- “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
- Alan Axelrod
- Robert L. Berenson
Grey Global (Former)
- Stephen E. Carley
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
- Jeffrey R. Clark
- Christopher L. Delong
Taconic Capital Advisors
- John A. Edwardson
- Rodney F. Ganey
Press Ganey Associates (Former)
- Ken Graboys
The Chartis Group
- Philip J. Hickey,Jr.
National Restaurant Association
- Lloyd L. Hill
- Michael Kassen
Neuberger Berman (Former)
- Michael Kubin
Ionic Media Group
- Aylwin B. Lewis
Potbelly Sandwich Works
- Steven Lightman
- Dennis Lombardi
- Paul Lountzis
Lountzis Asset Mgmt.
- Richard Pzena
Pzena Investment Mgmt.
- Jude D. Rake
JDR Growth Partners
- Robin P. Selati
- Linda Srere
Young & Rubicam (Former)
- Joseph N. Stein
- Jeffrey Wolk
Cross Country Group
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 AxelrodManaging Partner, Axelrod Investments Mr. Axelrod has been a fundamentally-driven, public securities investor for over 20 years and currently is a Managing Partner at Axelrod Investments, a public market investment firm 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. BerensonFormer 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. CarleyFormer President and CEO, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Mr. Carley is the former 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. Mr. Carley currently sits on the Board of Directors of United PF Partners and Big 5 Sporting Goods.
Jeffrey R. ClarkFormer President and CEO, Anthony International Mr. Clark is formerly the President, CEO and Director of Anthony International, the world’s largest and most technologically advanced manufacturer of glass doors and related products serving the commercial refrigeration market. Mr. Clark was with Anthony for 20 years, including serving as President and CEO from 1990 to 2015, During his time leading the Company he led several successful re-engineerings and refinements of the company’s strategic growth path, building the business from a domestic supplier to being the market leader globally. The strategic and operating efforts led by Mr. Clark allowed Anthony to enhance its margins alongside its sales 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, Senneca Holdings, and Micronics Filtration Limited
Christopher L. DelongChief 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. He joined the firm at its inception in 1999 as a Principal 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, was an attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Howard Darby & Levin, and clerked for the Honorable Ralph K. Winter of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
John A. EdwardsonFormer 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 previously served on the Board of Directors of FedEx Corporation, Rockwell Collins (acquired by United Technologies Corporation in 2018), and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Mr. Edwardson currently serves on the Board of Directors of Chubb LTD., is the Co-Chairman of Advance Illinois, and serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Council of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has continued to contribute to the John Edwardson, ’72, New Social Venture Challenge which is one of the nation’s first social venture competitions and has helped jump-start more than 100 companies and nonprofits since 2011.
Rodney F. GaneyCo-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 data-driven patient experience and performance solutions, servicing over 41,000 healthcare facilities (including over 50% of all U.S. hospitals). Press Ganey’s data is backed by more than 40 million patients, 23 million members, and 3 million caregivers annually, driving transformation across the entire continuum of care. Dr. Ganey is currently an investor and serves on the boards of various health & wellness centers and community foundations. Dr. Ganey 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 GraboysFounding 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. Mr. Grayboys 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, HFMA and CHIME, has been published in the Healthcare Financial Management Journal, and has lectured at the Yale University School of Management and Northwestern Kellogg School of Management. Mr. Grayboys formerly was a Senior Partner of the management consulting firm CSC Healthcare/APM and has structured healthcare trade programs between United States healthcare enterprises and the USSR during his tenure at Telesis, Inc. Mr. Grayboys serves on several civic and business organization boards including the Rand Organization, Press-Ganey, Heart Healers International, and the Lightshare Foundation.
Philip J. Hickey,Jr.Former Chairman, National Restaurant Association / Former CEO, RARE Hospitality Phil is a 35-year veteran of the restaurant industry, has founded and built multiple restaurant brands, including Capital Grill, LongHorn Steakhouse, and Bugaboo Creek Steak House and served as Chairman of the National Restaurant Association, and is one of the most highly regarded restaurant executives in America. 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 Plate Award, Golden Chain Award and Norman Award from Nation’s Restaurant News.
Lloyd L. HillFormer Chairman and CEO, Applebee’s International Mr. Hill is the former Chairman and CEO of Applebee’s International. 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. Mr. Hill is a founding member of the Saint Luke’s Hospital South Advisory Committee and currently serves on the Boards of Rockhurst University, the National Restaurant Association, and formerly served on the Board of Directors of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and AMC Entertainment Holdings.
Michael KassenFormer 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 KubinEVP, 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. LewisFormer President and CEO, Potbelly Sandwich Works Mr. Lewis has nearly 30 years of experience in the quick service restaurant industry, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Marriott International. Previously Mr. Lewis served on the Board of Directors of The Walt Disney Company, Starwoods Hotels & Resorts, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and 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 LightmanGroup President, Gourmet Foods & Gift Baskets, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM,Inc Mr. Lightman is responsible for driving strategy and enhancing operational agility within the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM’s Gourmet Foods and Gift Baskets and oversees more than half a dozen brands such as Harry & David, Cheryl’s Cookies, Wolferman’s, Moose Munch, Stock Yards and The Popcorn Factory. After joining 1-800-FLOWERS.COM in 2015, Mr. Lightman led the digital transformation for Harry & David, evolving the company from a traditional catalog retailer to an e-commerce destination for gourmet foods and gifts. Mr. Lightman 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. 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. Currently sits on the Board of Grown Rogue (CNSX:GRIN), Trading Company Holdings Mr. Lightman previously served on the Board of Directors for Gruppo Levey and Infogroup and Distinctive Apparel.
President, Insight Dynamics LLC
Mr. Lombardi has over 35 years of extensive advisory services experience to the restaurant industry. Prior to creating his own firm, Insight Dynamics, he was the EVP of Foodservices at WD Partners (an integrated planning, design, architectural and project management firm). He also served as WD Partners subject matter expert in Foodservice. While at WD Partners, he created the annual research program Consumer Picks which WD Partners co-ventured with Nation’s Restaurant News. Prior to WD Partners, Mr. Lombardi spent 13 years with Technomic where he established and managed the firm’s Operator Practice. Mr. Lombardi has served on number of restaurant boards, focusing of emerging chains. Board positions included, Qdoba, El Pollo Loco, Abuleo’s, and Togo’s, among others. As a highly experienced restaurant board member he assisted these emerging chains develop a sustainable growth program to build enterprise value.