May 11: Media Industry Veteran Stuart Rekant Joins Exceptional Leaders International

Media industry veteran Stuart Rekant has joined E.L.I. as a Partner. Stuart will expand E.L.I.’s capabilities in finance, including project financing, corporate development, and mergers and acquisitions. Stuart has led film, television, radio, internet, and information services businesses, and has significant multiplatform experience in content creation and distribution.

Prior to E.L.I., Stuart provided advisory services to media industry participants through his wholly-owned firm in a range of areas, including assessing the viability of a private equity firm’s portfolio company; managing the divestiture of a private company’s non-core business interests; developing growth and financing plans for early stage television networks; and assisting in various project financing projects for domestic and international companies.

“Stuart’s experience in assisting organizations of varying size and across sectors achieve their growth objectives whether organically or via M&A, coupled with his expertise in assessing appropriate exit strategies and financing options for business owners, expands our firm’s capabilities to assist clients during times of transition,” said E.L.I. CEO Janice DiPietro.

Over the last 35 years, Stuart led efforts in a number of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures of middle market businesses principally in the media and information services arena in public market and private company settings. He has been associated with both established enterprises and early stage businesses as an entrepreneur, executive, and advisor, including such companies as Hidden Treasures Inc., Juniper Content Corp.,, Inc., The Weinstein Company, and WinStar Communications, Inc.

“I welcome the opportunity to work with our Partners in planning and implementing our clients’ growth and transition objectives” Stuart commented, “by bringing a cross-functional perspective to achieving their strategic goals.”

Stuart began his career as an attorney with Columbia Pictures. He went on to practice entertainment law and later joined HBO, serving as a member of its senior management team at a time of HBO’s explosive early growth. Stuart received an A.B. from Colgate University and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law. He is a Member of the New York Bar.

May 4: New Partner Steve Keches Joins Exceptional Leaders International

Manufacturing and Supply Chain veteran Steve Keches has joined E.L.I. as a Partner and will lead the firm’s Operations practice. Steve is an accomplished executive recognized as a high impact leader with the ability to rapidly identify opportunities and drive operational changes that deliver world-class results. He brings over 30 years of global expertise in Manufacturing & Supply Chain Operations, Strategic Sourcing, Mergers & Acquisitions, Organizational Restructuring, Contract Negotiations, New Product Delivery and Business Process Improvement. Steve has held executive leadership positions in a number of industries, including Aviation & Aerospace, Consumer Products, Chemicals & Coatings, Electronics and Engineering Services.

Prior to joining E.L.I., Steve served as President and CEO for Berkshire Manufacturing Products, a mid-market, privately held contract manufacturer supplying components to the aerospace industry, where he secured long term agreements on next generation engine platforms, expanded capacity, and facilitated a sale process resulting in an acquisition by a strategic buyer. Under Steve’s leadership the backlog grew by 113% and new product introductions exceeded 90% for on-time delivery.

As Vice President of Operations at Alene Candles, a privately held consumer products company, Steve was responsible for manufacturing, quality, purchasing, logistics and new product introduction. At Radia International, a global workforce solutions company, Steve was hired as a Business Process Improvement Consultant, where he developed and launched an Engineering and Manufacturing Services business.

Steve held a number of operational leadership positions at Polaroid Corporation. As Vice President of Manufacturing he was responsible for supply chain operations in the US, Mexico, Scotland, the Netherlands, and China. He led global restructuring efforts to consolidate operations, resulting in $45MM in annual cost savings. As Vice President of Procurement he delivered $15MM in price reductions through competitive bidding, supplier consolidations and aggregation of demand.

“We are pleased to welcome Steve to our team and add another strong leader to our operations practice. His comprehensive supply chain expertise and cross-functional project management skills will enhance our ability to help clients rapidly improve their operational effectiveness.” said E.L.I. CEO Janice DiPietro. Steve commented, “I’m excited to join an impressive group of industry experts who share a passion for continuous improvement and provide cross-functional solutions to challenging business problems. I am pleased to be part of an organization with such a distinguished and collaborative group of leaders, and look forward to contributing my experience and expertise to the E.L.I. team.”

Steve holds an MBA from Babson College and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University.

March 15: E.L.I. Certified as a “Woman-Owned Enterprise” by The Women’s Business Enterprise Council

We at Exceptional Leaders International are very pleased to announce that we have just received national certification as a “Woman-Owned Enterprise” from The Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBENC).

E.L.I.’s clients include closely-held and family-owned businesses, many of them women-led organizations. “We are proud to have achieved this certification and look forward to working with other women-led organizations and those committed to fostering diversity in the professional services firms with which they work,” commented Janice DiPietro, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of E.L.I. E.L.I. uniquely brings a cross-functional approach to helping clients solve their most pressing business challenges. The team at E.L.I. is comprised of former C-suite executives with deep expertise in strategy, finance, human capital, information systems management, and operations.

WBENC’s national standard of certification is a meticulous and rigorous process including an in-depth review of the business. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.

Founded in 1997, WBENC is the nation’s leader in women’s business development and the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with more than 13,000 certified Women’s Business Enterprises, 14 national Regional Partner Organizations, and over 300 Corporate Members. More than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands as well as many states, cities, and other entities accept WBENC Certification. For more information, visit The Women’s Business Enterprise Council.

March 8: Partners Present at Family Firm Institute

E.L.I. Partners Marge Dupere and Bill Kea were guest speakers at the New England Chapter of the Family Firm Institute. The group enjoyed a lively discussion on family businesses and explored pivotal issues when leadership from outside the family may be the right decision. Family Firm Institute Announcement

February 7: New Partner Irving Burday Joins Exceptional Leaders International

Information Technology leader Irving Burday has joined E.L.I. as a Partner in our Information Systems Management practice. As a leader of Information Technology and Program Management groups in healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing companies, Irving brings 25 years of operational and strategic experience in applying technology to improve operational effectiveness and drive growth.

Prior to joining E.L.I., Irving led information technology and program management teams at diverse global and national companies including Best Doctors, Savings Bank Life Insurance, and Fidelity & Guaranty Life. In addition to serving as a Chief Information Officer, he has led program management and planning groups that have supported product and business development efforts across a variety of industry sectors.

Irving’s consulting experience includes leading technology transformation efforts that have expanded call center capabilities, extended business processing through customer and business partner portals, and accelerated product development cycles through technology innovation. He has worked with both public and private companies such as Health Dialog, Insulet Corporation, and Union Labor Life, where he led mission critical efforts to support outsourcing efforts, upgrades to core ERP systems, and infrastructure consolidation efforts. Irving is also an active volunteer consultant who works with non-profit organizations to improve their operational and technical capabilities.

“We are pleased to welcome Irving to our team and add another strong leader to our information systems practice. His capability in driving business strategy through the use of technology is exceptional and he does so across multiple industry sectors, including healthcare. He is a talented professional who is not only committed to organizational success but is a trained coach committed to helping other executives excel. Irving possesses a rare combination of competencies in business strategy, operations, information systems, and leader development; competencies that will allow him to excel at creating value for our clients,” said E.L.I. CEO Janice DiPietro. Irving commented, “I’m excited to join a dedicated group of professionals who bring extensive industry and cross functional expertise to solve complex business problems. I am honored to be part of an organization with such a distinguished group of leaders and look forward to contributing my experience and expertise to the E.L.I. team.”

Irving holds an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California as well as a BS in Finance from Northeastern University. He is also an executive coach, having completed his training with Coaches Training Institute (CTI).

December 19: New Partner Stephanie Goode Joins Exceptional Leaders International

Human Resources executive Stephanie C. Goode has joined E.L.I. as a Partner in its Human Capital practice. A leader of Human Resources functions in multiple industries including healthcare, financial services, media and telecommunications, Stephanie brings 25 years of operational and strategic experience in linking HR strategy and operations to organizational performance.

Prior to joining E.L.I., Stephanie led HR and Talent organizations in diverse global and national companies, including Steward Health Care, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Fidelity Investments, the First Marblehead Corporation, Sun Life Financial, and The Boston Globe. Having led HR development strategies in organizations during pre- and post-IPO periods at Sun Life and First Marblehead, as well as establishing HR as an operational asset in clinical integration and compliance at Steward Health Care and Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Stephanie combines a Lean Six Sigma background with HR expertise.

Stephanie’s consulting experience includes enabling clients to improve strategic and operational alignment as well providing organizational and executive assessments. She has worked with global teams in both private and publicly traded organizations to translate business strategy into streamlined HR practices, notably leading HR redesigns at The Boston Globe and Fidelity Investments. An active volunteer, Stephanie has served the community in her pro bono work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and Neighborhood Housing Services of New York.

“We are so pleased to be responding to market demands and expanding our human capital practice with the addition of Stephanie to our team. She is a professional whose capabilities extend across diverse industry sectors, where she links human capital strategy to business strategy, resulting in improved performance. Her extensive operational and business process experience, coupled with her commitment to human capital excellence allow her to be a trusted partner to leaders and teams alike,” said ELI CEO Janice DiPietro. In expressing her enthusiasm at joining the firm, Stephanie commented “I’m excited to be joining a group of dedicated professionals who bring top notch experience to addressing complex issues with their clients. It’s an irresistible opportunity and an honor to join such a distinguished partnership.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor’s degree from Fordham University where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as well as Master’s Degree from Columbia University in Leadership and Learning. She also has an advanced certificate in Organization Development and Human Resources Management from Columbia as well as having completed her certification in executive coaching at New York University.

November 14: Preparing for New Leadership from Outside the Family Business

Preparing for new leadership from outside the family is one of the most critical transitions a family enterprise may face. Failure to prepare appropriately for this transition can have a devasting impact on family dynamics and lead to a negative impact on business results. E.L.I. CEO Janice DiPietro and Human Capital Practice Leader Margarete Dupere address in a recent Family Business Magazine article four pivotal issues that family business owners and directors need to consider in determining whether the next leader should come from outside the family and how best to prepare for such a transition.

October 18: Partner Michael Thomas Clark Speaks on Cyber Threat Landscape 2016

We are pleased to announce that Michael will be speaking this Thursday, October 20 on the current state of the “Cyber Threat Landscape” at Virtualization Group Boston’s Monthly Meetup at the VMware offices in Kendall Square, Cambridge. The event gets underway at 6 pm with an opportunity to network with members of the greater Boston technology community. Tickets to the event are free (as are the pizza and refreshments). Please RSVP at the Virtualization Group Boston Cyber Threat Meetup Site.

October 5: E.L.I. Seeks Partner Candidates

After an outstanding year of growth, Exceptional Leaders International is looking to expand its partnership to meet the needs of a growing client base and further accelerate our market presence.

E.L.I. is a partnership of transformational experts – former operating executives with deep expertise in finance, human capital, information technology, operations and strategy. We leverage that cross functional expertise and shared passion to assist our clients in achieving transformational change during periods of growth, mergers and acquisitions, underperformance and exit.

We are currently seeking accomplished Partner candidates with a record of success both in our core disciplines and across a wide range of industries at the C-suite level. Geographic location is flexible.

For a detailed description of our Partner requirements, please click: here

September 26: Human Capital Practice Leader Margarete Dupere Speaks at ACG

E.L.I. Partner Margarete Dupere was a guest speaker at the Association for Corporate Growth ACCELERATOR Program. Each year, ACG Boston selects rising leaders in the M&A community for a 3-day leadership development program. Marge, who leads E.L.I.‘s Human Capital Practice, led two workshops for emerging leaders on the topic of “Emotional Intelligence – Why it Differentiates Great Leaders.”

September 13: Technology and Media Industry Partner Richard D. Lane Appointed to Great Lakes Graphite Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of Great Lakes Graphite Inc. (“GLK” or the “Company” TSX-V:GLK, OTC PINK:GLKIF, FWB:8GL) today announces the appointment of Richard Lane as a Director of the Company, subject to approval by the TSX Venture Exchange.

“As Great Lakes Graphite works to become a viable commercial enterprise,” notes CEO Paul Gorman, “we continue to deepen our team with professionals who bring deep experience in disciplines that complement our existing strengths. We are always looking for opportunities to leverage the resources of our network, in this case, to identify and attract to our Board an individual with a strong operations background and a proven track record of entrepreneurial success. On behalf of the Board, I am very pleased to welcome Rich Lane to our Board of Directors.”

“About Great Lakes Graphite: Great Lakes Graphite Inc. is an industrial minerals company focused on bringing value-added carbon products to a well-defined market.”

For further information, please see: Great Lakes Graphite Appoints Richard D. Lane to its Board

July 22: Healthcare Partner Gail Marcus Speaks at Harvard Medical School

E.L.I. Partner Gail Marcus participated on June 22 in the 2016 Harvard Medical School program on Precision Medicine led by renown expert, Dr. Zak Kohane. As part of a panel discussing “What is Driving Precision Medicine,” Ms. Marcus was able to bring a unique perspective as both a diagnostic lab and healthcare leader, and as a breast cancer survivor and precision medicine consumer. She described the challenges faced by consumers in navigating the multitude of options available to patients today. Marcus advocated for diagnostic companies to collaborate with health insurers to ensure that the financial implications of testing and treatment alternatives are clearly communicated to patients.

For more on this important subject and the event itself see: Precision Medicine 2016: Rogue Therapeutics

July 11: Richard D. Lane to Lead Technology and Media Industry Practice for E.L.I.

Technology industry veteran and pioneer in the mobile sector, Richard D. Lane joins E.L.I. as a Partner leading E.L.I.’s Technology and Media Industry practice. He will also be a member of the firm’s strategy and operations group. Rich is a passionate leader who uniquely combines his expertise as a business strategist with the capacity to build organizations to maximize shareholder value. Rich’s experience as a C-Suite executive and advisor encompasses entrepreneurial ventures, closely-held businesses, and publicly-traded entities across the technology and media sector.

Previously, as CEO, Rich merged Airpath Wireless into Aptilo Networks. Before Airpath, Rich was hired by the founders of GreatCall to bring their vision to market – The Jitterbug Mobile Phone. He launched the initial mobile product and services and raised investment commitments for $15M. Rich also served as CEO of PureSpeech, a speech-recognition platform, where he reoriented the company’s strategy and merged it with a competitor for an approximate 4x increase in shareholder value (in seven months). In addition, Rich was formerly CEO of companies such as PacTel Mobile Services and PoleStar Networks, COO of Voice Control Systems and Reflection Technology, and the GM of Panasonic’s wireless business.

Rich’s consulting experience includes assisting his clients in assessing market and business opportunities, driving organic and inorganic growth, and aligning their operational, financial and technological infrastructure to support growth or turnaround faltering performance.

Rich holds an MBA and BS from The Wharton School. He currently serves as Co-Chairman of the Wharton Alumni Club of Boston.

“Rich’s deep expertise within the technology and media sector, coupled with his ability to strategically drive the market development opportunities facing our clients is a natural extension of our existing cross-functional expertise in strategy, operations, finance, information technology, and human capital. His expertise rounds out our capabilities across all functional areas within the executive suite. We are thrilled to welcome Rich to our team,” said E.L.I. CEO Janice DiPietro. In expressing his excitement in joining the firm, Rich commented, “I have spent my career increasing and optimizing shareholder value for companies across the spectrum in size and stage from early start-up to mature large services companies. I am excited to serve as a Partner with such a distinguished group of executives and to bring to market such a rich and complete complement of services to clients undergoing transformation.”

Exceptional Leaders International (E.L.I.) is a professional services firm led by Partners who are former C-Suite executives in strategy, finance, human capital, operations, technology, and sales. Leveraging a cross-functional approach to solving problems and driving results, we assist middle-market companies in navigating critical periods of transformation, growth, M&A, underperformance, and exit. When our clients desire new leadership to sustain the transformational changes we have helped them implement, we will conduct an executive search. Inquiries about our capabilities may be directed to: or by calling 617.535.7568.

May 23: CEO Search for Boston Area Client Launched by E.L.I.

Our client is a small, closely-held manufacturer of high-quality products serving end users in a range of industries, including abrasives, adhesives, automotive, coatings, construction, defense, electronics, marine, and materials. Reporting to the Executive Chair of the Board of the Directors, the CEO will define the company’s strategic direction and business plan, and lead execution of the operating plan.

Located west of Boston since its founding more than 50 years ago, our client seeks a CEO with a track record of growing businesses, innovative products and markets in this sector and successfully leading teams from strategy to execution.

Successful candidates will have held previous roles as a CEO or COO, or comparable C-suite position, in a manufacturing environment. We seek a hands-on executive, with an entrepreneurial mindset, who desires a small company environment and has a passion for growing and reinventing businesses.

Experience with M&A and integration experience, exposure to and knowledge of operating in a family business desired. A BS degree in an engineering or related field, with an MBA strongly preferred.

Please submit CV and inquiries to:

Exceptional Leaders International (E.L.I.) is a professional services firm led by Partners who are former C-Suite executives in strategy, finance, human capital, operations, technology, and sales. Leveraging a cross-functional approach to solving problems and driving results, we assist middle market companies in navigating critical periods of transformation, growth, M&A, underperformance, and exit. When our clients desire new leadership to sustain the transformational changes we have helped them implement, we will conduct an executive search, like the CEO role described above. Inquiries about our capabilities may be directed to the email address above or by calling 617.535.7568.

April 29: E.L.I. launches new series on CEO communications with their direct reports

Founder and CEO Janice DiPietro addresses CEO communications with their CFO in the first of a new series of articles to be presented over the coming months in “The CEO Magazine.” “Critical Discussion with Your CFO” addresses the questions CEOs should be asking of their CFOs, and what should they be expecting in terms of caliber of response.

March 30: Partner Michael Clark with advice for senior executives on Getting Started with Data Analytics

Technology Partner Michael Clark provides a brief overview and guidelines for executives interested in ramping up their firm’s data analytics capabilities in: How to Make Use of All That Data You Have in this month’s CFO Magazine.

March 21: E.L.I. Partner Gail Marcus To Give Keynote at ACG/Boston’s Industry Spotlight Series on Healthcare M&A Activity

Healthcare Partner Gail Marcus discusses “The Investment Environment & Opportunities in Healthcare Outsourced Services” at the first event in ACG/Boston’s new Industry Spotlight Series on March 30. For further information, see: ACG/Boston.

February 29: New Partner Gail Marcus joins Exceptional Leaders International

CEO Janice DiPietro is very pleased to announce that veteran healthcare executive Gail Marcus has joined E.L.I. as a Partner and will expand the firm’s healthcare practice. Marcus has over thirty years experience in the healthcare field. She has served in multiple senior leadership roles at CIGNA, United HealthGroup, and Advanced PCS/Caremark, has been CEO of two venture-backed diagnostic labs, and has succeeded with growing organizations both internally and through mergers and acquisitions.

“Bringing a professional of Gail’s caliber into our firm greatly expands our healthcare expertise and our ability to serve a much broader range of international clients in all aspects of healthcare. Healthcare organizations require specialized expertise to address the unique financial and operational requirements they must address to successfully compete in an evolving marketplace. Gail’s expertise strengthens our ability to assist our clients in meeting these market challenges,” said DiPietro.

“I believe in the ability of healthcare organizations to deliver high-quality care at a low cost. I look forward to continuing to help clients reach that goal at E.L.I.,” said Marcus. “I have worked with Janice DiPietro and a number of other E.L.I. partners in the past, and I know I am joining an extraordinarily talented team, dedicated to the highest level of service and the best possible results for our clients.”

For Gail’s full profile, see Gail Marcus’s E.L.I. Partner Page

January 21, 2016: E.L.I. “Smart Business” Online: “Avoiding Technology Surprises in Mergers and Carve Outs”

Failing to consider critical information technology systems in an acquisition, merger or carve-out can prove to be a multi-million dollar mistake. In the following article from “Smart Business,” Exceptional Leaders International Partner Dan Gingras points out some of the basics to ensure you reduce your risk and save money during such periods of business transition: Smart Business Online.

December 18, 2015: E.L.I. 2016 Planning Advice in “The CEO Magazine”

CEO Janice DiPietro offers her “Advice to CEOs in Planning for 2016” in the monthly guest management strategy blog at The CEO Magazine: For High Growth Ventures.

November 4, 2015: Partner Michael Clark presents ONUG Conference network security update

As Chair of the Open Networking Users’ Group (ONUG) “Security Fabric Working Group,” E.L.I. Partner Michael Clark provided an update at the ONUG Fall 2015 Conference at New York University on the progress made since work commenced last summer on defining the broad security requirements needed for next-generation, software-defined and vendor agnostic networking products. This ambitious effort, now being expanded with the engagement of IT operational executives from a cross-section of large US and global end-user enterprises, is expected to be complete by Spring 2016.

October 5, 2015: Exceptional Leaders International visits Radio Entrepreneurs

CEO Janice DiPietro discusses business transformation issues facing middle market companies on the “Radio Entrepreneurs Network.” Janice was recently interviewed by program host Jeffrey Davis:

August 18, 2015: New Partner William Kea joins Exceptional Leaders International

CEO Janice DiPietro is excited to announce that Bill Kea has joined E.L.I. as a Partner. Bill brings 20 years of financial and operating experience as a Chief Financial Officer in healthcare and medical technology, software, manufacturing, and professional services. Currently on assignment as the CFO for a healthcare and data analytics client, and formerly CFO at DavCard Group, QuantiaMD, and InterSense, Bill has significant experience addressing a full spectrum of financial leadership needs, including all forms of debt and equity financing, mergers and acquisitions, and exit planning and execution.

Bill’s expertise extends beyond the financial function. He has led operations for numerous organizations, driving operational efficiencies that translate into meaningful bottom-line results. Bill is passionate about working with committed management teams and assisting them in reaching their goals. Bill’s expertise expands E.L.I.‘s capabilities in the healthcare sector.

For his full profile, see Bill Keas’ E.L.I. Partner Page

July 25, 2015: New Partner Margarete Dupere joins Exceptional Leaders International

CEO Janice DiPietro announced today that Margarete Dupere has joined E.L.I. as a Partner and will lead our Human Capital services. Margarete brings 25 years of experience as a Human Capital Executive in technology, financial services and professional services. Former Senior Vice President for State Street, Global Head of Organization Development for Analog Devices, and Executive Coach and OD Consultant with the Hay Group, Margarete is a tremendous addition to our cross functional Partner group. She is highly adept at assessing needs and building both individual and team capability, helping clients link the human capital strategy with the business strategy to drive results. It’s during times of change and opportunity that maximizing the capability of leaders and teams can have the greatest impact on the business.

For her full profile, see Margarete Dupere’s E.L.I. Partner Page

March 15, 2015: Exceptional Leaders International is launched!

Exceptional Leaders International is excited to announce the beginning of a new partnership, a group of senior business transformation experts that guide companies through their most critical times of transition: growth, underperformance, and exit planning. As a partnership, E.L.I.‘s Partners are committed to delivering exceptional service to every client. We are passionate about creating real value for the executives and organizations we serve, and have come together as a cross-functional team in finance, human capital, operations, and technology to uniquely deliver such services.

• Equity Financing • IPO • Secondary Public Offerings • Debt Financing

• Process Improvement • System/Infrastructure Strategy, Assessment, Selection, and Implementation • Project/System Remediation • Program Management • Cost Analysis/Cost Reduction • Equity Negotiation/Refinancing

• Target Identification • Target Due Diligence • Integration across people, processes, business systems, and infrastructure

• Succession Planning • Carve Out

We focus primarily on middle-market organizations, including private equity portfolio companies, and we customize our transformative services to meet each client’s needs.

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