Meet the GTE team

GTE is comprised of a collection of experienced managers, driven operators-in-residence (OIR), and impactful advisors, all of whom are invested in the collective success of GTE and its portfolio companies.


JamIe Van Buren

Jamie Van Buren has served as CEO, Executive Vice President and COO of privately owned companies. In his career, he has grown revenues and increased EBITDA and worked on a number of acquisitions and roll-ups. He also holds an MBA for Saint Fransis University. 

Jamie Van Buren has served as CEO, Executive Vice President and COO of privately owned companies. In his career, he has grown revenues and increased EBITDA and worked on a number of acquisitions and roll-ups. He also holds an MBA for Saint Fransis University. 

Managing Director

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Brenden van buren

Brenden Van Buren has extensive management experience. He holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business class of 2017 and was awarded the Henry Ford II Scholarship for his academic and business excellence and received his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from the University of Richmond. He worked as a project coordinator helping with IT integration and project setup and estimation. As a result of his hard work he was moved into the role of project manager where he has managed multiple multi-million dollar revenue streams simultaneously. Managing as many as five projects at once. He is highly experienced with quick acclimation into new work environments and gaining the respect of his reports, team, and employees. As a result, he has performed in a variety of roles within the construction industry, has a wide range of connections in the industry, and broad knowledge of the environment. This includes time at Pennstress, where the new management team which included Brenden grew revenues by 50% in one year. Brenden is well positioned to acquire and grow a business in many industry including those with a blue collared work force, manufacturing, and contractor services. 

Brenden Van Buren has extensive management experience. He holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business class of 2017 and was awarded the Henry Ford II Scholarship for his academic and business excellence and received his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from the University of Richmond. He worked as a project coordinator helping with IT integration and project setup and estimation. As a result of his hard work he was moved into the role of project manager where he has managed multiple multi-million dollar revenue streams simultaneously. Managing as many as five projects at once.

He is highly experienced with quick acclimation into new work environments and gaining the respect of his reports, team, and employees. As a result, he has performed in a variety of roles within the construction industry, has a wide range of connections in the industry, and broad knowledge of the environment. This includes time at Pennstress, where the new management team which included Brenden grew revenues by 50% in one year. Brenden is well positioned to acquire and grow a business in many industry including those with a blue collared work force, manufacturing, and contractor services. 

operator in residence

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Brooke Hayes

Brooke Hayes is a partner at Milestone Partners and has experience in private equity deal sourcing. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.  

Brooke Hayes is a partner at Milestone Partners and has experience in private equity deal sourcing. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.  

Advisor

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Larry Hankinson

Larry J. Hankinson is a CPA with 26 years of extensive experience at privately help corporation in the manufacturing, mining, and construction industries. His industry experience includes financial statement preparation, financial analysis, accounting system design, cost accounting, inventory control, budgeting and taxation. He has held various roles including CFO, Controller, Director and Corporate Tax Manager. Larry has supervisory experience in accounts payable, accounts receivable, credit & collections, human resources, tax, and payroll functions. Larry has also lead the conversion, integration and implementation of accounting systems brought about by acquisitions and mergers. In addition to private industry experience, Larry worked over 8 years in state government doing tax compliance work. He is highly skilled in multi-state, local and federal taxation. He is also well versed in state & local compliance issues including registration & licensing. Larry also enjoys providing financial and managerial expertise to companies with new ownership and management.

Larry J. Hankinson is a CPA with 26 years of extensive experience at privately help corporation in the manufacturing, mining, and construction industries. His industry experience includes financial statement preparation, financial analysis, accounting system design, cost accounting, inventory control, budgeting and taxation. He has held various roles including CFO, Controller, Director and Corporate Tax Manager. Larry has supervisory experience in accounts payable, accounts receivable, credit & collections, human resources, tax, and payroll functions. Larry has also lead the conversion, integration and implementation of accounting systems brought about by acquisitions and mergers.

In addition to private industry experience, Larry worked over 8 years in state government doing tax compliance work. He is highly skilled in multi-state, local and federal taxation. He is also well versed in state & local compliance issues including registration & licensing.

Larry also enjoys providing financial and managerial expertise to companies with new ownership and management.

Controller

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gabriel chick

Gabriel S. Chick is a Pittsburgh native and a first generation college graduate. After completing his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2010, he served as a U.S. Army Officer for several years leading units ranging in size of 4 to 40. He was awarded the bronze star during his 8 month deployment to Afghanistan for his “exceptional meritorious service” in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In June of 2015 Gabriel resigned his commission in the U.S. Army to pursue a Master of Business Administration at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business where he was awarded a full scholarship. Upon graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017 Gabriel declined an opportunity with a billion dollar company to pursue a career in entrepreneurship. He has significant leadership experience serving in various positions and worked in locations throughout the U.S. with individuals from diverse backgrounds. He is well positioned to operate a small to medium size business with a blue and / or white collar workforce in manufacturing, defense, healthcare, and business services.

Gabriel S. Chick is a Pittsburgh native and a first generation college graduate. After completing his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2010, he served as a U.S. Army Officer for several years leading units ranging in size of 4 to 40. He was awarded the bronze star during his 8 month deployment to Afghanistan for his “exceptional meritorious service” in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In June of 2015 Gabriel resigned his commission in the U.S. Army to pursue a Master of Business Administration at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business where he was awarded a full scholarship. Upon graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017 Gabriel declined an opportunity with a billion dollar company to pursue a career in entrepreneurship.

He has significant leadership experience serving in various positions and worked in locations throughout the U.S. with individuals from diverse backgrounds. He is well positioned to operate a small to medium size business with a blue and / or white collar workforce in manufacturing, defense, healthcare, and business services.

operator in residence

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Chris cynkar

Chris Cynkar.jpg

Advisor

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David Kestenberg

David is a serial entrepreneur and a 4 times CEO. Additionally, he has worked as a consultant for 4 successful search funds. David spent over 10 years in the Israeli Defense Force, reaching the rank of Major. He aptly applies what he learned in the military and past positions to drive a high degree of operational efficiency and a results driven work environment.

David is a serial entrepreneur and a 4 times CEO. Additionally, he has worked as a consultant for 4 successful search funds. David spent over 10 years in the Israeli Defense Force, reaching the rank of Major. He aptly applies what he learned in the military and past positions to drive a high degree of operational efficiency and a results driven work environment.

Head of Operations

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Tom fernan

Tom Fernan has operated two successful search funds.  In 2006 Tom acquired RAK Associates, a software and IT services firm.  The company launched two new software products and later launched a new IT managed services offering.  Tom remains on the board of RAK while he seeks new acquisition opportunities.  In addition to RAK, Tom worked with a partner in Rosemore Capital.  Tom led the deal flow activities, negotiated with sellers, raised equity and debt financing and helped close an $18M transaction.  Rosemore acquired a $3.2M EBITDA electronic medical records VAR in 2012. Prior to beginning his entrepreneurial career through acquisition, Tom worked for IBM for several years serving on product development teams and working in project management roles.  Tom earned an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, where he won the Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year award.  Tom’s undergraduate degree is in engineering.

Tom Fernan has operated two successful search funds.  In 2006 Tom acquired RAK Associates, a software and IT services firm.  The company launched two new software products and later launched a new IT managed services offering.  Tom remains on the board of RAK while he seeks new acquisition opportunities.  In addition to RAK, Tom worked with a partner in Rosemore Capital.  Tom led the deal flow activities, negotiated with sellers, raised equity and debt financing and helped close an $18M transaction.  Rosemore acquired a $3.2M EBITDA electronic medical records VAR in 2012.

Prior to beginning his entrepreneurial career through acquisition, Tom worked for IBM for several years serving on product development teams and working in project management roles.  Tom earned an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, where he won the Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year award.  Tom’s undergraduate degree is in engineering.

operator in residence

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