NACD Board Leadership Conference NACD Chapter System

Putting the Lens on Private Equity-Owned Companies and Director Effectiveness

February 8, 2018
Chicago, IL




Over seventy Directors braved the threat of snow to attend this program on what Private equity-owned company boards and public company boards have many similarities in governance responsibilities:  oversight of strategy, key talent succession, and risk management to name a few.  But does ownership by a single PE investor change how these responsibilities are carried out?  What happens when there are a few key investors with different expectations for the PE backed company?    Ownership dynamics can have significant impact on the role of directors and how they fulfill their responsibilities.   Join us as a seasoned panel of PE executives, directors, and C-suite executives of PE-owned companies share insights and experiences on what works well, and where they’ve seen challenges as boards work to advance the interests of shareholders.   The interactive Q & A throught the program was very active and well recieved.

  • Setting Strategy
  • Planning for transformational transactions
  • Ensuring succession for key talent
  • Engaging with managment in the day-to-day operations of the business

The Standard Club will offer members lodging, at a special rate, for those attending this reception.  Please contact Brian Campbell at 312-408-2814 to make your reservation.




  February 2018 Registration Roster
  NACD February 2018 Highlights
  February 2018 Program Summary

Location and Time


The Standard Club
320 S. Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604

3:00 - 3:15 PM: Registration

3:15 - 5:15 PM: Panel Program

5:15- 6 :00 PM: Networking Reception


Speaker Spotlight


TJ Chung

Panelist TJ Chung is currently a Partner at Core Industrial Partners, LLC, a Chicago-based private equity firm investing in North American lower middle-market industrial and manufacturing businesses. Chung was most recently the CEO of Teletrac Navman, a Danaher (NYSE: DHR) company and a leading global SaaS provider of fleet management systems with over 500k subscriber units. From 2007 to 2012, Chung was CEO of Navman Wireless where he led the buyout of the company, its 2.5x growth, and eventual successful exit to Danaher with Chicago-based private equity firm Prairie Capital. Before Navman Wireless, Chung served as President of New Technologies Division at Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC). Chung founded the New Technologies Division and grew the business to over $350M in revenue. Prior to that, Chung was Corporate Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Brunswick and Senior Vice President of Brunswick’s $1.6 billion Mercury Marine Group. Before joining Brunswick, Chung was an executive at Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR). Chung currently serves on the boards of Littelfuse (NASDAQ: LFUS), Mastercraft (NASDAQ: MCFT), and several privately-held technology companies. Chung also serves on the advisory boards of the Corkrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Chung had previously served on the board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois and the board of visitors of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Chung has over twenty plus years of leading strategic development, business acquisition, operational excellence, global expansion, and innovation across software, electronics, and industrial sectors. Chung holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, an MS in Computer Science from North Carolina State University, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dave Hawkins

Panelist Dave Hawkins is a co-founder and serves as a Managing Partner of Shorehill Capital LLC. Founded in 2013, Shorehill Capital is a Chicago-based private equity firm with a passion for building better businesses. The firm is focused on making control investments in North American precision manufacturing, value-add distribution and industrial service companies with enterprise values of between $25 million and $150 million. For nearly 30 years, Mr. Hawkins and his partners have worked with business owners and management teams to accelerate growth, improve operational performance and increase asset efficiency to drive value creation. A veteran of the finance profession, Mr. Hawkins started his career as a corporate lender and then progressed to private equity investing in April 1994. He has been active in all aspects of private equity investing including investment origination, evaluation, execution and portfolio company management. His investment efforts have been focused on industrial manufacturing, business service and value-added distribution companies where he has participated in over $5.5 billion of transactions. Working at the board of directors level, he has helped guide middle market companies through various strategic initiatives including, but not limited to, - crafting growth strategies - improving operational efficiency through lean initiatives - finding and completing add-on acquisitions - structuring and raising debt and equity - planning for management succession - improving financial reporting - transitioning family owned businesses to institutionally owned businesses; and - organizing company boards, including audit and compensation committees. Mr. Hawkins currently serves on the Board of Directors of Belt Power Holdings, LLC, Tribus Aerospace LLC, Power Grid Holdings, Inc. and Jasper Engine Exchange, Inc. Mr. Hawkins received his B.S. in Finance from Indiana University and an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business.

Chris Killackey

Panelist Chris Killackey has over nineteen years of private equity experience in addition to his seven years of middle market lending experience. He currently serves as Partner in Prairie Capital, and is responsible for investment origination, due diligence, deal structuring, and negotiation, along with fundraising and investor relations. Chris also has portfolio management responsibility for Prairie Capital, and is currently a director for four Prairie Capital portfolio companies, including Architectural Lighting Works, Industrial Water Treatment Solutions, Premier Dealer Services, and ProVest. Prior to joining Prairie Capital in 1999, Chris was a Director of Chicago-based Banc One Mezzanine Corporation (now part of Chase Mezzanine), a $100 million wholly owned subsidiary of Bank One Corporation that made subordinated debt investments in middle-market companies nationally. Prior to joining Banc One Mezzanine in 1998, Chris spent seven years with American National Bank, most recently as a Vice President. While with American National Bank, Chris's experiences included financing leveraged buyouts and financial restructurings and managing an asset-based lending portfolio of middle market companies. Chris graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in finance. He received an MBA from the University of Chicago (concentrations in finance, accounting, entrepreneurial finance and strategic management) and continues to be active with the university. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.

Tim Vargo

Panelist Tim Vargo is a member of the Audit Committee for the Board of Directors of Exide Technologies. Mr. Vargo retired from Kele Incorporated, a leading distributor of building automation and HVAC products, in April 2017 where he served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director since 2010. He brings more than 40 years of leadership and managerial experience in capital allocation and restructuring, automotive supply chain and process improvement. Previously, Mr. Vargo served as President and Chief Executive Officer of TruckPro, Inc., a heavy-duty truck parts distributor. Under his leadership, TruckPro significantly improved sales strategies and store operations. Prior to TruckPro, he was the President and Chief Operating Officer of AutoZone where he was instrumental in formulating and executing the growth strategy that took the company from 1,000 stores to 3,250 stores and sales from $1.5 billion to over $5 billion. Mr. Vargo is also a member of the Board of Directors for Motorcar Parts of America, Inc. (NASDAQ: MPAA). Tim and his family currently reside in Memphis, Tennessee.

Chris Abbinante

Moderator Chris Abbinante is a Partner with Sidley Austin, LLP representing private equity sponsors and corporate clients on complex transactions, including leveraged buyouts, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, investments, joint ventures and other corporate matters. Over the past 20 years, Chris has represented a wide variety of private equity and corporate clients across a number of industries, including healthcare services, medical products and devices, financial institutions, products and services, technology / e-commerce, media / entertainment, consumer and retail, and business services. Prior to assuming leadership of the firm’s Private Equity practice, Chris was co-leader of Sidley’s Emerging Company practice. Chris continues to regularly work with emerging companies, entrepreneurs and growth capital investors regarding their investment activities and corporate needs. Chris has been recognized by numerous industry publications, including the following: Law360 (recognized as a “rising star” in 2010 and one of the publication’s 10 corporate finance lawyers under 40 to watch. PLC Which Lawyer (recommended in Private Equity/Venture Capital). The Best Lawyers in America (Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law: 2013–2017); The Best Lawyers in America (recognized as a 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” -- Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law); and The Legal 500 US (Private Equity Buyout: 2014–2016).



Question about this Event?

Contact Chicago Chapter 1154 Blue Larkspur, Naperville, IL, 60540 phone: 630-527-9579 email: