Heartwood’s team of dedicated individuals comes from a wide variety of professional backgrounds and allows us to have the insight to make smart decisions with our management teams while driving lasting value for their businesses.

All
Leadership
Investment Team
Value Specialists
Business Development
Finance & Administration

Mark Allsteadt

Managing Partner

Angus Bass

Associate

Saer Brown

Associate

Jack Careccia

Associate

Anshul Chawla

Vice President

Hongbo Chen

Fund Controller

Wendy Diglio

Fund Controller

Demetrios Dounis

Managing Director

Bruce Ennis

Chief Human Capital Officer

Brian Fitzgerald

Founder & Chairman

Casey Gordon

Executive Assistant

Anastasia Kowal

Chief Financial Officer & Chief Compliance Officer

Mark Langer

Managing Director

Morgan Murray

Senior Associate

John Newman

Principal

Sarah Paquet

Vice President

Jason Phillips

Senior Vice President of Portfolio Operations

Berat Rifati

Fund Controller

Susan Russo

Office Manager

Michelle Ryan

Chief Marketing Officer

James Sidwa

Managing Director

Joseph Sokol

Senior Associate

Russell Spieler

Managing Director

Edwin Tan

Managing Director

Robert Tucker

Managing Partner

Andrea Vandersall

Vice President

Sage Volpe

Executive Assistant and Investor Communications

John Willert

Managing Director

Mark Allsteadt
Managing Partner
Year Joined: 2004

Mark is a Managing Partner of Heartwood Partners. He has focused his entire career on private equity and mid to large cap corporations and oversees all activities of the firm along with Rob Tucker.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he was a Partner with Saugatuck Capital Company, a private equity firm in Stamford, CT. Prior to Saugatuck he was Senior Vice President of Operations with Visionworks, Inc. and an operations executive in various positions at Circuit City Stores, Inc. Mark began his career as an Analyst with RFE Investment Partners, a private equity firm in New Canaan, CT.

Education:

  • MBA from Stanford University
  • BA from Bucknell University
Angus Bass
Associate
Year Joined: 2020

Angus is an Associate at Heartwood Partners. His background in research and Alternatives investing complements the team. As an Associate, he is involved in the execution of new investments and the management of existing portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he worked as a Research Associate with Franklin Templeton Investments, where he focused on analyzing and underwriting investment managers across the Alternatives space.

Education:

Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a Minor in Business from Cornell University

Saer Brown
Associate
Year Joined: 2020

Saer is an Associate at Heartwood Partners. His background in investment banking contributes to the firm, where he is involved in the execution of new investments and the management of existing portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he was an Associate with EC Mergers & Acquisitions, an investment bank focused on industrial technology, in New York, NY.  Previously he worked as an Analyst at Stephens, Inc. in Little Rock, AR.

Education:

BA in Economics and History from Sewanee: The University of the South

Jack Careccia
Associate
Year Joined: 2020

Jack is an Associate at Heartwood Partners. His background in investment banking contributes to the firm, where he is involved in the execution of new investments and the management of existing portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he was an Analyst with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, an investment bank in New York City focusing on M&A and capital solutions for mid-size financial institutions.  Previously he worked at Treasury Partners, a wealth management firm in New York City.

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Mathematics and Economics with a Minor in Political Science from Bucknell University

Anshul Chawla
Vice President
Year Joined: 2017

Anshul is a Vice President at Heartwood Partners. His background in both private equity and investment banking contributes to his involvement in the business strategy and operations of the firm’s portfolio companies. 

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he worked as an Analyst at BNP Paribas within their Merchant Banking Group.

Education:

  • BS in Finance and Accounting from the University of Maryland
Hongbo Chen
Fund Controller
Year Joined: 2018

Hongbo is a Fund Controller at Heartwood Partners. With her intensive background in fund accounting and financial reporting for private equity, she is responsible for the financial operations and reporting of the firm’s funds.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, she was a Senior Manager with Sanne Group, a global provider of alternative asset and corporate administration services and was based in the New York office. Prior to Sanne, Hongbo was an Accounting Manager at Commonfund Capital, a global private capital solutions provider based in Wilton, CT. While at Commonfund, her responsibilities included fund level accounting and reporting and oversight of the accounting and operational diligence in the Beijing office.

Education:

  • BA from Nan Kai University in Tianjin China
  • MBA from the University of Oklahoma with a partial MBA study at New York University.
Wendy Diglio
Fund Controller
Year Joined: 1994

Wendy is a Fund Controller at Heartwood Partners. Her extensive career in accounting allows her to be responsible for the accounting of the firm’s limited partnerships, communications with limited partners, and the due diligence and acquisition processes.

Education:

  • BA in Accounting and Finance from Quinnipiac University
Demetrios Dounis
Managing Director
Year Joined: 2020

Demetrios is a Managing Director at Heartwood Partners. He has an extensive background in private equity and investment banking, and he is responsible for evaluating new investment opportunities and managing existing portfolio companies for the firm.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he was an Investment Partner at The Compass Group, a private equity firm in Westport, CT. Prior to Compass, Demetrios was an Analyst at UBS in New York, NY. Demetrios began his career at Deloitte in New York, NY, where he was a Senior Accountant.

Education:

  • MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • BS in Accounting from Rutgers University
  • CFA Charterholder and a Certified Public Accountant in New York
Bruce Ennis
Chief Human Capital Officer
Year Joined: 2019

Bruce is the Chief Human Capital Officer of Heartwood Partners. His international background in assisting organizational development, blending strategy into tactics, and implementing diversity and talent management programs allows him to provide comprehensive support to human capital strategies at the firm and portfolio company-level.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, Bruce was Vice President Human Resources at Bigelow Tea, Human Resources Client Manager at Sikorsky Global Helicopters, Director of Human Resources at Pepperidge Farm, and held various human resource leadership positions at Citizens Communications (now Frontier). Before moving to the United States, he was recruited in the United Kingdom by Cadbury Schweppes to their Accelerated Management Development Program for Human Resources.  He has previously spent many years with both the United Way and Junior Achievement organizations in Connecticut.

Education:

  • Masters of Science in Human Resources & Counseling from the University of Bridgeport
  • Bachelor of Science in Biological Science from the University of Nottingham (United Kingdom)
Brian Fitzgerald
Founder & Chairman
Year Joined: 1982

Brian is the Founder & Chairman of Heartwood Partners. His entire career has focused primarily on private equity, corporate development, and acquisitions.

Brian founded Capital Partners® in 1982, along with the participation of management and principals from companies he previously acquired.

Prior to founding Capital Partners®, he was a General Partner of Industrial Capital Group, a diversified acquisition and investment holding company. Before his tenure at Industrial Capital Group he held senior positions at General Electric Co. and The Vencap Group, a corporate development and acquisition firm. Brian began his career at Kidder, Peabody as an Investment Banking Associate.

Education:

  • MBA from Harvard University
  • BA from Princeton University
Casey Gordon
Executive Assistant
Year Joined: 2019

Casey is an Administrative Assistant at Heartwood Partners. She has an extensive corporate background, primarily within investment banking, and is responsible for assisting the firm’s management team.

Education:

BS from University of Connecticut

Anastasia Kowal
Chief Financial Officer & Chief Compliance Officer
Year Joined: 2015

Annie is the Chief Financial Officer & Chief Compliance Officer of Heartwood Partners. She possesses an extensive background in accounting, primarily in private equity, and is responsible for fund administration and compliance.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, she was a Senior Fund Controller with Greenfield Partners, a real estate private equity firm in Westport, CT. While at Greenfield, her responsibilities included fund level accounting and reporting, oversight of portfolio company accounting, and assisting the acquisitions and asset management teams with investment-related matters. Prior to Greenfield, Annie was a Real Estate Accountant at Grove International Partners. Annie began her career at Deloitte & Touche where she was a Manager in the Assurance and Advisory Services group.

Education:

  • BS from the University of Connecticut
  • Certified Public Accountant in Connecticut
Mark Langer
Managing Director
Year Joined: 2012

Mark is a Managing Director at Heartwood Partners. With career-long experience in private equity and investment banking, he works with the firm’s investment team to evaluate new private equity investments and manage existing portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he was an investment professional at The Compass Group, a private equity firm in Westport, CT. Prior to Compass, Mark was an Associate at Green Manning & Bunch, a boutique investment banking firm in Denver, CO.

Education:

  • MBA from Columbia University
  • BSBA from Bucknell University
Morgan Murray
Senior Associate
Year Joined: 2018

Morgan is a Senior Associate at Heartwood Partners. With a background in private equity, she is involved in the origination and execution of new investments and the management of existing portfolio companies. 

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, she worked as an Analyst at Hancock Capital Management on their junior debt and co-equity investment platforms.

Education:

  • BA from University of Virginia
John Newman
Principal
Year Joined: 2018

John is a Principal at Heartwood Partners. He has an extensive background in investment banking and management consulting and is involved in the origination and execution of new investments for the firm while managing existing portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, John was a Director in the KeyBanc Capital Markets Industrials Group for four years. Prior to KeyBanc, John spent a total of twelve years at Jefferies & Co. and Bear, Stearns & Co. in their industrial investment banking groups.

Education:

  • MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA
  • BA from Middlebury College
Sarah Paquet
Vice President
Year Joined: 2016

Sarah is a Vice President at Heartwood Partners. Her career has spanned both private equity and investment banking, and she is responsible for the business strategy and operations of the firm’s portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, she was an investment professional at Baird Capital, a private equity firm in Chicago, IL. Prior to Baird, Sarah was an Analyst at Houlihan Lokey in Chicago, IL.

Education:

  • MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
  • MAS and BS degrees from University of Illinois
Jason Phillips
Senior Vice President of Portfolio Operations

Jason is the Senior Vice President of Portfolio Operations for Heartwood Partners.  His unique background as both a hands-on business operator and operations consultant enables strong collaboration with portfolio company teams to drive and accelerate value creation.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, Jason served as the Chief Operating Officer at Archway, a premium provider of operating services for Fortune 500 clients.  Jason also served as the Vice President of Operations at Johnson Brothers, a leading wholesaler of adult beverages.  Prior to Johnson Brothers, Jason was a Director at AlixPartners, a management consulting firm specializing in delivering sustainable operating improvements for clients.  Earlier in his career, Jason served as the Vice President of Technology for Beiersdorf North America.

Education:

  • MBA from Columbia University
  • BA from University of Minnesota

Berat Rifati
Fund Controller
Year Joined: 2018

Berat is a Fund Controller at Heartwood Partners. He specializes in accounting and tax and is responsible for the financial operations and reporting of the firm’s funds.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he was a Senior Fund Accountant with Atlas Holdings LLC, a $3.0 billion special situations & distressed buyout private equity firm based in Greenwich, CT. Prior to Atlas, he was a Senior Associate at KPMG in the alternative investments tax practice, providing tax consulting and compliance services to private equity, real estate, and manufacturing clients.

Education:

  • BA in Accounting and Finance from Western Connecticut State University
Susan Russo
Office Manager
Year Joined: 2008

Sue is the Office Manager for Heartwood Partners. She has an extensive corporate background and is responsible for maintaining the office environment and assisting the firm’s management teams.

Education:

  • BBA from Berkeley Business School
Michelle Ryan
Chief Marketing Officer
Year Joined: 2018

Michelle is the Chief Marketing Officer of Heartwood Partners. She brings extensive marketing and eCommerce experience with her and manages all branding, communications, and digital strategies both within the firm and with portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, she was Chief Marketing Officer at Town Sports International, one of the largest owners and operators of exclusive fitness clubs in the United States. While there, she successfully developed and led innovative marketing and digital strategies, delivered seamless customer experiences, and built transformative branding solutions. Prior to Town Sports International, she held leadership marketing and digital positions with fashion retailers such as Juicy Couture, Armani Exchange, Donna Karan, Kate Spade, and Calvin Klein.

Education:

  • MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University
  • BA from Iona College
James Sidwa
Managing Director
Year Joined: 2009

James is a Managing Director of Heartwood Partners. He brings an extensive background in accounting and financial diligence related to mergers and acquisitions to the firm, where he evaluates new and existing investment opportunities.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he was with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (“PWC”) Trans Services group in New York where he provided accounting and finance diligence services. Prior to PWC, James was the Controller & Treasurer of FE Clean Energy, a specialty-focused private equity firm in Darien, CT. James began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a tax specialist and later with Arthur Anderson as an auditor of public and private companies.

Education:

  • BS from the University of Connecticut
  • Certified Public Accountant in Connecticut
Joseph Sokol
Senior Associate
Year Joined: 2019

Joseph is a Senior Associate at Heartwood Partners. With a career spanning both private equity and investment banking, he is involved in the origination and execution of new investments and the management of existing portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he was an investment professional at RFE Investment Partners, a private equity firm in New Canaan, CT. Prior to RFE, Joe was an analyst at Sawaya Partners and Barclays Capital in New York, NY.

Education:

  • BBA in Finance from Loyola University
Russell Spieler
Managing Director
Year Joined: 2014

Russ is a Managing Director at Heartwood Partners. With a specialized background in private equity and operations consulting, he is responsible for evaluating the firm’s investments and managing portfolio company operations and strategies.

Prior to Heartwood Partners, he was Director at Black Diamond Capital Management, a private equity firm in Greenwich, CT. Prior to Black Diamond, he was a Director at AlixPartners, a premiere turnaround management consulting firm in New York, NY. Prior to AlixPartners, Russ was a Senior Consultant with Tigris Consulting, a boutique supply chain consulting firm in New York, NY.

Education:

  • Masters of Engineering in Information Technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • BS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Edwin Tan
Managing Director
Year Joined: 2011

Ed is a Managing Director at Heartwood Partners. He brings his experience in private equity and debt experience to the firm, where he is responsible for business strategy and investment opportunities for portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he was an investment professional at Prospect Capital Corporation, a debt investment firm in New York, NY. He started his private equity career at RFE Investment Partners, a private equity firm in New Canaan, CT. Prior to RFE, Ed began his career as an Analyst in First Union’s M&A group in Charlotte, NC, which was formerly a boutique investment bank called Bowles Hollow Connor & Co.

Education:

  • MBA from The University of Chicago
  • BSE and MSE from the University of Pennsylvania
Robert Tucker
Managing Partner
Year Joined: 2004

Rob is a Managing Partner of Heartwood Partners. As an industry veteran, he has dedicated his career to private equity and oversees all activities of the firm along with Mark Allsteadt.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he was a Partner with Saugatuck Company, a private equity firm in Connecticut. Prior to Saugatuck, he was a Partner with Rutledge Capital in Connecticut. Rob began his career as an Associate with Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York, NY where he was a member of the team that invested The 1818 Fund, L.P. and later was a member of the U.S. private equity investment group of Barclays Bank, a limited partner in The 1818 Fund.

Education:

  • MBA from Columbia University
  • BA from Middlebury College
Andrea Vandersall
Vice President
Year Joined: 2017

Andrea is a Vice President at Heartwood Partners. Her career in both private equity and investment banking contributes to her involvement in the business strategy and operations of the firm’s portfolio companies.  

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, she was an investment professional with Cambridge Capital where she focused on the supply chain sector. Previously she worked at Seale & Associates, a boutique investment bank, and Cambridge Associates, an investment advisor to institutional clients.

Education:

  • BA in International Studies from John Hopkins University
  • MBA from University of Chicago
Sage Volpe
Executive Assistant and Investor Communications
Year Joined: 2012

Sage is an Executive Assistant at Heartwood Partners and is also responsible for the Investor Communications function. She has an extensive corporate background and is responsible for assisting the firm’s management team and limited partner communications.

Education:

BBA from Sanford-Brown College

John Willert
Managing Director
Year Joined: 2007

John is a Managing Director at Heartwood Partners. His career has spanned both private equity and investment banking disciplines, and he is responsible for sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities for the firm.

Prior to joining Heartwood Partners, he was a Principal with Family Capital Growth Partners, a private equity firm in Greenwich, CT and was concurrently a Vice President of de Visscher & Co., Family Capital's affiliated investment bank.

Education:

  • MBA from Ohio State University
  • BA from Gettysburg College