“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 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. 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

Former 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. Clark

Former 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. 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.  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. 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 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. 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 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 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.  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. Hill

Former 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 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

Former 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 Lightman

Group 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.

Dennis Lombardi

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.

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. Mr. Lountzis currently sits on the Board of Directors for Police Athletic League.

Richard Pzena

Founder and Co-CIO, Pzena Investment Management Mr. Pzena is the Founder and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Pzena Investment Management (NYSE: PZN), a global investment management firm with over $49.8 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. Mr. Rake currently serves as the Chair of the Compensation Committee for The Wall Family Enterprise and serves on the Board of Directors of A Safe Place, a center for the prevention of domestic violence.

Robin P. Selati

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Madison Dearborn 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. Mr. Rake currently serves as the Chair of the Compensation Committee for The Wall Family Enterprise and serves on the Board of Directors of A Safe Place, a center for the prevention of domestic violence.

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, serves on the Board of SOS Method, a mediation technology platform. Ms. Srere has also 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 has extensive experience within the restaurant and franchise industry and has been a consultant for over 10 years. Mr. Stein was previously 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 currently a member of the Board of Directors Del Taco, and is also the author of "Bottom-Up and Top-Down Innovation: Innovate Your Way to Success!" Mr. Stein previously served on the Board of Directors of Home Franchise Concepts, a private equity owned franchisor of various brands including Budget Blinds, and Ignite Restaurants Group.

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 Founder and Chairman of Madavor Media, a Boston based specialty consumer media company formed in 2004.  He began his career in mergers and acquisitions at Wasserstein Perella & Co. Mr. Wolk also serves on the board and committees of a number of not-for-profit organizations and political organizations.