OUR TEAM

Stu Strumwasser

Founder & Managing Director

Stu Strumwasser
Stu began his career on Wall Street in 1990 in the wealth management division of Paine Webber (now UBS AG) where he was first in a class of forty nationwide. He spent fifteen years in that role at Paine Webber, then at Advest, Inc., and finally at Oppenheimer & Co. where his title was Director-Investments.  He left the industry in 2006 to found Snow Beverages, a manufacturer of natural soda.

Stu personally raised millions in angel financing for Snow and acquired distribution in top retail chains including Whole Foods, Central Market, Stop & Shop, Super Target (nationwide) and many others. After serving as Snow’s CEO for six years Stu left in 2012 to return to Wall Street and founded Green Circle Capital Partners. In 2013 and 2014 Stu also co-founded and ran Tengrade, the internet’s social rating tool. He began to expand the reach of Green Circle and grow the team in 2015.

A graduate of Cornell University, Stu consults on raising capital, corporate affairs, deal structure and sales & marketing. He has been a vegetarian and follower of the natural products space since the age of fourteen. Stu is also a writer whose first published novel, “The Organ Broker,” was released in 2015 and named one of five finalists for the Hammett Prize for literary excellence in crime writing (the prior year’s winner was Stephen King). Stu is also a registered rep with Stillpoint Capital (member FINRA & SIPC).

Telephone: 646-875-4870 Email: stu@greencirclecap.com


Jeremy Friedman

Managing Director


Jeremy spent 10 years as an M&A Vice President at Bear Stearns and later at the the boutique bank Integrated Finance. He then moved to the buy side, evaluating early-stage investments in health & wellness as well as special situations for family offices/funds including Palm Ventures, and New Ground Ventures. Prior to becoming a banker Jeremy worked in Mexico City for a spin-off of Booz Allen Hamilton. He earned a B.A. from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.  Jeremy is also a registered rep with Stillpoint Capital (member FINRA & SIPC).


Bakley Smith, CFA

Vice President


Bakley Smith is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with over 17 years of experience in covering consumer-facing businesses. Bakley served as an equity research analyst with Bank of America and then Jefferies and Co., focused on the healthy lifestyle, food and drug retailing, packaged food and beverage sectors.

In between research positions, he worked for ABN-AMRO in Mexico City in commercial banking. He left Wall Street in 2010 to pursue entrepreneurial pursuits as an operator, and served for a time as the CFO of TestingMom.com, a high-growth internet startup. Subsequent to that Bakley consulted for early-stage companies, advising on capital plans and M&A strategy. At Green Circle Bakley leads on the VMS/Nutraceutical space, manages the firm’s research efforts and provides support on transaction execution. He is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Bakley lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.  Bakley is also a registered rep with Stillpoint Capital (member FINRA & SIPC).


Jeet Ganatra

Intern Analyst, Nutraceuticals/VMS


Jeet is an intern/analyst at Green Circle while he studies finance and economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, where he is a Junior. Jeet has held several internship positions related to his fields of study. He has a passion for personal fitness, nutrition, and healthy living. His understanding of natural products, especially nutraceuticals, stems from being an avid user of the products and having done his own research on performance related supplements. At Green Circle he focuses on assisting the firm’s research and marketing efforts in the nuraceuticals/VMS space. Jeet also has an entrepreneurial spirit, as he loves to see hard work develop into growth for a young business.


Advisors

Eric Skae
Managing partner, The Bricktown Group, Natural Food and Beverages

Eric Skae
Eric is a well-known, veteran operator in the natural food and beverage industries. As CEO of Rao’s Specialty Foods, in just nine months Eric positioned, and ran a process, to successfully sell the business in June of 2017. He was previously the founder and CEO of New Leaf Brands, and also founded Skae Beverage International, the US distributor for Iceland Spring Water. He has served in senior-level sales, marketing and distribution roles at companies including Fresh Samantha, Hansen Beverage Company, and Arizona Beverages and consulted for numerous others. He has also managed numerous M&A transactions including the sales of Xing Tea in 2016 to New Age Beverages, Inkos Tea to Braintrust Investments, and Fruit 66 to Sun Orchard juice company.


David Luks
Founder, Honeydrop Beverages, Beverages and Foodtech


David is the founder of Honeydrop Beverages, a line of cold pressed raw honey lemonades sold in leading retailers throughout the United States. Previously, David spent over eight years with PepsiCo where he developed marketing campaigns, launched new products and managed the Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi’s Energy Drink Portfolio and SoBe Beverage brands. Prior to PepsiCo, David worked with ACNielsen, where he consulted for such CPG clients as Colgate Palmolive, the Hain Food Group and Revlon. Most recently, he consulted for Instacart, the leading internet-based grocery delivery company. He received a MBA from Georgetown University and a BS from Skidmore College. He has a weakness for anything made with gluten.


Shu de Jong
Founder & CEO, Midnight Solutions, Spirits/Restaurants/On-Premise Distribution/Pro Athlete Endorsement Liaison

Shu de Jong
Shu is a well-regarded consultant to the spirits industry, emerging restaurant concepts, as well as to other brands regarding on-premise distribution. In 2002, Shu created Panache Imports which became the importer on record and partner of 42 Below Vodka for North America. In 2007 Shu sold the Panache Imports rights in North America to Bacardi USA. Panache Beverages went on to own and market other successful brands such as Wodka Vodka, Alchemia vodka and Alibi American Whiskey which were also sold in profitable exits. At Midnight Solutions Shu has worked with the likes of Chelsea Hotels, Nike, Levis, RocNation, Sushi Samba, Marquee Nightclubs and many more.


Hal Woodyard
Founder & Managing Partner, Vision Partners Services, Food Industry

Hal Woodyard
Hal has been a food industry executive for over 25 years and managed some of the world’s largest food brands to record sales and profits. He has also strategically and tactically guided smaller brands desiring introduction and expansion into the USA market to high levels of distribution with limited budgets. From 2012 to early 2016 Hal was the Vice President – Sales and Business Development for Euro American Brands where he managed a $50MM+ portfolio of international and private brands. Prior to that Hal worked for Nestle USA from 1984 until 2010. During his last seven years at Nestle he served as the Business Director – Emerging Markets, where his responsibilities included accountability for Sales, Marketing Plans and the Category Development of Nestle USA’s Emerging Markets product portfolio. While there, he successfully launched the new Nestle International Brands into the USA market through focused channels of distribution with an average annual growth rate of 28% per year.


Michael A Caso
Managing Partner, Omni Healthcare Communications, Healthcare, Healthcare

Michael A Caso
Mike’s foundation in the pharmaceutical and communications industries was established during his 22 years at Marion Laboratories/Marion Merrell Dow. During his tenure with Marion, Mike established non-traditional arenas for the company’s marketing efforts, including minority health, artificial intelligence, and managed care. Prior to starting Nexus Communications in 2002, Mike held executive management roles with 3 global communications organizations, establishing healthcare communication and medical education divisions for them. His therapeutic experience includes cardiology, neurology, oncology, surgery, infectious disease, and women’s health. Following the sale of Nexus in 2009 to UK-based Fishawack Communications, Mike held the roles of President, managing the US operations, as well as holding a position on the Board of Directors. During this period of time, Fishawack grew from a mid-sized communications organization to one of the largest independent healthcare agencies, with over 200 full-time staff.


Mary Fisher
President & CEO, Colorscience, Health and Beauty

Mary Fisher
Colorscience is a former division of SkinMedica Inc., where Mary also served as Chief Executive Officer from 2008 until 2012. She led the successful sale of the company to Allergan, Inc. for $350 million with the potential for another $25 million contingent on certain sales milestones. Ms. Fisher has more than 30 years in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, including management and leadership positions at Acorda Therapeutics, Cephalon, Immunex and Boehringer Ingelheim. She is on the board of directors of Ovascience, Zeltiq and the Neuroscience Nursing Foundation. In 2013, Ms. Fisher was honored as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for San Diego and also received the EY Venture Capital Award of Excellence.


Jeff Baum
Managing Director of Real Estate; Head of Real Estate Equity Capital Markets at Harborview Capital Partners

Jeff Baum
Jeff has twenty-five years of investment experience in the capital markets particularly focused within real estate finance. He runs the equity capital markets business for Harborview Capital partners and serves as the real estate finance partner to Green Circle. He was previously a Senior Vice-President at SunTrust Capital Markets, Inc. where he oversaw the trading of commercial and residential real estate loans on both a principal and agency basis. Prior to SunTrust, he was with National Bank of Commerce and before that he served in various roles at Lehman Brothers and Paine Webber (now UBS) in New York. He has also spent time managing a private investment fund. Jeff received his B.A. in Economics from Yeshiva University in New York.