Daniel’s diverse, collective work experiences have helped him build a career as one of the most effective PE-backed CEOs and operators around.
Daniel grew up in Wisconsin, and after watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at a young age, decided he wanted to get into business. After high school, Daniel made his way to Stanford, where he majored in quantitative economics and graduated with distinction. After some work experience, he earned his MBA from Harvard Business School, and from there joined Bain for a ten-year stint. While at Bain, Dan gained valuable foundation experience, working around the globe in a number of industries and functions/domains.
At the time of becoming partner at Bain, Dan deliberately pivoted to the operator side. He joined Roll International (Teleflora, Pom Wonderful), where he ran their operations improvement and acquisitions group and later became the CFO for the $300M Teleflora holding.
In 2002 after three years at Teleflora, Dan partnered up with PE firm Swander Pace Capital to acquire and run Fleischmann’s Vinegar, which at the time had 50% market share in the U.S. for vinegar. After five years, he and his partners sold the company for a 3X return. With 75% of their COGS being corn supply, navigating the ethanol craze required agility, innovative strategy and focused execution. Through effective management relations and data analytics, Dan and his team were also able to significantly increase alcohol yield, one of the most important operating metrics in that business.
Around that time, Dan partnered again with Swander Pace to serve as CEO of International Fiber Corporation, a $100M revenue producer of powdered cellulose and insoluble fiber products for the food and industrial applications markets. One of the key ways they added value to this holding was launching sales teams into new markets.
Today, Dan serves as chairman of Encore Consumer Capital-backed Van Law Foods (private label and contract manufacturer of salad dressings and sauces) and as an operator partner and board member of Altamont Capital-owned Excel Fitness Holdings (fitness club operator).
As an experienced operator often working with private equity sponsors, Dan has deep experience handling the multi-faceted strategic and operational challenges that come to companies in crisis from fast-changing industry dynamics. He has extensive experience in senior and mezzanine debt financing and in transactions to buy and sell privately owned companies.
CEO Experience with Annie Duke
June 2, 2017 - TAKEAWAYS FROM EVENT