Dave has over three decades of experience in the food and agriculture industries. Before joining Lewis & Clark Partners, David served as President (Food Group) for 1800Flowers.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: FLWS), a manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of floral, food, and gift products with revenues exceeding $1.2 BN in 2017. His responsibilities at 1800Flowers.com included an approximately $700mm revenue stream; 2,000 permanent and ramped to 10,000 employees seasonally; 3,000 acres of fruit farms; and eight food manufacturing, assembly, sorting and distribution facilities.
Prior to that, David served as Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Alpine Confections and Chief Executive Officer of Fannie May Confections Brands. Alpine grew from a $12mm entity to over $130mm before successfully exiting to 1800Flowers.com. He previously worked in the Strategy and Business Development Group of Cargill, Inc., an international marketer, processor, and distributor of food, financial, and industrial products.
David was raised in a small farming community in Indiana, where his family owned the local grain elevator, feed mill, seed dealership, fertilizer distributor, and railroad. Over the course of his career, David has been involved in 40+ M&A transactions and joint ventures.
David is a veteran (U.S. Army, 4th Infantry Division). He holds a B.B.A. Finance and Business Economics from the University of Notre Dame and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
Thomas J. Hillman
Tom Hillman has been involved with private business enterprises over the course of his career, during which time he’s owned more than 50 companies in a wide variety of industries. He previously served as Director of Answers (internet lead generation and search engine company) and founding shareholder and Board member of Hoover’s, Inc. (public business content and research company). He was also Director/Owner of Rainforest Aquaculture, a world-leading tilapia farm.
Tom currently serves on the Barnes Jewish Hospital Board of Directors/Executive Committee, leading the Finance and Planning Committee, and recently joined the BJC board of Directors. He is on the Board of Trustees and assorted National Councils at Washington University in St. Louis.
Mr. Hillman served as Board President of the Center of Creative Arts (a St. Louis-based community performing arts center) and Chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization – St. Louis chapter. He holds his B.S. from Washington University in St. Louis.
Larry Page, PhD
As a Managing Director at Lewis & Clark AgriFood, Larry is responsible for all facets of fund management, including raising funds, leading investments, and corporate governance via board membership.
Larry joined Lewis & Clark in 2016 after working at PierianDx, a start-up specializing in clinical bioinformatics, where he managed several facets of the business including on the laboratory and sales teams. He was also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Nidus Partnership, and he served as Chief Technology Officer of Terra Biologics, a start-up working to commercialize cyanobacteria-based biofertilizers.
Larry received his PhD in Biochemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, where his thesis focused on the basic mechanics of photosynthetic light harvesting. He conducted undergraduate research on plant molecular biology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he received a B.S. in Biochemistry.
Tim Hassler is responsible for deal sourcing, due diligence, investment, and portfolio management for the Lewis & Clark AgriFood Fund. Prior to joining Lewis & Clark Partners, Tim was a former Managing Director for Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners (ACAP), a $154.5M Rural Business Investment Company focused exclusively on the food and agribusiness sector. Tim managed all aspects of the fund, including fundraising, deal sourcing, due diligence, portfolio management, and reporting. He led six investments for ACAP and served as a board member or observer on each investment.
Additionally, Tim was co-founder of Patriot Capital Funding, a specialty finance company providing mezzanine debt. One-stop debt financing and equity co-investment to companies primarily owned by private equity sponsors. His responsibilities while at Patriot Capital Funding spanned all elements of the investment process including; Chief Investment Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. Tim has previous experience with U.S. Bank covering food and agribusiness lending group in the capital markets division.
Tim received his B.S. of Finance from the University of Illinois and his M.B.A. from Washington University.
Meg Lane has experience in a wide range of accounting functions including financial reporting, budgeting/forecasting, implementation and evaluation of internal controls, and external auditing. In her professional career, she has worked with a diverse group of companies in a variety of industries such as financial services, real estate, and health care. She serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Lewis & Clark Holdings, Ventures, Capital and Real Estate and assumes various roles in those companies as a Board member/observer and Investment Committee member.
Meg was formerly the Controller at Allegro Senior Living, a developer and manager of senior housing communities; she was also an Auditor at Deloitte LP.
Over the course of her career, Meg has been involved in 20+ M&A transactions. She holds her B.S.B.A. in Accountancy and her M.S. in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame.
David Russell, PhD
David Russell is focused on the AgriFood Fund looking at plant productivity, farm productivity, and supply chain efficiency. Prior to joining Lewis & Clark Partners, David led Monsanto’s Biotechnology Prospecting Team looking for innovative opportunities to support the Monsanto agriculture technology platforms. As part of this effort, he continued to build an extensive Ag Tech network including research institutes, universities, start-ups, and agriculture companies.
In a previous role, David helped lead the development of animal feed and grain processing traits as part of the Renessen LLC JV. At Renessen, David was V.P. of Product Development & Technology and led the technology, product development and regulatory science functions. He started his Ag career with Agracetus, Inc., an early Ag biotec startup, where he led teams developing new seeds traits and investigating novel plant seed approaches to animal nutrition and human health.
David received his B.S. from U of Minnesota, Morris, his PhD from Rice University in microbial gene expression, and did a NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University exploring light regulation in corn.
JoAnn has extensive investment and operating experience owning, advising and managing companies in the food and agriculture sectors. As a Lewis & Clark Operating Partner, she continues as the Managing Partner and President of Demeter LP, a privately held agribusiness firm headquartered in Fowler, Indiana.
Through multiple acquisitions and management agreements, Demeter owned and operated numerous grain facilities in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. At its peak, Demeter grew to be one of the largest grain companies in North America. Corn, soybeans, wheat and specialty grains originating at these grain facilities were merchandised and sold into the poultry, ethanol, processing and export markets. In 1996, the majority of the Demeter grain assets were acquired by the Archer Daniels Midland Company. Demeter continued to operate and organically grow the remaining grain assets and businesses. Recently, the company agreed to sell its core business, its grain assets, to The DeLong Company of Clinton, Wisconsin.
JoAnn is the current chair of the National Grain & Feed Association and serves as a trustee of Purdue University. She was elected to the board of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce in 2010, chosen as one of the Indiana Chamber Volunteers of the Year in 2018, was vice chair in 2020, and was recently appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors for 2021. Her achievements also include being awarded the AgriVision Award from the State of Indiana in 2010 and being appointed to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiation by President George W. Bush in 2003 and again in 2005.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hanover College, majoring in business.
Mr. Welker is a senior executive with over 30 years of experience in Fortune 100 and startup companies focused in the agriculture, chemicals, and materials industries. Notably, Steve managed the global alfalfa seed business for a division of Land O’Lakes, one of the leading co-ops in U.S. agriculture. Prior to his role at Land O’Lakes, he held several commercial roles at Monsanto and multiple commercial and technical roles at large chemical companies including DuPont, Monsanto Chemical, and Solutia, as well as small companies and start-ups.
Most recently Steve completed the Distinguished Career Institute Fellowship at Stanford University. As a farmer from the Midwest, Steve’s time at Stanford included mentoring agtech startups and sharing his farming and agribusiness experience with the investor community focused in the agricultural markets. His experience as a farmer, businessman, and engineer has led to a deep interest in developing and commercializing technologies and practices to help farmers improve profitability and promote sustainable food practices.
Steve earned his Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri and a Masters of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.
Steve is originally from St. Louis. He has enjoyed time living in Ohio, Delaware, and Texas before returning to St. Louis where he raised his family. Steve and his wife have 2 wonderful daughters who reside in California and Michigan. In his free time, Steve enjoys biking, hiking, following college football, and traveling to visit his daughters.
David Poldoian has led companies, both large and small, public and private, across a range of industries including consumer goods, professional services, and financial services. He’s served as trusted advisor and consultant to Fortune 500 CEO’s and other leaders helping to address key strategic and operating issues.
David has been affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis for over 20 years. He is an award-winning member of the adjunct faculty of its Olin Business School where he teaches entrepreneurship and strategy. Prior to joining Lewis & Clark Partners, David served as the Chief Executive Officer of IronRock Investments. He was also President and Chief Operating Officer of Everest University Online and Vice President and Partner at Bain and Company.
David holds his B.A. from Tufts University and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Jessie Chapel has been with Lewis & Clark since 2013 and leads the Investor Relations group at Lewis & Clark AgriFood. She handles all communication with investors, coordinates and collects subscription paperwork, manages capital call and distribution-related activities, and most recently helped raise over $400M for Lewis & Clark AgriFood and Lewis & Clark Ventures. She also leads the PR, communication, and marketing strategy for Lewis & Clark AgriFood.
Jessie currently administers private equity, venture capital, and growth equity funds within Lewis & Clark AgriFood, Lewis & Clark Ventures, and Lewis & Clark Real Estate. She has extensive experience in due diligence, providing accurate and detailed financial reports, superior client relation support, asset and portfolio management, and tax credit sales transactions. During her career, she served in supervisory positions in the loan processing and closing department at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, and personally closed over $750M in loans under the Home Affordable Refinance Program.
Jessie holds a B.S. in Finance and Banking from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
Matt is a Vice President at Lewis and Clark AgriFood. Prior to Matt’s role at Lewis and Clark, he was a Principal at Cultivation Capital and Yield Lab, helping build an AgTech related investment fund.
Matt led the launch of the Yield Lab Europe, an agriculture technology venture fund and accelerator based in Ireland. Matt has been as an agriculture technology analyst and spent time in an agriculture technology startup, CoverCress, helping them breed plants, tending greenhouse and harvesting genetic nurseries.
Matt previously lived in Salt Lake City as a competing member of the United States Long Track Speedskating Team. Matt served on the U.S. Speedskating Board of Directors from 2012-2018 and serving as an Officer and as Chair of the Athletes’ Advisory Council. Matt currently is Vice Chair of the Young Friends of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.
Matt graduated in 2018 with a Masters of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.
Suhas has over a decade of experience in Food and Agriculture as an Investor and Operator. He is currently responsible for making and managing investments on behalf of Lewis & Clark AgriFood across the AgriFood ecosystem. He has been instrumental in making five new investments and has worked on boards of companies in the Automation and Robotics spaces including companies such as Aker Technologies, BinSentry and Tortuga.
Previously, Suhas helped build and scale a row crop seed business of GEO Biotechnologies in India, and has worked extensively with farmers. He also has a breadth of investment experience working on the limited partner side of private investments as well as in M&A and Buyouts.
Prior roles also include working with G2 Capital Advisors, a boutique investment advisory firm, and subsequently with College Hill Capital Partners, a Boston based Private Equity firm, where he evaluated several investments in the Restaurant & Food Industries. Suhas also worked with the Private Equity Investment Committee of the Babson College Endowment where he helped manage the portfolio of private investments and evaluated investments in Fund Managers.
Suhas is passionate about investments and entrepreneurship, and is a member of The Takshashila Institution, A Public Policy Think Tank.
Suhas has an MBA from Babson College with a focus on Finance and Entrepreneurship, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University.
Rose is an Executive Assistant at Lewis and Clark AgriFood. With over 20 years of experience supporting C-Level executives, she brings both organization and efficiency to the team. Rose has an extensive background in complex calendar management, travel coordination, research and event planning. Prior to joining the team, she worked for Lone Peak Group.
John is an Associate at Lewis and Clark AgriFood, where he is responsible for research, evaluation, due diligence and execution of investments in the AgriFood sector.
Prior to joining Lewis and Clark, he was an Associate at Growth Catalyst Partners, a middle market private equity firm focused on tech-enabled services. At GCP, John helped evaluate and execute platform and add-on investments, as well as due diligence, research and ongoing portfolio management. Before that, he was an Analyst in the Investment Banking Division at Jefferies, where he focused on advising mid and large-cap industrial clients on M&A and capital raising transactions.
John has a BS in Accounting and Finance from the University of Kansas, where he graduated with honors and distinction.
Marisa Nardoni has more than 15 years of proven experience in both the operations management and client advisory realms of the professional services industry. She has extensive operational experience, varied consulting knowledge and broad customer service skills which enable her to capably serve both internal and external stakeholders.
Before joining Lewis & Clark Partners, Marisa served as Operations Manager for MarketSphere Consulting, LLC. She was also a Senior Consultant for Deloitte & Touche, LLP, as well as the Office Manager for Drill String Services, Inc.
Marisa holds her B.S.B.A. in Computer Information Systems from Spring Hill College (Mobile, AL).