Leadership Team

David W. McCombie III

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

As a consultant and advisor with an extensive financial and legal background, David McCombie helps owners of mid-market businesses develop successful strategies to meet their goals.  He has deep relationships with private equity funds and family offices, building mutually beneficial financial partnerships. 

An ongoing contributor to Forbes regarding strategy, restructuring, and M&A, he has been a featured speaker at various private equity conferences and has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. He is also a contributing author of The Complete Direct Investing Handbook: A Guide for Family Offices, Qualified Purchasers, and Accredited Investors, published by Wiley.

Prior to founding McCombie Group in 2010, David was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company management, specializing in corporate strategy across a variety of industries.  Prior to joining McKinsey, he briefly worked as an associate at Citigroup Global Banking in New York.

David graduated from Harvard Law School where he focused on corporate law and negotiation strategy, and also did extensive coursework in corporate finance at the Harvard Business School. He also graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Miami with a degree in economics/finance. David is a licensed Florida attorney.

Ramiro A. Ortiz

Senior Advisor

Ramiro A. Ortiz assists the firm’s South Florida business development efforts.  Ramiro has nearly 50 years of leadership, operations, and sales experience, serving as a senior executive in various South Florida institutions, including as president of BankUnited and SunTrust Bank.  

Ramiro is dedicated to the community, and has served as chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, co-chair of the United Way of Miami Dade County, and as an elected member of the Orange Bowl Committee, among numerous other civic roles. Ramiro is a graduate of the School of Bank Administration at the University of Wisconsin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fernando J. Valverde

Senior Advisor

Dr. Valverde is a physician, entrepreneur, and executive who has founded, operated, and managed numerous health care companies.  He was the Regional President for Humana in Florida, where he was responsible for the oversight of over 400,000 Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members, with revenues of over $5 Billion dollars.

Previously, he was the former Founding Chief Executive Officer of the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs.  Prior to that, he sat on the board and was the CEO of a NYSE physician management company.

Dr. Valverde performed his Internal Medicine residency at The New York Hospital- Cornell Medical Center and Mount Sinai Medical Center and is a graduate of Pontificia Universidad Catolica.  

 

 

 

 

Gerry Weber

Senior Advisor

Gerry is an accomplished retail and franchise executive, having led numerous turnarounds as both a CEO and COO.  He spent over 16 years working with Wayne Huizenga, initially serving as COO of Blockbuster Entertainment, where he was responsible for its expansion from twenty stores in Dallas to over 5,000 stores internationally (~$6 Billion in revenues).  He subsequently went on to become the founding COO of AutoNation, where he oversaw the acquisition and integration of over 300 dealership locations nationwide (~$15 Billion in revenues).  

Since then, Gerry has led various turnarounds, including serving as COO of NationsRent, where he facilitated the sale of the company to Sunbelt Rentals to avoid liquidation, and CEO of Lady of America Franchise Corp. and FAST-FIX Jewelry and Watch Repairs, where he engineered their turnaround and subsequent sales.   

An active member of the South Florida community, he has been a board member of numerous organizations, including the Humane Society of Broward, NOVA University, and the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County.  Gerry graduated from York University in Canada, where he majored in Industrial Chemistry. 

Jack D. Barker

Senior Advisor

Jack has deep experience leading numerous corporate turnarounds as both an advisor and operator, having served as a President, COO, and CFO.  His restructurings and operational turnaround experience includes a regional mid-size retailer, two North American paper mills, a national sports governing body, a pan-European data center owner/operator, a global subsea cable laying company and a $1.2 billion public environmental services company.  

Previously, he was an operating Principal of The Carlyle Group, where he led two portfolio company restructurings.  Prior to that, he was a Partner at McKinsey & Company where he co-founded its Miami office.  At McKinsey, he supported clients across North and South America, Europe, and Australia in various industries including financial services, manufacturing, consumer products, retail, and telecommunications.  Jack has a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University.

 

 

 

Stephen M. Goddard

Senior Advisor

Stephen is a high-impact operating executive with deep operations and transformation expertise.  A Lean Six Sigma Master Blackbelt, he has overseen numerous performance improvements and operational turnarounds across middle-market businesses in industries such as logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, and business services.   

Since the Great Recession, he served as a General Partner and Operating Partner for Kamylon Holdings, a lower middle-market private equity fund, and CEO, and Board Member for various  portfolio companies.  During that time, he assumed the CEO role for two portfolio companies, LifeLine Ambulance and Transpac Aviation, both of which had dramatic and rapid profitability and performance improvements despite being initially unprofitable.  Earlier in his career, he was a Project Manager at McKinsey & Company where he led various cultural change initiatives.  

Stephen has an MBA from London Business School, a Bachelor of Managerial Economics from the US Coast Guard Academy, and was a Commissioned Officer and helicopter pilot for the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy.  

 

Julian V. McCarthy

Senior Advisor

Julian is a senior executive and advisor with 30+ years of experience in performance transformation, change management and strategic execution in manufacturing, healthcare and multiple industrial sectors across the US, Asia and Europe.    

Previously Julian was Senior Advisor for private equity firm Cerberus, where he led strategic and operational performance improvement across the firm’s $30 billion portfolio.  Prior to that, he was Managing Director at turnaround firm AlixPartners, where he led restructuring and reorganizing of public and privately owned companies.  He was also Director (Senior Partner) at McKinsey & Company where he co-led the firm’s Operations Strategy and Lean Operations practices and led performance transformation for industrial and service companies.  Julian has extensive line operating experience including several years as COO in a privately owned engineering and manufacturing company.  

Julian has a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and Masters and Bachelors degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Michael L. Gallup

Senior Advisor

Mike has over 35 years of experience as an executive and advisor, serving in roles across various business functions, including operations, finance, sales, IT, and human resources.  With extensive hands-on experience in energy and oil & gas, he oversaw restructurings and reorganizations associated with various oil market downturns.  

Previously, Mike was a Chief Risk Officer and Managing Director at Alinda Capital Partners, where he was responsible for portfolio management of its $9+ Billion portfolio.  While there, he led and oversaw performance turnarounds of various companies as well as served as an interim-CEO and board member.   Prior to that, Mike was a senior management consultant at a number of firms including McKinsey & Company, Cap Gemini, Deloitte Consulting, and Satyam Computer Services.  There, he led numerous cost reduction and business improvement projects.  

Mike has a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelors in chemical engineering from Cornell University.

 

Jonathan Kracer

Senior Advisor

Jonathan is the founder of SION CAPITAL LLC, a hospitality and real estate consulting and investment firm, focused on the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean.  He has 16+ years of diverse experience in the hospitality, real estate, consulting, investing, and operating realms; and, has executed numerous real estate projects for hotel, resort, casino, marina, golf, condo-hotel, residential, restaurant, parking, and mixed-use developments and investments, across every major lodging brand family. 

Jonathan is also a columnist for HotelNewsNow.com, a hospitality industry knowledge portal and he writes about cross-border investment topics and frequently guest lectures at universities and conferences. 

Jonathan previously worked in different roles at HotelAVE, JLL, and BofA Securities, among other leading firms and world-renowned hotels.  Jonathan has a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and a Diploma from Les Roches International School of Hotel Management; and, he serves in alumni leadership roles for both institutions.

 

John J. Chung

Senior Advisor

John Chung is an experienced investment banker with more than 35 years of experience throughout Latin America.  He successfully helped distressed clients restructure and sell through a variety of devaluation and political crises across the region.  John’s experience spans a wide range of industries including: industrials, oil & gas, utilities, media & telecom, food & beverage, and financial institutions.  

Previously, John was a Managing Director at Citigroup where he led its Investment Banking efforts for Central America & the Caribbean and prior to that was the Co-Head of Mergers and Acquisitions for Salomon Brothers in Latin America.  He began his career at S.G. Warburg.  

John received his Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelors from Davidson College.

 

 

 

Carlos Alayon

Vice President

Carlos Alayon has over 15 years of experience in private equity, mergers & acquisitions, financial analysis, and accounting.

Carlos previously held a dual senior financial reporting and accounting role at CalAtlantic Title, Inc, a subsidiary of Lennar Corporation. Carlos was a critical leader in various M&A transactions, where he was responsible for assessing and integrating financial processes and reporting.

Prior to CalAtlantic Title, Carlos was a Senior Associate at EIH Capital Partners, a private investment firm that focused on the acquisition of corporate divestitures. Carlos was responsible for leading the deal origination efforts and M&A process in North America and Europe. Along with managing relationships with Fortune 500 executives and investment bankers, he held an important role in organizing and training the firm’s business development team and instrumental in both buy-side and sell-side transactions.

Carlos received his Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Finance and a Master of Business Administration from Florida International University.

Executive Advisors

Howard B. Friedman

Howard is a senior hospitality executive with over 45 years of experience.  An expert in asset management, he successfully navigated a number of crises, including the SARS outbreak in 2003.     

Howard served as President of both the Americas and the British Isles divisions for Hilton International, where he collectively oversaw a portfolio of over 100 properties generating nearly $2.5 Billion in revenue.  He also was CEO of Elegant Hotel Group in Barbados where he led the chain through a renovation plan.  He began his career in finance and operations at large real estate firms.           

Howard has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Cape Town in South Africa and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Felix M. Garcia

Felix has nearly 50 years of experience as a senior credit and lending executive and bank regulator.  With deep workout experience, he has a track record of successfully negotiating creative solutions for Commercial and Industrial (C&I) and Commercial Real Estate (CRE) loans.     

Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer at Pacific National Bank and Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Manager at BankUnited.  Prior to that he was an Executive Vice President at Eagle National, Hamilton, Union Planters, and Republic National Banks.  He began his career as a Field Officer and Bank Examiner for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).   

An active civic member of the South Florida community, he was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center and Goodwill Industries of Miami, amongst others.  Felix has a Bachelors in accounting from the University of West Florida.

Digno E. Caballero

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Digno Caballero has over 30 years of experience as a senior operations executive, with a specialization in supply chain management.  His skills make him an invaluable asset to the firm’s management consulting efforts, where he manages, teaches, and drives energetic and ambitious teams to achieve optimal results.

Digno spent most of his career at Bacardi, managing crucial areas of the company’s footprint in the United States.  After Bacardi’s merger with Martini & Rossi, he became head of the Operations and Supply Chain Management Division for the U.S. and the Americas, tasked with addressing the increasing supply-chain complexity.  Digno is a Six-Sigma Black Belt and has an MBA from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Florida International University.

Lawrence A. Walmsley

Partner

Lawrence is an expert in strategy and operations across all stages of the business lifecycle, from initial start-up to Fortune 500.  He was a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. and has subsequently shifted his efforts to advising middle market businesses on strategic and operational topics.  Before McKinsey, he was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs.  

An entrepreneur himself, Lawrence is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Culture Biosystems, an advanced cultivation platform that enables large-scale production of algae for use in animal feed.  He has a wealth of experience recruiting, managing, and retaining highly skilled technical teams. Lawrence has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

David F. Spigelman

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. David Spigelman has a broad background in strategy consulting, wealth management, and capital markets.  For the last 17 years, David has been a lecturer in economics, finance and business at the University of Miami.  Prior to that, he held senior roles at Morgan Stanley, the Federal Reserve, and First Chicago Corp. (now part of JP Morgan Chase).

David graduated magna cum laude with distinction in economics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  He has master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University, where he was a Stanford Fellow.

H. Baird Lobree

Partner

An expert in implementing and optimizing information technology systems and automating operations, Baird Lobree has advised more than 500 businesses over a career spanning more than 30 years. 

Currently, president of Lobree & Company, Baird was the founder and CEO of Auxis, Inc. an information technology consulting and outsourcing firm.  Prior to that, he held various senior consulting and accounting roles at CapGemini, Accenture, and Arthur Anderson. Baird graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and also studied business and information systems at Tulane University.