Meet our management and advisor team.
Robert W. Tillson
Robert W. Tillson is Managing Partner of Pierce’s software and information technology practice. He has experience in private placements, venture capital, valuations, and mergers and acquisitions. He has advised several companies on acquisition strategy and has completed transactions valued at over $500 million dollars. He advised the CEO of HBOC on the acquisition of 16 healthcare IT companies. He has arranged the sale of several government contractors. He arranged financing for several early stage software companies including Edge Technologies, Open Service, and CavaSoft. He serves on the Boards of several software and information technology services companies. Prior to joining Pierce, he was a pioneer in the online information services and software industry for over 25 years. He marketed the first commercially available online information services as an executive of the IBM Company. He introduced the first consumer interactive online service as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CompuServe, and was the senior executive managing the first eCommerce services for General Electric Information Services. He was founder and CEO of the first Sales Force Automation and CRM software company, National Management Systems. Mr. Tillson holds a BS in Engineering from Syracuse University and attended New York University Graduate School of Business and Lehigh University. He is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, National Association of Corporate Directors, The Tech Council of Maryland, and the Northern Virginia Technology Council.
Michael J. Clark
Michael brings 18 years experience in Investment Banking, Private Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions. Current focus on Federal M&A middle market, representing clients in both buy and sell side engagements. Michael has an extensive network of Private Equity and Banking relationships having led Pierce’s syndication desk for 15 years. Michael has worked with clients in the IT/software, Health IT, bio-tech, and Cybersecurity sectors. Michael’s background includes trans border international finance projects working with multilateral lending organizations including the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the Inter-American Development bank, and OPIC. Michael comes from a background in communications and politics and has worked on national and statewide campaigns. Michael attended the Claremont Colleges and the University of Paris, La Sorbonne.
Dan manages Pierce Capital’s valuation practice. Prior to joining Pierce Capital Partners, Mr. Chaney was a managing director with the national accounting and consulting firm of RSM McGladrey where he provided general business consulting, valuation, ESOP advisory and merger & acquisition support primarily to clients in the government contracting and information technology arena. He was also founder and president of a middle-market business valuation and mergers and acquisitions consulting firm. A business valuation expert, Mr. Chaney is certified by all four of the valuation credentialing organizations and is also a CPA. His experience also includes serving as VP of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for a middle-market defense and intelligence IT Services Company. Mr. Chaney holds a BS degree from University of Maryland and an MBA from Mt. St. Mary’s University. He is a Certified Mergers & Acquisitions Professional.
Has recently served as the managing director for Accenture’s Washington D.C office. In that role, Mr. Gutkowski served as Accenture’s external voice in the Washington D.C. business community and managed the company’s overall growth in the region. He is the immediate past chairman of the board of the Professional Services Council. He is on the board of directors of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the government advisory board of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) and, in the past, has been a member of the boards of the ITAA, Government Electronics and Information Technology Association (GEIA) and NASA Space Club.
Mr. Gutkowski graduated from Seton Hall University in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and received a master’s in business administration from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College in 1973.
Bob has over 30 years experience in the computer software and services industry. He managed mergers and acquisitions for a multi-billion dollar computer software company focussed on the federal government market place. Over twenty years he planned and executed over 20 acquisitions. He negotiated software licensing contracts with most agencies of the federal government and is considered an expert on government contracting in the acquisition of professional services. He built and managed a 400 person professional services division of a major software company. He was also President of FedResults, a company that represents IT organizations to the Federal Government.
Bob serves on the Board of Directors of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and SECAF (The Small and Emerging Contractors Advisory Forum), and is a past member of the Board of the Tech Council of Maryland. He is also active in Tech America and ACT-IAC. He studied advanced IT and systems analysis at Miami University. Bob maintains a Top Secret clearance which provides access to the Intelligence Community.
Robert Farris, Jr.
For over 30 years, Bob has provided strategically executed due diligence for commercial financing of transactions ranging from $10 million to $300 million.
These transactions involved non-bank financing sources as well as traditional sources for his clients. Bob has performed domestic and international transactions in industries including real estate, telecommunication, manufacturing, construction, transportation, healthcare, oil refinery and retail.
After earning his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Economics from Vanderbilt University, Bob oversaw the expansion of a family retail business into mail order and global distribution. He served as President for over three years before negotiating a buyout transaction.
Transactions include a 75% increase in sales due to a well-organized and executed marketing effort for a national communication consulting company resulting in a buyout; a leveraged buyout of a division of an international multi-billion dollar company; the merger of several civil construction companies with an aggregate backlog of $110 million in sales.
Peter is a retired World Bank executive and manages Pierce Capital’s international energy practive. Peter has over 12 years of experience in financing, restructuring and privatization in the financial, manufacturing, water, energy, oil and gas, transportation and mining sectors. Prior to 1996 he worked as an attorney and project finance expert for the World Bank in the European and Central Asian Deparatment and in the Private Sector Development Advisory Group. Mr. Yanachkov education includes an LLM from Georgetown University, a J.D. from St. Climent of Okhrid University – Bulgaria.
Donald H. Foley
Dr. Foley has over 35 years experience as an executive in the Federal Marketplace.
Dr. Foley was the Group President of SAIC’s Research and Intelligence Group from 1991 to 2005. During this period the annual revenues for this Group grew from $70 million to over $2 billion. The Group had over 10,000 employees in over 100 operating locations worldwide. Dr. Foley also served on the Board of Directors of SAIC and also on two of its subsidiaries, Telcordia (Bell Core) and SAIC’s Venture Capital Corporation.
Prior to SAIC, Dr. Foley served as the Office Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for Special Projects. He also served as Executive Vice President of PAR Technology Corporation.
Dr. Foley was a member of the management team that led both SAIC and PAR through their successful IPOs in 2006 and 1982 respectively.
Currently Dr. Foley manages Martingale Consulting in Potomac, Maryland. Clients include SAIC, Government Secure Solutions CGI, and Burdeshaw Associates.
W. Michael Polster
Michael Polster serves as a strategic advisor where he provides confidential executive-level support to Senior Executive Officers to help their senior leadership teams determine the state-of-readiness of the company’s internal M&A processes, experience and resourcing requirements for maximum results.
Prior to joining Pierce Capital Partners, Mr. Polster was Executive Vice President Corporate Development for CALIBRE Systems, Inc. Michael had primary responsibility for marketing, sales, business development and buy-side merger and acquisition activity. He oversaw all corporate development activity including developing and expanding CALIBRE’s growth strategy across its public and private sector customer base; establishing and executing corporate-wide business development processes, tools, and procedures to identify and capture strategic growth opportunities; and merger and acquisition activity.
Prior to his tenure with CALIBRE, he held key sales and business development executive positions with Columbia Research Corporation, Telos Corporation, DynCorp and Vistronix, Inc.
He completed a successful 24-year tour of service as an officer in the United States Army serving in a wide variety of infantry and aviation positions. Mr. Polster holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Saint Martin’s College, a master’s in business administration and management from Webster University, and a master’s in military arts and sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
Jim LaRocca is a technology executive and entrepreneur with a 25 year record of managing organizational growth and corporate development. As co-founder of SusQtech, a professional services firm focused on delivering Microsoft SharePoint-based technology solutions, he led the organization’s rapid growth from startup to Microsoft’s Mid- Atlantic Partner of the Year. SusQtech was acquired by Protiviti, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Robert Half International, in December 2012. Prior to joining SusQtech, Mr. LaRocca held several executive positions in the technology publishing industry with CMP Media and The Times Mirror Company.
He currently serves on several advisory boards for emerging technology startups. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University in Finance.
Paul Peou is a seasoned professional with over 12 years of corporate development, M&A, FP&A, operations and capital planning expertise. Paul has extensive experience in the aerospace, defense and telecommunications services sectors. He has been part of a leadership team who built a company from 4 to over 50 employees in less than two years, has raised approximately $1 Billion through asset sales, debt and equity deals including a $500 Million high yield PIK note. He has prepared companies for public listing, and successfully led a process for a listing on NASDAQ and managed required SEC filings thereafter.
Mohamed is Pierce’s Senior Advisor for energy and power. As founder of Cassam & Associates, he specializes in formulation, development and funding of power projects primarily in Africa and Asia. He has completed assignments in privatization and public-private infrastructure financing in some 20 countries including, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and most of the countries of Africa and the Middle East. Prior to forming Cassam & Associates, Mr. Cassam was a Manager in the World Bank’s South Asia Region where he designed and implemented the $800 million PSIDF facility that funded 4500 MW of IPPS in Pakistan, and closed the financing of the $1.8 billion Hub power project. During his career, Mr. Cassam has worked for the United States Agency for International Development, Acres International Consulting Company and the World Bank FAO/ Cooperative Program.
Mr. Cassam earned a bachelor of Economics & History with Honors at the Ohio Wesleyan University. He was later a graduate student in Economics at the University of Michigan, and continued a Postgraduate program in Economic History at the London School of Economics. Mr. Cassam completed his studies with a Postgraduate Diploma in Economic Development & Public Administration from the Economic Development Institute at University of Oxford, England.