Founding Partner (Origination) The Riverside Company
“Over the past 30 years, I have attempted personally to be helpful to veterans transitioning into the private market, but with marginal success. I speak from personal experience that the transition is not easy. What I really needed was a supportive organization, focused 24/7, dedicated to this proposition, with a credible website to tell the story, and a 501 (c) (3) imprimatur to convince donors that their contributions of both time and money were legitimate. Americans and corporations want to use their hiring practices and connections to place veterans. 51Vets provides this opportunity. Employers know that a veteran they hire or help place will be one of their most valuable employees.”
Robert Landis joined Riverside in 2002 and has over 42 years of commercial, investment banking, and private equity experience. AT Riverside, Mr. Landis was hired to reinvent the focus on Origination. In 2019 he transitioned to managing the “exit” process for Riverside N.A. Prior to Riverside from 1986 until 2002, he was a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank and in his final role from 1996 to 2002, created and led the Aerospace and Defense Group. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Mr. Landis was a Vice President in the Multi-National Group at Citibank. After undergrad, he entered the U.S. Army in 1971 and retired with the rank of Major. Mr. Landis holds a BS in Marketing and French from the University of Colorado and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management (now part of ASU).
Managing Partner (Origination) The Riverside Company
“51 Vets has provided me with a channel to have a direct impact. The caliber of veterans I’ve met through the program is remarkable. The feedback received to date from employers that have given these veterans a shot has been absolutely glowing.”
Jeremy R. Holland is a Managing Partner at The Riverside Company, leading the Origination team across various funds/strategies in North America. Jeremy joined the Riverside in 2010, when they recruited him to switch from executing deals to focusing on originating new investment opportunities in the Western US & Canada. He has 25 years of private equity experience, across a range of industries and throughout the capital structure. He began his private equity career with Buttonwood Capital Group immediately after completing his undergraduate studies. Jeremy earned a B.S. degree in Finance from California State University Northridge.
The Riverside Company is one of the largest and oldest global private equity firms that remains committed to the entrepreneurial end of the market. Riverside has approximately $13 billion in assets under management. The firm makes control acquisitions up to $400 million in total enterprise value and has a variety of non-control solutions. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 850 transactions and currently has a portfolio that includes more than 140 companies worldwide. The firm’s specializations include: healthcare, education & training, manufacturing, tech-enabled business services & software, consumer branded products and franchising.
More information on The Riverside Company can be found at www.riversidecompany.com.
Deal Strategy Partner at PwC
“Having transitioned from the military myself, I see the value in 51 Vets and the approach to helping veterans help themselves. Mentorship and opportunity meet careful preparation and astounding success can germinate.”
Steve Won is a Partner in PwC’s Deals Strategy team based in Chicago, and leads the Industrial Products and Services topic. His work focuses on M&A related strategy topics including commercial due diligence, portfolio strategy, integration and divestiture strategy, and target identification for PE and corporate clients across a variety of industrial markets and segments, spanning both equipment and services.
Before joining PwC, he was Partner & Associate Director for Aerospace and Defense at BCG. Steven holds a PhD in physics from Northwestern University, and did his graduate research at the CERN LHC experiment as a member of the CMS collaboration. He served as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps and leads PwC’s Deals Veterans Diversity & Inclusion Network.
Managing Principal at Windjammer Capital Investors
“I have been involved with 51 Vets for several years and have had the pleasure of hosting several Members at Windjammer and our portfolio companies for internship opportunities. These are extremely motivated Veterans who are value-added to any organization. I am excited to see this organization continue to grow, and I am personally invested in ensuring the continued success of its Members.”
Greg joined Windjammer in 2000 to help establish the firm’s East Coast presence and has over 25 years of investment experience. At Windjammer, Greg is a member of the firm’s Management Committee and its Investment Committee. In addition, he sources, evaluates and closes new investments and has a primary role in monitoring portfolio company performance. Prior to joining Windjammer, Greg was with Prudential Capital’s Corporate Finance Group in Dallas, Texas, where he was responsible for originating, structuring and managing private debt and equity investments in companies located in the Southwest United States. Greg received his BBA from The University of Texas at Austin and also is a CFA charterholder, CFA Institute.
Windjammer Capital is a national private equity investment firm, based in Newport Beach, CA and Waltham, MA that invests control equity in middle‐market businesses and in partnership with management. Windjammer has over $2 billion of committed capital with respect to its control equity investment strategy, and has completed over 60 platform investments and more than 160 strategic add‐ons. The firm targets investments in companies that are leaders in attractive niche markets and share several of the following characteristics: significant and defensible market positions; differentiated products and services; strong management teams; scalable business models; identifiable growth opportunities; and consistent financial performance.
Associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP
“As a civilian, I’ve searched for ways to give back to those who have served and was lucky to have found that opportunity in 51 Vets. It has been greatly rewarding to be a part of this team and contribute to a groundbreaking organization making immediate and lasting impacts in the lives of veterans.”
Ricky is an associate at Kirkland & Ellis’ Boston office. His work focuses on Private Equity Mergers & Acquisitions, including legal due diligence, growth equity investments and existing portfolio company work for clients spanning a number of verticals and foreign and domestic jurisdictions.
Before joining K&E in 2020, Ricky attended Suffolk University Law School (’20) and the University of New Hampshire (’17). Ricky was introduced to 51 Vets in connection with K&E’s expansive pro bono practice where he assisted the organization to obtain its 501(c)(3) status. He is excited to be a part of the organization moving forward and eager to contribute to the mission.
“51 Vets has changed my life. I found a tremendous support network in 51 Vets as I was transitioning from active duty into the private sector. Through 51 Vets I was able to deep dive the various career paths in finance, complete a private equity internship, and focus my efforts on building a career that I previously did not consider possible. I am surrounded by incredible veterans, and an unbelievable network of professionals in the private sector who are eager to support us!”
Alex is a Business Development Executive at Systecon North America, a predictive analytics software company that supports the Department of Defense. His work focuses on optimizing the readiness and cost of complex DoD weapon systems. Prior to joining Systecon, Alex was an active-duty Navy fighter pilot for 10 years. In 2017 he completed a combat deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, flying the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. He then transitioned to the F-35C Lightning, spending 3 years as an Instructor Pilot. Upon leaving active duty, Alex developed a software application specific to DoD aviation that was successfully acquired in 2021.
Alex graduated with honors from the United States Naval Academy, and is currently an MBA Candidate at The Wharton School. He still serves in the US Navy Reserves as an F-35C Instructor Pilot.
Board Member and Former Chief of Staff
“I got involved with 51 Vets during my transition from the SEAL Teams, then served as the Chief of Staff to help build the organization from its infancy. Little did I know, I would find an opportunity to start my career in finance through 51 Vets. I continue to serve on the board so others can be afforded the same opportunities this incredible organization provided me.”
Zach received his undergraduate degree from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in advertising and marketing, where he captained the men’s soccer team for three seasons. After enlisting into the military in 2012 he led his Buds Class (298) through a grueling 2-year selection program to become a SEAL. He served in Naval Special Warfare as a Navy SEAL for over 10 years where he completed multiple combat deployments to Iraq (Fallujah, Ramadi and Mosul) as a Sniper, Point Man, Combat Medic and Lead Combatives Instructor.
During his transition he served as the 51 Vets Chief of Staff, grew a small business to a successful exit (ETA), and attended UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he received his MBA.
In 2022 he left the SEAL Teams and moved back to his home state of North Carolina to pursue a career in Investment Banking as an Associate at BlackArch Partners – a leading middle-market investment bank offering a full spectrum of advisory services to financial sponsors, private companies and diversified corporations. BlackArch addresses the needs of owner-operators, founders and shareholders of private capital solutions. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, BlackArch specializes in a number of key industries, including aerospace, defense & government services. BlackArch professionals have closed over 300 transactions in 16 countries on four continents
John R. “Johnny” Todd
Board Member and Former Chief of Staff
“As a Green Beret leaving active duty in the next 12 months, 51 Vets has provided me and my family the resources, mentorship, and confidence to be successful in the private sector. Each Member and Mentor bring a unique set of skills and resources to improve the 51 Vets community. I am honored to be a part of this outstanding group of elite people.”
Johnny recently left the military after 10 years of service, most of which as a Special Forces (Green Beret) Officer. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, he was first an Infantry Officer in Vicenza, Italy as a member of the famed 173rd Airborne Infantry Brigade. He led teams of varying sizes as a rifle platoon leader, mortar platoon leader, and headquarters company executive officer. He deployed to Ukraine, Turkey, the Baltics and Balkans, and all over Western Europe before attending Special Forces Assessment and Selection in 2017. Upon earning his Green Beret, he was a Detachment Commander in 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson, Colorado. He led his 12-man Detachment through a deployment to Afghanistan in 2021 as Coalition Forces withdrew. Johnny was greatly affected by the humanitarian crisis after the collapse of the Afghan government and continues to sponsor his Afghan partners who he personally evacuated to safety. As a result of his time in Ukraine, Johnny also hopes to be involved in rebuilding after the conclusion of Russian hostilities.
In 2022, Johnny and his family decided to pursue a Wharton MBA on a path toward a career in finance. He joined 51 Vets for career mentorship and previously served as the Chief of Staff. He hopes to capitalize on the incredible opportunities an MBA program and this organization afford him.
Contact Johnny at [email protected].
Chief of Staff
“When I was initially told what 51 Vets was, I was inspired. This organization provides a network and community that is incomparable. I am honored to be able to give back to the Special Operations community and provide all the necessary resources to ensure a seamless transition into the private sector. I look forward to seeing our members charge forward and become leading business professionals in the years to come.”
Phil is a recently transitioned Navy SEAL. Two weeks after graduating high school, Phil joined the Navy with a contract to BUD/S, a two year gueling SEAL selection course. Upon completion of SEAL selection, he shipped out to SEAL Team Two in Virginia where he deployed to eastern Africa and South America in support of the Global War on Terror. Phil finished his time in service at Special Reconnaissance Team Two leading a cross-functional team in support of U.S. National Security.
During his time in the SEAL Teams, Phil completed his undergraduate at Southern New Hampshire University and is currently in the process of submitting business school applications.
After leaving the SEAL teams in February 2023, Phil and his fiancée relocated outside of Washington D.C.; however, Phil’s goal is to relocate to New York City, after business school, and pursue a career in finance, as well as continue to find initiatives to support the Special Operations community.
William “Billy” O’Neil
51 Vets Treasurer and former Chief of Staff
“Without 51 Vets there’s no way I would be where I am today. The lessons learned from Jordan and the impressive men in 51 Vets helped convince me that I could not only attend a top MBA program but that there was a financial world of endless possibilities that awaited me after. The connections made and the internship with Greg Bondick of Windjammer Capital, facilitated through 51 Vets, put my life on a trajectory that I could never have dreamed of before. Truly an amazing network.”
Billy is a current MBA Candidate at The Wharton School where he is pursuing concentrations in finance, entrepreneurship, and accounting. Enlisting directly into the United States Marine Corps after high school, Billy served as a mortarman and then Scout Sniper with 3 rd Battalion, 7 th Marines, “No shit”, where he completed 3 consecutive deployments to Sangin, Afghanistan from 2010 – 2014. Upon returning he was chosen for the highly selective position as a Scout Sniper Instructor and taught at the Quantico, VA Scout Sniper Instructor School, where his specialties included long-range marksmanship, indirect fire, and advanced patrolling techniques. After 2 years and hundreds of students instructed, Billy attended Assessment and Selection for Marine Special Operations (MARSOC), becoming a Marine Raider in 2017.
As a Raider, Billy attended Marine Freefall and Special Operations Tactical Air Controller Course (SOTACC) becoming a long-range specialist. Along with these competitive courses Billy also completed 2 more deployments to Mosul, Iraq and then back to Helmand Province Afghanistan. During this time he also completed a B.A. in Strategic Studies and an M.A. in Organizational Leader from Norwich University.
In 2022, Billy decided to leave service after nearly 14 years and pursue his MBA on a path toward a career in finance and operations. Billy joined 51 Vets in February of 2021 and served as the Chief of Staff for over a year before matriculating at The Wharton School, and subsequently accepting a board seat as the Treasurer for 51 Vets where he still serves.