High Bluff Capital Partners Team

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Anand Gowda
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Anand is the founder of High Bluff Capital Partners. He brings 20 years of experience in transforming brands & companies. Before founding High Bluff Capital Partners, Anand was the president & managing partner of Metropoulos & Company. Previously, Anand founded and led HBK Private Equity, LLC, the private equity arm of HBK Capital Management ($6BN+AUM). Earlier in his career, Anand was a principal with The Carlyle Group. His experience also includes Morgan Stanley, Robertson Stephens & Company, and Price Waterhouse, LLP. Anand graduated from Washington University in St Louis and received his MBA from the University of Illinois.

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Cary Devore
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Cary Devore is a senior advisor and board member of High Bluff Capital Partners. He is currently EVP & CFO of Utz Quality Foods, LLC, the largest privately-held, branded salty snack food company in the U.S. Prior to Utz, he was a managing director at Metropoulos & Co., working alongside Anand Gowda to make investments in branded food and beverage companies. With Anand, Cary co-founded and helped lead HBK Private Equity, LLC, the private equity arm of HBK Capital Management, and SilverStream Capital, a single-family platform with several billion of assets under management. Earlier in his career, Cary worked for Jordan Industries, Inc., an affiliate of The Jordan Company focused on middle‐market buyouts across multiple sectors. Cary’s experience also includes UBS Investment Bank and Price Waterhouse, LLP. Cary graduated from the University of Illinois, magna cum laude, and received his MBA from the University of Michigan with high honors.

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Coady Smith
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Coady is responsible for diligence on new investment opportunities and helping oversee High Bluff Capital Partner’s portfolio companies. Prior to joining High Bluff Capital Partners, he held investment positions at Regent, L.P. and Ares Management. His private equity experience has largely centered on consumer facing companies, with extended involvement in 99 Cents Only Stores and The Beautiful Group. Coady began his career as an investment banking analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a master’s degree in Finance and a bachelor’s degree in Economics.

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Julie Bayani
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Julie manages the day-to-day office operations; including executive support, scheduling meetings and coordinating travel logistics. Julie has over ten years of experience as an administrative professional supporting upper management. Prior to joining High Bluff Capital Partners, Julie has served as an executive assistant to companies such as NuVasive, a medical device company with $962 million in annual revenue; and ICW Group, the largest privately held insurance company worth over $1 billion. Julie is a certified administrative professional and a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

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Ryan Pitt
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Ryan is responsible for diligence on new investment opportunities and helps oversee High Bluff Capital Partner’s portfolio companies. Prior to joining High Bluff Capital Partners, he held investment positions at Mistral Equity Partners and Goode Partners. While at Mistral, he also worked alongside its affiliated SPACs, including Haymaker Acquisition Corp. III, Tastemaker Acquisition Corp and AF Acquisition Corp. His investing experience has primarily focused on consumer facing companies, with extended involvement in Worldwise, DTLR Villa, Marolina Outdoor, Forman Mills and Strong Roots. Ryan began his career at Citi in its Consumer Products Investment Banking team. He graduated from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

Restaurant Platform Executives

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Tim Casey
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Tim Casey has been at the helm of Rego Restaurant Group as President and CEO since January 2019. Tim is a restaurant industry veteran who brings a wealth of knowledge and an extensive track record of enhancing economic models for franchise brands. Before joining Rego, Tim led several brands as President and CEO, including PepperJax Grill, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, and Vicorp. Tim’s experience also includes holding senior leadership positions at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Starbucks Coffee Company. Tim is equally skilled at bringing both the teams he leads and the brands he serves to their maximum potential. Tim has an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a BS from The University of Central Florida.

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Mark Lohmann
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Mark Lohmann is Chief Brand Officer for Rego Restaurant Group, overseeing the portfolio’s branding, marketing, strategy and international development. Mark has substantial experience with executing strategy and development in the restaurant sector and additional industries. Prior to joining Rego in January 2019, Mark served as Executive Vice President of Strategy and Chief Financial Officer for Cool Planet, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Qdoba Mexican Grill, as well as Head of Business Development and Chair of the Operating Committee for Konkola Copper Mines in Lusaka, Zambia. Mark brings a trademark energy to his work and the workplace. He has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS from Kansas State.