Our Team

Investment Team

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Thomas F. Campion

Managing Director

Thomas F. Campion, CFA, Managing Director, joined Merit in 1997. From 1993 to 1997, Tom was a Director of Prudential Asset Management Asia in Hong Kong, a general partner of private equity funds, including equity investments in private companies throughout the Asia Pacific region. From 1987 through 1992, Tom was a Vice President of Prudential Capital Corporation in Newark and Chicago, responsible for originating and managing private placements. While at Prudential Capital, he also earned his Chartered Financial Analyst designation. From 1983 to 1986, Tom worked at the former Arthur Andersen in Milwaukee, where he received his Certified Public Accountant designation.

Tom received his M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he graduated with honors and his B.B.A. in Accountancy from St. Norbert College, where he graduated magna cum laude.

Tom currently serves on the Board of Directors of Active Minerals International, LLC, Bluegrass Dairy and Food, Inc., U.S. Minerals, Manitowoc Tool & Machining, LLC, Crown Products & Services, Inc., Engendren Corporation, Kinex R&M Holdco, LLC, ASM Holdco, Inc., Rose Paving Company, Glunt Industries Inc., and Steele Solutions, Inc.

Tom’s community activities have included coaching his four children, and serving on the St. Norbert College Advisory Board, the Highlands Foundation, the Apostolate to the Handicapped Board, and Best Buddies.

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John J. Darguzas

Vice President

John J. Darguzas, Vice President, joined Merit in 2018.  From 2011 to 2018, John was a Vice President at Antares Capital Sponsor Finance Group in Chicago.  At Antares John worked on the Underwriting Team evaluating senior debt investment opportunities across a broad range of industries, on the Originations Team reviewing new investment opportunities and on the Credit Advisory Team working on troubled loans all while maintaining an active role in helping establish Antares as a standalone company after it was spun out of GE Capital.  While attending Kellogg part time from 2012 to 2014, John founded MyMenu, an app based platform that helps people with food allergies find restaurants that meet their dining requirements.  From 2005 to 2011, John was a Director in KPMG’s Transaction Service Group, overseeing financial buy-side due diligence of middle market acquisitions for private equity clients.

John Received an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2012 with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship.  In 2005, he received a B.S. from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with concentrations in Accounting and Finance.  John is a registered CPA.

John is actively involved with Engendren, Manitowoc Tool & Machining and U.S. Minerals.

He lives in Chicago with his wife and three sons.

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Evan R. Gallinson

Managing Director

Evan R. Gallinson, Managing Director, joined Merit in 2005. Evan previously worked in Investment Banking with BMO Capital, William Blair & Company, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions advisor work for middle market companies in a variety of industries.

Evan received an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2002 with a concentration in finance. In 1997, he received a B.B.A. from the University of Michigan with a concentration in finance and accounting.

Evan currently serves on the Board of Directors of Choice Adhesives, Digney York, Glunt Industries Inc., RSA Engineered Products and TGR Industrial Services.

He is a native of New Jersey, but has lived in the Chicago area for over twenty years, and is currently residing in Northbrook, IL with his wife and two daughters. Evan’s non-work activities involve coaching his daughters’ softball, basketball, soccer and any other sporting activity that involves a ball as well as playing platform tennis.

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Lauren M. Hamlin

Vice President

Lauren M. Hamlin, Vice President, joined Merit in 2014. Lauren was previously an Officer within the Corporate and Institutional Services Group at The PrivateBank, focusing on the Bank’s middle market commercial, health care, institutional and financial sponsorship clients. Prior to joining the CIS group, Lauren was a member of the Bank’s asset management group.

Lauren received an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in finance, strategic management and entrepreneurship. She earned her B.S, magna cum laude, from Vanderbilt University.

Lauren currently serves on the Board of Directors of Rose Paving Company, Icon Identity Solutions and Gartner, LLC.

Lauren’s community activities include serving on the Advisory Board for Invest For Kids, the Midwest investable ideas conference that raises money for Chicago children’s charities; as well as the Development Boards for PAWS Chicago, the largest no-kill humane organization in the Midwest; and the Board of Directors for Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, serving the city’s at-risk youth populations. Lauren is also an accomplished equestrian, having represented the United States in dressage competition. Lauren lives with her husband, daughter and son in Winnetka.

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David M. Jones

Managing Director

David M. Jones, Managing Director, joined Merit in 1993 in conjunction with the closing and initial investing of Fund I. David was previously a senior consultant with Peterson Consulting, a national business valuation and litigation consulting firm, and specialized in business and product line valuations in intellectual property disputes.

David earned an M.B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a B.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1988.

A Managing Director of Merit Capital Partners since 2000, David currently serves on the Board of Directors of Medway Air Ambulance Inc. and B.E.T. – er Mix, Inc.

David is currently attempting to survive raising four teenagers. David is active with the Employee Stock Ownership Association, having served as a member of the Finance Committee since 2001. David’s community activities include serving on several St. Mary Parish committees, coaching youth basketball, and serving as Board Member of Camp Kesem, the largest national organization dedicated to supporting children impacted by a parent’s cancer, at no cost to families. David is also a past board member of the Wellness House, a community based organization devoted to helping cancer patients and families.

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Timothy J. MacKenzie

Managing Director

Timothy J. MacKenzie, CFA, Managing Director, joined Merit in 1993. Tim was previously a Senior Vice President of Fiduciary Capital, a publicly raised mezzanine fund. Prior to that, he worked at Prudential Capital Corporation in both the Dallas and Milwaukee regional offices. His responsibilities with Prudential Capital included the management of a significant portfolio and the generation of private placement and mezzanine investments. From 1982 to 1986, Tim was a Vice President with RepublicBank Dallas, specializing in domestic and multi-national middle market lending.

Tim received his M.B.A. from the University of Illinois with a concentration in finance and a B.A. from Northwestern University in 1980 with a major in economics. He earned the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst in 1990.

As a Managing Director of Merit Capital Partners since 1993, Tim currently serves on the Board of Directors of Digney York and RSA Engineered Products.

Tim and his wife reside in Hinsdale, Illinois and have three adult children. His community activities have included serving as the Board Chairman of Young Life (DuPage County), a nondenominational outreach ministry for high school students, and as Board Chairman for Bridge Communities, a transitional housing association assisting homeless families. Tim is currently the Board Chairman of Chicago Men’s Fellowship, Treasurer of Hinsdale Golf Club, Trustee of Christ Church of Oak Brook, President of the local Young Life Foundation, and a board member with All God’s Children (a sponsor of numerous Honduran orphanages and ministries). Tim is regular guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and serves with his wife as mentors for Chicago’s LINK Scholar program.

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Daniel E. Pansing

Managing Director

Daniel E. Pansing, Managing Director, joined Merit in 1999. He began his career at the First National Bank of Omaha where he was a Management Trainee, gaining exposure to all aspects of the bank’s operations. He later joined the bank’s Commercial Lending Department. In 1995, Dan moved to Chicago to join LaSalle Bank’s (now Bank of America) credit training program. As a Commercial Loan Officer at LaSalle, Dan focused on leveraged and asset based transactions with middle market companies.

Dan received his M.B.A., with honors, in 1999 from the Anderson School at U.C.L.A. As a Venture Fellow, his studies focused on finance and entrepreneurial studies. In 1993, Dan earned a B.S. in Political Science, magna cum laude, from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

Dan currently serves on the Board of Directors of Monarch Industries Limited, and Reliant at Home Inc, Active Minerals and Nester Hosiery.

Dan lives with his wife and two daughters in Western Springs. He is active in his community, serving on the board of his local school district’s foundation and as a coach of his daughters’ teams.

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Joseph A. Polaneczky

Principal

Joseph A. Polaneczky, Principal, joined Merit in 2013. Joe was previously a Vice President with GE Antares Capital’s Sponsor Finance Group in Chicago, where he focused on private equity sponsored leveraged finance transactions across a broad range of industries. Prior to joining GE Antares in 2008 with its acquisition of Merrill Lynch Capital, Joe spent a year in the Corporate Finance Group at Merrill Lynch Capital focusing on middle market, private equity lending. Joe began his career as an investment banking analyst at Cochran Caronia Waller providing mergers and acquisitions advisory services for companies primarily in the financial services and health care industries.

Joe received an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business with concentrations in Finance, Economics and Entrepreneurship. He earned his B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago where he graduated with honors and played NCAA Division III football. Joe currently serves on the Board of Directors of Steele Solutions Inc., ASM Holdco Inc, Manitowoc Tool & Machining, Nester Hosiery, and Midwest Iron & Metal.

A native of Ohio, Joe resides in Hinsdale with his wife and two children.

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Terrance M. Shipp

Managing Director

Terrance M. Shipp, Managing Director,  is a founding partner of Merit. Prior to forming the general partner of Fund I in 1991, Terry was a Partner in LaSalle Capital Group, a Chicago-based management buyout firm. Between 1982 and 1990, Terry worked at Prudential Capital Corporation, most recently as Regional Vice President in charge of the firm’s Chicago and Cleveland offices, which specialized in middle-market mezzanine investments. Terry was responsible for a staff of approximately 12 investment professionals and a portfolio over $1 billion. During his eight years with Prudential Capital, he was actively involved in a significant number of the mezzanine investments generated by the Chicago office. His responsibilities included origination, structuring, due diligence, negotiation, monitoring and disposition activities.

Terry received his M.B.A., with distinction, from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.S., magna cum laude, from the University of Colorado.

Terry currently serves on the Board of Directors of Identity Group Holdings, Icon Identity Solutions, Alliance Family of Companies and Midwest Iron & Metal.

Terry is actively involved in his local church and community soccer organization as well as a host of other charitable causes.

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Jeremy F. Stump

Principal

Jeremy F. Stump, Principal, joined Merit in 2011. Jeremy was previously a Vice President in Fifth Third Bank’s Structured Finance Group, specializing in sponsor leveraged finance and based in the Chicago office. At Fifth Third, Jeremy worked across various industries, including aerospace, automotive, business and consumer services, consumer products, defense, environmental remediation, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, merchant processing, natural resource, and retail. Prior to working in the Structured Finance Group at Fifth Third Bank, Jeremy was a commercial lender within Fifth Third Bank’s Middle Market Commercial Lending division in Chicago.

Jeremy received an M.B.A. with honors, Beta Gamma Sigma, from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship. He earned his B.S. in finance from Butler University, where he played NCAA Division I-AA collegiate football.

Jeremy currently serves on the Board of Directors of Crown Products & Services, Inc., U.S. Minerals, Medway Air Ambulance, TGR Industrial Services, Kinex R&M Holdco, LLC, and Choice Slocum Holdings, LLC.

Jeremy is actively involved as President of the Board of Directors of The Boulevard (formerly Interfaith House), a Chicago non-profit organization located on Chicago’s West Side that provides interim housing and care to ill and injured homeless individuals. Jeremy is also currently on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Association of Private Equity Executives (Capex) and is frequent guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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Marc J. Walfish

Managing Director

Marc J. Walfish, Managing Director, is a founding partner of Merit Capital Partners. Prior to founding Merit, Marc worked for thirteen years at The Prudential Insurance Company of America, most recently as Senior Vice President of Prudential Capital Corporation. In this capacity, Marc was based in Chicago and was responsible for the firm’s four Midwest offices and a portfolio of over $2 billion.

Marc earned his M.B.A. and B.S.B.A., cum laude, from Boston University.

Marc currently serves on the Board of Directors of AAR Corporation, B.E.T.-er Mix, Inc., and Gartner, LLC.

Marc’s community service activities include coaching youth soccer and serving on the Board of the local AYSO. Marc has also served on the Board of his local community and is a past President. Marc serves as a regular guest lecturer at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business.

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Benjamin W. Yarbrough

Managing Director

Benjamin W. Yarbrough, Managing Director, joined Merit in 2008. Ben was previously a Consultant at Marakon Associates, a boutique strategy consulting firm based in New York City and London serving global Fortune 200 clients. At Marakon, Ben worked across various industries, including healthcare, financial services and consumer products. Prior to Marakon, Ben was a Fellow at the United States Golf Association Foundation in Colorado Springs, helping to manage the USGA’s grants program.

Ben received an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship. He earned his B.A. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ben currently serves on the Board of Directors of Monarch Industries Limited, Identity Group Holdings, Icon Identity Solutions, Alliance Family of Companies and Reliant at Home Inc.

Ben is actively involved with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, and is a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. A native of Mississippi, Ben resides in Winnetka with his wife, two sons and daughter.

Finance Team

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Anne E. Boland

Controller

Anne E. Boland, Controller, joined Merit in 2003. Anne was previously a financial analyst in William Blair & Company’s Financial Control Department. Prior to joining William Blair in 2000, she worked at Marsh, Inc. as a staff accountant in their regional Finance Center. Anne is a C.P.A. and received her B.B.A. in Accountancy from the University of Wisconsin.

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Van T. Lam

Chief Financial Officer

Van T. Lam, CPA, Chief Financial Officer, joined Merit in 1999. Van was previously an Associate at Heller Financial, Inc., a middle-market finance company, working in their Corporate Finance group. Prior to joining Heller in 1997, she worked at Arthur Andersen L.L.P. in their Audit and Business Advisory group. Van is a C.P.A. and received her B.S. in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Lisa L. Rosen

Senior Fund Accountant

Lisa L. Rosen, CPA, Senior Fund Accountant, joined Merit in 2018.  Lisa was previously a Senior Tax Associate in PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Asset Management practice, where she focused on middle market private equity and hedge funds.  Prior to joining PriceWaterhouseCoopers, she worked at Grant Thornton in their Corporate Tax practice.

Lisa is a C.P.A. and received her B.S. from the University of California, Berkeley and her Master’s in Accountancy from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Administrative Team

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Mallory J. Roshkowski

Administrative Assistant

Mallory J. Roshkowski, Administrative Assistant, joined Merit in 2017. Mallory previously worked in public relations in Chicago and her native Louisville, KY.

Mallory has her B.S. in Sport Management from the University of Dayton.