Universal Advisory Board Bios

Brent Beeler

As a packaging expert, Brent began his career at Berry Plastics Corporation in 1985 in a sales and marketing role and worked his way through several managerial positions before retiring in 2009 as Chief Operating Officer. Brent was also the President of the Rigid Plastic Packaging Group, a business unit of the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

In addition to his role at Graham Partners, Brent is currently the Governmental Relations Consultant for Berry Plastics Corporation and a board member of the Processors Council of the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), where he works extensively on plastic packaging legislation and sustainability.

Brent volunteers his time as a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Evansville, the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation Foundation Board, the Indiana State University Executive Dean’s Council, the University of Evansville Institute for Global Enterprise Board, and the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville, and is also the President of the Indiana State University Foundation Board.

Brent received his B.S. in Marketing and Management from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Mike Schall

Mike is the founder and Managing Director of Schall Consulting Group, Inc. (SCG) and has over thirty years of food industry leadership experience as a board member, CEO, and operating executive. He advises food manufacturers and brand owners as well as the nation’s leading natural foods, grocery and club channel retailers in areas such as brand marketing, manufacturing, product development, and channel marketing in perishable and nonperishable foods.

Previously, Mike was the Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales at Fresh Food Concepts; President of Sales and Marketing at Townsend’s Inc., a privately held $500M vertically integrated poultry processor; Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and DSD of Wise Foods, Inc., a privately held $400 million regional snack food company; President and Chief Executive Officer of The B. Manischewitz Company, LLC; and President and Chief Executive Officer of Guiltless Gourmet, Inc.

In addition to his role as Advisory Board Member for Graham Partners’ portfolio company Universal, Mike has served on the boards of directors and advisory boards for a number of organizations and companies, including Passport Food Group and the Strategic Alliance Advisory Board for David Michael Flavors.

Mike earned his B.S. in Marketing from California State University at Los Angeles and his M.B.A. from The University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. Additionally, he is an Executive in Residence at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business and regularly mentors graduate students to help them transition to career opportunities.

Dave Owens

Dave is an R&D executive with over 30 years of expertise with food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. He currently advises industry leading corporations in areas such as product development, technology evaluation and due diligence, product cost optimization, quality systems and specs, regulatory compliance, and R&D strategy.

Previously, Dave was Vice President of R&D with Perdue Farms, Vice President of Product Development for Aurora Foods, and Senior Director of Product and Process Development with Conagra. He has also served in various technical roles with Kraft Foods, Pepsico, and Henkel.

Dave received both his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and his M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota. He is also a member of the Institute of Food Technologists.

Boyd Bulger

Boyd Bulger

An operations expert with over 30 years of experience, Boyd provides strategic planning, procurement, and business development advice to the food manufacturing industry. Boyd was most recently Senior Vice President and General Manager of Prepared Foods with Tyson Foods, and prior to that role, he served as Vice President of Sales and Business Development, Vice President of Procurement, and Vice President of Pricing and Sales Administration with Tyson Foods.

Throughout his career, Boyd has had experience in a number of senior roles at other companies including IBP, National Beef Packing, to name a few.

Boyd received his B.S. in Business Administration and Accounting from Florida State University.

Pat Adams

Pat Adams

Pat brings with him over 30 years of experience in the medical device sterilization and food processing industries. Formerly, Pat was the President/CEO of Avure Technologies for 11 years Avure is a leading global designer and manufacturer of high pressure equipment used in consumer and industrial applications and the company that commercialized high pressure processing for the food industry during Pat’s tenure.

Prior to Avure Technologies, Pat was the President of Food Safety & Advanced Applications for IBA/SteriGenics, the largest irradiation and ethylene oxide (ETO) contract processor in the world. The division grew under Pat’s management to include new plants in North America and Southeast Asia. Earlier in his career, Pat lead Sterilization Services from start-up to nationwide contract service supplier and subsequently developed and built the Isomedix/Steris contract ETO division.

Pat received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Memphis. He is affiliated with numerous trade organizations, including the National Meat Association, Health Industry Manufacturers Association, the Institute of Food Technology, and was a longstanding member of the Executive Advisory Board for the National Center for Food Safety & Technology (NCFST), among others.

Jim DePietro

Jim has extensive and successful C-Level leadership and general management experience in the consumer products industry. As the Principal of The DePietro Group, Inc., Jim provides advising and consulting services to companies in the food and beverage business. He also works as an Operating Partner in Private Equity as a consumer products space industry expert. Jim works in the areas of thesis development, deal sourcing, prospective company deal evaluation and operational advisor. Jim is also actively involved as a Board member of PE portfolio companies.

Experiences:

Chief Operating Officer of Hain BluePrint, Inc. BluePrint is the leader in juice cleansing, an e-commerce business which under Jim’s leadership expanded its reach into retail channels creating the ultra-premium cold pressed juice segment of the beverage category. Jim joined the BluePrint founders and successful ramped revenue and EBITDA allowing for a successful exit to Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

Chief Executive Officer of The Healthy Beverage Company. The Company sells and markets STEAZ, a leading brand of natural, organic, and fair trade RTD tea based beverage. Steaz is now broadly available in the natural channel and mainstream grocery retailers.

Executive Vice President at Ideal Snacks; a developer and contract manufacturer of natural and organic snacks. Many of the “better-for-you” branded snacks on the market today are developed and manufactured by Ideal Snacks.

Vice President Unilever; senior Unilever operating executive leading The Pepsi Lipton Partnership, a strategic joint venture between Unilever and PepsiCo. General Management responsibility for sales/marketing/operations/innovation.

Jim holds a bachelors degree in marketing and management from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and an Executive Management Certificate from New York University’s Stern School of Business.