Who We Are
Emerald Lake’s investment team brings decades of expertise in all transaction phases, including sourcing, diligence, negotiations, financing, strategic acquisitions, and adding value as shareholders and directors
Dan Lukas co-founded Emerald Lake in 2018. Mr. Lukas currently serves on the Boards of Directors of City Ventures, Electrical Source Holdings, Inno-Pak Holdings, and Pacific Defense. At Emerald Lake, Mr. Lukas is responsible for the overall management of the firm. Prior to that, Mr. Lukas worked in the Private Equity Group at Ares Management for 10 years, where he was a Partner and Co-Head of Industrials leading investments across a broad range of sectors and transaction types. During his time at Ares, Mr. Lukas served as a member of the Private Equity Investment Committee, and as Chairman or Member of the Board of Directors of numerous companies including as The Azek Company, City Ventures, Jacuzzi, and Nortek. Prior to Ares, Mr. Lukas was a Managing Director in the Control Distressed Debt group at GSC Group, where he led numerous investments and served as Chairman or Member of nine Boards of Directors. Before GSC, Mr. Lukas served as a Vice President, Private Equity at Thomas Weisel Partners. Prior to that, he worked as an Investment Professional at CPH, Ltd (Kerry Packer’s family office) and at Hellman & Friedman, after starting his career in finance within the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs. Mr. Lukas also served in the US Naval Reserve as an Avionics Technician, P-3 Orion Aircraft. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Los Angeles March of Dimes and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
Mr. Lukas holds an A.B. degree in Government and Economics, Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College.
Carling O’Brien co-founded Emerald Lake in 2018. Currently Ms. O’Brien serves on the Boards of Directors of City Ventures and Inno-Pak Holdings. At Emerald Lake, Ms. O’Brien is involved in all aspects of building the firm including sourcing, evaluating, and executing investments, hiring investment professionals and support staff, capital raising, and portfolio management. Prior to Emerald Lake, Ms. O’Brien worked within Ares Management’s Private Equity Group, where she was involved in numerous transaction processes and portfolio companies across a broad range of industries, including Floor & Decor, a hard surface flooring retailer. Prior to Ares, Ms. O’Brien was a member of the US Private Equity investment team at Investcorp International, where she participated as a board observer for CCC Information Services and FleetPride, Inc. Prior to Investcorp, she advised sponsors and their portfolio companies on leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, and IPOs as an investment banker at Barclays Capital (former Lehman Brothers) in the Financial Sponsors Group. Ms. O’Brien also serves on the YP Board of Breakthrough New York, a non-profit enrichment program for low-income middle school youth.
Ms. O’Brien holds a B.S.E., cum laude, from Princeton University in Operations Research and Financial Engineering and an MBA, with distinction, from the London Business School.
Joe DeJean joined Emerald Lake in 2019. Mr. DeJean currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Electrical Source Holdings and Pacific Defense. Prior to Emerald Lake, Mr. DeJean was a Vice President on the investment team at the Audax Group, an established middle market private equity firm focused on the buy-and-build strategy. He was involved in numerous investments across multiple sectors, including industrials, aerospace & defense, transportation, and healthcare. Prior to Audax, Mr. DeJean was a member of the investment team at Water Street Healthcare Partners where he helped execute investments in middle market healthcare businesses and assisted in the firm’s third fundraise. Prior to Water Street, Mr. DeJean worked at Goldman Sachs within the Investment Banking Division where he supported large healthcare clients in M&A transactions and corporate finance activities.
Mr. DeJean holds a B.S. from Indiana University in business and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Russ Hammond joined Emerald Lake in 2020. Prior to that, Mr. Hammond was Managing Director at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). For over a decade, Mr. Hammond led the Industrials and Business Services sector coverage within Private Capital, where he was focused on majority and shared control direct deals and played a lead role in several of OTPP’s most successful private investments, including The Azek Company (a co-control investment alongside Ares Management), Dematic, Alliance Laundry, and Infiltrator Water Technologies, amongst others. While at OTPP, Mr. Hammond served as a member of the Total Fund Investment Committee, the Equities Underwriting Committee, and as Chairperson or member of the board of over ten portfolio companies. Prior to joining OTPP, he worked in the investment banking division of Credit Suisse, as well as the investment banking and private equity departments of Merrill Lynch in Toronto and London, England.
Mr. Hammond holds a B.S. degree in Applied Economics and Business Management from Cornell University where he was a Presidential Scholar, and is a CFA charterholder.
Alex Saeed joined Emerald Lake in 2021. Prior to that, Mr. Saeed worked on the private equity investment team at Apollo Global Management. He was involved in numerous investments across multiple sectors, including industrials, transportation, consumer and retail. Prior to Apollo, Mr. Saeed was a member of the investment team at MidOcean Partners where he helped execute investments in middle market business services and healthcare businesses. Prior to MidOcean, Mr. Saeed worked at Jefferies within the Investment Banking Division in their Healthcare Group.
Mr. Saeed holds a B.A. in Economics from Vanderbilt University.
FINANCE & OPERATIONS
Madeleine Gray joined Emerald Lake in 2020. Prior to joining Emerald Lake, Ms. Gray was a Vice President at SS&C Technologies, where she was part of the fund administration team. Prior to that, Ms. Gray held accounting positions at Fortress Investment Group, and JP Morgan. Ms. Gray trained as an auditor in financial services with EY in New York, and prior to that, Deloitte in Scotland.
Ms. Gray holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the University of Glasgow, and a CA qualification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.
Meagan Ventre joined Emerald Lake in 2019. Prior to joining Emerald Lake, Ms. Ventre was an executive assistant at Ares Management and Lion Capital, and a roadshow coordinator at UBS and AIG.
Ms. Ventre holds a B.A. in English from Indiana University.
We partner with experienced operating executives who have deep industry knowledge and relationships to help our companies accelerate growth and value creation
Jim Hibberd joined Emerald Lake in 2018 and currently serves as Chairman of Electrical Source Holdings. Prior to Emerald Lake, Mr. Hibberd worked as an Operating Advisor to Ares Management. Mr. Hibberd started his career in General Electric Supply in 1988 on the Distribution Management Program and held various roles in Operations and Branch Management. In 1996, he became the General Manager for GE Supply’s Mexico operations. Mr. Hibberd’s subsequent roles included President of GE Automation Services, VP Sales for Industrial Solutions, and Global Industrial Sales Director of GE Energy. Mr. Hibberd returned to GE Supply in 2004 as Pacific Division President. GE Supply was acquired by CD&R in 2006 and re‐named Gexpro, a division of Rexel, the largest Electrical Distributor globally. Mr. Hibberd was promoted to run Asia and Western USA, and in 2012 he became the SVP & CEO of Gexpro Electrical Distribution, a $1.4B profit center. Mr. Hibberd accepted a promotion in 2016 to become the SVP for Strategy, Innovation & Mergers and Acquisitions for Rexel North American. He is Chairman of Electrical Source Holdings and a Board Member for Huttig Building Products (NSDQ: HBP).
Mr. Hibberd holds a BS degree in Finance and a minor in Economics from San Jose State University.
Susan Docherty is the former CEO of Canyon Ranch, a leading global wellness experience and resort company. She was formerly Vice President of International Operations, Sales Marketing, and Aftersales as well as President and Managing Director of Chevrolet/Cadillac Europe at General Motors. Ms. Docherty is an independent board director at Brink’s (NYSE: BCO).
Chris Curtis is currently the Chairman of Macromatic Industrial Controls, Inc and serves as an independent director of the S&C Electric Company. He is former CEO of Wencor, an aerospace aftermarket components company, and former Chairman of Munters, a global specialist of air treatment solutions. Mr. Curtis served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and before that was President and CEO, North America, of Schneider Electric. Mr. Curtis graduated with a BA in History and Economics from Le Moyne College.
Michael Clarke was most recently the CEO of Sanmina Corporation, a publicly-traded $7B electronics manufacturer and service provider. He was formerly the President and CEO of Nortek, a $2.5B provider of branded building, HVAC, and home technology products.
Mike Evans was formerly the President and CEO and President of Waddington, a global manufacturer and marketer of packaging and disposables serving the foodservice, bakery, deli, produce and confectionery markets.
Gary Hendrickson was formerly Chairman and CEO of The Valspar Corporation, a global paint and coatings manufacturer, where he held various senior leadership positions over 23 years. He is Chairman of The Azek Company, a leading manufacturer of residential and commercial building products. He is also on the board of Polaris Inc., a global manufacturer of all-terrain vehicles and powersports products, and Waters Corporation, a leading specialty measurement company.
Tim Lee is currently Chairman of wejo ltd. and Motus Integrated Technologies, a leading supplier of automotive interior components and systems. He served on the board of The AZEK Company and EXAL Corporation, and as Vice Chairman of Alliance Laundry Systems. He was formerly EVP Global Manufacturing, Chairman GM China for General Motors. Mr. Lee holds a BSE from Kettering University and an MBA from Purdue University.
Rick Frier is former EVP and CFO of Chiquita, a leading international marketer and distributor of fresh food products, and former EVP and CFO of Catalina Marketing, a global leader in consumer precision marketing and data analytics for CPG manufacturer and retail brands. He also served as CFO and COO of Mattress Discounters and CFO of Concept Five Technologies. Mr. Frier holds a BS degree from USC and an MBA from Claremont Graduate University.
Doug Grimm is Chairman of the Board of Electrical Components International. He also serves as a director of GST AutoLeather, Mojio, and Blue Bird Corporation. Mr. Grimm was formerly the Chairman of the Board of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and VP at Metaldyne. Mr. Grimm holds a BA from Hiram College and an MBA from University of Detroit Mercy.