Team Joseph DaGrosa, Jr. John J. Sicilian David Neithardt Thomas F. Staz Joshua C. Wood

Joseph DaGrosa, Jr.

Mr. DaGrosa is a co-founder of 1848 Capital Partners LLC (“1848”).  He has co-managed the firm since its founding in 2003 and is a member of the firm’s investment committee.  He also serves as co-chairman or as a board member for the following 1848 portfolio companies:  Jet Support Services, Inc., Sunbelt Diversified Enterprises LLC, Big Apple Entertainment Partners LLC, and London Bridge Entertainment Partners LLC.

Mr. DaGrosa co-led the firm’s investment in Heartland Food Corp., a platform company used to acquire two hundred and forty-eight (248) Burger King restaurants out of bankruptcy (and in workout situations) creating the second largest franchisee in the Burger King system. Heartland was successfully sold in December 2006 to an affiliate of the Blackstone Group.  

Prior to 1848, Mr. DaGrosa was a partner at MapleWood Partners LP, a Miami-based private equity firm, where he served as a member of the Executive and Investment Committees and was co-head of the firm’s Transaction Team.  Prior to MapleWood Partners LP, Mr. DaGrosa was a vice president for PaineWebber, Inc. (now part of UBS) in its Special Accounts Group. 

Mr. DaGrosa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance, Accounting and Statistics from Syracuse University.

John J. Sicilian

Mr. Sicilian is a co-founder of 1848 Capital Partners LLC.  Throughout his career, Mr. Sicilian has served on the board of directors of numerous travel and transportation-related companies, both public and private (including Eastern Airlines, Pan American World Airways, ARINC, AgentWare, and OneTravel).

Previously, Mr. Sicilian was the Chairman and President of the reorganized Eastern Airlines from 1995- 2002, and its Executive Vice President and General Counsel from 1990-1994. During his tenure, Mr. Sicilian consummated over 150 transactions involving over $2.2 billion in assets, including regulated international route authorities, complex airport leasehold interests, over 130 aircraft, over 300 engines and numerous intellectual property assets. His responsibilities also included the disposition of eight operating entities employing over 1,500 employees as well as resolution of pension claims involving approximately 25,000 ex-employees and retiree health benefit claims relating to approximately 10,000 retirees. Mr. Sicilian also negotiated the resolution of general labor, secured financing, environmental, frequent flyer plan-related and airport/landlord claims in excess of $15 billion.

Mr. Sicilian has assisted in the management of investments which include the creation of Heartland Food Corp. with its 248 Burger King franchised restaurants, the second-largest Burger King franchise in the world (including its ultimate sale to a Blackstone-affiliate in 2006).  Among other transactions, Mr. Sicilian also has co-led control investments in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museums in New York City and London (the largest Ripley's museums in the world), as well as Sunbelt Diversified Enterprises and Chicago-based Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI), the largest independent provider of warranty coverage to the corporate aircraft industry.

Formerly, Mr. Sicilian was an attorney with Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand (now merged with DLA Piper Rudnick) in Washington, D.C. and Ford & Harrison in Atlanta. Mr. Sicilian holds a J.D. from Washington & Lee Law School (cum laude) and a B.A. from Holy Cross College (magna cum laude).

David Neithardt

Mr. Neithardt is a co-founder of 1848 Capital Partners LLC.  Mr. Neithardt has co-managed the firm since its founding in 2003 and is a member of the firm’s investment committee.  He serves or has served as a board member for the following 1848 portfolio companies: Jet Support Services, Inc., Sunbelt Diversified Enterprises LLC, Big Apple Entertainment Partners LLC, and London Bridge Entertainment Partners LLC.

Mr. Neithardt served as interim Chief Financial Officer, Director of M&A, and member of the Board of Directors for Heartland Food Corp.  Mr. Neithardt was a member of the team that purchased Heartland in 2003 and grew this business into the second largest franchisee of Burger King restaurants in the United States prior to the sale of the business to GSO Capital Partners (a unit of The Blackstone Group) in 2006.  Mr. Neithardt was co-head of the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Heartland, which negotiated and completed the sale of this business.  Mr. Neithardt previously worked at MapleWood Partners LP and for Smith Barney Inc.’s corporate finance group.

Mr. Neithardt has an MBA from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and is a graduate of Stanford University with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering.

Thomas F. Staz

Mr. Staz is currently Managing Partner of Brazil Tower Company, LP and serves as a board member for Big Apple Entertainment Partners LLC and London Bridge Entertainment Partners LLC.  Mr. Staz joined 1848 in early 2011 and prior to joining the firm, Mr. Staz was a senior investment banker with several large Wall Street firms and was an investor in multiple 1848 portfolio companies.

Beginning in 2010, Mr. Staz served as a Director of Business Development at TOA Technologies Inc., an early stage cloud-based software company which focuses on driving efficiencies and customer experience improvements for service and delivery businesses throughout the world.  Mr. Staz was responsible for driving adoption of TOA's product with large telecommunications providers in the United States and Latin America.  

Prior to joining TOA, Mr. Staz spent 13 years as an investment banker with UBS, PaineWebber and Smith Barney Inc. focused on bond-based derivative products for large public sector utilities and transportation agencies across the U.S.  In this capacity, Mr. Staz structured the first privately financed toll road in California and was integral in the structuring and sale of over $10 billion in bonds and related derivatives. 

In 1998, Mr. Staz founded and served as President of Pacific Capital Partners LLC, a hedge fund catering to high net worth individuals and focused on leveraged derivative investments in fast growing technology and internet infrastructure companies.  

Mr. Staz is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a Bachelors degree in Engineering Sciences.

Joshua C. Wood

Mr. Wood joined Sunbelt Diversified Enterprises, LLC (an 1848 portfolio company) in late 2008, leading merger and acquisition efforts for the firm.  In early 2010, Mr. Wood began working directly with 1848 and its portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Sunbelt and 1848, Mr. Wood worked in leveraged finance at BNY Capital Markets, Inc., the investment banking and capital markets division of The Bank of New York Mellon.  At BNY, Mr. Wood focused on structuring and syndicating credit facilities for middle market private equity transactions.  In this capacity, Mr. Wood was integral in arranging over $8 billion in financings.

Prior to joining BNY, Mr. Wood worked for four years with Ark of Miami, Inc., an event production and hospitality start-up, helping to grow revenues to $30 million and finally assisting in the sale of the business.  Mr. Wood also has experience in seed-stage venture capital with Trillium Group, and in asset management with State Street Global Advisors. 

Mr. Wood has an MBA from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester and a BS in Management from Keene State College.