The Exvere Team
Michael F. Brustkern
Michael brings decades of business and transactional experience to the benefit of Exvere’s clients. Included are 35 years as CEO, ranging from start-ups to divisional leadership of a Fortune 500 corporation. He also has an extensive industrial and manufacturing background, with an emphasis on construction and building materials, which is reflected in Exvere’s sector focus. He has owned and/or operated companies involved in metal fabrication, wood products, cement/concrete and plastics. His successful track record reflects an ability to quickly analyze a wide variety of businesses, including their value propositions and potential growth or liquidity options.
A lifelong resident of Washington, Michael has a deep understanding of the Pacific Northwest business environment that enables him to develop creative solutions reflected in Exvere’s highly favorable “closing” ratio. He has been a member of the YPO/WPO International since 1980 and has served as chairman of WPO/Northwest Chapter. He is also a member of Northwest Forum. Additionally, he has served on the boards of numerous public and private companies in a variety of industry sectors.
Michael received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Puget Sound followed by an MBA from Gonzaga University. He is a frequent speaker at local university leadership classes and was honored by the University of Puget Sound School of Business, in 1998 as its, “Outstanding Alumni”.
Michael and his wife Patti have two sons and seven grandchildren and have lived in downtown Seattle for the last 20 years, where they enjoy a wide variety of sports and cultural pursuits. Michael also enjoys golf, conditioning and driving his prized 1968 Mustang convertible.
Jan-Erik serves as the managing partner and COO of Exvere. He is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, deal execution, business development, and strategic initiatives.
Jan-Erik brings more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry in Asia and the Americas. Prior to joining Exvere, Jan-Erik lead Fifth Third Bancorp’s International Corporate Banking and Trade Finance divisions. Prior to Fifth Third, Jan-Erik held leadership roles with Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore, achieving high double-digit growth as Co-Head of Wholesale Banking for South East Asia. He subsequently transferred to New York as Co-Head of Wholesale Banking as well as Regional Executive for the America’s region. While in this role, he achieved significant growth in strategically important client segments, revenues, and returns on capital, transforming SCB’s Americas business.
Jan-Erik spent the bulk of his early career with Bank One and its legacy bank the First National Bank of Chicago (now JPMorgan), rising to be its Managing Director and Regional Executive for Europe, with responsibility for its financing, trading and operating businesses and client relationships in Europe. He also chaired the European Executive Committee and Risk Oversight Committee, held the position as Chairman and Chief Executive of Bank One Europe, and served as Director of Bank One International Corporation.
A native of Norway, Jan-Erik graduated from the University of Denver with a major in Finance and Marketing. He was also a member of the varsity ski team. He and his wife have four children, are passionate skiers and lovers of the outdoors, and reside in Mendham, New Jersey.
Brooke supports the Chairman/ CEO and plays a key role by serving as the confidante and assistant to the CEO. She assists in various ways depending on the shifting needs of the company and ensures activities are streamlined and handled appropriately allowing the CEO to focus on business strategy and results. She is directly responsible for any outside correspondence, the administrative policies and procedures, marketing, employee relations and coordinating events.
Prior to joining Exvere, Brooke was the Founder of FIRM 49 Creative Consultancy which primarily focused on a company’s transition from traditional marketing to digital marketing by evaluating emerging technologies, providing thought leadership and perspective for adoption where appropriate as well as fiscal budgeting. Before FIRM 49, Brooke was the Director of Marketing for a 4 Firm Company specializing in both commercial and residential real estate. In addition, she created, implemented and maintained the Firm’s marketing budget and forecast.
Brooke was born and raised in Alaska, studied Business at Western State University in Colorado and is now in her last year of Graduate School obtaining her MBA in Business Management at Alaska Pacific University where she is a member of Sigma Beta Delta. While at APU, she was offered an internship with McKinley Capital for Portfolio Management as well as Institute of the North, Arctic Policy and was awarded a scholarship to attend the International Economic Development Council Conference in Anchorage, AK. Currently Brooke holds a seat for the Seattle Human Rights Commission focusing on the Indigenous sector. She is also the VP of Communications for Alaska Writers Guild and holds a seat on the Board of Directors. She is an avid sports fan, loves the outdoors, spending time with her family, her beloved whippet Manolo, her home Alaska and exploring her new home Seattle.
ERIK MCLAUGHLINErik has over twenty years of experience working in virtually all aspects of the fine wine industry. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President at Seven Hills Winery, where he was instrumental in the growth and recent sale to the Crimson Wine Group.
Previously, Erik has served in senior management roles for Corliss Wine Estates, Willamette Valley Vineyards, and Cost Plus World Market. Erik has been involved in multiple successful M&A transactions and has consulted extensively for numerous clients in the wine industry for over 15 years.
At Exvere, Erik provides and oversees Management Consulting and M&A Advisory Services to the alcohol beverage industry with a focus on the wineries, vineyards, craft brewers, artisan distillers, and adult beverage distributors of the Pacific Northwest.
Erik has been extensively involved in industry groups including the Oregon Wine Board, Washington Wine Commission, Idaho Wine Commission, Walla Walla Wine Alliance, American Association of Wine Economists and the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. He has served as a judge for multiple wine competitions and as Sommelier for the prestigious International Pinot Noir Celebration. Erik has taught and lectured widely on wine and the business of wine including at Linfield College, Boise State University, the London Wine Fair, and the Wine Industry Financial Symposium. He is also a frequent guest instructor at the Institute for Viticulture and Enology at Walla Walla Community College.
Erik’s graduated cum laude from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon and is a fourth generation native of the Pacific Northwest. He is based in Walla Walla where he lives with his wife and their four children. Erik enjoys mountain biking, art museums, blind wine tasting, and coaching little league baseball.
Bryant SmickAs an associate at Exvere, Bryant is responsible for developing transaction materials, industry research and due diligence, and in-house legal counsel.
Prior to joining Exvere, Bryant was an associate at Pacific Current Group, a venture capital fund which invests in investment management firms. At Pacific Current Bryant advised on legal matters pertaining to international and domestic transaction structuring, term negotiation, and regulatory compliance. Bryant also provided quantitative and risk simulation analysis on various hedge fund and investment management firm acquisitions. Before Pacific Current, Bryant was a summer associate at The Holt Group, a private equity firm which focuses on the real estate sector.
Bryant graduated with a B.A. in Rhetoric and Professional Writing from Washington State University, and holds a Juris Doctorate and MBA from Seattle University. Bryant is licensed to practice law in Washington State.
Bryant lives in Seattle and enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and fly fishing, playing guitar, and attempting the sport of golf (with mixed success).
chris hutchinsonPrior to joining Exvere, Chris’ professional experience includes working for the Kiewit Corporation, a Fortune-500 contractor, ranked 5th on ENR’s top 400 contractors list in 2015. While at Kiewit, he worked in a business development and project support capacity, providing project planning, cost estimating, and equipment analysis for mining clients in North America and Australia, and producing cost savings reports, project summaries, and project reporting for an ongoing project. Prior to that, Chris worked as an engineer at a boutique engineering consulting firm in the Greater Seattle Area.
At Exvere, Chris provides industry & company research, financial analysis, marketing materials, and general transaction support.
Chris graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington, while playing lacrosse for the UW Lacrosse Club. And he holds an International MBA from IE Business School, located in Madrid, Spain. During his MBA program he focused his studies on economics and finance, participated in multiple business competitions, and enrolled in extra-curricular coursework. After his program, he sat for, and passed, the level 1 CFA exam.
Chris lives in the Greater Seattle Area, and enjoys playing guitar, running, spending time with friends, reading, music, and film.
At Exvere, Jessica supports the alcohol beverage & hospitality practice by providing industry and company research, financial analysis, marketing materials and general transaction support.
Jessica has 10 years of prior experience – mainly in consulting and health technology. Before joining Exvere, Jessica was a senior manager for a healthcare benefits platform company where she generated sales demand by managing channel partnerships with large health benefits consulting firms. Before that, she was a workforce planning senior consultant where she provided strategic and analytical support to departmental leaders. Jessica also worked at Deloitte as health insurance exchange consultant where she built and implemented state-based health insurance exchanges.
In 2015, Jessica embarked on a self-guided sabbatical. She attended both a Master Class in Copenhagen to learn about bicycle urbanism, and a 7-week wine appreciation course at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. During this time, she discovered a passion for the wine industry, and made the decision to transition over to the industry. Jessica joined Exvere as a mid-career intern, and is now an analyst supporting Metis, LLC, a separate venture of Exvere Inc. formed to promote M&A services to wineries, vineyards, distilled spirits, craft breweries, restaurants and lodging businesses.
Jessica, born and raised in Portland, received a BA in International Relations from University of California at Davis followed by an MBA from Pepperdine University where she spent a semester abroad in Beijing. Language skills include conversational Cantonese, and limited working proficiency with Mandarin. Jessica is relatively new to Seattle and is enjoying getting acquainted with her new surroundings. Being a world traveler helps. She also enjoys wine tasting, exploring new restaurants, art museums, the performing arts, and meeting new people.
- Advisory Board
Ron ElginRon has spent his entire professional career the world of marketing communication. After graduating from the University of Washington, he started as a copywriter at the then largest Northwest agency, Cole & Weber.
After serving as an Army officer during the Viet Nam crisis, he returned to the business side of his former agency. Having honed his management skills on accounts such as Boeing, Weyerhaeuser, and Westin Hotels he was named Managing Director of the Seattle office. Ron left the comfort of his “job” to enter the world of “entrepreneurship” by co-founding ElginSyferd in 1981. The agency was a pioneer in the art and science of total integration which helped it become the region’s largest with a quarter billion dollars of billings and 200+ employees serving such clients as Genentech, Holland America Line, Jansport, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Nordstrom and Swedish Medical Center. He sold the agency in 1989 to the global communications giant, DDB Worldwide and took on new roles as CEO for DDB West and national board member until his retirement in 2011. During his long and storied career he co-founded six successful companies including the region’s largest graphic design firm and the premier direct marketing company. He’s received numerous awards including Citizen of the Year from Big Brothers, Lifetime Achievement Award from American Advertising Federation, and a recent inductee to the UofW’s School of Communications Hall of Fame.
He has authored two best-selling autobiographies, Huckster, My Life as an Ad Man, and The Man Behind The Curtain, serves on a number of boards including Fluidmaster, Knowledge Anywhere, Nxt Chnl, Utrip, Opt-In Media and consults with several marketing firms.
- Advisory Board
JOHN WAECHTERJohn serves as Managing Director and Partner at Delafield Hambrecht, Inc. (“DHI”), an investment firm headquartered in Seattle, WA. DHI is a registered investment advisor that manages private investment funds and makes private equity investments. Prior to joining DHI, John served as CEO of Saltmine, Inc., an interactive design and development software firm headquartered in Seattle, WA. Prior to Saltmine, John co-founded Waechter Lufkin, LLC. in 1997, and served as Principal of the Seattle-based Broker Dealer specializing in seed-stage private placements. Prior to this, John served as Vice President of Marketing and Operations for Northland Communications Corporation, a national provider of cable and internet services. Prior to Northland, John helped form the data and video communications division of GTE, and he began his career in sales and marketing with the Xerox Corporation.
John graduated from Whitman College and received an MBA from the University of Washington. John serves as a Director at Seattle Bank. He also is 58th person to climb the 7 Summits – the highest peak on each of the seven continents.
- Advisory Board
Ed WallaceEd Wallace is a founding member of the board of directors for Puget Sound Bank and is a former board member for St. Joseph Foundation of Phoenix, AZ; and Star Industries, the West Coast's largest independent construction rental supplier and YES, Youth Eastside Services, Bellevue, WA.
He is the former owner of Destination Harley-Davidson (with locations in Tacoma, Puyallup and Silverdale, Washington, and Portland, Oregon) and the former owner of EEW Enterprises and EEW Holdings commercial properties. Ed is the former general manager of Kenworth Truck Company (a division of PACCAR) and executive vice president and general manager of PACCAR Leasing Corporation.
He is a member of the board of directors for Exvere and the author of two books; 52 Pick-Up, a guide to shaping organizational behavior for optimum financial performance and Dysfunction to Function, a reflection on his personal development.
Ed earned his MBA from the University of Washington.