocitel, a wireless network services company, has just announced the appointment of Kevin G. Hostetler as new CEO. Hostetler has a background in working with private equity firms and has held leadership roles at highly engineered product companies IDEX and Ingersoll-Rand. His skills have led to improved strategic development, double digit growth and award winning product developments for past employers.

James Estes, who was the CEO and is now the Chairman of the Board, made the announcement internally on Friday, November 21.

“Velocitel is experiencing a rapid state of growth. Kevin will lead multiple strategic initiatives including growing the company organically and through acquisition, as well as improving our own infrastructure, processes and quality controls,” says Estes.

“Velocitel is very well positioned within the market to service our country’s existing wireless infrastructure as well as help it grow and evolve through the adoption and installation of new technologies. It is a great company to be part of at this exciting time in telecommunications,” says Kevin G. Hostetler.

Kevin holds a BS in Corporate Finance from King’s College and an Executive MBA, International Business Management from Stern School of Business at New York University.

About Velocitel: Velocitel is a $200M wireless network services company delivering a complete suite of professional services to acquire, design, engineer, implement, upgrade and maintain wireless sites. The company has designed, constructed and deployed over 50,000 wireless sites since its founding in 1987. Velocitel has 600 employees nationwide. The company is an industry leader in safety with extensive training systems in place, and a member of the NATE (National Association of Tower Erectors) Safety Committee. The company has acquired several other complimentary companies including Doty Moore Tower Services. Velocitel is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois with offices in Georgia, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

Education Partners Appoints New Chief Executive Officer

BIRMINGHAM, AL – May 2014 – Education Partners, a SaaS-based solution for postsecondary student lifecycle management, has just announced the appointment of Lawson Ellinor as new CEO. Lawson has a background as a proven executive with industry leading privately held and public companies. Previously, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Enspire Learning, which designed SaaS-based corporate leadership simulations. Lawson’s past executive positions include roles at Dell, BazaarVoice, and IKON. 

Lawson received a B.A. in English from the University of Texas and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Broadleaf Technologies Acquires Assests of TopSchool, Inc.

BIRMINGHAM, AL -  December 16, 2013 – Broadleaf Technologies, LLC (Broadleaf), a SaaS-based provider of student financial aid and enrollment software, today announced the acquisition of TopSchool, Inc. (TopSchool), a SaaS-based student lifecycle management software based in Denver, CO. The combination of Broadleaf’s financial aid platform with TopSchool’s student lifecycle workflow creates a unique opportunity to capture additional market share in a postsecondary higher education space looking to for greater efficiency and less costs, both yielding a greater ROI for the student. The new combined Company will be known as Education Partners.

Velocitel Acquires Doty Moore Tower Services

INVINE, CA -  July 12, 2013 - Velocitel, Inc. (Velocitel), a leading national wireless network services company, today announced the acquisition of certain assets of Doty Moore Tower Services, LLC (DMTS) and the hire of Don Doty and Patrick Moore, founders of DMTS, each joining the Velocitel team as Vice President of Operations. Don and Pat helped pioneer the construction, installation and maintenance of tall towers for the last 38 years. While actively engaged with National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) since its founding, they helped establish many of the safety protocols and standards in use today.

“The transaction with DMTS will help strengthen Velocitel’s service offering, allowing us to better serve our wireless customers,” according to James Estes, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Velocitel. “Adding Don and Pat and the DMTS team to the Velocitel family jump starts our initiative to self-perform line and antenna activity on behalf of our customers and will allow us to continue to grow and expand our customer base.”

“Carefully executed growth built on a foundation of ‘safety first’ will be the cornerstone of our efforts to expand the field service footprint of Velocitel,” added Pat Moore. Don Doty affirmed: “Velocitel has built its business based on Safety being paramount. We look forward to the opportunity to help Velocitel excel in wireless field service.”

Strategic Materials Appoints New President and Chief Executive Officer

HOUSTON, TX – March 2013 – Strategic Materials, a glass recycling company, has just announced the appointment of Denis Suggs as new President and CEO. Denis brings more than 20 years’ experience in leading complex global businesses with revenues ranging from $100M to over $1.6B. Before joining Strategic Materials, Denis was with Belden Corp., a producer and seller of a comprehensive portfolio of connectivity and networking products. At Belden, he most recently served as Executive Vice President and Group President. He previously held executive positions at Danaher Corp., Public Storage, and IBM Corporation.

Denis received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Willis Stein & Partners Announces the Addition of a New Investment Professional

NORTHBROOK, IL – November 19, 2012 - Willis Stein & Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm that makes control investments in middle market companies, is pleased to announce that it has hired Eric Hinkle as an Associate to its investment team.

Mr. Hinkle joins Willis Stein from Deloitte where he as a senior associate in the audit practice. At Deloitte, Mr. Hinkle was involved in Financial Services and Aerospace & Defense practice areas. Mr. Hinkle holds a B.S. degree in Accountancy from Miami University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Strategic Materials Appoints New Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

HOUSTON, TX – November 2012 – Strategic Materials, a glass recycling company, has just announced the appointment of Michael (Mike) Ramirez as new EVP and CFO. Mike brings over 30 years of financial and business transformation experience from public accounting, manufacturing and service industries with the following organizations: Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., Datapoint Corporation, Allwaste, Inc., Encompass Corporation and PSC. He will direct SMI's financial, technology, glass procurement (supply) and rail logistics organizations.

Mike earned his BBA in Accounting (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he continues his involvement serving on the university's Advisory Council to the Dean of its College of Business.  Mike is a licensed (active) Certified Public Accountant.
Mike resides in the Houston metropolitan area with his wife, Laura, balancing professional pursuits with raising their family of five sons.

Willis Stein & Partners, Landmark Partners and Vision Capital Complete Innovative Transaction

NEW YORK, NY – August 29, 2012 – Willis Stein & Partners (“Willis Stein”), Landmark Partners (“Landmark”) and Vision Capital today announce the completion of an innovative transaction benefitting investors in Willis Stein’s third fund, Willis Stein & Partners III, L.P. (the “Fund”). Investors received the option to receive liquidity from this 2000 Fund in cash and/or the opportunity to benefit from the growth potential of the portfolio. The syndicate of new investors includes PineBridge Secondary Partners II.

The transaction is structured to address the objectives of investors in the Fund, some of whom had expressed a desire for liquidity. Investors were given the option to take cash proceeds or to roll the value of their interests into the new partnership. A majority of investors elected to receive cash; however, a significant number chose to participate in the value creation opportunity in the three retained portfolio companies in the Fund. The transaction provides an extended period for continued growth and development in the portfolio.

The partnership’s portfolio comprises three mid-market US businesses: Education Corporation of America, Inc. (“ECA”), Strategic Materials Inc. (“SMI”), and Velocitel, L.L.C. (“Velocitel”).

  • ECA is a private provider of post-secondary education which operates under four brands across 26 campuses and online. Founded in 1983, the company offers associate degrees, diploma courses and baccalaureate degrees. In 2011, ECA reported revenue of $315 million.
  • SMI is the largest glass processing and recycling business in North America, and is one of the top ten plastics processors in the market. For the fiscal year to March 2012, SMI reported revenue of $228 million.
  • Velocitel is a provider of outsourced engineering and design services for the wireless telecom and renewable energy industries. Headquartered in California, Velocitel has 13 offices across the US. Velocitel is projected to generate over $110 million revenue in 2012.

Landmark’s investment will be made from Landmark Partners XIV, a $2 billion fund, and Vision Capital’s investment will be made from Vision Capital Partners VII LP.

Moelis & Company LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to the Fund in connection with this transaction.

Commenting on the acquisition, Avy Stein at Willis Stein said:

“We are very pleased to have secured the future of ECA, SMI and Velocitel through this transaction with Landmark Partners, Vision Capital and other investors. Each business has a compelling business model, a strong position in its market and an industry leading management team in place. This transaction provides each business with the time necessary to fulfil its full potential.”

Scott Conners at Landmark Partners said:

“Landmark Partners is delighted to have worked in partnership with Willis Stein and Vision Capital to develop a unique secondary transaction that creates a liquidity solution for limited partners and provides support for a very interesting portfolio of companies with good growth potential.”

Julian Mash, Chief Executive of Vision Capital, said:

“Through this innovative transaction, Willis Stein’s investors have been offered a unique combination of options and benefits, allowing them to realise liquidity or to continue to participate in the portfolio’s value creation prospects. The three companies in the portfolio have attractive qualities and solid underlying business fundamentals. We are looking forward to working with Willis Stein and the management teams to help them realise their potential. We are delighted to be partnering with Willis Stein and Landmark Partners on this transaction.”

About Willis Stein:

Willis Stein is a Chicago-based private equity firm that invests in the consumer services, education and specialized business services sectors of the economy. Willis Stein creates value for investors by utilizing its extensive industry knowledge, disciplined investment process, substantial strategic and financial expertise and reputation for integrity and fair dealing to acquire controlling interests in middle-market companies in the Midwest and throughout the United States.

Since 1989, Willis Stein has invested almost $3 billion in 50 portfolio companies. Working closely with management teams, Willis Stein has completed more than 200 add-on acquisitions and has raised more than $4 billion in debt capital to help its portfolio companies grow.

About Landmark Partners

Landmark is a private equity and real estate investment company specializing in secondary funds. Formed in 1989, the firm has one of the longest track records in the industry and is a leading source of liquidity to owners of interests in venture, mezzanine, buyout, and real estate limited partnerships. Ninety-five percent of its total capital is committed to secondary products. The remaining capital is committed to co-investment, fund-of-funds, and growth capital programs.

About Vision Capital

Vision Capital is an international investor with an innovative approach to private equity. It was founded in 1997 and pioneered secondary directs in Europe. Today Vision Capital has €1.5 billion assets under management with offices in London and New York. Since inception, Vision Capital has raised seven funds totalling over €1.9 billion and has invested in over 45 companies acquired in 14 transactions, including 11 portfolios. Vision Capital seeks to acquire investments in innovative transactions that are often privately negotiated and highly structured, and then work with the businesses to help them realise their value creation potential over time. It targets investments in Europe and the Americas that bring significant influence or control in transaction sizes ranging from €50-500 million.