Tell us a little bit about yourself . . .
I’m a married guy who lives in Davis, California with 4 kids and 1 dog… and have been based out of Northern California for over a decade. I grew up in Maine, went to college in Vermont and grad school in Boston.
What kinds of roles have you held professionally?
I seem to be one of the last multi-disciplinary, multi-industry managers left around! So many professionals are specialists now (and for good reason) but my career trajectory has ended up spanning multiple industries. I like it that way. Each time I entered a new industry it was exciting to learn something new so quickly. For example, I became VP of Administration for an East Coast electricity transmission line company (Neptune RTS). I had no previous experience in developing that kind of asset. That went well. I was General Manager of a 24/7/365 wood products, heavy manufacturing company running three shifts (Knight-Celotex). I had no experience managing the complex issues of manufacturing, safety, production and labor. But that went pretty well. And more recently I played multiple senior roles for a life-sciences company including roles as site director, head of business development and also international distribution. That also was a success.
So, my background includes the full range of skills across the full range of industries. It keeps things exciting.
Seabright is an interesting name – where does it come from?
It’s an historic family business name. Seabright Woven Felt was the name of the Paige family business during the early and mid part of the 20th century. It was a large, riverside woolen mill based on the coast of Maine in a pretty little town of Camden, ME. Seabright made industrial felt for manufacturing purposes, felt for pool tables and woolen blankets for the US Army. Ultimately, like many rural manufacturing companies around America, it didn’t keep up with the chase for lower-cost, off-shore labor and went out of business about the time my father was to join it. So, he became a banker instead.
But, I always knew that I wanted to resurrect some aspect of that family legacy. When I needed a name for this organization Seabright was a logical one. It’s fun to bring it all full circle.
Family businesses are more than just financial assets. They permeate everything you do, dinner table conversations, long-term plans, succession. And they can have an impact many generations down the line. So it’s sort of fun to talk about Seabright again.
Why undertake an entrepreneurial path through an acquisition, rather than a start-up?
Fair question. There are basically two choices in entrepreneurship: start up or acquire. They take somewhat different skills. I’m a better fit for taking something that is already great and building it out, expanding it and integrating and building an existing team, maybe driving a strategic plan. I’m more comfortable with the risk profile involved in finding something and expanding it, rather than inventing an idea and creating new space where none previously existed. So a search fund (also called funded search) was a great fit.
Why create a funded search in Northern California?
Why? Because I love Northern California and this is where I live. I came here a decade ago expecting to be here for just a few years. But we fell in love with the region and expect to never leave. Many search funds are national affairs and the searcher will go anywhere the opportunity dictates. But, I am confident there is ample opportunity to find a great company right here in Northern California within reach of my family.
I’m lucky to have the confidence of dozens of extraordinarily talented operators and investors on my team who are committed to helping me find that one, great company.