Huron Adds Operating Pros

Huron Capital has added former Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker to the firm as an operations-oriented partner in charge of leadership at the portfolio company level.

The addition of Mr. Walker, whose new title is Partner – Strategic Leadership, is part of a targeted effort to deepen the firm’s investment management expertise and strategic direction for its portfolio companies. The firm has also hired former Smith & Nephew SVP Sherry Mennenga as Partner – Human Capital, and a third new position with the title of Partner – Performance Enhancement is targeted to be filled by the end of January.

Mr. Walker will be active in driving the operating and financial performance of Huron’s portfolio companies by providing leadership, mentoring, business insights, and strategic direction. Prior to joining Huron, Mr. Walker served as president and CEO of Zeeland, MI-based Herman Miller, a maker of office furniture, equipment and home furnishings, from 2004 until his retirement in 2018. He is also a director of Cooper Tire & Rubber and Briggs & Stratton.

“I am eager to begin working with the talented professionals at Huron Capital,” said Mr. Walker. “I have enjoyed a lengthy career primarily at one large company, and now I can apply that experience to the wide range of fascinating and diverse companies held by Huron Capital as we strive to deliver value for all of our stakeholders.”

“Brian Walker is recognized as an outstanding leader who led the transformation of Herman Miller globally into a premium lifestyle brand, scaled the business operationally and oversaw the integration of multiple acquisitions. We are excited about the strategic leadership expertise that he brings to our firm,” said Peter Mogk, a senior partner at Huron. “While we have been an operationally-focused firm for several years, we believe Brian’s knowledge and guidance will make a significant impact on our portfolio.”

Ms. Mennenga, as Huron’s new Partner – Human Capital, will lead and provide oversight of all activities related to human capital management, organizational development and change management initiatives at both the firm and its 19 portfolio companies.

Since 2012, Ms. Mennenga has been the owner of OE Consulting Associates, a Nashville-based management consulting company specializing in organizational effectiveness and human capital services. Earlier in her career, from 2008 to 2012, she was SVP of Human Resources and Internal Communications for Smith & Nephew, a $4 billion medical technology company.

“The talent and management expertise of our team is our most important resource, and Sherry brings a tremendous amount of experience that we expect will help us continue to attract, retain and develop strong leadership throughout our portfolio,” said Mike Beauregard, a senior partner at Huron.

Huron Capital makes control and non-control investments in companies with revenues of $20 million to $200 million and EBITDAs of $5 million or more. Sectors of interest include business services, consumer goods & services, and specialty industrials. Founded in 1999, the Detroit-based firm has raised over $1.8 billion in capital through six private equity funds and invested in over 150 companies (www.huroncapital.com).

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | January 24, 2019

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