We have an intense focus on completing the objectives of our clients, whether that is the completion of a transaction or the funding of their growth, we never take our eye off the ball.", Reid M. Zeising, Managing Partner.
Reid M. Zeising – Managing Partner
Mr. Zeising is the Founder and Managing Partner of Cherokee Advisors. Mr. Zeising founded BBAC LLC, which was created to acquire Back Yard Burgers, Inc. In addition, he founded Bluebird Advisors LLC, which focuses primarily on quantitative based, statistics arbitrage, mean reversion hedge fund strategies, and Institutional Advisors which is a private merchant-banking firm. Through Institutional Advisors Mr. Zeising invested in and advised Cosi, Inc. (COSI) and also participated in and advised on five separate financings for Cosi. Institutional Advisors assisted William Blair in taking Cosi public.
From 1992 through 1999, Mr. Zeising was First Vice President of The Robinson-Humphrey Company (RHC) in charge of European Capital Markets. RHC clients focused on business, consumer and financial services companies and airlines. In addition, he focused on convertible debentures and the corporate buyback business at RHC.
Prior to RHC, Mr. Zeising ran an overseas office for Reich & Co., Southeast Research Partners, in Paris, France. He also founded and owns Genki Inc., www.genkiatl.com, a noodle and sushi bar in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Zeising is a member of YPO, www.ypo.org, he was raised in Tokyo, Japan, and Adelaide, Australia. He holds a BA in International Economics – Far East from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
C. Stephen Lynn – Partner
In addition to being a Partner at Cherokee Advisors, Mr. Lynn currently serves as the non-Executive Chairman and Board Member of Back Yard Burgers.
He is the majority owner and serves as Chairman of Cummings Incorporated. At almost 60 years old, the company is one of the oldest national sign companies in the USA. In April 1995, Mr. Lynn was named Chairman and CEO of Shoney’s Inc., owner and franchisor of more than 1,500 Shoney’s, Captain D’s, Pargo’s and Fifth Quarter Steakhouses. He came to Shoney’s after 12 years as Chairman and CEO of Sonic Corporation. Mr. Lynn built the top-notch management team, which transformed a struggling company into the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants and the ‘number two’ hamburger chain in the Southwest, with approximately $2 billion in system-wide sales. Mr. Lynn acquired the company in a leveraged buyout in 1986 and Sonic experienced unprecedented same store sales growth with an average increase of eight percent per year over his tenure. A key factor in the establishment of Sonic’s success was an “ownership” culture where unit managers own part of their restaurants. Mr. Lynn built strong relationships with franchisees. Prior to Sonic, Mr. Lynn was executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Burtson Corporation, a privately owned, restaurant chain headquartered in Southern California. Before joining Burtson, Mr. Lynn left the food service industry for three years and served as vice president for Century 21 Real Estate Corporation. During that time he functioned in a dual role in charge of the Product Control and Service Division, as well as president and chief executive officer of Marquest, Inc., a marketing support subsidiary of Century 21 Real Estate Corporation. In June 1973, Mr. Lynn began his experience in the food industry when he spent five years with Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation where he was director of the Distribution Division. His responsibilities for the $100 million plus division included establishing and managing eight company warehouses, three public warehouses, and 23 wholesale food service distributors. Mr. Lynn began his career with Brown and Williams Corporation as an industrial engineer responsible for the raw materials processing and recycling departments. He received his BS in Industrial Engineering from Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN and his MBA from the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, where he graduated Cum Laude.
Steven N. Neuroth – Partner
In addition to being a Vice President at Cherokee Advisors, Mr. Neuroth currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Back Yard Burgers where he is working with management to help drive the initiatives that Cherokee Advisors put forth.
In addition to Cherokee Advisors, Mr. Neuroth is a Principal with Bluebird Advisors, which focuses primarily on quantitative based, mean reversion hedge fund strategies. Prior to Bluebird Advisors Mr. Neuroth was an analyst at Servidyne Systems in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Neuroth holds a Master of Science degree in Quantitative and Computational finance from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the same institution.
Board of Advisors
Dale E. Jones, Vice Chairman of Heidrick & Struggles
Dale E. Jones is vice chairman and partner of the Chief Executive Officer & Board of Directors Practice in the Americas. In this role, Dale serves as an advisor to boards and CEOs on human capital issues such as leadership, recruiting and succession planning. He has been an active advisor to boards on the issues of corporate governance, compensation and enterprise risk. In addition, Dale serves as one of the firm’s leaders in the Education & Social Enterprise Practice.
Dale remains highly active at the corporate and non-profit board levels. He serves on the board of directors at Kohl’s Corporation and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. Prior to joining Northwestern’s board, he was a corporate director for Hughes Supply, a NYSE-traded company, which was acquired by The Home Depot in 2006. Dale continues to serve on the National Advisory Board of The Salvation Army, is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and was recently named as a trustee for Morehouse College.
From 1999 to 2007, he served as managing partner of Heidrick’s Atlanta office. Early in 2007, he was named managing partner of the firm’s CEO & Board practice in the Americas. Dale originally joined Heidrick & Struggles in 1999, following tenure with another leading search firm. Prior to entering executive search, he held a series of progressive roles as executive director of Quest Atlanta, assistant vice president of Charitable Giving at Bank of America and director of development at Morehouse College. He also served as CEO of a global water initiative that provides clean drinking water to villages in sub-Saharan Africa. Dale has served as a speaker and participant of the World Economic Forum on Africa and the Corporate Council on Africa.
Dale earned a bachelor's degree at Morehouse College in Atlanta and completed course work at the Atlanta University Graduate School of Business.
Dr. David Miller, Director of Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative and President of the Avodah Institute
Dr. Miller is Director of Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative and President of the Avodah Institute, an organization who mission is to help leaders integrate the claims of their faith with the demands of their work. For the past five years, he served as the Executive Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture at Yale University Divinity School, and as Assistant Professor (Adjunct) of Business Ethics. David brings an unusual “bilingual” perspective to the academic world, having spent 16 years in senior positions in international business and finance. Prior to academia, David lived and worked in London, England for eight years, where he was a partner in a private equity firm that specialized in international investment management, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions. Before that he was a senior executive and director of the securities services and global custody division of HSBC Group, having held the same position at Midland Bank plc before its acquisition by HSBC. He first moved to London as the managing director of the European operations of State Street Bank and Trust, a leading US securities services bank. He started his management career in the U.S., working for IBM for eight years in a variety of sales and marketing management positions in New Jersey and New England. David also speaks German, having lived, studied, and worked in Germany. He is a graduate in Business Administration from Bucknell University. After his corporate experience, he entered academia, receiving his M.Div. and a Ph.D. in ethics from Princeton Theological Seminary. While doing his doctoral work in ethics, David began working with CEOs and senior executives in his capacity as president and co-founder of The Avodah Institute. He is a successful author and a frequent speaker at gatherings of business leaders, corporate events, and academic conferences. His views are often cited in the media, including in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, radio, and the major television networks.
J. Michael McCarthy, J. Michael McCarthy Financial Advisor Inc.
Mr. McCarthy currently manages and advises on assets totaling approximately $200 million. Previously, Mr. McCarthy spent 23 years as Executive VP and CFO as well as Board of Directors member for Waffle House, Inc.