Solamere Network - Executive Partner Group
Jeremy Andrus is President & CEO of Traeger Grills, the original wood pellet grill brand that has taken the outdoor cooking world by storm. He and a financial partner acquired the company in 2014, transforming it from a small, regional, 26-year-old business into a multi-hundred-million-dollar brand that owns over 50% of the global wood pellet grill market. This was largely achieved by Jeremy leading an overhaul that would result in moving the company's headquarters from Oregon to Utah and rebuilding its team with an emphasis on the people and culture behind the company.
While Traeger has become Jeremy's most successful growth story, it isn't his first. He joined start-up Skullcandy in 2005 with 4 employees and less than $1m in sales. Under his leadership, Skullcandy disrupted the headphone and wearable electronic space, growing into a $300m public company. Jeremy was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016, MountainWest Capital Network Utah Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017, and was inducted into the Utah Technology Council Hall of Fame in 2018.
Jeremy received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and B.A. from Brigham Young University. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife Kristin and their six children. After years of experimenting and working with professional pitmasters and chefs, Jeremy now makes the perfect steak.Close
Dick Boyce runs a family office called Schafer Meadows with a group of friends doing early stage tech-enabled consumer investing. He retired from the partnership at TPG Capital, one of the largest global investment partnerships, owning over 100 companies, with over $140 billion in revenue. Dick founded and led TPG's Operating Group, which drives performance improvement across all the TPG companies, from 1997 to 2013.
Prior Mr. Boyce served as Senior Vice President of North American Operations of Pepsico, Inc. and was previously a partner at Bain & Company. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of J.Crew Group, Inc., from 1997-1999, and as a Board member from 1997-2006. He also served subsequently as the Chairman of both Burger King Corporation and Del Monte Foods and on multiple other public and private boards.
He currently is on the board of Allbirds and Spyce, and is a senior advisor to Altamont Capital and Solamere Capital. He served on the Mitt Romney 2012 National Board and currently on the National Council of AEI. Since 2015, Mr. Boyce has been an advisor for The COMMIT Foundation, a Veterans career transition mentoring group.Close
Michael retired as a Senior Partner with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), after a 15 year career where he was responsible for the Global retail private equity practice. Michael was responsible for approximately $30 billion in transactions in the retail/consumer sector, investing approximately $3.8 billion of equity and generating a 28% net return over 17 years to limited partners. While at KKR, Mike served on all the firm's global private equity investment committees and portfolio management committees.
He has served on the board of directors of Shoppers Drug Mart (Public - Canada) Toys 'R Us (private), Chairman of Academy Sports & Outdoors (private), Dollar General (public), Pets at Home (Public - U.K.) and U.S. Foods (Private).
He continues to serve as Chairman of the board of Dollar General (NYSE: DG), a company he took private in 2007 while at KKR. At the time of the buyout, Dollar General had 8,600 stores, 71,000 employees, Revenue of $9.2 billion, EBITDA of $600 million and Enterprise Value of $7.2 billion. Today, Dollar General has 17,000 stores, 155,000 employees, revenue of $27.8 billion, EBITDA of $2.6 billion and Market Capitalization of $50 billion.
Mike also serves on the boards of AutoZone (NYSE: AZO), Vestcom International (Private) and as the Lead Director for Brookshire Grocery Company (Private). Mike recently joined the board of the National Association of Investors Corporation, a non-profit focused on financial education.
Prior to KKR, Michael was Chief Financial Officer of Randall's Food Markets, a $2.5 billion revenue retailer based in Texas. While at Randall's, Michael took the company through a buyout with KKR.
Michael began his professional career with Arthur Andersen Worldwide first as a staff auditor and later in the consulting practice.
Michael has a bachelor's degree in business from Stephen F. Austin State University (concentration in Accounting) and an MBA from University of Houston. Mike holds a Certified Public Accounting certificate (inactive).
Michael and Barbara Lynn Calbert have 3 sons – David, Mitchell and Ryan. Michael and Barbara reside in Woodside, California and Austin, Texas.Close
Gary Chartrand is the former CEO and Executive Chairman of Acosta. Acosta is a leading full-service sales and marketing agency, providing outsourced sales, merchandising, marketing and promotional services to manufacturers in the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) industry.
Under his leadership, Acosta became the first national Sales and marketing agency in the country covering all 50 states. Acosta expanded services into Canada by acquiring four regional sales and marketing firms to form a North American network.
Gary has served on the Board of Directors of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. He has served on several Advisory Boards for the consumer products companies represented by Acosta. Gary received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the State of Florida in May 2001, and was named to the Supermarket News Power 50 list from 2003 to 2009, indicating the 50 most influential people in the industry.
Gary currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Chartrand Foundation, Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, The Florida Education Foundation, The Foundation for Excellence in Education , The KIpp Public Charter Schools in Jacksonville and is the former Chair of the State board of Education He is also an enthusiastic supporter of the Catholic Charities, Guardian of Dreams Catholic schools, and the Diocese of St. Augustine.
Gary is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire. He resides in Ponte Vedra Beach with his wife, Nancy. They have two children, Jeffrey and Meredith and four grandchildrenClose
As Co-Founder, Co-Chair and Co-CEO, Andrew Cherng is the visionary behind Panda Restaurant Group. His business insights have propelled Panda to become the world leader in Asian dining experiences, while his passion for continuous learning inspires a culture where associates are dedicated to developing their full potential.
Andrew's business acumen has been recognized by Forbes, the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Asia Society of Southern California. He was conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and is a member of the International Advisory Board for the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Under Andrew's leadership, Panda Restaurant Group was named one of America's best employers by Forbes and ranked the number one Asian quick-service concept by QSR. Additionally, he along with Panda Restaurant Group Co-Chairman and Co-CEO Peggy Cherng, have been inducted into the National Restaurant Association's Hall of Fame and named Carnegie Corporation's Great Immigrants.
Andrew earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Baker University and Master of Applied Mathematics from the University of Missouri.Close
Ed Conard is an American Enterprise Institute adjunct fellow, a former Bain Capital partner, and author of two New York Times top-ten bestselling books, including "The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class" (2016), and a contributor to Oxford University Press' "United States Income, Wealth, Consumption, and Inequality" (2020).Close
Mr. Edward C. Forst, is Chairman, Partner, and member of the Investment Committee at Lion Capital. Presently, Ed is Chairman, and Director of Leo SPAC initiatives (NYSE). Ed previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Cushman & Wakefield, leading the commercial real estate firm across more than 60 countries.
Prior to this, Ed was a Management Committee Partner of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He served as the Co-CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and before that as the Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Vice President of the firm. Ed was also the Executive Vice President and Principal Operating Officer of Harvard University during the financial crisis, as well as Adviser to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Ed sits on the boards of The Feinstein Institute of Northwell Health and the Yale School of Management. He has also served on the board of the Harvard Management Company, as Treasurer of Carnegie Hall, and as the Chairman of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). Ed earned his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his AB in Economics from Harvard University.Close
Karen is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Neiman Marcus Group, one of the world's leading Luxury and Fashion retailers where she spent 33 years. Karen is proud to have led the company and its associates through its digital transformation.
In October 2014, she was appointed to the Under Armour Board of Directors, where she currently serves on the Finance and Audit Committees.
In April 2019, she was appointed to the Casper Sleep Board of Directors, where she is the Lead Director as well as Chair of the Nominating/Governance Committee and serves on the Compensation Committee.
In October 2019, she was appointed to the Humana Board of Directors , where she currently serves on the Nominating/Governance/ESG and Technology Committees.
Karen also serves on the board of private consumer companies as well as acts as an advisor to a number of entrepreneurial businesses.
In addition, Karen is the Chairman of the shoe company , StreetTrend.
Karen's philanthropic endeavors are focused on the Perot Museum of Nature and Science where she is Chairman of the Board of Directors.
A native Dallasite who received a BA from the University of Texas and an MBA from the University of Houston.Close
For more than 40 years as CEO of his family's hotel chain, Mr. Marriott practiced a famously hands-on style that he called "management by walking around." Shortly after his 80th birthday in March 2012, he ceded the CEO position, but remains an active chairman, visiting upward of 200 hotels a year. Mr. Marriott's passion for the hospitality industry began at an early age. He spent his high school and college years working in a variety of positions in the family's Hot Shoppes restaurant chain. He became a full-time associate in 1956, and soon afterward began managing the first Marriott hotel. He became President of the company in 1964 and Chief Executive Officer in 1972. He was elected Chairman of the Board in 1985.
Mr. Marriott serves on the board of trustees of The J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation. He is a former member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council, and has served on the Board of Trustees of the National Geographic Society and as a director of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation. Previously, Mr. Marriott was chairman of the President's Export Council, and served on the board of General Motors and the Mayo Clinic.
Mr. Marriott grew up in the Washington, D.C., area, where he attended St. Albans School. At the University of Utah, he earned a bachelor's degree in banking and finance, and served as an officer in the United States Navy. Mr. Marriott is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He is married to the former Donna Garff. They are the parents of four children, and have 15 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.Close
Scott McNealy is an outspoken advocate for personal liberty, small government, and free-market competition. In 1982, he co-Founded Sun Microsystems and served as CEO and Chairman of the Board for 22 years. He piloted the company from startup to legendary Silicon Valley giant in computing infrastructure, network computing, and open source software.
Today McNealy is heavily involved in advisory roles for companies that range from the startup stage to large corporations, including Curriki. Curriki is an independent 501(c)(3) organization and a leader in open educational resources. Curriki's flagship technology product, CurrikiStudio is a free authoring software that leverages over 50 open source learning tools, ranging from interactive video, games, virtual tours, and simulations. CurrikiStudio helps organizations across K-12, higher ed, and corporate learning create engaging interactive digital courses, and publish to major Learning Management Systems, content platforms, mobile, and other web-enabled sites. Through Curriki, we are driven to improve educational opportunities and break down the barriers that divide those who have access to high-quality education and those who do not.
As the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, one of the largest start-ups in the 80's, Scott was an innovator in the technology field. His keen business insight helped make Sun a leader in the technology space up to its sale in 2010 for $5.6 billion dollars. His passion for technology didn't stop there.
Scott McNealy is an enthusiastic ice hockey fan and an avid golfer.Close
John is the CEO of JR Miller Enterprises, a privately held company with diverse holdings in real estate, private companies, and public securities.
He retired from National Beef Packing Company in 2009 after serving as CEO since 1991. Mr. Miller
grew the company from $500 million in sales to over $7 billion in sales. With over 8,000 employees,
they are headquartered in Kansas City, MO, with seven regional production facilities, a Class A transportation company, and four international sales offices. National Beef markets and distributes beef products in all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide.
John is a founding partner of Woodbury Strategic Partners, Solamere Capital, Wasatch Premier Properties, Dakota Pacific Real Estate Partners, and Dakota Pacific Holdings.Close
Mark Morse is CEO of The Villages.Close
John Partridge is former President of Visa, Inc.Close
Andrew F. Puzder served as president and chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, Inc., an international restaurant company and owner of the Hardee's and Carl's Jr, quick service restaurant brands, from September 2000 until his retirement in April of 2017. He received numerous restaurant industry awards for his work as CEO of CKE.
Prior to joining CKE, Puzder served as executive vice president, general counsel for Fidelity National Financial, Inc. and chief executive officer of Santa Barbara Restaurant Group, Inc. He is a member of the California, Nevada and Missouri Bar Associations.
He is a frequent commentator on economic and politic issues in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Post, Real Clear Politics, National Review and Fox Opinion. He also appears regularly on Fox News, Fox Business, and CNBC.
Puzder co-authored Job Creation: How It really Works and Why Government Doesn't Understand It in 2010. He authored The Capitalist Comeback in 2018; Its Time to get America Back to Work and Its Time to Let America Work Again in 2020.
Puzder is member of the Board of Directors of the Job Creators' Network; The Washington University Law School Board of Advisors; the Advisory Board of 2ndVote Advisers LLC.; and the Board of Advisors of Prager University.Close
Mr. Sargent is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Staples, Inc., a business products retailer, headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts. He joined Staples in 1989 and progressed through a variety of management positions before he was named chief executive officer in 2002 and chairman in 2005, positions he held until June 2016 and January 2017, respectively. Before joining Staples, Mr. Sargent served in a variety of management positions at The Kroger Co.
Mr. Sargent received an A.B. from Harvard College and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School. He is also the lead director of The Kroger Co. and a director of Wells Fargo and Five Below, Inc. Currently, Mr. Sargent is a member of the board of governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the board of directors of City of Hope, and the board of trustees of Northeastern University. He is also chairman of the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.Close
Lee Scott served as Walmart's President and CEO from 2000 to 2009. During his tenure while leading the world's largest company, he was widely credited with reinvigorating Walmart's mission and transforming the retailer's role in helping tackle the toughest issues facing an increasingly complex world.
In 1979, Lee Scott joined Walmart as an assistant director of the private truck fleet. He quickly rose through the ranks of Logistics to become the division's executive vice president in 1993. Two years later, he transitioned to Merchandise as that division's executive vice president. In 1998, Lee was promoted to president and CEO of Walmart U.S. One year later, he was named chief operating officer and vice chairman of Walmart. During Lee's more than nine years as president and CEO of Walmart, he oversaw a 243 percent increase in Walmart's global sales, from $165 billion to $401 billion, and a 277 percent increase in earnings, from $1.21 per share to $3.35 per share. He expanded Walmart's operations from 10 to 16 countries, including to India, Japan and Chile. Profits also rose 249 percent to more than $13 billion. During his last year as CEO, Walmart was the best performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Midway through Lee's tenure as CEO, Walmart began to face mounting pressure from critics and well-funded union groups. With the help of the board of directors, Lee began to address the challenges facing the company's reputation by emphasizing the "Live Better" part of Walmart's mission.
Over the next several years, Walmart stepped out on a number of major issues facing the U.S. and the world. In response to soaring health care costs in the U.S., Walmart launched its $4 generic prescription drug program.
To date, the initiative has saved customers more than $2 billion. Perhaps most notably, Lee set a number of ambitious sustainability goals for Walmart. He committed to doubling the company's truck fleet efficiency by 2015. Today, Walmart has already achieved a 60 percent increase in fleet efficiency. Lee also convened Walmart's first Sustainability Summit in Beijing, China, to launch an unprecedented plan for a more socially and environmentally responsible supply chain. Today, 93 percent of Walmart's direct sourcing merchandice is produced in top-rated factories.
Lee now serves on the boards of Pilot Travel Centers in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. He's also Executive Partner of Solamere Capital in Boston, Massachusetts. He received the Horatio Alger Award in 2018 for his lifelong commitment to education and economic opportunity for America's youth.
Lee is a native of Baxter Springs, Kansas. He received his bachelors of science degree in business from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. In 1995, the University named him an outstanding alumnus. Lee has also completed executive development programs at Penn State University and Columbia University and received an honorary degree from the University of Arkansas in 2007.
Lee and his wife, Linda, currently live in Golden Oak, Florida.Close
Chris Shumway serves as Founder of Shumway Capital.Close
L.E. is Chairman and Founder of SCF Partners, a private equity firm he founded in 1989. With locations in Houston, Calgary, Singapore and Aberdeen, SCF invests on a global basis in the energy services and equipment industry – a $250 billion global marketplace.
Over the past 30 years, SCF has invested over $2.3 billion in private equity capital. The firm has 19 professionals with an average tenure of approximately 10 years and has developed 18 public companies listed on the U.S. and Canadian exchanges.
Prior to founding SCF, LE co-founded Simmons & Company International, an investment banking firm specializing in oilfield service companies. L.E. studied Economics at the University of Utah and London School of Economics and earned an MBA from Harvard University. He helped start the Corporate Finance Department at The First National Bank of Chicago in 1972.
L.E. is active in the non-profit sector, currently serving on boards of or associated with the Geological and Planetary Sciences Caltech University Chairman's Council, Houston Endowment, Harvard Business School, Rice University, Texas Children's Hospital, Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation and Energy Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
L.E. is the recipient of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center Award for Excellence (2018), the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (2016), the James A. Baker, III Prize for Excellence in Leadership (2015) and the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship (2011).Close
Harry E. Sloan is a founder, public company CEO and a leading investor in the media, entertainment and technology industries. Sloan is now the Chairman and CEO of Eagle Equity Partners II, LLC. Under
Sloan's leadership, the company has acquired and taken public, through SPACs, several digital media companies including, during 2020, DraftKings and mobile gaming company Skillz. Sloan has been at the forefront and evolution of the video gaming industry as one of the founding investors and a Board Member of Zenimax/Bethesda Game Studios, the awarding winning studio now being acquired by Microsoft.
Earlier, Sloan was Chairman and CEO of MGM Studios and founded and led two public companies in the entertainment media arena, New World Entertainment and SBS Broadcasting, S.A., one of Europe's largest broadcasters.
Sloan was born in Torrance, California and grew up in a working-class Jewish family. Both his parents were union members – his father worked as a Machinist for Douglas Aircraft and his mother was a teacher and helped found the first Jewish temple in the South Bay. Sloan earned a B.A degree from UCLA and a J.D. degree from Loyola Law School.
Sloan has spent his entire career at the cutting edge of the media industry. In 1983, he raised $2 million and purchased New World Entertainment, serving as Co-Chairman. Sloan expanded the independent studio into TV production/distribution and New World became the third largest producer of U.S. primetime television by 1986 with such hits as "The Wonder Years." Sloan took New World public in 1985 and sold the business to Ronald Perelman for $270 million in 1989. Moving internationally, Sloan was one of the first to recognize the potential of European private broadcasting in the early 1990s. With a personal investment of $5 million, he formed SBS Broadcasting, S.A. by acquiring a single TV station in Copenhagen.
Over the next decade, he built SBS into a leading broadcaster in Europe, with 16 television stations, 21 premium pay channels and 11 radio networks, reaching 100 million people in nine countries. Sloan took SBS public and later sold SBS to KKR in October of 2005 for $2.6 billion.
Following New World and SBS, in 2005, Sloan became the Chairman and CEO of MGM Studios and repositioned the studio for the digital age. At MGM, he rebuilt all its business operations and launched new channels around the globe while reviving the James Bond, Pink Panther and Rocky movie franchises.
Sloan was also one of the founding investors of Lionsgate Films in 1999 and served as the public
company's Non-Executive Chairman from 2004-2005, leaving to run MGM. He began his career as lobbyist for the Screen Actors Guild before starting his own entertainment law firm in Los Angeles.
Over the past nine years, Sloan has raised more than $3 billion in the public markets to invest in creating new businesses in the media, technology and other industries. Today, Sloan -- along with partner Jeff Sagansky, a former President of CBS Entertainment and a Co-President of Sony Pictures Television – fund investments in global industries that are transitioning in the digital era. Under the banner of the Eagle Equity Partners II, LLC, Sloan has been a founding investor of SPACs Global Eagle, Silver Eagle, Double Eagle, Platinum Eagle, Diamond Eagle and Flying Eagle.
In April 2020, Sloan and his partners, after raising $400 million in Diamond Eagle, acquired and took public online sports betting platform DraftKings and SBTech. The Financial Times noted that after the closing, DraftKings, as a public company, it now has an enterprise value of $16 billion, making it among the most highly valued companies to be listed through a SPAC merger this year.
Following on this success, Sloan launched Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp. (FEAC), in March 2020, his sixth public acquisition vehicle, and completed a $690 million IPO. In September, 2020, FEAC announced the acquisition/merger of Skillz, a leading mobile games platform, in a deal which values the company at $3.5 billion with backing from Wellington Management, Fidelity Investments, Franklin Templeton Investments and Neuberger Berman.
Sloan is an Associate Professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he has taught an MBA course called "Entertainment Business Models" for eight years, and serves on the Board of Visitors of UCLA Anderson and the Board of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television (TFT).
1987, Sloan was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the President's Advisory Council on Trade and Policy Negotiations (ACTPN). He was a longtime friend and National Entertainment Chair for John McCain's (2008) Presidential campaign and a California financial chair for the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign (2012).
Sloan now works with Cindy McCain as a Trustee of The McCain Institute, and has since its founding.
Sloan has two daughters from his first marriage. He is married to film/TV producer Florence (née Low) Sloan. They have two sons. Sloan lives in Los Angeles, California.Close
White is the former chairman, president and chief executive officer of DIRECTV, the world's leading provider of digital television services, a position he held from January 2010 until his retirement in August 2015. Through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in the United States, Brazil, Mexico and other countries in Latin America, DIRECTV provides digital television service to 19.4 million customers in the United States and 9.5 million customers in Latin America.
He was also a director of the company from November 2009 until August 2015. White was previously, Vice Chairman of Pepsi Co. Inc, and CEO of PepsiCo International (which encompasses all of PepsiCo's beverage, snack and food operations outside the U.S. and Canada).
Prior to taking charge of PepsiCo International in February 2003, White had been president and CEO of PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Among his other earlier positions with PepsiCo, which he joined in 1990 as vice president of planning, were senior vice president and chief financial officer for PepsiCo., Inc.; executive vice president and chief financial officer for Pepsi-Cola Company worldwide; and executive vice president and chief financial officer of Frito-Lay International. Before joining PepsiCo, White was a senior vice president at Avon Products, Inc., and a management consultant at Bain & Company and Arthur Andersen & Co.
White is also a director of Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Whirlpool Inc., and Bank of America. White holds a master's degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor's degree from Boston College.Close
Until recently, Meg Whitman was the CEO of Quibi, a mobile only media technology platform. Prior to Quibi, she served as CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and President and CEO for the Hewlett-Packard Company.
Before HP, Meg ran for Governor of California in 2010. Prior to that, she was President and CEO of eBay Inc. where she oversaw its growth from 30 employees and $4 million in annual revenue to more than 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue.
She has also held executive-level positions at Procter and Gamble Company, Hasbro Inc., The Walt Disney Company, and Bain & Company. Meg is also the national board chair of Teach for America.Close