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Michael Bastian

Mr. Bastian has over 25 years of investment banking experience advising corporate clients in the execution of mergers and acquisitions transactions and as a strategic advisor.Prior to joining First Chicago Advisors, Mr. Bastian was a Managing Director in Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Global Investment Banking/Mergers and Acquisitions Group. He was responsible for leading the mergers and acquisitions advisory practice for Global Industrials Group clients in the middle market.

Prior to joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mr. Bastian was Head of LaSalle Corporate Finance, the U.S. mergers and acquisition affiliate of the ABN AMRO Group. He was a member of ABN AMRO Group's North American Fairness Opinion Committee. Before he joined LaSalle Corporate Finance, Mr. Bastian was with Merrill Lynch & Co.’s Investment Banking/Middle Market M&A group. Mr. Bastian initiated and ran Merrill Lynch's Middle Market Food, Building Sector and Global Growth M&A advisory practices.
Mr. Bastian started his career in the Tax Department at Price Waterhouse & Co. in Michigan and London. Mr. Bastian earned a MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from Michigan State University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

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Karen M. Barch

Karen Barch has over 30 years of operating and general management experience in the publishing, technology and manufacturing industries. Most recently she supported the print and electronic distribution needs for 100 clients as the COO of the Chicago Distribution Center (a division of the University of Chicago Press). She has also served as CEO or COO for numerous software, publishing, and e-learning companies. Ms. Barch’s past experience includes being EVP – Operations and Product Development of Encyclopaedia Britannica and in operations management consulting at Arthur Young. Frequent clients included the University of Chicago Office of Technology Commercialization, the McNally family and numerous education, technology and publishing companies. She began her career at General Motors in industrial engineering and manufacturing supervision.
Ms. Barch has a mathematics degree from Michigan State University (Phi Beta Kappa) and an MBA from the University of Detroit. Karen serves as a board member for the Anixter Center and is a past president of the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Chicago.

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Martha A. Peterson

Ms. Peterson has served as a management consultant with A.T. Kearney, a venture capital and buyout specialist with Wind Point Partners, and VP Business Development and President of Peterson Products Corp., a major supplier of stamped and deep drawn metal products including Weber Grills. In these capacities, Ms. Peterson had significant success identifying and implementing strategic, marketing and operational improvements leading to enhanced profitability and shareholder return. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Keats Manufacturing and recently has developed her own business as an outsourced company spokesperson. She holds an A.B. degree from Dartmouth College, and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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Henry C. Reed

Mr. Reed has spent the last 25+ years leading and advising companies, both public and private, in the areas of growth, restructuring, strategy, corporate development and value creation.  Mr. Reed enjoys working with owners and management to create winning strategies which build significant value while managing risk.
Mr. Reed is currently President of Pasadena Advisors, a management consulting firm which assists senior management in the areas of strategy, growth, operations excellence, restructuring, executive coaching, mergers and acquisitions and organization development. 

Prior to forming Pasadena Advisors in 2002, Mr. Reed was President and CEO of Centis, Inc. (formerly know as 20th Century Plastics), a privately held $200 million international manufacturer and multi-channel marketer of consumables used for organization, storage and management in the office and home.  From 1993-2000, Mr. Reed was a senior executive at Avery Dennison where he was responsible for their $1 billion North American Office Products business.  From 1985-1993, Mr. Reed was a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group, advising clients in consumer, commercial and industrial businesses across all functional areas.  His clients have included Kraft, ConAgra, Nissan, Navistar, LOF, Farmland Industries, IMG, Capital Holdings, Security Pacific Bank, US Bank, Northern Trust, NYNEX, Square D, Schindler, Sheller Globe, Mitsubishi, Avery Dennison, and Overture Services. In addition to his consulting activities, Mr. Reed is an investor, sits on various boards and is involved in real estate development.
Mr. Reed received his MBA from The Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and BA from Pomona College. 

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Michael Waks

Prior to founding CST Consulting in 2012, Mike Waks was Vice President of Global External Development at Kraft Foods. Mike helped lead the transformation of Kraft from a predominately North American company reliant on traditional grocery categories to a firm with significant presence in developing countries which has the largest global confectionery portfolio. His team executed over 40 transactions valued in the aggregate at $40 billion.
Before joining Kraft in 2005. Mike held Corporate Development and Strategy positions at Altria, WorkNet, AT&T, Unilever, United Brands, and Air Products & Chemicals. He has also worked in Strategic Market Research at Unilever.

Mike graduated with a BA from Northwestern University and received his MBA from Northwestern’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. While at Northwestern he received the Rosenfeld scholarship in Economics, and was an econometrics research assistant.