Michael S. Greengard
Michael S. Greengard, president of Praxis Business Brokers, has been involved full time in business brokerage since 2005. He has consistently been a top dealmaker with scores of completed transactions to his credit. Mr. Greengard has sold mid-market and main street businesses along with both large and small franchise resales. He has successfully represented business sellers from California to New York and has succeeded with both domestic and international buyers. As testament to Mr. Greengard’s superior skills, both buyers and sellers remain active with him after transactions are closed either looking to him for new opportunities and/or referring both potential sellers and interested buyers. Mr. Greengard’s completed transactions cover a broad range of industries including manufacturing, distribution, service, retail, and e-commerce.
Prior to entering business brokerage, Mr. Greengard spent 25 years in industry. He was actively involved as a partner or100% owner in a number of mid-market manufacturers. Mr. Greengard’s penchant for business transactions surfaced during his time in industry in which he bought and sold seven different businesses for his own account or for syndicates for which he was the managing partner. With decades of experience in operating businesses, Mr. Greengard brings a rare understanding of and sensitivity for business owners as they address transitioning their businesses to new ownership.
Mr. Greengard has a B.S. from Yale University and a M.B.A. from Columbia University. He and his wife Lori are 25 year residents of Ada, Michigan where they live with their three shelter dogs. They have a daughter at Central Michigan University and a son at George Washington University Law School.
After graduating from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with emphasis in management and accounting, Mr. Carter embarked on a lengthy career in automotive manufacturing, working in management level positions in the areas of materials, logistics, purchasing, and information technology. Mr. Carter was active in and earned certifications in production and inventory management through APICS, the Associations for Operations Management.
After more than two decades working for large, tier one automotive suppliers, the entrepreneurial bug bit Mr. Carter and he left big business to buy and manage his own main street businesses. Mr. Carter found that he enjoyed the buying and selling of these businesses and as a result migrated to business brokerage as a career choice.
Mr. Carter is a licensed real estate agent and a business intermediary whose primary focus is the sale of “Main Street” businesses and smaller mid-market businesses; i.e. businesses with annual gross sales from $250,000 to high seven figures. As Mr. Carter has “walked in the shoes” of both buyers and sellers, he brings his extensive experience to the process of facilitating the sale of a business and to the creation deal terms that achieve the objectives of both buyers and sellers.
Mr. Carter strongly believes that “an important aspect of the sale of a business is the relationship between the buyer and the seller, as there is usually a significant transfer of knowledge that takes place during the transition of ownership. One of my roles as a business intermediary is to foster that relationship to insure that the buyer and seller develop a working relationship in addition to understanding all of the aspects of the business transaction.”
Glen Toadvine has successfully represented business sellers since early 2000, having completed many transactions stretching across a variety of industries. His solid business knowledge coupled with his nearly three decades of industry experience and his ability to research any industry to determine price points and price trends in the marketplace enhance his many strengths as a business broker. Negotiations and facilitation of timely deal closings are additional attributes.
Mr. Toadvine takes pride in both his interest and his ability to gain solid knowledge of the businesses and business owners that he represents. Mr. Toadvine has the capability to locate the “right buyer” which he defines as ‘having the skill sets and resources to pay the best price for the business while offering the optimal chance for its future growth and success’.
Prior to his business brokerage career, Mr. Toadvine was in senior management roles for over 25 years in a number of industries throughout the Eastern United State and abroad. He was fortunate to have had industry experience in start-ups, turn-arounds, and buy side and sell side mergers and acquisitions. His broad background and deal experience provide the platform to develop and implement powerful marketing packages for his clients.
With a degree in Business Administration, Mr. Toadvine is currently the President of the Michigan Business Brokers Association Metro Chapter. As a former business owner, Mr. Toadvine has the background and business strengths to create a vision, sell ideas and facilitate a seamless change for his clients. He lives in Southeast Michigan with his wife, Sandy. They are now empty-nesters having enjoyed raising two sons.
Steve Kandt has assisted numerous business owners in successfully valuing and selling their companies during his seven years as a business broker. His closed deals have ranged from manufacturing firms to wholesale and distribution companies to retail businesses and franchise resales to everything in-between. Mr. Kandt also has extensive experience selling B2B and B2C service companies with specialties in information technology and business software.
Prior to entering the business brokerage world, Mr. Kandt founded a computer software development and consulting services company featuring enterprise work force management and scheduling software. The company’s clients consisted of Fortune 1000 companies and large financial service businesses. At its peak, the company had annual sales exceeding $6 million. Mr. Kandt held many positions during his 22 years with the company, including President/CEO and Director of Professional Services while often functioning as de facto Controller. Mr. Kandt acquired experience in business valuations, and mergers and acquisitions during his tenure as he oversaw the acquisition of two complementary businesses and the eventual sale of the entire company.
When Mr. Kandt entered the business brokerage profession, he quickly realized that he had previously experienced virtually every problem a business owner encounters in starting, building, and managing a business. His lengthy industry tenure has provided him with the tools to advise business sellers on a variety of issues as businesses are prepared for sale including managing timing and costs, and relationships with customers, banks, vendors and lawyers. His approach to negotiation is to find areas of agreement between buyer and seller and build upon them to reach a beneficial arrangement for all stakeholders.
Mr. Kandt holds a BS in Systems Engineering from Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.
During the past several years, Mark VanderWal has purchased, grown, and sold two of his own businesses. Each venture helped round out Mr. VanderWal’s 25+ years of experience in the manufacturing, distribution, service, and retail sectors. During these transactions, Mr. VanderWal realized he enjoyed the process of buying and selling his businesses more than ownership itself. So now, as a valued member of the Praxis team, Mark knows full well what it is like to sit in the chair of a business owner, including the joy and personal benefits of growing a business, and the pride of providing employees job satisfaction and a paycheck. He also understands the stresses of managing cash flow, making payroll, daily personnel issues, and eventually having to make a decision to sell a business.
In addition to his hands-on business experience, Mr. VanderWal attributes his business success to his work ethic, integrity, ability to develop and execute plans, and solid marketing skills. These attributes often match those required to find the right business buyer for our sellers, and to execute confidential ownership transitions.
Earlier, Mr. VanderWal had a successful corporate career. After earning a BS in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, he worked with a material handling manufacturer, holding positions as an engineer, sales engineer, and eventually U.S. Regional Sales Manager. As his family started to grow, the required travel meant too much time away from home, so Mark joined a West Michigan electrical and automation distributor which allowed him to be home nightly. Mark had positions of sales engineer, account manager, branch manager, marketing manager, and sales manager during his 15 years with this organization. In his various positions, Mark had the opportunity to work with hundreds of industrial and commercial facilities, from one man shops to Fortune 500 companies. This experience has already started to pay dividends in his new career as a business broker.
The VanderWal’s recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with their three children. Matt, a recent Central Michigan University graduate, works for a Holland (MI) manufacturer. Calvin, a Central Michigan University undergraduate, looks forward to receiving his accounting degree later this year, and Lisa is enjoying the activities of her senior year in high school, while making final college plans. The VanderWal’s are 25+ year residents of the Grand Rapids (MI) area.
Prior to joining Praxis, Mr. Hekler spent more than 25 years in various positions in the automotive industry. He began his career at General Motors as a line manufacturing supervisor, progressing to a general supervision post. This was followed by stints with the Problem Analysis Engineering Team, and later to GM Medical as part of the team charged with reducing repetitive motion injuries associated with regular use of assembly power tools.
The high visibility from that GM assignment resulted in Mr. Hekler being recruited by a Swedish Multi-National manufacturer of ergonomic power tools. Mr. Hekler cycled through various sales and marketing positions with this company including the Sales Team Leader for GM North America, East Coast Zone Manager and then Business Development Manager for all Tier 1 Manufacturing Suppliers to the Automotive Industry.
After decades of corporate life, Mr. Hekler experienced a yearning to own his own business. This resulted in his first involvement with Praxis Business Brokers as a potential business buyer. Mr. Hekler found and purchased his first business through Praxis. After the successful purchase and an equally successful two year run, Praxis again helped him – this time to sell the business in a smooth transaction with an attractive capital gains profit on the sale.
It was then on to a successful stint in a retail rental business which Mr. Hekler subsequently sold in another smooth and profitable deal. Now, after two successful purchases and sales of his own businesses, Mr. Hekler has elected to take his vast big company and small business experience to the intermediary arena, helping Praxis clients sell and buy businesses.
Mr. Hekler and his wife are empty-nesters dividing their time between a working farm in the Lansing (MI) area and a second home near the Lake Michigan sand dunes..