Your Charter Team
John R. Kerschen, Managing Director
John Kerschen has more than 24 years of financial experience in commercial banking, merger and acquisition advisory, and private capital investment. Since joining The Charter Group in 1996, he has been responsible for more than 60 acquisition transactions. These transactions include diverse industries, such as manufacturing of metal parts, plastics, electronics, and medical devices, as well as construction services, energy services, business services, and various distribution industries. John’s significant banking and financial background combined with his strong transaction management skills have been instrumental to Charter’s success over the years.
John is also active in various investment funds and capital raise. Through the formation of Charter Capital Partners, John is an investor/acquirer in growth companies seeking investment capital or an outright acquisition. John is also Managing Director for Michigan Accelerator Fund I, a venture capital fund investing in early-stage Michigan companies, focused primarily on life sciences technology.
He is a past national Board member for the Association for Corporate Growth and is a current board member for Hastings Mutual Insurance, Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing, nanoRETE, and the Michigan Medical Device Accelerator. He has a BA from Michigan State University and an MBA from DePaul University.
John holds Series 79, 62 and 63 securities licenses.
Mike has significant investment banking and corporate finance expertise and has advised on transactions valued in excess of $3 billion in the aggregate. He has excelled in executing complex transactions to meet short deadlines, most recently while serving as Senior Associate for a global investment bank located in Chicago. Mike has previously focused on M&A, Senior and Junior Debt capital raise and balance sheet restructuring transactions for large (>$300 million revenue) privately held companies.
Mike holds a BS in Finance from the University of Colorado, Leeds School of Business, and received an MBA with Honors, from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.
Mike holds Series 7, 63 and 82 securities licenses.
Linda Chamberlain, PhD, Vice President, Business and Transaction Management
Dr. Chamberlain has led strategic business and product development teams at Fortune 200, mid-sized and start-up companies for more than 20 years. Most recently, she led the global strategy and product development activities for GFT. Prior to that, she served as Executive Director of the West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative, a business accelerator focused on commercialization of life science products and technologies, and Executive Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Grand Valley State University. She is also the owner and principle of InnoValuation®, a company that focuses on ensuring companies have the processes and tools to extract the full value of their innovations.
Dr. Chamberlain has managed teams in chemical research, engineering, and technology development. She has 19 patents issued for catalyst, polymer, and product/process development; developing resins for office furniture, lawn and power tools, sporting equipment, household and medical appliances, fibers and monofilaments, and personal care products.
Dr. Chamberlain graduated from Purdue University with honors for both her Bachelors of Science and Doctoral degrees in chemistry. She was awarded a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship for research in rare earth science at the University of California, Irvine.
She holds the series 3 and 24 financial services registrations.
Dale Grogan, Vice President, Business and Transaction Management
Dale Grogan has more than 20 years of professional business dealings on every side of transactions, including entrepreneur, buyer, seller, and investment banker. Dale has launched and owned businesses including an NASD broker/dealer firm, several technology companies, and consulting firms focused on start-up businesses. Dale has served as CEO of a public company, sat on the Boards of several private companies and advisory councils, and helped develop federal governmental standards for emerging technology. He has developed a unique executive skill set, strong in finance, marketing, and strategic planning.
Dale was an original member of the GSA Interoperability Standards Committee for the development and usage of Smart card applications within the federal government. He is currently a Board Member of the Smart Card Alliance, the smart card industry’s non-profit trade association, and sits on the Board of SMART Association, Inc. among others.
As a member of the Michigan Pre-Seed Investment Fund investment review committee, Dale is responsible for vetting business plans for investment by the Fund. He is also Managing Director for Michigan Accelerator Fund I, a venture capital fund investing in early-stage Michigan companies, focused primarily on life sciences technology.
Dale attended Huntington College (Montgomery, AL) where he studied chemistry and biology and was granted early admission to the University of Alabama School of Optometry (Birmingham, AL), where he studied general optometry and physiological optics.
He holds the series 65 securities license.
Jeanne Englehart, Vice President, Client Management
Jeanne Englehart has an extensive history as a business owner and entrepreneur. Most recently, she provided independent consulting services to West Michigan business owners in the areas of succession planning and valuation enhancement.
Jeanne’s experience includes seven years as CEO/President of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, managing operations with an annual budget of more than $3 million. In 2007 and 2009, the Grand Rapids Chamber was selected as Michigan’s Outstanding Chamber of the Year. In 2006, 2008 and again in 2010, Jeanne was selected as one of 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. In 2005 she was presented with a Women of Achievement and Courage Award by the Michigan Women’s Foundation.
Prior to her work with the Chamber, Jeanne served as Community Services Director for Congressman Vernon J. Ehlers, directing all community and media relations. In 2003 the Women’s Resource Center honored Jeanne with the Woman of “E” Quality Award. She received the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council Award and is featured in “Maine Street: A Tribute to 27 West Michigan Entrepreneurs”, a book by Donald W. Maine.
Jeanne was also the founder and owner of Productivity Point International, and in 1993 Inc. Magazine named her company as one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the U.S. In 1997 she negotiated the sale of her company to internationally-recognized Knowledge Universe.
Jeanne holds board and leadership positions in many local and national organizations, including a gubernatorial appointment to the State of Michigan Early Childhood Investment Corporation, Founders Bank & Trust (Board of Directors), Inforum West Michigan (Honorary Council), Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Charities Foundation (Board Member), and Grand Rapids Symphony – Major Gifts and Corporate Committees.
Andrew Williams, Vice President, Business and Transaction Management
Andrew Williams brings a broad level of business experience to The Charter Group. After beginning his career with a major West Michigan automotive supplier, he then spent a decade as COO and co-owner of a family owned home furnishings manufacturer.
Upon leaving the manufacturing sector, he launched a Sales and Global Sourcing group which served the Home Furnishings, Office Furniture and Recreational Vehicle industries. Andrew is past CEO and current board member of Vision Outreach International, an eye surgery Mission organization.
Andrew is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Engineering School. In 2011, he was awarded Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor certification by The Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors. He is one of an elite group of approximately 375 advisors worldwide to have earned the certification. The CM&AA designation serves to distinguish those individuals who have mastered a comprehensive body of essential knowledge and also have committed to staying abreast of continuing new developments in the M&A profession.
Prem Bodagala, Merger and Acquisition Associate
Prem leads the analysis, research, and administrative processes for The Charter Group and is actively involved in our expanding private capital investment activities.
Prem offers a strong background in financial analysis and market research. Most recently, he served as Senior Manager for a regional company providing administrative services to the healthcare industry. His responsibilities included identifying contract opportunities, networking with specialty healthcare professionals, and optimizing ROI through the implementation of a divisional budget.
Prior to that, Prem was an intern with The Charter Group, where he analyzed financial data, built valuation models, and performed research for acquisitions. He also worked with the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, performing market research, analyzing data, and co-authoring the 2008 Demographic Profile for the West Michigan region. Prem’s additional experience as a financial analyst includes preparing financial models, creating monthly financial statements, and developing budgets and forecasts.
Prem’s combination of analytical expertise and healthcare industry knowledge is an excellent fit for Charter. He brings a high level of personal energy and initiative to the position.
Prem graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Michigan University. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Grand Valley State University.
Brian Hamilton, Merger and Acquisition Associate
Brian Hamilton has more than 10 years of business expertise, including extensive experience working with family-owned businesses and Fortune 500 companies.
Most recently, Brian served as manager of operations for a local family office. His responsibilities included operations, strategic planning, and streamlining of processes. Brian also provided leadership in finance, operations, and process management for many of the family’s portfolio companies. He has worked with local start-ups in areas of business strategy, commercialization, revenue modeling, and investor relations.
In his role as merger and acquisition associate for The Charter Group, Brian performs financial analysis and research for client engagements. He also provides oversight of client memorandums and investment candidate presentations.
Brian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Calvin College, and received an MBA from Grand Valley State University.
Elisa previously excelled as an intern for The Charter Group. In her new position, Elisa performs company and industry research, develops valuation models, and analyzes financial data. Elisa brings a strong background in both engineering and math.
Elisa holds a BS in Finance from Grand Valley State University.
Kristin Sheline, Marketing Coordinator
Kristin Sheline has been managing marketing and communications programs for 20 years, for companies ranging in size from three employees to 50,000.
She spent the early part of her career writing and managing projects for companies including AT&T, NCR, ABB, Dow Chemical, Rapistan, Steelcase, and Turnstone. She then moved into an account management role for West Michigan’s leading interactive agency at the time. Most recently, Kristin developed a marketing communications program that enabled a start-up company to achieve its goal of doubling sales in a single year.
As part of the Charter team, Kristin oversees all aspects of marketing and communications, including public relations, e-marketing, sales support, and event planning.
Kristin is currently President of the Grand Rapids Gymnastics Booster Club. She holds a BS in Television Production from Ferris State University, and an MA in Communications from Ohio University.