Experience - Our professionals possess diverse investment and operational skills, strengthening portfolio companies in every aspect of their business.

Smith A. Brownlie III

Managing Director

Mr. Brownlie is a Certified Public Accountant and holds the AICPA’s Personal Financial Specialist designation.  He has spent over twenty five years working with closely held companies and high net worth individuals. In addition to being a co-founder of Brownlie & Braden, LLC, Mr. Brownlie is President of Cotton Creek Investments, LLC, Managing Partner of Cotton Creek Investment Company, Ltd. and a Managing Director and a principal of Cotton Creek Capital Management, LLC and Cotton Creek Capital Management II, LLC. His previous experience includes work with the accounting firm of Peat Marwick (now KPMG) addressing the needs of privately-held companies in the firm’s Private Business Advisory Services section. He has provided his clients with planning and consulting services in which he has addressed various tax and financial issues including estate planning, business continuity planning, income tax planning, investment and insurance due diligence, and compensation design.

Mr. Brownlie has been active in private equity investing over the last twenty years. Mr. Brownlie is currently chairman of the board of directors of Waste Partners Environmental, Inc., serves on the board of managers of Terrace Energy, LLC, and serves on the board of directors of C7 Holdings Corp., and RB Acquisition Corp.  Mr. Brownlie also serves on the Fort Wort Region Advisory Board of First Financial Bank. Mr. Brownlie previously served on the board of directors of Chain Electric Company.

Mr. Brownlie is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and a member of the Personal Financial Planning and Tax Sections of the AICPA. He is also a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA). He is past chairman of the board of directors and current member of the Fort Worth Business & Estate Council, UT Southwestern Medical Center Estate Planning Council, and the North Texas Chapter of the National Committee on Planned Giving. He has also served on the Estate Planning and Planned Giving Advisory Boards for Baylor University. He was an Anderson Clayton Fund Scholarship recipient and received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Baylor University.

James E. Braden

Managing Director

Mr. Braden, a Certified Public Accountant and Personal Financial Specialist, has spent most of his career working with privately owned companies and high net worth families. Prior to co-founding Brownlie & Braden, LLC, his experience included working with the accounting firm of Peat Marwick (now KPMG), as well as privately-held Lincoln Property Company, a national real estate developer based in Dallas. His expertise includes the areas of gift and estate taxation, business succession planning, charitable planning and related issues confronted by the wealthy family.

Mr. Braden is an active private equity investor and serves as a Managing Director and a principal of Cotton Creek Capital Management, LLC and Cotton Creek Capital Management II, LLC, the general partners of various private equity funds advised by the firm. He currently serves on the board of managers of Terrace Energy, LLC and is a member of the board of directors of Waste Partners Environmental, Inc. and previously served as the chairman of the board of directors of Graco Holding, Inc.  Additionally, Mr. Braden manages BKB Capital, Ltd., a private investment vehicle.

Mr. Braden currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Dallas Foundation. He is a member of the Dallas Estate Planning Council and the Fort Worth Business & Estate Council as well as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) and the North Texas Chapter of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning.

Antonio J. DiGesualdo

Managing Director

Mr. DiGesualdo serves as a Managing Director of Cotton Creek Capital Management, LLC and Cotton Creek Capital Management II, LLC.  He has spent over fifteen years working with middle market companies as both an advisor and an investor.  Prior to joining the firm, Mr. DiGesualdo was a Partner at TGF Management Corp., a private equity firm with approximately $700 million under management focused on control transactions with middle-market companies, primarily in the Southwest.

Mr. DiGesualdo is an active investor having invested across a diverse group of companies across a range of industries. Mr. DiGesualdo currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of C7 Holdings Corp., RB Acquisition Corp., AirReady Holdings, Inc. and C7 Logistics, Inc., and is a member of the board of directors of Sterling BV Holdings, Inc. and previously served on the board of directors of Chain Electric Company, Magnablend, Inc., M&M Manufacturing, Inc., Omniflight, Inc., and First Texas Holdings Corporation.

Mr. DiGesualdo has earned a Master of Professional Accounting degree from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Texas and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Rice University.

Robert T. (Tom) Russell

Advisory Director

Mr. Russell has been an advisory director of Cotton Creek Capital since formation and is involved in the evaluation and operational oversight with respect to many of Cotton Creek Capital’s existing investments. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Russell gained over thirty years of business experience in business consulting and private industry, much of it in manufacturing and construction related areas. He has worked with companies in all stages of their life cycle including restructuring and turnaround, as well as proceedings under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Mr. Russell’s private industry experience includes public and private board membership and officer positions, including serving as chief executive officer and chief operating officer.

Mr. Russell currently serves on the board of directors of several companies, including AirReady Holdings, Inc., C7 Logistics, Inc., C7 Holdings Corp., RB Acquisition Corp., Sterling BV Holdings, Inc. and Waste Partners Environmental, Inc.

Mr. Russell received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Dallas Baptist University and held a Certified Public Accountant certificate for over twenty years and a Certified Turnaround Professional certificate for five years.

Joseph L. (Lee) Rash

Director

Mr. Rash is a Director with Cotton Creek Capital and was previously in the Mergers and Acquisitions Advisory Group at Blackstone, a large-cap private equity firm in New York with approximately $40 billion under management.  While at Blackstone, he advised corporate and financial-sponsor clients with respect to over $6 billion in investment opportunities across a diverse group of companies (primarily in the industrial, chemical and consumer sectors).  Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Rash worked as a Manager in the Transaction Services Advisory practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers.  There, he provided financial diligence, valuation and structuring advice to corporate and financial-sponsor clients across a broad range of industries.  Mr. Rash currently serves on the board of directors of C7 Holdings Corp. and RB Acquisition Corp.

Mr. Rash attended the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and earned a Master of Business Administration degree, with a concentration in economics and finance.  He also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Master of Science degree in Finance from Texas A&M University.  Mr. Rash is a Certified Public Accountant. 

John (Josh) S. Gault

Vice President

Mr. Gault is a Vice President with Cotton Creek Capital and previously was a Principal with a middle market private equity firm where he helped close a wide variety of platform and add-on acquisitions and served on the board of several portfolio companies. Previously, he worked in investment banking with Lehman Brothers, based in New York, New York, as a member of the firm’s Global Financial Sponsors Group where he worked extensively with sponsors in the consumer, retail, industrial, media and healthcare industries

Mr. Gault graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in history from Dartmouth College and also holds a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. 

Anil A. Ali

Senior Associate

Mr. Ali is a Senior Associate with Cotton Creek Capital Management, LLC.  Prior to joining Cotton Creek Capital, Anil was an Analyst with Harris Williams & Co. in Boston, a middle-market investment bank specializing in sell-side M&A advisory.  While at Harris Williams, Anil worked on a broad range of industries and focused on M&A transactions and minority private placements.  Furthermore, he started his career as an Equity Research Analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co.

Mr. Ali earned his B.S., summa cum laude, in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and International Business from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Jeffrey R. Butt

Associate

Mr. Butt is an Associate with Cotton Creek Capital and prior to joining the firm, Mr. Butt was an Investment Banking Analyst with Stephens Inc. in Dallas, a middle-market investment bank specializing in mergers and acquisitions, underwritings of public debt and equity securities, and private placements of debt and equity.  While at Stephens, Mr. Butt worked primarily in the industrials, energy and media sectors and participated in transaction types such as mergers and acquisitions, public offerings and corporate divestitures.

Mr. Butt earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

Alan W. Goldstein

Associate

Mr. Goldstein is an Associate with Cotton Creek Capital.  Previously, Mr. Goldstein was an investment banking analyst at Jefferies Group LLC in New York, specializing in Mergers and Acquisitions. In his time at Jefferies, Alan advised clients ranging from small to large capital companies and financial sponsors on both buy-side and sell-side transactions across several industries.

Mr. Goldstein received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin, with minors in Accounting and Psychology.

Christopher D. Weems

Associate

Mr. Weems is an Associate with Cotton Creek Capital and was previously an Associate in the General Industrials investment banking group at Raymond James & Associates in St. Petersburg, FL where he specialized in mergers & acquisitions for middle market companies and debt and equity capital raises for public companies across a variety of sectors. Mr. Weems began his career at Raymond James as an Equity Research Associate covering the healthcare sector.

Mr. Weems earned his Masters of Finance degree and Bachelor of Science degree in Finance, magna cum laude, from the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. Mr. Weems is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Steven D. Lankenau

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Lankenau started his career with the accounting firm of Peat Marwick (now KPMG) in their Private Business Advisory Services department working with small to mid-size businesses to address their financial, tax, and consulting needs.  He rejoins the firm after serving as their Chief Financial Officer from 1998 – 2000.  He has diverse experience in advising wealthy individuals and families in the areas of tax planning, asset protection planning, risk management, and investments.

Mr. Lankenau earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in accounting from Drake University.

Courtney H. Faison

Controller

Mrs. Faison is the Controller for the firm.  Her duties include overseeing the accounting functions.  Prior to joining the firm, she was an auditor for Deloitte & Touche with a concentration in the Energy industry.

Mrs. Faison graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Culverhouse School of Accountancy at the University of Alabama.  She also earned a Masters of Accountancy at the University of Alabama while being a Graduate Assistant Teacher.

 

Dallas 2820 Ross Tower, 500 North Akard Street Dallas, Texas 75201 214-242-0700

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