Team

An Approachable and Thought-Leading Team

Lakelet Capital is not the biggest. But it is one of the deepest. We draw from a vast and extensive well of experience and industry expertise. How do our deals get done? Our complementary investment team knows the nuances of business alignment.

A Vast Network of Industry Professionals

Lakelet Capital leverages our wide network of industry-specific, experienced and credentialed leaders through Lakelet Strategy and place them in executive roles. We pride ourselves on aligning with professionals who share our passion for growth as our partnership with the team at Lakelet Strategy drives success and operational results in hundreds of companies. These operating partners also share the Lakelet Capital values which means that legacies can be entrusted to them to fulfill maximum potential. When you become a Lakelet Capital partner, you gain access to high-caliber operating partners—resources you may not have had access to.

Randolph R. Bianchi

Managing Partner

Randolph Bianchi has over 25 years of business development, management and operational experience. He’s sourced, evaluated and executed over 40 proprietary deals and has produced top line growth as a business developer. With several platform investments and add-on acquisitions, Randy has built an excellent track record for identifying prospective investments and executing highly strategic business plans.

Randy is also a highly skilled interpersonal and inter-operational manager. From founding and running his own start-up to holding leadership positions at multi-billion dollar service companies, Randy’s leadership and conscientiousness are invaluable assets to Lakelet Capital. These skills are also valuable to a number of community organizations and company boards Randy is involved with. Randy is the President of the Board of Directors for Upstate Capital, the Founder of First Thursday Networking, and has served on the Executive Boards for the Junior Achievement of Western New York and Institute of Continuing Professional Education. Randy has served in these roles in addition to coaching youth hockey in the Western New York region.

Education:
- Certificate in Family Business Advising
- B.A. in Economics from Rowan University
- Executive MBA from University at Buffalo

Accomplishments:
- Nationally Recognized for Prestigious Board of Directors Recipient from a leading service company in three separate business segments.
- Multiple national and regional awards for management, leadership and performance recognition.
- Published numerous articles.
- Frequent lecturer and moderator in private equity, business development and family business investing.
- Judged on several business plan competitions including Ernst and Young Entrepreneurial Award and J.A. Business Plan Competition.

John J. Koeppel

Primary Counsel

John Koeppel is the lead outside counsel to Lakelet Capital. As a partner and head of private equity at Lippes Mathias, John has successfully structured and closed over 200 deals. He’s advised on deals between $5MM and $250MM+ in a wide range of industry sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, consumer goods, technology and business services. As the primary counsel for Lakelet, John expertly strategizes and structures these deals to see them through closing with success, transparency and integrity.

John is also active in the Western New York community and has been for his entire legal career. As a member of the American Bar Association and New York State Bar Association, John is also active in several other organizations and boards. He’s a Vistage Trusted Advisor, and a member of Upstate Capital and the Association for Corporate Growth.

Education:
- B.S. from University at Buffalo, Summa Cum Laude
- M.B.A. from University at Buffalo, with Distinction
- J.D. from University at Buffalo Law School, Magna Cum Laude

Accomplishments:
- Honored as a Leading Private Equity Lawyer (Investment Funds) by Chambers USA and
- Chambers Global.
- Named Leading M&A Lawyer and Leading Closely Held Business Lawyer by Upstate New York Super Lawyers®.
- Recognized as a Leading Corporate/M&A Lawyer (Upstate New York) by Chambers USA.

Chirag Richards-Desai

Director of Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions

Chirag Richards-Desai (“Chi”) has spent over 13 years advising companies and elevating their financial and operational sophistication. Having started his accounting career at Deloitte, Chi quickly realized the exponential value technology added to any organization as he worked for multiple SaaS companies.

During his tenure as COO and CFO of technology companies, Chi gained first-hand experience in both sell-side and buy-side M&A diligence. He brings a wealth of this experience to the Lakelet team as the Director of Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions, as he focuses on partnering with the businesses we invest in.

Chi has co-founded two startups—one in the healthcare space and the other in the ed-tech space—and is heavily involved in the technology ecosystem in Western New York, finding and applying technology in intuitive ways. He’s also served on the board of non-profits and enjoys building communities with mission-oriented individuals.

Education:
- B.S. in Accounting and Business Administration from Houghton College, Magna Cum Laude
- Certified Management Accountant

Accomplishments:
- Acquired and Sold a Web Development Company.
- Grew and Sold a SaaS Company for Several Multiples to PE-backed Software Company.
- Founded and Exited Two Technology Startups.

Leigh Caldwell

Vice President

Leigh Caldwell is a critical component to closing deals at Lakelet Capital. Her decades of experience in accounting functions, internal controls and due diligence allows Leigh to seamlessly advise our team on financial modeling, strategic business planning and the execution of deals. When interfacing directly with clients, Leigh leverages her experience in forensic accounting and as an Enhanced Due Diligence Investigator to determine and successfully follow through on finance and program strategies to improve operational outcomes.

Leigh has proven herself across a variety of sectors, by successfully streamlining and enhancing finance processes such as accounts receivables and payables, reporting, fixed assets, budgeting and forecasting. She also is extremely qualified at business valuations with an emphasis on intellectual property, technology and software.

Education:
- B.A. in Accounting from Niagara University
- Member of the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Scholastic Honor Society

Philip Mulé

Chief Revenue Officer

Philip Mulé has over 30 years of B2B sales and sales leadership experience; over 15 of those years in sales management and associate development. Phil has led numerous sales organizations, across multiple geographies and business segments. Phil has recruited, hired, trained and promoted dozens of sales associates and managers. Phil has successfully created and implemented multiple sales processes across business units he has led; including but not limited to, strategic multi-channel selling, steps of a sale, client-based selling, phone canvassing, objection handling and more.

At Lakelet Capital, Phil assists in business development with a keen focus on driving top-line revenue and sourcing sales talent. His experience is leveraged by Lakelet Capital portfolio companies as they utilize Phil’s unique ability to identify areas of strong growth opportunity and process implementation. Phil understands which processes and resources are required to meet sales milestones and ensures that our companies enhance results.

Accomplishments:
- Multiple President's Club Qualifiers.
- Multiple Super Starts Qualifiers.
- 100% Breadth of Participation Amongst Teams, Within His Sales Organizations.
- Multiple Sales Associate, President's Club Qualifiers on Teams He Has Led.
- Promoted Several Successful Sales Leaders.
- VP Advisory Board.

Samantha Smith

Marketing Director

As the Marketing Director of Lakelet Capital, Samantha Smith is integral in the overall management and assessment of acquisition strategies. Her experience researching industries and sectors leads the new business efforts of Lakelet as she expertly aligns our investors with attractive targets.

In addition to thorough market analysis, Samantha develops sequential marketing plans to increase customer reach, is active in due diligence assignments, prepares overarching industry analysis and generates long-term customer commitments through her attentive client service. To that end, Samantha develops careful internal and external strategies that serve to monitor, understand and respond to the specific needs of each and every one of Lakelet Capital’s clients.

Education:
- B.S. in Business Administration from University at Buffalo, Summa Cum Laude

Accomplishments:
- Published Articles on M&A Activity.

Glen G. Kauffman

Controller

Glen Kauffman provides accounting expertise and management consultant knowledge to a vast assortment of businesses across the region. His over 40 years of business accounting experience features highlights such as serving as the VP of Finance for one of the largest Burger King franchisees in the U.S.

Committed to the growth of the Western New York community, Glen has served on the boards of several organizations including YMCA Buffalo Niagara and Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, which included stints as each board’s Treasurer. He also served as Executive VP of the Mathewson-McCarthy Youth Baseball Board.

Our Core Investor Team

The Lakelet Capital investment team has efficiently and effectively closed hundreds of deals throughout their careers. Regardless of the size of investment or the industry sector, the Lakelet team always maintains a personal, hands-on approach. We’re a well-rounded ensemble or experienced finance, legal, marketing and private equity business professionals who all work toward achieving mutual success and value for you and our investors.

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