Mr. Conese is a Managing Partner & Co-Founder of Gridiron Capital, sharing overall responsibility for managing the firm along with Mr. Burger. He has wide-ranging experience as a senior operating executive and has successfully built several businesses in the capacity of President and Chief Operating Officer or Chief Executive Officer. He has held these leadership roles in his family’s privately owned businesses and as leader of a publicly traded company. Since 1998, he has been a private equity investor in smaller middle-market companies where he has executed a successful investment strategy of identifying companies with strong core businesses and potential market leadership. He has worked closely with the management teams of these businesses, supporting their operational and marketing strategies. These businesses have led the changes in their market and created value for their customers, employees and shareholders. Prior to this, Mr. Conese was President and Chief Operating Officer, a member of the Board of Directors and a member of the Executive Committee of Greenwich Air Services, Inc. Mr. Conese led Greenwich Air from a single facility with 400 employees to become the world’s largest independent provider of repair, refurbishment, overhaul and maintenance for gas turbine engines with an internal annual growth rate of 19% and six major acquisitions in five years. Mr. Conese took Greenwich Air public in 1993 and, in 1997, sold the business to General Electric in a negotiated transaction valued at $1.5 billion.
Prior to Greenwich Air, Mr. Conese was President of Haskon Corporation, a leading supplier of silicone rubber seals for the aerospace industry, and EPCO Technologies, a leading supplier of specialty packaging supplies to the consumer products industry. Mr. Conese sold both of these companies in 1989 to a U.S. subsidiary of BTR, plc. Mr. Conese graduated with a B.A. in economics from Denison University. He has served as board member and a member of the Audit Committee and the Governance and Nominating Committee for a NYSE-listed company and is an active board member of several private companies.