The Team

Experience makes the difference in mergers and acquisitions. The Falcon Advisors team is comprised of seasoned veterans. The collective experience is more than one hundred years of professionally advising business owners with successful transactions totaling well over $100 million in aggregate value.

Tony Hammer, JD – Managing Principal
Michael Pechette, JD, CPA – Managing Principal
Lin Stefurak, PhD. - Director of Marketing and Research
Thomas B. Whipple, CBI, M&AMI– Managing Principal

Anthony Hammer, J.D.

Managing Principal

In the past several years, Tony Hammer has focused much of his time working with owners in the professional employer organization (PEO) industry, assisting them in raising capital, finding and evaluating acquisitions and seeking new ownership. He brings more than twenty-five years of experience in human resource consulting and mergers and acquisitions to his work with these owners. Tony is the author of “The Missing Link: Mini-Consolidations Serving Middle Market Companies” which appeared in THE PROEMP JOURNAL (September, 1999) (with A. Lebedow).

Prior to joining Falcon, he spent more than twenty years advising Fortune 500 companies on a number of financial and strategic issues in their human resources programs, first at the Wyatt Company and later at Towers Perrin . He was a principal and practice leader in the human resources consulting practice at Ernst & Young, L.L.P. working with national and international clients such as UAL, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, Baxter, Monsanto, TWA, Bally and Beatrice Foods. He developed and administered the flexible benefits enrollment system for Ernst & Young’s 25,000 domestic partners and employees.

He is on the faculty of the Keller Graduate School of Management, teaching courses in business planning and ethical and legal foundations of business.

Tony received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from the University of Chicago. He received a J.D. degree from the Northern Illinois University College of Law. He served as law clerk to the chief administrative law judge of the Illinois Fair Employment Practices Commission.

He is an associate member of the National Association of Professional Employer Organization (NAPEO) and a past member of the Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries and of the Turnaround Management Association. He is past chairman of the major gifts committee of the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Northern Illinois.

Michael A. Pechette, JD, CPA
Managing Principal

Mr. Pechette has over twenty years of experience advising entrepreneurs and management teams in the area of mergers and acquisitions and raising capital. He has initiated and completed acquisitions, divestitures and financings for a wide variety of middle market companies. He has particular expertise in specialty retail and manufacturing including such manufacturing categories as electronic and analytical instrumentation, plastics (injection molding, blow molding and film extrusion) and consumer products. He brings extensive financial analysis and deal structuring, as well as persistence and advocacy skills, to addressing both the financial and non-financial objectives of clients. He has also advised several start-up companies, including software development and service companies, in raising capital and business formation issues.

Mike has direct middle market day-to-day operating experience having served as interim COO and General Counsel of a start-up software company and interim CFO of a $50 million revenue retail apparel chain and a $30 million revenue fitness equipment retailer. He was previously with Mansur Capital Corp., a private, middle market leveraged buyout firm, and The Northern Trust Company’s Corporate Finance Department responsible for its merger and acquisition activity. At Mansur, his accomplishments included the due diligence, negotiation and acquisition of a $70 million revenue retail company as well as monitoring a $30 million revenue consumer product manufacturer. He began his career with Arthur Andersen & Company’s tax department where he specialized in the tax aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Pechette received his B.S. degree in Accounting and J.D. degree from Indiana University. He is a member of the Illinois and Indiana Bars and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is also a member of the Association for Corporate Growth and the Chicago Bar Association.

A. Lin Stefurak, Ph.D.
Director of Marketing and Research

Dr. Stefurak brings to his work as a merger and acquisition consultant over 30 years of executive management experience. In addition to his work with Falcon, Dr. Stefurak is Director of Faculty Development and teaches at Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University. Prior to affiliating with Falcon, he also managed his own marketing consulting firm where his practice was specialized in area of accounting and financial services. He has extensive experience in strategic planning and marketing and has provided consulting services to firms across the country. Dr. Stefurak spent five years as senior research analyst with a nationally recognized private middle-market M&A firm where he built and managed extensive industry and professional contact databases. In his consulting, he has worked as a facilitator for strategic planning efforts as well as designing and implementing unique marketing campaigns for businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Dr. Stefurak has taught strategic planning, marketing and investment management seminars for companies and non-profit organizations. He has also written numerous articles and monographs on planning, marketing and organizational development.

Dr. Stefurak was previously the Vice President of an office equipment manufacturing company. During his tenure there, he developed an acquisition program for consolidation of small retail office equipment dealerships. He served as acting CEO of the first acquisition, a multi-state retailer in the Southeast. In that capacity, he led the company through a consolidation that resulted in a 35% increase in sales in one year.

Dr. Stefurak received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of South Florida and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

Thomas B. Whipple, CBI, M&AMI
Managing Principal

Tom is the founding member of Falcon bringing more than twenty-five years of executive operating, marketing and sales experience with traditional middle-market manufacturing and distribution companies to his mergers and acquisitions practice. Prior to founding Falcon, he served as Managing Principal for a nationally recognized private middle-market M&A firm for five years. In that capacity, Tom has worked closely with owners and senior management of privately owned, middle-market companies throughout the United States advising them on growth and exit strategies in such diverse industries that includes: electronics equipment manufacturing, plastic molding, trucking, contract machining and tooling, electrical contracting, professional employer organizations and chemical blending/packaging/distribution, publishing, and consulting services. His practice is focused on adding value by concluding transactions that meet his client’s objectives, even in complex, difficult or troubled situations. As an extension of his practice, Tom often works with owners and their professional advisors to develop succession plans and exit strategies including implementation of ESOPs, Management Buyouts and other special strategies.

As a specialist in changing business environments, Tom brings to his practice turnaround and operating expertise. As Executive Director of Universal-Automatic Corporation, an integrated manufacturer of automated secondary application machine tools; he assembled and led the management team that completed a successful operational turnaround in a post acquisition environment. Previously, he held various marketing and sales leadership positions over a highly successful twenty-year period at a $500 million metals distribution company headquartered in the Midwest.

Tom has been awarded the designation of Master Merger and Acquisition Intermediary (M&AMI) by the nationally recognized M&A Source organization. He has also achieved his Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) certification from the International Business Brokers Association. He is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, the Turnaround Management Association, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries association. He received his Masters of Business Administration from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and his Bachelor of Arts from Wittenberg University.