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Antonio Barzagli

"We have a strategic plan. It's called doing things."- Herb Kelleher (co-founder of Southwest Airlines)

Antonio approaches engagements for Growthink clients with a blend of creative, strategic and financial skills. As an Engagement Partner, he joins clients' management in its strategic planning, agile plan execution, and capital raising in support of that plan.

Antonio joined Growthink directly following his tenure at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Europe. His career at PWC began in Public Accounting, with a focus on the Financial Services industry, but soon transited into strategic consulting. In this regard, he collaborated with the Sustainability & Climate Change Advisory team to develop and improve strategies for business sustainability for several Fortune500 companies in Europe.

Antonio is also an experienced entrepreneur: he co-founded and managed several start-ups in different fields including employee/customer engagement and utilities.

Antonio completed his Bachelor in Economics and Master's Degree in Finance at Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Italy. During his graduate program, he studied at Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business, and conducted a dissertation on private equity and venture capital partnerships in Silicon Valley. Antonio is fluent in Italian and English.

Antonio teaches Corporate Finance at the European School of Economics.

Notable Growthink projects include:

BUSINESS PLANNING: Fast-growing Singapore ISP provider (achieved JV and investment from technical partner); Start-up compiler technology to automate deployment of cloud solutions (raised $600K in Series A round); micro-finance company launching operations in Accra, Ghana (completed Seed fundraising and obtained authorization from Central Bank); Social network focusing on the creative industry (raised $3.5M in Series A round); Leading New York wine shipping company (approved for $2.2M bank loan for warehouse expansion);

BANKING / M&A: Through affiliate broker dealer Growthink Securities. Buy side mandate for £280M public company in the multi-redemption and closed-loop card business seeking expansion outside of organic growth and traditional markets; Private placement for SaaS technology platform for tourism industry;

FEASIBILITY STUDIES: Manhattan-based urgent care group assessing expansion through new locations; $30M billing and payment-processing firm seeking to enter the health care space; $10M cutlery manufacturer and wholesaler assessing relocation of Chinese manufacturing plant in the U.S.

OPERATIONS / SUPPLY CHAIN: Excel-based tool for a Mid-West filling and packaging factory to effectively monitor supply chain, manage inventory and A/R levels, and understand line of credit requirements

OTHER engagements include company valuation, gap analysis and KPIs tracking, sales-force implementation

Kevin Bates

As an Engagement Manager at Growthink, Kevin provides direct support in all areas of project management and strategic business planning engagements.  His passion for entrepreneurship motivates him to utilize his background to work with companies within the construction, real estate, professional services, restaurant, and a variety of other industries. 

Notable engagements include:

Business planning, valuation and investor presentation packaging for  growing insurance company 

Business planning and Private Placement development for commercial real estate fund 

Business planning for payment verifications company 

Prior to joining Growthink, Kevin worked as a licensed commercial real estate agent specializing in multifamily investments in Los Angeles.  Additionally, Kevin worked as a sales representative for a leading global manufacturer and distributor of power tools for the home improvement, repair and construction industries.  He also has experience in a number of customer service roles and is a proud Eagle Scout, the highest achievement or rank in the Boy Scouts.

Kevin graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor's degree in Entrepreneurship.  He was actively involved on campus, serving in leadership positions for a student-run professional organization. 

John Brown

John Brown brings to Growthink 25 years of experience in helping to build and grow companies as an analyst, consultant, strategist and thought leader. John’s range of expertise helps clients in the areas of strategy development, business planning, product development, market strategies, growth planning, mergers & acquisitions, partnership development, organizational structuring, innovation and project management. John has in-depth knowledge of the health care, power sports, and after-market industries.

John has the unique experience of working as a strategist in a Fortune 50 organization as well as an owner-operator of a small business. John spent 15 years on a strategy team that drove the growth of a regional Health Insurance plan into a Fortune 50 company. John and his family have owned and operated several small businesses throughout the years.

John earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Economics from Indiana University and a MBA from the University of Indianapolis.

Troy Centazzo

Troy first joined Growthink in 2008 to help develop and lead an integrated investment banking and strategy consulting practice focused on rapidly emerging sectors and business owners seeking to exit.  He was responsible for sourcing, closing and/or overseeing more than 40 engagements & transactions, as well as generated a portfolio of 15 equity positions for the firm.   

Troy re-joins Growthink after spending several years co-leading a private equity-backed roll-up of family-owned consumer services firms in tier 2 – 4 markets from a start-up phase. 

Prior to Growthink, Troy assisted companies in all areas of business, including developing their strategies and raising capital.  A seasoned entrepreneur, he helped found, manage and invest in several start-up companies and organizations, primarily in the consumer products and services, technology, and New Media sectors.  Troy additionally worked as an Associate in the Investment Banking and Merchant Banking Divisions at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ, now CS First Boston).

Troy earned an MBA from the Darden School of Business and a JD from the School of Law, both at the University of Virginia.  He won the Faculty Award at Darden for graduating at the top of his class.  Troy earned dual Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Public Policy from Brown University, where he graduated with Honors and served as class Co-President.   He holds the Series 79 and 63 securities licenses.  

Q&A with Growthink Engagement Partner Troy Centazzo

What makes Growthink such a unique professional advisory firm in your mind?

I knew of Growthink long before I joined the firm.  There’s no other firm like it - it’s the Swiss Army Knife of strategic advisory firms.  Most companies don’t just need one service as they’re growing or thinking of a future exit.  They may need capital (and GT is a fully licensed broker-dealer) but they often also want to know where their best growth opportunities are. A business owner may want to sell to a larger company in a couple years, but may first want a strategic roadmap, such as a detailed growth plan, on how to maximize the results of the future transaction. Or, a company may need to develop a completely new online strategy due to rapid shifts in its industry.  

Growthink has worked with thousands of companies in virtually every sector on their advisory and corporate finance needs and can assist clients with a full range of the advisory services they need.   In my experience, most firms only offer one or two services.  

What do you think clients are looking for from their advisors in the current, rapidly-changing business environment?

Well first, clients are looking for the same attributes they always have from their outside professional advisors:  high quality, trustworthy advice that’s in the best interest of their organizations. It’s a great feeling when a long-term client considers you part of their corporate team, not just an outside advisor.   I’ve noticed that the executives we work with appreciate that Growthink’s senior professionals have started, operated, and exited businesses ourselves before.  We’ve been deep in the trenches and truly understand the challenges that business owners face.  

Also, let’s face it:  the pace of change in so many industries right now is mindboggling.    New business models have disrupted so many sectors, at times only within a couple years.  Business owners are trying to figure out how to thrive and survive in this environment.  The Growthink team closely tracks emerging business models and sectors, and is in an ideal position to advise firms at all stages of development on how they can take advantage of these rapid changes.     

Visit Troy’s LinkedIn profile Here.

Eddie Clay

"If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney

Eddie is passionate about partnering with business entrepreneurs and executives to help them become more successful.  He is dedicated to providing strategic and financial expertise for their companies' most pressing challenges and new market opportunities and is driven to deliver transformative, high impact results that exceed client expectations.  Eddie works with the firm’s innovation practice, along with the M&A practice of Growthink’s wholly-owned subsidiary investment bank, GT Securities.

Prior to joining Growthink, Eddie spent more than 15 years in investment banking and financial advisory services, most recently as Director of Mergers & Acquisitions and Business Development at Phillip Roman & Company,  a Los Angeles-based M&A advisory consulting firm specializing in private, middle market transactions.  More specifically, he focused on sourcing a robust pipeline of fully-vetted acquisition targets for private equity firms via directly engaging with CEOs of middle market companies with $10M to $1B+ in revenue.  Prior to Phillip Roman & Company, Eddie was an executive search professional serving Corporate America and Wall Street clients, as well as a Divisional CFO and internal corporate consultant at Countrywide Financial.  He also spent two years at Goldman Sachs in high net worth wealth management and three years at Intel Corporation as a manufacturing supervisor.  Eddie started his career as an officer in the U.S. Army at a munitions platoon leader.

Eddie holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Darlene Fukuji

As an Engagement Manager Darlene is responsible for client and project management at Growthink. She also serves as Growthink’s social media guru.  Darlene has a passion for entrepreneurship and during her time at Growthink, has helped nearly 100 companies launch and grow their ventures in the following industries: construction, hospitality, mobile applications, mining, fashion, insurance, health and fitness, wellness, and many more.

Notable engagements include:

• Strategic growth planning for luxury mega yacht company based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL with operations in the Caribbean, Europe and South East Asia

• Business planning and KPI advisory for Fantastic Sams franchise with eight locations

• Acquisition plan for Hawaii-based e-commerce company, assisting to secure deal terms

• Business plan for startup  language e-learning platform

• Opportunity Assessment / Exit Planning for Chicago-based construction company

• Go-To-Market strategic plan for early stage energy drink company based in Miami, FL.

Prior to joining Growthink, Darlene has spent time in healthcare consulting; the U.S. Senate in Washington D.C working under Senator Pro- Temp, Senator Daniel Inouye, Chairman of the Department of Defense  and  at the law firm Vegari & Napolitano, specializing in business law,  trusts and estates.

Darlene holds a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where she was also a founding member of the Entrepreneurship Society at the Hilton Conrad School of Business.

Darlene has strong passion for the community and is an active member of Rotary International and a founding member of Westchester Rotary Young Professionals Club.  In 2014 Darlene was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow Award, the Rotary’s highest honor, in recognition for Darlene’s “service above self”.

Marci Glasgow

I love research. You start with an assumption and end up with a great foundation of facts on which to build, or rework, your premise. Sometimes the facts are as you expected, and sometimes the facts are surprising. JRR Tolkien said it best when he wrote, “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

Serving as Growthink's Senior Market Research Analyst, Marci has worked with hundreds of companies across all industries to provide research support for business planning and strategic growth. She has worked with companies of all sizes, from startups to multi-million dollar international corporations.

Notable engagements include:

Marketing strategy deployment for global ATM software company

Opportunity assessments for real estate companies planning developments in key U.S. and international markets

Strategic growth planning for a major debt collection firm

Strategic growth planning for South and Central American waste management company

Before becoming a Growthink Market Research Analyst, Marci was a Competitive Intelligence Analyst with Fortune 500 Company, Kelly Services, where her research skills supported product development, strategic initiatives and executive thought leadership.

Marci began her career as a Youth Librarian in public libraries, where she combined her love of books and her fascination with research to inspire the next generation of knowledge-seekers.

Marci holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science.


Jim Hartley

"The passion with which Growthink pursues its mission makes me want to see them realize their dream: to spread entrepreneurial opportunity everywhere it can make a difference for a person, within a market, and for society." 

A member of Growthink’s Advisory Board and a Senior Advisor in their Strategic Consulting work, Jim Hartley brings extensive background in consulting engineering management and community board leadership.

In 35 years of consulting environmental engineering, Jim has established teams to serve local communities in San Diego, Los Angeles and Sacramento; as the Area Manager for CH2M HILL in Sacramento, Jim doubled the size of the office in 6 years (135 to 258) and reduced morale-based turnover to a new corporate benchmark.

Jim has also served as CH2M HILL’s California Governmental Affairs Director, and as the Program Manager for the largest utility client in his firm’s portfolio. Jim also continues as a Principal Environmental Technologist, mentoring staff and directing teams addressing underground contamination over four continents. In 2006 Jim was named a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

In the northern California community, Jim served for 9 years as the Vice Chair of Strategic Planning for the Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition, an entity dedicated to bring a future Winter Olympic Games back to Lake Tahoe. He is active in his local area, serving as a Science Olympiad Coach, on the Editorial Board of Comstock’s Business magazine, and as a cantor and lector at his church. He also serves as an alumni volunteer for Stanford University, supporting the Haas Center for Public Service and the Undergraduate Admissions Office, and serving as an Alumni Mentor for engineering students.

Jim earned a M. Eng. degree in Civil Engineering from U.C. Berkeley, and graduated τβπ and φβκ in Civil Engineering and Italian from Stanford University. He lives in Fair Oaks, CA with his wife; their two children are both in graduate school.