Industry experts with unmatched sector expertise
Paul Byrne brings over 35 years of operations experience in the healthy living and fitness industries. He first met Bill Harrison in 2002 when he was president of Precor, one of the largest global innovators of fitness products and networked fitness solutions. With Bill’s guidance, Paul navigated a successful spin off from Precor’s parent company, followed by three strategic acquisitions, fueling Precor’s growth from $20 million to over $400 million in annual sales.
Paul not only has operational experience, but he also has a deep understanding of the daily challenges faced by founders and entrepreneurs. He began his career in the fitness industry by launching Concept 90 in Florida, the first franchised chain of exercise equipment stores in the U.S. He credits perseverance, honesty, and competitiveness as the keys to his success in the industry.
Paul sat on the board of Amer Sports, a publicly traded company, where he provided strategic direction to a portfolio of industry-leading brands including Arc’Teryx, Atomic, Salomon, Wilson, Suunto and Mavic. He currently serves as a senior advisor to Proteus Motion.
Paul has a BA in Biology from Colgate University and a MS in Exercise Physiology from Syracuse University.
Sean Deson is a seasoned investment banking and private equity professional. He started his career at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) and Credit Suisse, focusing on industrial and technology companies. While at DLJ, Sean was responsible for developing the firm’s dot-com practice during the early stages of the growing tech industry. He later worked for various family-based private equity investors, focusing on technology, real estate, and animal health. Sean has completed approximately $10 billion of transactions, including buyouts, public equity offerings, high-yield debt offerings, private placements, and growth equity investments.
Sean holds a BS in Computer Technology and MBA from the University of Michigan, and MS in Accounting from Purdue University.
Nancy Ervin has over 25 years of experience in the agriculture industry, including farm and livestock production, sales, and service. Prior to joining Harrison Co., Nancy was a partner at Baker Peterson Franklin, CPA, where she provided strategic consulting services to a broad base of diversified agriculture clients. She is highly skilled at analyzing complex agriculture accounting systems, having worked as a consulting CFO for the largest U.S. organic stone fruit grower. She has also advised various grower/packer/shippers on strategic alternatives and helped family-owned and closely-held businesses through difficult transitions.
Prior to Baker Peterson Franklin, Nancy worked as a commodity trader at Wilbur-Ellis Company in the nutrition division. She earned an MBA from the University of San Diego.
Grant Garbers is an investment banking veteran with over 30 years of experience specializing in middle market mergers and acquisition transactions. He has served both private and public companies across a diverse group of industries such as consumer products, transportation, medical, and industrial technology. Grant started his career in risk management at Fred S. James, before entering the financial services sector.
Prior to joining Harrison Co., Grant served as co-head of the Industrial Technology practice at Capstone Headwaters as well as head of Mergers and Acquisitions at Roth Capital Partners. He was a special advisor and board member of the Roadmaster Group, which was acquired by Daseke in late 2017, and was recently named as a board member to the publicly traded company.
Grant has a BBA from the University of Georgia and has successfully completed the Mergers and Acquisitions Executive Education program at the Wharton School of Business.
Bill Harrison is the Managing Partner of Harrison Co. He is an unapologetic advocate for family-owned businesses and purposely assembled a team of advisors with diverse backgrounds and decades of experience in investment banking, consulting, financing, accounting, and operations to better serve owner-operators during a critical time in their careers.
Bill brings over 25 years of experience working for leading M&A firms. His consumer industry expertise contributed to Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ)’s leadership as the top middle-market M&A firm in North America. Following Credit Suisse’s acquisition of DLJ, he became head of U.S. Consumer M&A at Credit Suisse.
Over the past 25 years, Bill has completed over $20 billion in M&A, and capital raising transactions. However, Bill credits the long-lasting friendships he has developed with his clients as the truest measure of his success as an investment banker.
Bill earned a BS degree in Engineering from Northeastern University and an MBA from the University of Southern California.
Leigh Hudson brings over 25 years of consumer investment banking experience to Harrison Co. with deep industry knowledge across a variety of sectors, including restaurants, food and beverage, health and wellness and other branded consumer products. Leigh has successfully managed over 80 closed transactions and was named Top U.S.A. Women Deal Makers in 2019.
She began her career at Drexel Burnham Lambert and later co-founded a boutique investment bank, Vrolyk & Company, where she helped build the firm as a leading advisor to emerging consumer companies. Leigh also served as head of Consumer Investment Banking at Viant Group before joining Harrison Co.
Leigh earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University. Drawn by the potential to have a significant impact on founders and entrepreneurs when advising on life changing liquidity transactions, she headed to Wall Street and a career in investment banking. The optimism, passion and success of her clients have kept her in the industry. She earned an MBA from The Wharton School of Business.
Shaun Kalnasy is an experienced investment banker, operator, and entrepreneur. He began his career as a professional soccer player and brings the same competitive drive to Harrison Co. as he brought to the soccer field.
Shaun started working with Bill Harrison in 2011 and has completed over $5 billion in M&A, and capital raising transactions. Prior to joining Harrison Co., Shaun spent time in Asia and Europe advising Chinese OEM’s looking to move into branded consumer products. Prior to that, Shaun worked at Stephens Inc., executing M&A and debt, and equity recapitalizations.
After graduating from Emory University with an MBA in Finance, Shaun built and launched an ecommerce business, providing him with a unique perspective in investment banking. Shaun attributes his success to combining a consultative, data-driven approach with deep domain expertise, including e-commerce, food and beverage, wine, and spirits, outdoor, and home goods products.
Mac Wilkie brings a unique perspective to investment banking. As the co-founder of two companies, he understands the challenges of launching a business in the healthy living sector. This insight, coupled with 15 years of experience advising direct-to-consumer, fitness and personal wellness, and better-for-you food and beverage brands, has allowed Mac to successfully complete over $5 billion of M&A and capital raising transactions.
Mac started his career in investment banking with McColl Partners, where he focused on advising founder-led businesses in the consumer sector. He later founded and built 80Fresh, a better-for-you, direct-to-consumer meal delivery business and Aura, a boutique fitness concept. Most recently, Mac served as the head of direct-to-consumer and active living investment banking at Deloitte Corporate Finance.
Mac attended Davidson College where he received a Bachelor’s degree in economics and was a member of the varsity soccer team.
Mike has been advising and investing in companies for over 30 years. He started the investment banking firm, St. Charles Capital, a leading middle-market advisory firm based in Denver, later acquired by KPMG. Throughout his career, Mike has served both public and private middle-market businesses with a broad array of strategic financial advisory services, completing over 100 transactions in excess of $4.0 billion in transaction value.
Mike currently serves on the board of directors of Northwest Pipe Company (NWPX), a publicly traded company and market leader in North America manufacturing large-diameter steel water transmission pipe and precast concrete pipe. In the past, Mike has served on eleven for-profit boards, including three other public company boards.
Orlando Saez is an accomplished entrepreneur combining 30 years of experience in agriculture, technology and telecommunications. He has led and grown start-ups, buy-outs and several successful exits. One notable IPO exit, Boingo Wireless, was the world’s largest Wi-Fi provider in which Orlando served in a leading role as product marketing director. More recently, Orlando founded Aker Technologies, a precision agriculture and analytics company, which was acquired by Intelinair in 2023.
Orlando is a civic leader and respected board member of several organizations, including AgTech NEXT at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis. Previously, he served as the Director of the State of Illinois' Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology, where he oversaw $78 million in government-sponsored investments in early-stage companies.
Orlando has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, a Master of Science in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the Stuart School of Business.