Blackford Capital Adds Two to Michigan Prosperity Fund Advisory Board

Growing advisory board highlights Fund's success

Jan 07, 2014, 09:00 ET from Blackford Capital

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackford Capital, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based private equity firm focused on acquiring and growing middle-market manufacturing, distribution and service companies, today announced the appointment of Frank Newman and Cindy Pasky to its Michigan Prosperity Fund advisory board. Newman and Pasky join former Michigan Governor and current Business Roundtable president John Engler; Mark Murray, co-CEO and vice chairman of Meijer, Inc.; Mary Petrovich, an executive with the Carlyle Group; and David Porteous, partner at McCurdy Wotila & Porteous and lead director at Huntington Bank.

"We are thrilled to have Frank and Cindy join the Michigan Prosperity Fund board," said Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital. "Frank and Cindy bring with them years of invaluable business experience, as well as a significant understanding of the challenges and opportunities the state is currently seeing. Our outstanding advisory board is what allows us to tap into the best-of-the-best in executive talent and board members for our portfolio companies, and together we look forward to continuing down a path of creating jobs and sustaining Michigan's economy."

The Michigan Prosperity Fund was created in 2012 to generate best-in-class returns for investors within the state of Michigan while at the same time supporting the Michigan economy by maintaining local ownership of Michigan companies and protecting and creating jobs locally. The Fund had an outstanding 2013, evaluating more than 100 different investment opportunities, closing two acquisitions – Custom Profile and Mopec – and generating strong returns for investors. Additionally, the acquisition of Custom Profile was selected as the Company Deal of the Year by MiBiz and ACG West Michigan, the Mopec acquisition was selected as a finalist for Deal of the Year by M&A Advisor, and Stein was selected as the Dealmaker of the Year by MiBiz and ACG West Michigan. Blackford expects to close two more investments within the Fund during the first quarter of 2014. 

Frank Newman is president and CEO of The Stow Company, Inc., a leader in custom home storage and organizational products headquartered in Holland, Mich. Prior to The Stow Company, Newman served as chairman and CEO of Medical Nutrition USA, Inc. from 2002-2011. He also served as president, and then chairman and CEO, of Eckerd Corporation from 1993-2001, and prior to that was president and CEO of F&M Distributors, Inc. from 1986-1993.

Cindy Pasky is founder, president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions, a Detroit, Mich.-based global IT and business services company. Pasky serves as chair of the Detroit Downtown Partnership board of directors, co-chairs the Urban Strategies Committee of Business Leaders for Michigan, and is a member of its board of directors and executive committee. She also directs 2-1-1 On the Go!, a homeless outreach program focused on helping individuals access permanent housing and employment. Pasky recently joined the board of directors for Atlas Holdings, a group of manufacturing, distribution, service and trading businesses.

About Blackford Capital
Blackford Capital is a private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich., that acquires, manages and builds middle-market manufacturing, distribution and service companies, with seven portfolio companies employing more than 950 people and with combined revenues of approximately $225 million. Blackford has offices in Grand Rapids (headquarters) and Santa Monica, CA. Blackford has closed 27 transactions since 2005. The firm's investment criteria includes mature, profitable businesses with revenues between $20 million and $100 million and with management teams that are either interested in remaining with the company to promote its continued growth or are seeking to retire. For more information, visit

SOURCE Blackford Capital