“Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.”
Denis Waitley

Continuous Improvement in Investing and Business

Overview

Embedded within the fabric of our organization is a culture focused on continuous improvement, talent development and business orientation. Given this culture and our “no-ego” approach towards investing and business-building, we have surrounded ourselves with a group of world-class executives and fundamental investors – The D Cubed Investor & Executive Council. The members of this group are an added source of ongoing best-practice development for all D Cubed professionals. And this knowledge-sharing model is an additional reinforcement of the firm’s focus on maintaining a team of deeply investment and business-oriented professionals.

Alan Axelrod

Managing Partner, Axelrod Investments Mr. Axelrod has been a fundamentally-driven, public securities investor for over a decade and currently is a Managing Partner at Axelrod Investments which he founded in 2008.  Previously, he led Brightpoint Capital, a $750 million equity hedge fund affiliate of H.I.G. Capital.  Mr. Axelrod also served as a Managing Director for the Ziff family office, Ziff Brothers Investments, where he assisted in directing all domestic public investments for the family’s multi-billion dollar investment portfolio.  Earlier in his career, he was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and an executive in the Park & Resorts strategic planning group at the Walt Disney Company.

Robert L. Berenson

Former Vice Chairman, Grey Global Group Mr. Berenson is the former Vice Chairman and General Manager of Grey Global Group, one of the world’s largest marketing communications holding companies with over $9 billion in annual billings and more than 10,000 employees across 18 operating companies.  He retired in 2005 after a 40-year career with the firm.  Prior to assuming global management responsibilities, Mr. Berenson served as President of Grey Worldwide-North America where during his tenure, domestic revenue grew to over $500 million and the agency rose from number four in the U.S. ranks to become the nation’s largest advertising agency.  He currently is a Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Culinary Institute of America and an executive advisor of Gryphon Colleges Corporation.

Stephen E. Carley

President and CEO, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Mr. Carley is currently the President and CEO of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, bringing with him close to 30 years of marketing and operations expertise in the restaurant, foodservice, and consumer products industries.  In 2013, Fortune Magazine ranked him number 28 of the 50 "Top People in Business." Prior to joining Red Robin in 2010, he served as the President and CEO of El Pollo Loco for nine years.  Under his leadership, El Pollo Loco expanded its store base and generated same store sales growth far outpacing both the fast casual and quick service restaurant industry averages. Earlier in his career, Mr. Carley served in various management positions at Taco Bell, was President of Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park and Citywalk, and held several positions within brand management and operations at General Mills, The Pillsbury Co., and PepsiCo.

Jeffrey R. Clark

President and CEO, Anthony International Mr. Clark is the President, CEO and Director of Anthony, the world’s largest and most technologically advanced manufacturer of glass doors and related products serving the commercial refrigeration market.  He has been with Anthony for 22 years, and since becoming President and CEO in 2003, has led a successful re-engineering of the company’s strategic growth path.  The strategic and operating efforts led by Mr. Clark allowed Anthony to enhance its margins while dramatically expanding global distribution and resulted in 9x growth in revenue and 20x growth in earnings during his tenure. Mr. Clark currently serves on the Board of Directors of KEH Camera.

Christopher L. Delong

Chief Investment Officer, Taconic Capital Advisors L.P. Mr. DeLong is the Chief Investment Officer of Taconic Capital Advisors, a $9+ billion multi-strategy investment management firm with offices in New York and London.  In early 2011, the firm shifted its investment process so that he could focus on all of the firm’s larger investments in excess of $50 million.  He joined the firm at its inception in 1999 as a principal and currently serves as the Portfolio Manager for Taconic’s Opportunity and Event-Driven Funds with responsibility for more than $1 billion in capital.  Mr. DeLong took over the lead portfolio manager position for these funds in 2004, after serving as the firm’s Head of Capital Structure Arbitrage.  Prior to joining Taconic, Mr. DeLong was a Vice President at J.P. Morgan Securities in the Equity Derivatives Group.

John A. Edwardson

Former Chairman and CEO, CDW Corporation / Former President, UAL and United Airlines Mr. Edwardson is the former Chairman and CEO of CDW Corporation, a leading provider of technology products and services for businesses, government, education and healthcare. He joined CDW in 2001 and served as its CEO until September 2011. Prior to joining CDW, Mr. Edwardson served as CEO of Burns International Services. Earlier in his career, he was President and COO of UAL Corporation and United Airlines and EVP and CFO of Ameritech Corporation. Mr. Edwardson currently serves on the Board of Directors of FedEx Corporation, Rockwell Collins, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital and also serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Council of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Rodney F. Ganey

Co-Founder, Press Ganey Associates Dr. Ganey is a Co-Founder of Press Ganey Associates, a firm he and his partner Dr. Irwin Press created in 1985 to measure and improve customer satisfaction within healthcare organizations.  Over its 25 year history, the company has become the largest provider of ongoing patient satisfaction surveys and performance measurement solutions, servicing over 10,000 healthcare facilities (including 50% of all U.S. hospitals).  Dr. Ganey is currently an investor and serves on the boards of various health & wellness centers and community foundations.  He is also Chair of the Graduate Teaching and Research Advisory Council, University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining Press Ganey full-time, Dr. Ganey spent 16 years on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame.

Ken Graboys

Founding Partner, The Chartis Group Mr. Graboys is a Founding Partner and Managing Director of The Chartis Group, an advisory services firm providing management consulting and applied research to healthcare organizations.  He has over 20 years of experience in healthcare consulting where he has assisted top academic medical centers, integrated delivery systems and community teaching hospitals in achieving their strategic and economic objectives.  Mr. Graboys is a frequent speaker at industry forums, including ACHE and HRMA, and has been published in the Healthcare Financial Management Journal.  He formerly was a Senior Partner of the management consulting firm CSC Healthcare/APM.

Philip J. Hickey,Jr.

Chairman, National Restaurant Association / Former CEO, RARE Hospitality Phil is a 35-year veteran of the restaurant industry, and he currently serves as the Chairman of the National Restaurant Association. Phil is currently Chairman of Miller's Ale House and recently served as the Chairman of O’Charley’s Inc. and acted as Interim President and CEO in 2010. Previously, Phil was CEO and Chairman of RARE Hospitality, a 300-unit restaurant company whose concepts included LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille. Throughout his tenure, RARE’s market capitalization grew from $90 million to $1.3 billion before being acquired by Darden Restaurants in 2007. Phil has received numerous prestigious industry awards, including the Golden Chain Award and Norman Award from Nation’s Restaurant News.

Lloyd L. Hill

Former Chairman and CEO, Applebee’s International Mr. Hill is the former Chairman and CEO of Applebee’s International, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.  He joined Applebee’s as Chief Operating Officer in 1994, was named CEO in 1998, and was elected Chairman of the Board in 2000.  Under Mr. Hill’s leadership, Applebee’s grew into the largest casual dining concept in the world, with nearly 1,900 restaurants in 49 states and 17 countries.  In 2005, he was named one of America’s Best CEOs by Institutional Investor and “Operator of the Year” in Nation’s Restaurant News.  Prior to Applebee’s, Mr. Hill served as President of Kimberly Quality Care, a market leader in home healthcare and nurse staffing.

Michael Kassen

Former EVP and Chief Investment Officer, Neuberger Berman Mr. Kassen has more than 30 years of experience in the investment advisory business, and he is the former EVP and Chief Investment Officer of Neuberger Berman, an investment advisory firm that had $59 billion in assets under management at the time of his retirement.  Mr. Kassen is currently a private investor and serves on the board of a number of organizations, including The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a nonprofit lobbying group advocating pro-Israel policies to the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch, the Jewish Communal Fund, and the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now.

Michael Kubin

EVP, Invidi Technologies / CEO, Ionic Media Group Mr. Kubin is a 30-year veteran of the media industry and a leading authority on addressable marketing, having built and managed a series of successful entrepreneurial ventures in those areas.  He is currently EVP of Invidi Technologies, which is the leader in developing technology for addressable advertising and marketing on television. Mr. Kubin also serves as CEO and Managing Director of Ionic Media Group, a multi-channel media integration and optimization agency that he co-founded in 2002.  Mr. Kubin also co-founded Evaliant Media Resources which was ultimately sold to Taylor Nelson Sofres and Media Incorporated which he sold to The Interpublic Group. He is currently Vice Chair of the Columbia Journalism School Alumni Board, and his articles have been published in the New York Observer and the New Yorker.

Aylwin B. Lewis

President and CEO, Potbelly Sandwich Works Mr. Lewis has nearly 30 years of experience in the quick service restaurant industry, and he is currently the President and CEO of Potbelly Sandwich Works, a Chicago-based sandwich chain with over 300 locations.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of The Walt Disney Company and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and he previously sat on the Board of Halliburton.  Prior to joining Potbelly in 2008, Mr. Lewis was the President and CEO of Sears Holdings, and earlier held the position of President and CEO of Kmart until its $11 billion merger with Sears.  Previously, he was Chief Multi-Branding and Operating Officer of YUM! Brands where he managed its diverse portfolio of restaurant concepts including KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s, and A&W.

Steven Lightman

Managing Member, SAL LLC Steven is a 30-year veteran of the direct and multi-channel marketing industry and has worked directly with multi-channel retailers as well as with the companies providing them services. Currently he sits on the Board of Directors of Infogroup, Gruppo Levey, KEH Camera, and Distinctive Apparel. He has been CEO of Boston Apparel Group, the Value Brands Group of Orchard Brands, and Sharper Image. He also co-founded Crosstown Traders and held senior positions at Fingerhut Companies and Arizona Mail Order. He serves in numerous charitable roles and is an active member of the Direct Marketing Association.

James Loewenberg

Co-CEO, Magellan Development Group Jim is the Co-Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Development Group. He has diverse real estate industry experience as a developer, architect, property manager and marketer. James has led the development and design of many of Chicago’s (and increasingly several other markets') most successful residential and mixed-use developments with Loewenberg Architects, a Chicago-based architecture firm founded in 1919. During his career, Loewenberg has directed the development and design of more than 35,000 residential units and 3,500 single-family homes. Loewenberg was the recipient of the 2009 ULI Chicago Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Chicago Real Estate Hall of Fame in September 2009. In addition, he was one of five Award of Excellence recipients from the Illinois Real Estate Journal and has been named to Crain’s Chicago Business select list of "Chicago's Power Players".

Paul Lountzis

Founder and President, Lountzis Asset Management Mr. Lountzis is the Founder and President of Lountzis Asset Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor that manages customized portfolios for high-net-worth individuals, families and institutions.  In addition, he is the General Partner and Investment Manager for Achtinon Capital Management, LLC.  The investment objective of both firms is to maximize long-term after-tax returns for its clients in various economic and market conditions while emphasizing the preservation of capital.  Previously, Mr. Lountzis was an Analyst and Partner at Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb, an investment advisor managing the Sequoia Mutual Fund.  He has also worked with Berkshire Hathaway on select investments, and earlier was an Analyst at Royce & Associates.

Richard Pzena

Founder and Co-CIO, Pzena Investment Management Mr. Pzena is the Founder and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Pzena Investment Management, a global investment management firm with over $23 billion in assets under management. Mr. Pzena is the chief architect of the firm’s value investing strategy and conceived its proprietary screening model. He serves as co-portfolio manager on each of the firm’s domestic investments and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Previously, Mr. Pzena was the Director of U.S. Equity Investments and Chief Research Officer for Sanford C. Bernstein, and in his earlier years as an oil industry analyst was named to the Institutional Investor All American Research Team.

Jude D. Rake

Founder, JDR Growth Partners Mr. Rake has over 30 years of experience building businesses to create economic value, and founded consulting firm JDR Growth Partners to help other leaders achieve sustainable growth. Mr. Rake was the former President and CEO of ETA hand2mind, the nation’s leading provider of hands-on supplemental learning solutions for PreK-12 math, science and literacy education. Previously, Mr. Rake was the CEO of Papyrus-Recycled Greetings, Inc. He has been recognized on numerous occasions for leadership, creativity, innovation, and marketing excellence including having received Clio, Mobius, Effie and Burnham awards. He was also named a Top 100 Marketer twice by Advertising Age. Throughout his career, Mr. Rake has managed some of the most notable brands at companies including Fellowes, Kodak, S.C. Johnson, Pepsi-Cola International, and The Clorox Company.

Mark Schulhof

President and CEO, Quadriga Art Mr. Schulhof is the President and CEO of Quadriga Art, a leading provider of services to the non-profit community, raising more than $2 billion annually for clients located throughout 20 countries worldwide.  Founded more than 70 years ago, Quadriga Art is a multi-faceted manufacturing, publishing, retail supply, full-service fundraising and direct mail marketing company which employs over 4,000 individuals and produces more than 1.5 billion units annually.  Mr. Schulhof is responsible for day-to-day operations and the development of all of the company’s strategic growth initiatives.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of Western Liberty Bancorp.

Robin P. Selati

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Madison Dearborn Partners Mr. Selati is a co-founder, Managing Director and Head of the Consumer Industry Team of Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm which has raised more than $18 billion of capital since inception.  Mr. Selati has been with the firm for over 16 years, and he has played an integral role in many of the firm’s most notable consumer investments including Beverages & More, Tuesday Morning Corporation, Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Bolthouse Farms, Cinemark and The Yankee Candle Company.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of a number of these companies.

Linda Srere

Former President and CEO, Young & Rubicam Ms. Srere is considered one of the business world's most accomplished marketing professionals.  She held various leadership positions at Young & Rubicam, a preeminent global advertising firm, including serving as the first female President and CEO in its 75-year history, and later becoming Vice Chairman and Chief Client Officer.  Over her heralded career, she has received numerous recognitions including being named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business by Fortune Magazine and one of the Top 100 Women in Advertising by Advertising Age.  Ms. Srere currently serves on the Board of Universal Technical Institute, a provider of education training, has served on the Board of Electronic Arts, and acts as a marketing and advertising consultant.

Joseph N. Stein

Founder and President, Simply Innovate Mr. Stein is the Founder and President of Simply Innovate, a specialty consulting firm that provides corporate workshops and consulting services to businesses in the area of innovation. Previously, he was the SVP of Strategy and Innovation at El Pollo Loco, a 400-unit, fast-casual restaurant chain specializing in flame-grilled chicken and fresh Mexican entrees. Mr. Stein sponsored the creation of this role in order to leverage innovation throughout the organization in the development of new products, processes and best practices. Before transitioning into this new position, Mr. Stein served as El Pollo Loco’s CFO for more than six years. Prior, he held senior financial and strategic roles at Rubio’s Restaurants, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants and Carl’s Jr. Mr. Stein is a member of the Board of Directors of Ignite Restaurant Group and is also the author of "Bottom-Up and Top-Down Innovation: Innovate Your Way to Success!"

Jeffrey Wolk

Co-President, The Cross Country Group Mr. Wolk is the Co-President of The Cross Country Group, a privately-held business comprised of direct marketing and customer service companies serving Fortune 1000 clients, such as General Motors and American Express.  Over the past 18 years, Mr. Wolk has expanded the business from a single entity with $30 million in revenue to a $600 million multi-business enterprise with 2,500 associates serving over 70 million of its clients’ customers.  Mr. Wolk is also the CEO of Madavor Media, a specialty consumer media company formed in 2004.  He began his career in mergers and acquisitions at Wasserstein Perella & Co.