Mr. Santomero has been a private equity investor since 1983. Beginning in 1991, Mr. Santomero has partnered with TMB Industries in all of its investments in addition to making other private equity investments through Guard Hill Holdings and Rabbit Hill Industries. Prior to 1991, Mr. Santomero was a partner at Chemical Venture Partners (now JP Morgan Partners) and a partner at Butler Capital Corporation, one of the first Institutional LBO and Mezzanine shops in the United States. From 1979 to 1981, he was a member of the Mergers and Acquisitions group at Salomon Brothers. Mr. Santomero has an MBA from Stanford Business School and a BS from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Cirar provides operational oversight to each of our portfolio companies. He was Executive Vice President and a Director of TTI, and President and CEO of TTI’s Foundry Group until the acquisition and subsequent IPO by Accuride Corporation in 2005. The Foundry Group included Gunite Corporation and Brillion Iron Works. He was President and CEO of Johnstown America Corporation from September 1995 to September 1998, and is presently on the Board of Directors of the now public FreightCar America. He also served on the Board of Newcor Inc. from January 1999 until July 2001. Prior to 1995, Mr. Cirar was with General Motors for thirty years in numerous executive positions and most recently responsible for GM’s Truck Assembly Plant in Flint, Michigan. He is a graduate of General Motors Institute (BS) and the University of California at Irvine (MS).
Mr. Hoffman is a retired Senior Managing Director of Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc., a financial services and brokerage firm. Prior to joining Legg Mason, Mr. Hoffman was Chairman of The Middle Market Group, an investment bank affiliated with Shearson Lehman Brothers Inc., specializing in merger, acquisition and divestiture activities and the placement of debt and equity to the private markets. Mr. Hoffman was a Managing Director of Shearson Lehman Hutton Inc. where he founded and was responsible for the firm's middle market investment banking group. Mr. Hoffman was also a founder and general partner of Financo Investors Fund L.P., a private equity fund, that provided equity financing to emerging companies in the retail, consumer products and health care fields, such as Intelligent Electronics and Salton Maxim. Prior to entering the investment banking field in 1976, Mr. Hoffman spent over 20 years in a variety of business and executive disciplines. He is currently Vice Chairman and a Director of Almo Corporation; a Director of Computer Corporation of America Inc., S.R. Smith, LLC, Numoda Inc., Cogniscape LLC and nCourt LLC and serves on the Advisory Board of Ironwood Manufacturing Fund I and II, and LLR Fund I. Mr. Hoffman received a BA from Pennsylvania State University in 1957.
Mr. Young is Chairman of the board of S.R. Smith and was the acting CEO from 9/2004 to 8/2005. In addition to several Guard Hill Holdings Investments, Mr. Young is on the boards of Bioabsorbable Therapeutics, Inc. and EarLens Corporation. From 1990 to present, Mr. Young has been President of Teton Capital Management. From 1982 to 1990, Mr. Young was a Partner at Melchor Venture Management (Portola Venture Fund). Prior to 1982, he was a member of the Corporate Finance group at Salomon Brothers and with Wells Fargo Bank. Mr. Young has an MBA from Stanford Business School and a BS in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mr. Rueppel has been affiliated with Guard Hill Holdings since 2003. Prior to 2003, he was a Vice President/Portfolio Manager for BRE Properties Inc. where he was responsible for a $1.5 billion investment portfolio encompassing 10,000 multi-family units in the western U.S. Prior to 1993, he was a partner at Woodmont Companies where he was involved in operating a diverse portfolio of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties. He has earned the Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation and previously served on the Executive Council of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and the boards of the National Apartment Association and the California Housing Council. He is currently on the Executive Committee of the California Apartment Association and is a Trustee for its Political Action Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.