Mr. Amara founded and oversees Golden Gate Capital’s Industrials Investing Practice, which comprises 12 Companies aggregating to over $4 billion of revenues. The philosophy of the Industrials Practice is to invest in competitively differentiated market leaders and aggressively grow their earnings by prioritizing innovation and capital allocation. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and serves on the Board of the University’s Graduate School of Education, one of the top ranked educational research Schools in the world.
Dave Thomas is a Managing Director of Golden Gate Capital, which he joined in 2006. Mr. Thomas focuses on investments in Industrials, and basic materials sector in particular. Prior to joining Golden Gate Capital, Mr. Thomas worked as a Senior Associate Consultant in both the Chicago and London offices of Bain & Company. Mr. Thomas has a BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame (summa cum laude).
Robert Kirby is an Operating Partner with Golden Gate Capital. Mr. Kirby was previously CEO of Atrium. He was also the CEO of Vi-Jon, a leading private label manufacturer in the personal care market. Prior to this Mr. Kirby was CEO of Accellent, a leading contract manufacturer in the medical device market. Earlier in Mr. Kirby’s career, he was a GM and led R&D, Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain at large cap companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly Clark and Fort James. Mr. Kirby has broad based experience in Consumer Personal Care, OTC and Medical Devices. During his 30 year career he has led large scale and complex integrations of acquisitions, implemented lean processes and driven rapid, positive change.
Glen Varnadoe has over 40 years of experience as a senior operating executive in the specialty chemicals and fertilizer industry. Mr. Varnadoe’s previous experience includes 27 years in senior positions at ArrMaz, where he retired as President and CEO. Prior to joining ArrMaz, he held manufacturing and supervisory positions with CF Industries, International Minerals and Chemicals Corporation. During his career, Mr. Varnadoe has been involved in multiple acquisitions and divestures in the specialty chemicals sector, including the sale of ArrMaz five times to five different private equity firms over 15 years.
Dave Keselica has been the CEO of ArrMaz since 2013. For the previous 10 years, he was CEO of EP Minerals, a global leader in diatomite, perlite, and bentonite – minerals used as filter aids, performance additives, absorbents and for many other applications. He continues to serve as Chairman of EP Minerals. Prior to EP, Mr. Keselica held general management, strategy and marketing roles with global industrial minerals leader, Imerys, in its Performance Minerals and Paper Minerals Divisions. He spent the first 15 years of his career working in specialty chemicals, performing research, sales and marketing roles for Hercules, Allied Colloids and Ashland. Mr. Keselica holds an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.