OCTOBER 20, 2021

1pm-5pm EST

The ART of M&A

Adapt, Recover & Thrive


October 20, 2021

1pm-5pm EST

Elements Conference is an element by element, building block by building block, introduction to the process of selling a closely held business. The Conference is specifically targeted towards the business owner who wants to learn about selling a business without the high-pressure sales pitch. The Conference will also meet the needs of the professional advisor (CPA, Lawyer) who wants to better understand the elements outside their own practice specialty.

Elements Conference 2021 will remain virtual


Solving The multi-faceted challenge

John Donahue

Control Consultants Inc.

John created Control Consultants Inc to be more than a distributor of HVAC controls. He used his engineering background to provide his customers, smaller installation contractors, the expertise they needed to compete with larger firms. The strategy led to loyal customers and significant growth. He hired more engineers to expand on his differentiation strategy. Along the way, he gained a national reputation as a leader in the industry.

As business expanded, he planned for his exit. He hired industry consultants to streamline the business and suggest new sales outlets to spur growth. Then he executed on the plan, so when he was ready to make a change, the business was ready and national competitors were willing to pay a premium for what he built. Join us for this engaging conversation on how to meet the challenge of exiting on your own terms.

Steve Way

Advanced Lighting & Production Services

As president of Advanced Lighting & Production Services, Steve led one of Boston’s premiere event production companies, providing cutting edge lighting and displays seen by thousands in arenas, theatres, and outdoor venues as well as ensuring private events would be both intimate and memorable.

In addition to the challenges of running a large and vibrant business, Steve, still many years from retirement, faced two exigent challenges: two shareholders who desired to retire and be bought out in the next few years and a national competitor interested in acquiring his firm as they rapidly consolidated the industry. Join us to hear how Steve solved his puzzle and leveraged the buyer into providing a retirement avenue for his partners, economic opportunities for himself and an opportunity to be part of an industry leader rather than compete with one.

Mike Kelly

Pion Instruments

Mike ran a niche manufacturer of specialized scientific instruments used in the pharma industry.  Scott ran an independent third party equipment service and compliance company, also in the pharma industry. Several years ago, they merged their firms.  On paper, there was perfect synergy. On the ground however, customers of both companies became confused.  Especially Scott’s service clients, made up of international pharma companies. They were confused why a service team from one manufacturer was able to service equipment from other manufacturers.


Mike and Scott, while strong business partners, saw a business separation as in the best interest of both divisions and staff.  Join us for a conversation with Mike about the challenges of selling a division of a corporation, rather than the whole company, and finding the right partner for Scott and his team to call home.

Tim Sullivan

School Family Media

After 30 years supporting schools and Parent, Teacher Organizations (PTO/PTAs), Tim, along with his partner John and the team at School Family Media, created a new way to connect students, parents and teachers as they prepare for the critical first day of school. Tim’s company created a process which allowed parents everywhere in the country to easily access nearly 2,000,000 teacher’s school supply lists, enabling parents to place online orders for those supplies with the retailer of their choice.

The business was growing fast, very fast. The company was creating revenue generating partnerships with some of the largest consumer products companies, retailers and school software companies in the world. However, the risk a publicly traded partner might become a competitor at the first sign of weakness, plus the potential loss of significant family wealth invested up in the company, weighed on Tim. Coincidently, at the same time he was being recruited to take on a key role in education. Hear how Tim solved his puzzle, took risk off the table, accepted a life changing role as president of a private high school and put his business in the hands of seasoned e-commerce business leaders.

Craig Allard

Infinity Tapes

Craig grew a small local film tape manufacturer into a national player producing release tapes for the largest shipping companies in the world. While revenues and profits were healthy and growing, Craig’s challenges were the same as many manufacturers: increasing capacity to continue growing required upgrading equipment, which meant greater debt, at a time when he was looking to reduce risk and execute on his five-year exit plan.

With industry suitors approaching him regularly, he decided to find out if he could achieve his five-year target goals today. Join us to hear his story.

Phillip Bronsteatter


As a partner in the Chicago based private equity firm Pfingsten, Phil’s role is to source companies to be acquired through inbound and outbound activity.  Once a target is identified he will personally manage the acquisition process from initial meeting with the seller, negotiate the Letter of Intent (LOI), oversee the due diligence process, be on every phone call and shepard the legal wrangling over the fine details.   In this role, Phil sees both the big picture reason the fund wants to acquire a business but also knows the long term challenges created when red flags are ignored.  He has the delicate balance of working with the seller and keeping him or her engaged and answering to his fellow partners and investors.

Join us as Phil shares his thoughts on what makes a good acquisition and what makes him walk away.  We will also ask his thoughts on the future and how they are thinking about 2020 financial numbers in a COVID world.