Our Team

Keith W. Pennell

Managing Partner

Keith joined DFW in 1998 as a Partner from First Atlantic Capital, a New York based middle-market LBO investment firm. He was with First Atlantic for six years, four years as a Partner. While at First Atlantic, Keith was responsible for sourcing, structuring, executing, and monitoring portfolio investments in a broad range of industries. Prior to First Atlantic, Keith spent several years arranging private equity and debt financing with the investment banking group of Dean Witter. Keith holds a BA in Economics and Art History from Middlebury College.

Brett L. Prager

Partner

Brett joined DFW in 2006 as a Partner from Theo Capital Partners. Brett founded Theo Capital in 1999, where he led the firm in a variety of service and technology company investments, as well as consulting and merchant banking activities. Prior to forming Theo, Brett was the founder and Chief Executive Officer for three separate private equity-backed business and healthcare service companies. Brett began his 15 year investment career with JP Morgan Partners’ private equity group. Brett received a BAS from the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Engineering and a BA from the Wharton School. Brett also holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Douglas H. Gilbert

Partner

Doug joined DFW in 2011 as a Partner and brings over 25 years of private equity experience. Previously, he was a Managing Director with MCG Capital Corporation where he invested equity and debt in distribution, service, and technology companies. Prior to MCG, Doug was a Partner with Winston Partners, a lower-middle market focused private equity firm. He came to Winston from Thayer Capital Partners, a Washington, DC based private equity firm. Doug has also worked at Boston Ventures Management, The Bridgeford Group, and Lehman Brothers earlier in his career. Doug holds a BA in Political Economy from Williams College and received an MBA from Harvard University.

Brian C. Tilley

Partner

Brian joined DFW in 2009 as a Partner, and manages DFW’s Washington, DC office. Prior to joining DFW, he was the Founder and Managing Member of Wenzi Capital Partners, LLC. Brian previously spent ten years at AmeriChoice Corporation, and subsequently with United HealthGroup after United’s acquisition of AmeriChoice, in a variety of executive, operating, financial, and corporate development roles. DFW has worked closely with Brian since 2002 when DFW sold a portfolio company, Great Lakes Health Plan, to AmeriChoice in an all cash transaction. Brian received a B.S. in Finance from Ohio University and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

Donald F. DeMuth

Founder

Don co-founded DFW in 1983, after a 14 year career with Kidder, Peabody & Co. At Kidder, Don was a senior investment banker responsible for origination and execution of capital markets and M&A assignments for dozens of industrial and services companies, both middle market and Fortune 500 in size. Don served as head of the firm’s audit committee, a Director, and voting shareholder. During his tenure with Kidder, Don was also actively involved with the investment activities of KP Ventures, the firm’s private equity vehicle. Don began his career with IBM as a systems engineer. Don graduated from Rutgers University with a BA and BS in Electrical Engineering and received an MBA from Harvard University.

DeVer F. Warner

Principal

DeVer joined DFW in 2011 as an Associate before being promoted to Principal in 2015. Prior to joining DFW, DeVer held roles at Centripetal Capital Partners, a Connecticut-based growth capital firm investing in lower middle-market service and technology companies and Cape Venture Partners, a South African-based venture capital and advisory firm. DeVer received a B.A. in Economics from Union College and an MBA from The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

Andrew P. White

Vice President

Andrew joined DFW in 2016. Prior to joining DFW, Andrew was a Vice President at Pulse Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on lower middle market growth equity and buyout investments. Prior to Pulse, Andrew was an associate for two years with the middle market buyout firm CHS Capital, and its affiliates New Harbor Capital and Shorehill Capital. At CHS Andrew gained valuable transaction experience in various business services and healthcare related companies. Andrew began his investment career as an analyst with Credit Suisse in its Diversified Industrials and Services group. Andrew holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.​

Ke Ding

Vice President

Ke Ding joined DFW in 2019 as a Vice President, and focuses on leading transaction execution efforts, post-closing value-creation initiatives and selective deal sourcing. Ke joins DFW from CI Capital where he was a Senior Associate and a member of that firm’s investment team for nearly three years. Prior to CI, Ke was an Associate with Flexpoint Ford, a healthcare-focused middle-market private equity investment firm. Ke began his career with Lazard in its middle market Mergers & Acquisitions practice, where he joined as an Analyst following graduation with a BA in Economics and Spanish from Dartmouth College.

Patrick E. Fairfield

Senior Associate

Patrick joined DFW in 2017. Prior to starting with DFW, he was a Senior Associate with PwC’s Transaction Services group. During his time at PwC,Patrick worked with private equity and corporate clients, performing financial due diligence on acquisition targets in the healthcare and industrials sectors. Patrick began his career with Deloitte & Touche in the assurance practice, where he focused primarily on financial services. He received a Bachelors in accounting from Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, and holds a Certified Public Accountant license.

John Miller

Senior Associate

John Miller joined DFW in 2019 as a Senior Associate. After receiving a BS in Finance from the Wake Forest School of Business, John began his finance career with Macquarie Capital as an Analyst, working in their Mergers & Acquisitions Group. John subsequently spent two years as an Associate with American Securities, and was involved in a number of complex acquisitions of service and manufacturing businesses. Most recently, John was a senior member and deal lead in the corporate development department of Conduent, a publicly-traded business process outsourcing company, serving multiple industries in over 25 countries.

Cheri E. Lieberman

Chief Financial Officer

Cheri joined DFW in 2015 as its Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer from Charterhouse Group, Inc., a middle-market private equity firm. She was with Charterhouse for 31 years, most recently serving as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Compliance Officer. Cheri joined Charterhouse in 1984 and was responsible for all of the Firm’s financial and reporting activities. During her tenure, she developed and implemented procedures and controls for the Firm’s internal and external financial, tax, compliance, and treasuring activities, including processes which positioned the Firm to be an early adopter of consistent and transparent reporting to the Firm’s investors.

Adam Gardiner

Vice President of Finance

Adam joined DFW in 2019. Prior to joining DFW, he was the Managing Director for PEF Services where he oversaw the operations teams that were responsible for fund and investor reporting. Adam has more than 16 years of experience in the private equity and hedge fund administration including Vice President positions at JP Morgan Private Equity and Real Estate Fund Services and Citi Hedge Fund Services (formerly Bisys-RK Alternative Investment Services and Rothstein Kass). Adam received a B.S. in Accounting from Rutgers University.

Angela Nobre

Controller

Angela joined DFW in 2010 to manage all administrative and accounting functions at the firm. Angela has over twelve years of relevant experience, most recently with Nippon (USA) where she was responsible for a wide variety of administrative functions including preparation of financial statements, cash management, and monitoring of operating budgets.

Operating Partners

DFW maintains close working relationships with a group of highly experienced operating executives across industry segments in which the firm has investment interest. These adjunct team members work closely with DFW’s investment professionals in sourcing, evaluating and, in many instances, serving as executives and/or board members in DFW portfolio companies.

All of DFW’s Operating Partners are members of the General Partners of DFW’s managed funds.

Kurt A. Brykman

Mr. Brykman is a proven healthcare executive who has built a career on business transformations and turnarounds along with a strong track record of achieving revenue and EBITDA growth. Mr. Brykman’s expertise spans product, service and consulting businesses in industries ranging from healthcare to consumer products. He has worked with DFW as an Advisor starting in 2018 and currently serves as a board member for Lotus Clinical Research, a DFW V portfolio company which focuses on conducting clinical trials related to acute and chronic pain. He also serves on the Board of Insight2Profit, a DFW IV portfolio service company focused on delivering EBITDA growth for clients through implementation and management of pricing strategies.

Prior to working with DFW, Mr. Brykman was the CEO of Kinapse, a London based life science company that specializes in worldwide regulatory affairs outsourcing for biopharma companies. Prior to Kinapse, he was the COO of Medpace, a specialty clinical research organization which provides expertise in executing scientifically challenging trials. Prior to that, he spent 9 years as an Officer and divisional President of PAREXEL International, the 3rd largest CRO worldwide, where he successfully ran the PAREXEL Consulting, PAREXEL Medical Communications and PAREXEL Late Phase Clinicals business units.

Early in his career, Mr. Brykman spend over a decade at Schering Plough’s large over-the-counter medicines business where he ran the worldwide Coppertone franchise of sunscreens, sunblocks and dermatology-focused products. He received his MBA from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago and is a graduate of Michigan State University with a BS degree in Mathematics and Business.

Allen L. Finkelstein, DDS

Dr. Finkelstein is an experienced doctor, executive, and entrepreneur. Dr. Finkelstein is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bedford HealthCare Solutions which provides quality and compliance services to both dental providers and dental insurers. Prior to founding Bedford, Dr. Finkelstein served as the Chief Dental Officer of AmeriChoice / United Health Group, insuring millions of lives. Dr. Finkelstein began his career as a Dental Officer in the US Army.

Dr. Finkelstein is a longtime proponent of integrated dental and medical care and has lectured at dental and medical schools and conferences on the subject of early childhood dentistry and the need for Medical/Dental integration to achieve holistic outcome based healthcare. Throughout his successful business career, Dr. Finkelstein has continued to see patients, is licensed in New York and New Jersey, and currently maintains a dental practice, specializing in Periodontal Prosthesis located in Great Neck, New York. In Addition, Dr. Finkelstein has been active in many community activities, including philanthropies and dental outreach programs for the underserved.

Dr. Finkelstein is currently an adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at the College of Dentistry at New York University, a Senior Advisor for Oral Health Strategies, and an adjunct facility member of the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health at Still University. He also serves as a member of the Harvard University School of Dental Medicine Dean’s Advisory Board, a member of the Drexel College of Medicine Student Advisory Board and a member of the Visitor’s Board of the Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University.

Dr. Finkelstein is currently a member of the board of Children’s Dental Health Associates, a DFW V portfolio company focused on pediatric dentistry, and frequently reviews DFW opportunities in dentistry and more broadly in healthcare. Dr. Finkelstein received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh and graduated with honors from Temple University School of Dentistry.

Jeffrey W. Kinell

Mr. Kinell is an experienced health care services executive. He has worked with DFW since January 2014, when he served as interim CEO and a board member of Evolution Research Group, a DFW IV portfolio company focused on clinical trials for special populations. Today, he serves on the Boards of Children’s Dental Health Associates, a DFW V portfolio company focused on pediatric dentistry, and Lotus Clinical Research, LLC, a DFW V portfolio company that specializes in science based clinical research for special populations.

Mr. Kinell is the former CEO of Bracket Global, which offers an integrated suite of e-clinical solutions. Prior to this, he was the CEO of CRI Lifetree, a leading clinical research company focused on special populations. He also served as the co-CEO of MedOptions, a provider of behavioral health services to nursing homes and assisted living centers. Prior to that, he was the COO of Comprehensive Neuroscience, which conducted clinical trials in neuroscience. He has also served as the CFO of Kelson Pediatric, a manager and operator of pediatric clinics, CEO of a dialysis center operator and the CFO of a publicly traded provider of post-acute care services. Mr. Kinell is a graduate of the University of Vermont.

Michael O’Donnell

Mr. O’Donnell is a talented operating and turnaround executive, with over 30 years of broad experience including business services, outsourcing, manufacturing and technology based companies. Today, Mr. O’Donnell serves as the CEO of Childen’s Dental Health Associates, a DFW V portfolio company focused on pediatric dentistry. He has worked with DFW in several portfolio companies as a due diligence partner, board member and CEO, including Keane, a DFW III portfolio company involved in the unclaimed property industry, and VersaTech Consulting (IT staffing) and Nurses 24/7 (medical staffing), both of which were separate operating entities of VersaTech Holdings, a DFW investment.

Mr. O’Donnell began his career in the audit practice of Deloitte, with subsequent financial, operating and executive leadership positions with The Ultimate Corp., Wechsler Coffee, Sara Lee Corporation, Eastek Corporation and the Food & Beverage Information Exchange. Mr. O’Donnell has a B.S. in Business Administration from St. Francis University (Pennsylvania) and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Bala Venkataraman

Mr. Venkataraman is a Founder of Avego Healthcare Capital, an investment firm focused on life sciences and specialty healthcare investing. Mr. Venkataraman is an experienced operating executive in the specialty pharmaceutical industry, and works closely with DFW in sourcing and evaluating opportunities specifically for pharmaceutical and life-sciences services-related companies. DFW has had an affiliation with Mr. Venkataraman since 2005, having successfully teamed up in four acquisition-driven specialty pharmaceutical platform companies – Alaven Pharmaceutical, Vidara Therapeutics, Sebela Pharmaceuticals & Saol Therapuetics. Alaven and Vidara, two of DFW’s most successful private equity investments, were fully exited in 2010 and 2014, respectively. Mr. Venkataraman began his career with Schering Plough and has held business development, corporate and financial positions with EJ Pharma, Scios, Curative Technologies and Sciele (formerly First Horizon Pharma). Mr. Venkataraman holds a M.S. in Organic Chemistry from Case Western Reserve and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business.

Mr. Venkataraman is currently engaged with DFW in seeking specialty pharma investment opportunities as well serving as an investor of Sebela Pharmaceuticals, a DFW IV specialty pharmaceutical acquisition and in-licensing platform, as well as Saol Therapeutics, a DFW V portfolio company focused on rare disease treatments.

Louis H. Ray

Mr. Ray has an extensive operating background in the technology and government contracting arena, and works with DFW in sourcing, evaluating and managing companies in the outsourced services field. Mr. Ray previously served as CEO of MATCOM International, a Fund II portfolio company providing IT and engineering services to agencies of the U.S. Federal Government. Mr. Ray grew MATCOM from $14 million to $80 million in revenue, through organic and acquisition efforts, ultimately leading to a successful sale to SI International for a significant gain to DFW’s Limited Partners. Previously, Mr. Ray was a senior operating executive with ManTech International, a global U.S. Federal Government IT services provider, responsible for managing that company’s information technology design and deployment services to the Intelligence community. Mr. Ray studied physics at Yale University.

Mr. Ray was actively engaged with DFW in connection with Information Innovators, Inc. (“Triple-I”) –a Fund IV portfolio company, and currently advises on Envocore, a DFW V portfolio company that provides lighting and water retrofit services for federal government and municipal, University, school and hospital facilities. He also serves on the board of Sev1Tech, Inc., a DFW V portfolio company that provides information technology and other services to the federal government.

Virinder Nohria, MD PhD

Dr. Nohria is an experienced physician, biotechnology entrepreneur and a drug developer. Dr. Nohria has worked with DFW since 2006, when the Firm became affiliated with Alaven Pharmaceutical, a DFW Pledge Fund investment, where he was a member of the founding team and Chief Medical Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and Executive Vice President.

Previously, Dr. Nohria has worked for Eli Lilly and UCB, where he was critical in the launch of two blockbuster products. Dr. Nohria was Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Xcel Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company in neuroscience that was acquired by Valeant International in 2005. At Xcel Dr. Nohria was responsible for acquiring worldwide rights to a phase III product in neuroscience, which he helped develop in to a drug that has now been partnered with a major global pharmaceutical company and launched in most major markets worldwide. Dr. Nohria is a board-certified neurologist with special qualifications in child neurology. He completed his medical training at the University of Cambridge in England. His postgraduate training was completed in the UK and US at Duke University. He also holds a Ph.D. degree in Neuropharmacology.

Dr. Nohria was a Co-Founder and President of Vidara Therapeutics LLC, a prior Fund III specialty pharmaceutical licensing and acquisition platform. He is an active board member of Sebela Pharmaceutical, a DFW IV portfolio company, and Saol Therapeutics, a DFW V portfolio company.

Lori Wright

Ms. Wright is a co-Founder, former Chief Executive Officer and current Chairman of the Board of Evolution Research Group, LLC (“ERG”). DFW formed ERG in 2014 by merging the consulting firm she founded in 1998, Thievon-Wright Consulting Group, with St. Louis Clinical Trials, Woodland International Research Group and Woodland Research Northwest. ERG became the platform for what is now the largest, independent clinical research site company in the U.S. with a neuroscience and early phase focus. Ms. Wright led the M&A strategy and completed the acquisition of seven additional clinical research site companies between May of 2015 and March of 2019. DFW exited its investment in ERG in 2018.