The following are select Gordon Brothers Group employees who, as members of GB Credit Partners' deal teams, provide key industry knowledge and expertise.
Retail Assets and Brands
Kenneth S. Frieze, President, Gordon Brothers Group
As President of Gordon Brothers Group, Mr. Frieze currently oversees Gordon Brothers Group’s North American retail, commercial & industrial, real estate and brand businesses. He also serves on the board of Gordon Brothers Group. Mr. Frieze joined the firm in 2003 and led the valuation, brand and business development groups at various times until being promoted to President. During that tenure, he oversaw more than $100 billion of appraisals and was part of the core team driving the Polaroid and Sharper Image transactions, among other brand acquisitions. Prior to joining Gordon Brothers Group, he was CEO of RetailExchange.com, a management consultant with Bain & Company and a turnaround consultant with Deloitte CRG. Mr. Frieze currently serves on the Polaroid board, is a former board member of The Sharper Image and served on the board of the Turnaround Management Association for six years where he was most recently Co-Chair of the TMA Annual International Convention. He holds a BA from Lehigh University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Kevin J. Kulinowski, President, Retail Division
As President of Gordon Brothers Group's Retail Division, Kevin Kulinowski oversees operations for the Retail Division and lends specific merchandising expertise, strategic planning and leadership to asset disposition deals. Prior to joining Gordon Brothers Group, Mr. Kulinowski worked in the discount department store industry for 26 years, including 18 years with Jamesway Corporation in various capacities. At Jamesway, he began in store management, then moved to Director of Inventory Control, Assistant Vice President–Corporate Quality, and finally Vice President of Store Operations.
Robert E. Grosskopf, Principal and Managing Director, Retail Division
Robert Grosskopf is responsible for managing all the complex issues surrounding inventory dispositions and maximizing the recovery values for retailers' underperforming assets. Mr. Grosskopf has over 17 years of experience, has been involved with many of Gordon Brothers Group's largest asset disposition assignments and has particular insight into hard goods segments. Prior to joining Gordon Brothers Group in 1995, Mr. Grosskopf spent seven years in the liquidation business and eight years at Levi's Management Group/Gulf States Toyota Automotive Group, where he led the company’s wholesale parts sales operation.
Lee L. Cote, Principal and Managing Director, Retail Division
Lee Cote is responsible for directing all store-level sales and promotional activities, including day-to-day operations, marketing, merchandising and advertising. She also serves as Senior Merchant for a variety of retail sectors, focusing on the department store sector. Ms. Cote develops long-term relationships with financially secure clients by supervising specialty projects such as store openings, relocations and clearance events. Ms. Cote works closely with Gordon Brothers Group's field consultants to direct strategies to maximize recovery, establish best practices for store operations and enhance morale for store-level associates. With over 30 years of experience in the retail business, Ms. Cote first worked with Gordon Brothers Group as a field consultant and joined the Boston office in 1997 as Manager of Field Operations. Ms. Cote began her retail career with Dayton Hudson Department Stores in Michigan, holding positions from sales, planner and buyer to general store manager. She also was the owner/operator of a women’s specialty store in California. Ms. Cote is a graduate of Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan.
Richard P. Edwards, Principal and Managing Director, Retail Division
Richard Edwards is responsible for the development of evaluation techniques and inventory assessment measurements, which have become industry standards. Working with Gordon Brothers Group's senior merchandising and operations teams, Mr. Edwards has managed the financial due diligence efforts for many of the firm's major retail client projects, ensuring the highest return on the assets of Gordon Brothers Group's clients. He has a strong finance background and has spent his entire career in the inventory disposition business. During his early career with Gordon Brothers Group, he was a team leader of the analyst group. Mr. Edwards received his BA in finance from Westfield State College.
Thomas M. Lonabocker, Principal and Managing Director, Retail Division
Tom Lonabocker is responsible for the development and implementation of sophisticated strategic merchandising strategies in store closing and inventory liquidation programs for retail clients. Mr. Lonabocker has spent his entire 22-year career in the retail industry, first as a buyer at Bradlees for five years and then as a vice president and men's division merchandise manager at Hills Department Stores for 12 years. He is a graduate of St. Michael's College and earned an MBA at Suffolk University in Boston.
Joseph M. McLeish, Principal and Managing Director, Retail Division
Joe McLeish, one of the senior merchants for Gordon Brothers Group's Retail Division, is responsible for overseeing the direction of many retail disposition projects each year. With over 30 years of experience in merchandising, marketing, advertising and executive management, he is a key asset to the firm. Prior to joining Gordon Brothers Group in 1997, Mr. McLeish was President and Chief Executive Officer of Brendle's, where he was hired to direct restructuring of the 30-store catalog showroom chain. Mr. McLeish began his career as Vice President of Merchandising and Advertising for David Weis, a catalog showroom chain headquartered in Pennsylvania, and later took the position of President of the Merchandiser's Association, where he directed the merchandising effort of a volume of $300 million. He received his degree in retailing from Midstate College in Illinois.
Commercial and Industrial Assets
Robert J. Maroney, ASA, Co-President, Commercial & Industrial Division
Bob Maroney works with clients to design and implement comprehensive, global solutions across a broad spectrum of the consumer product and manufacturing segments. Specific asset classes include finished inventories, raw material/work in process, machinery & equipment and industrial real estate. Mr. Maroney's career includes senior management positions in the disposition and valuation of industrial assets and his unique perspective and experience has earned him an unparalleled trust within the commercial and industrial lending and disposition communities. Prior to joining Gordon Brothers Group in 2005, Mr. Maroney served as Chief Appraisal Officer at Bank of America, where he managed a national team of multidisciplined senior appraisers accountable for performing valuations for asset-based lending purposes. Over the past 30 plus years, he has had oversight responsibility for the valuation of more than $200 billion of industrial assets, including machinery & equipment, inventory, real estate, intellectual properties and business valuations. Mr. Maroney is a senior member of the American Society of Appraisers, Machinery and Technical Specialties, and is a licensed and certified general real estate appraiser. Mr. Maroney received his BBA in accounting from the University of Massachusetts.
Robert M. Himmel, Co-President, Commercial & Industrial Division
Robert Himmel is responsible for working with clients to design and implement comprehensive solutions across a broad spectrum of the consumer product and manufacturing segments, including the implementation of situational operational initiatives and balance sheet restructuring. Prior to joining Gordon Brothers Group in 2002, Mr. Himmel served as President of the Malden Ventures Division of Malden Mills Industries, the manufacturer of Polartec® branded performance textiles. In a career spanning over 15 years in the textile industry, Mr. Himmel also served as the Vice President and General Manager for Malden Mill's North American business unit, and as a corporate vice president for Guilford Mills, a NYSE-listed multinational manufacturer of textiles for the automotive, industrial, apparel and home market segments. Mr. Himmel is a member of the board of directors of Jewish Vocational Services, Inc. and is a past vice president of the board of directors of the Knitted Textile Association. Mr. Himmel is a graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Real Estate Assets
Mark Dufton, President, DJM Realty
Mark Dufton brings more than 20 years of real estate and management experience to DJM Realty. Prior to his role as President, he was Principal and Senior Managing Director of DJM Realty and managed more than 35 clients, focusing primarily on bankruptcy services, lease mitigation and restructuring programs. He has successfully mitigated or restructured over 1,500 leases, savings clients more than $100 million. Mr. Dufton is also a managing director for Dinosaur Capital Partners, a Boston-based real estate investment and development company. Prior to joining DJM Realty, he was Chief Operating Officer for Jeepers! and Senior Manager of Real Estate Acquisitions, Dispositions and Leasing at Bank of America (formerly BankBoston). Mr. Dufton served five years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he attained the rank of Captain, and has a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and Turnaround Management Association.
Frank Morton, Chief Executive Officer, Gordon Brothers Europe
As Chief Executive Officer, Frank Morton oversees Gordon Brothers Europe’s integrated business platform consisting of valuations, investments and dispositions. He has over 25 years of experience in restructuring and disposition projects within the retail and commercial & industrial sectors. Joining Gordon Brothers Group in 2005 following the acquisition of Ozer Group, LLC, where he served as Chief Merchant, Mr. Morton led several restructuring projects during his tenure at Gordon Brothers Group’s headquarters in the U.S., including K’s Merchandise Mart, Linens ‘N Things, Sportsman’s Warehouse, G.I. Joe’s and Decathlon. Mr. Morton was the founding principal of Gordon Brothers Japan, a joint venture between Gordon Brothers Group and the Development Bank of Japan, bringing asset-based lending to the Japanese market. In January 2012 he assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of Gordon Brothers Europe in London, where he has worked with several large European retailers, most recently acquiring the iconic Irish department store, Clery’s in Dublin. Mr. Morton attended Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences and has an educational background in apparel, fabrics, textiles and retail management, and has served in various management capacities at major U.S. retailers throughout his career.
Legal and Structuring
Michael D. Chartock, General Counsel, Gordon Brothers Group
Michael Chartock is responsible for the sourcing, structuring and overseeing of complex dispositions, particularly retail and real estate store closings and wind-downs outside of bankruptcy. He regularly works with multiple corporate constituencies in connection with consensual out-of-court compositions and wind-downs; with strong parent companies wishing to dispose of under-performing retail subsidiaries; and with healthy retailers in connection with their ordinary course store relocations and closings. Mr. Chartock was instrumental in connection with Gordon Brothers Group's recent acquisition and wind-down of CompUSA, and he has a long and successful track record partnering Gordon Brothers Group with some of the most well-regarded U.S. retailers. Prior to joining Gordon Brothers Group in 1999, Mr. Chartock practiced corporate law for 10 years, including as Senior Counsel at Harcourt General/The Neiman Marcus Group. He has served in key volunteer leadership positions with the International Turnaround Management Association and Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Mr. Chartock received his BA from Brandeis University and his JD from Cornell University.
Asset Appraisal and Valuations
Ann H. Merrill, Co-President, Appraisal & Valuation Division
Ann Merrill oversees daily operations for the Appraisal & Valuation Division. Ms. Merrill brings two decades of retail experience in buying, merchandising and merchandise planning and analysis to Gordon Brothers Group. Since joining Gordon Brothers Group in 1996 she has worked closely with the venture analysts, merchants and field operations group in preparing strategic asset dispositions for our clients and asset appraisals for lenders. Ms. Merrill also works closely with our Brand Division to provide licensing and operational strategies and merchandising perspectives for several intellectual properties in our portfolio and brand pipeline. Her tenure at Gordon Brothers Group provides a diversified background for helping the lending institutions understand the collateral value and exit strategies for their portfolio companies. Prior to joining Gordon Brothers Group, Ms. Merrill served with Thom McAn Shoe Company, a division of Melville Corporation, J.C. Penney, and Oshman’s Sporting Goods in Atlanta, GA. She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA.
Stephen B. Sigel, Co-President, Appraisal & Valuation Division
Steve Sigel leads a seasoned team of regional business development directors to help asset-based lenders, private equity sponsors and corporate management teams understand the underlying value of all asset classes. Having joined Gordon Brothers Group in 2002, Mr. Sigel served as Director of Business Development for the Appraisal & Valuation Division in multiple regions. Prior to Gordon Brothers Group, Mr. Sigel held a senior position at Wells Fargo Retail Finance, where he performed valuation work for portfolio accounts while working with the Originations Team during new prospect meetings. He also spent a decade at New England Development, a Boston-based mall development and management organization, where he went on to become Vice President, Regional Director of Properties with responsibility for the overall operations, marketing and leasing of various properties. Mr. Sigel began his career with Filene's, where he spent 13 years, ending as Divisional Vice President and Merchandise Manager of Men's Clothing and Furnishings. Mr. Sigel received his bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts and his MBA from Suffolk University.