Mr. Smith currently serves on or has visitation rights to the board of directors of the following companies: NuSirt Biopharma, a company focused on developing products that combine the Company’s discoveries with currently marketed and well defined pharmaceutical products that target unmet needs in our society; Silicon Ranch, a developer and operator of utility scale solar facilities that provides turn-key renewable energy solutions to industry and utility partners; ORIG3N, a biotechnology company that collects DNA samples and researches and develops treatments for genetically inherited diseases, as well as offers a series of genetic tests that provide reports and insights on various aspects of the test-taker; AgTech Accelerator, a unique startup accelerator focused on discovering and developing emerging agricultural technology companies; and Preferral, a platform designed to streamline the patient referral process.
Mr. Smith previously served on the board of directors of Aspire Health, a healthcare company that specializes in providing an extra layer of support to patients facing a serious illness; MedCenterDisplay, a company that installs and owns digital health networks in hospitals and other provider settings; and Myomo (NYSE:MYO), a medical device company that has developed an IP-protected custom myoelectric elbow orthotic device that enables individuals afflicted with stroke and other neuromuscular conditions to self-initiate and control movement of a partially paralyzed arm using their own muscle signals.
Prior to his involvement with MGP, Mr. Smith held a long and distinguished career in the wireless and tech spaces. After receiving an MBA from the University of Chicago, Mr. Smith began his career at Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo in brand management and advertising. After eight years in packaged goods marketing, Mr. Smith transitioned into technology. First, in the early days of wireless, Mr. Smith served at Verizon (formally GTE); prior to the merger creating Verizon, all U.S. operating areas reported to him. In early 2000, Mr. Smith moved to Silicon Valley, where he was the EVP/GM and Chief Marketing Officer with Excite@Home. In Silicon Valley, Mr. Smith gained experience in media/content and internet technology/infrastructure. Mr. Smith moved home to TN in 2002 with Asurion as EVP/CMO. He led the relocation of Asurion’s headquarters from Silicon Valley to Nashville.
Mr. Smith was also a founding board member at The Nashville Entrepreneur Center and sits on the boards of The Trinity Forum in Washington D.C., Montgomery Bell Academy and Lost Valley Ranch in Colorado. Recently, Mr. Smith taught entrepreneurship as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Ferguson is responsible for day-to-day interactions with MGP’s Limited Partners on administrative items. As well, Mr. Ferguson is responsible for overseeing the funds’ accounting, audits, tax returns and other required reporting.
Mr. Ferguson brings a wide range of experience in a high growth environment having been a part of Asurion from 2000 to 2014. During this period, Mr. Ferguson helped develop the finance infrastructure and was involved in the launch of several international opportunities. Mr. Ferguson served several years as the Assistant Corporate Controller responsible for global consolidations and administration of global accounting policies. As well, in his last couple of years, Mr. Ferguson served in roles integrated into and supporting the business units directly, with the last role being CFO of the Customer Care business unit.
Prior to Asurion, Mr. Ferguson spent five years in audit with Arthur Andersen where he served clients in the entertainment, property and casualty insurance, music publishing and recording, real estate, logistics, construction and manufacturing industries.
Mr. Ferguson received a BS in Accounting, in addition to a Masters in Accounting, from the University of Tennessee. Mr. Ferguson is a Certified Public Accountant with a license in Tennessee and is a member of the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, as well as the American Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Joe Cook, Jr.
Mr. Cook currently serves as Executive Chairman and President of NuSirt Biopharma, a biopharma company focused on developing products that combine the Company’s patented technologies with currently marketed and well defined pharmaceutical products with a focus on obesity and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. In addition, he serves as Executive Chairman of Appello Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a biopharma company focused on developing oral therapies for patients who have Parkinson’s Disease. The Appello technology was licensed from Vanderbilt University with which the company has continuing relationships. He serves on or has visitation rights to the board of directors of: Castle Biosciences, a company developing and commercializing molecular diagnostics to aid healthcare professionals in assessing probability of tumor progression to metastasis and improving information for therapy choices, and AgTech Accelerator, a unique startup accelerator focused on discovering and developing emerging agricultural technology companies.
Mr. Cook previously served on the board of directors of the following select companies: Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMLN), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development and commercialization of medicines to treat patients with diabetes and other metabolic diseases; Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IRWD), a biotechnology company in Cambridge, MA focused on gastrointestinal therapeutics; Corcept Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CORT), a biopharmaceutical company in Palo Alto, CA engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of drugs for the treatment of severe metabolic, oncologic and psychiatric disorders associated with the steroid hormone cortisol; and Diagnovus, a molecular diagnostic company targeting rare and orphan diseases; among others. At Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Cook served as CEO from 1998 to 2003 and Chairman from 1998 to 2009. Mr. Cook is a founder and past-Chairman of over 10 years at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Mr. Cook retired as a Group Vice-President, Global Operations, of Eli Lilly and Company in 1993 after more than 28 years of service. Mr. Cook is a past Chair and current director of Mercy Multiplied International, Inc. with headquarters in Nashville, TN. He is also a past Chair and current member of the University of Tennessee College of Engineering Advisory Board. Mr. Cook has served on the national board of the American Diabetes Association and is past Chairman of the board of Life Science Tennessee.
Mr. Cook graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1965 where he received a BS in Engineering with High Honors and was a UT Torchbearer.
Joe Cook, III
Mr. Cook currently serves on or has visitation rights to the board of directors of: Castle Biosciences, a company developing and commercializing molecular diagnostics to aid healthcare professionals in assessing probability of tumor progression to metastasis and improving information for therapy choices; Cerebrotech, a company that has developed a non-invasive monitoring device for early detection of cerebral bleeding and edema; Lineagen, a chromosomal microarray and next generation sequencing genetic testing company serving children and families with autism and other developmental delays; MiNDERA, a company developing a proprietary method for extracting skin biomarkers which enable non-invasive molecular testing for skin cancer and other skin diseases; and PhaseBio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing improved biotherapeutics for the treatment of orphan diseases, with an initial focus on cardiopulmonary disorders.
Mr. Cook previously served on or had visitation rights to the board of directors of: Clearside Biomedical (NASDAQ:CLSD), an ophthalmic company specializing in the research, development and commercialization of therapeutic products delivered through a proprietary microinjection platform targeting the suprachoroidal space; Diagnovus, a molecular diagnostic company targeting rare and orphan diseases; and OnFocus Healthcare, a company selling proprietary performance management software to hospitals and other healthcare organizations.
Prior to his involvement with MGP, Mr. Cook was a Director, Private Placements in the Investment Banking Group of Robert W. Baird & Co. in Nashville from January 2001 through February 2003. During this time, he helped originate and led the team executing nine transactions raising almost $400 million. Previously, Mr. Cook was a Vice President in the Investment Banking Group at J.C. Bradford & Co. in Nashville. Mr. Cook graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Davidson College, and moved to Nashville, TN in 1993. Mr. Cook has previously served as the Chairman of the Board for the Martha O’Bryan Center and St. Paul Christian Academy, a board member for Ten Thousand Villages of Nashville and a member of the Investor Committee for LaunchTN, a public-private partnership organization focused on supporting entrepreneurship throughout Tennessee. Mr. Cook currently serves on the Board of Directors for Southeast BIO and the Advisor Board of the Nashville Capital Network.
Dr. Readnour currently serves on or has visitation rights to the following companies: AgTech Accelerator, a unique startup accelerator focused on discovering and developing emerging agricultural technology companies, Skyline Vet Pharma, a company that is developing veterinary pharmaceuticals using proven delivery technologies to reformulate drugs with established animal health markets, and Boragen, a company that is developing small molecule approaches focused on leveraging the unique chemical properties of boron chemistry, both in crop protection and animal health.
Prior to joining MGP, Dr. Readnour worked at Elanco Animal Health for 27 years. During his Elanco tenure, he held several senior management positions in which he was responsible for developing and executing Elanco’s Research and Development strategies for entering several new business areas (companion animal pharmaceuticals, vaccines and enzymes). In 2017, these new business areas accounted for nearly 50% of Elanco’s $3.0 billion in sales. Dr. Readnour played an important role in Elanco’s acquisition and integration of Novartis Animal Health, Lohmann Animal Health, ChemGen and Janssen Animal Health. Within Elanco, Dr. Readnour led several initiatives to transform Research and Development through the piloting of new approaches to developing animal health products. He developed and led Elanco’s new technology scouting, acquisition and due diligence efforts. He pioneered a lean product development model which allowed Elanco to enter new areas of business without significant capital investment. He led initial efforts for Elanco to invest in early stage companies and partner with external funding sources to develop products with minimal initial investment from Elanco. Dr. Readnour served as a member of the Food and Agriculture Section of Bio International Board and as an External Advisory Board member for University of Illinois Animal Science Department.
Prior to entering management in Elanco, Dr. Readnour was an internationally recognized expert on animal health product development, analytical chemistry, human food safety and drug residues with 11 publications and 14 external presentations. Throughout his career, Dr. Readnour was responsible for the development and commercialization of 10 animal health products. Dr. Readnour received his PhD in Analytical Chemistry from University of Illinois in 1990.
Mr. Singleton draws upon over two decades of legal, governance and investment experience to support MGP’s work with growing companies. He provides guidance and expertise upon matters of investment structuring, tax planning, governance, and other strategic and operational issues, across the full range of the firm’s investment portfolio and back-office activities.
In addition to his work with MGP, Mr. Singleton spends the majority of his working time serving as President of the Charis Foundation, a family foundation that partners with nonprofit organizations, ministries, and churches in the Nashville area, around the U.S. and internationally. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Micah Project, an organization that serves street-connected boys in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and the Nashville Fellows Program, a Christian leadership program for young adults.
Prior to co-founding MGP, Mr. Singleton practiced corporate and securities law with the Trenam Kemker law firm in Tampa, FL. With Trenam Kemker, Mr. Singleton advised public and private company clients in numerous merger and acquisition transactions across a variety of industries. Mr. Singleton also counseled businesses with respect to capital raising transactions, federal and state securities law compliance, executive compensation, employment law and intellectual property.
Mr. Singleton received a BS in Finance from the University of South Florida and graduated Cum Laude from Stetson University College of Law, where he was an editor of the law review.
Mr. Whitmore joined MGP in 2012 and concentrates on evaluating and diligencing investment opportunities and actively engaging with existing portfolio companies to provide strategic guidance, financial and operational assistance, and additional services. Prior to joining MGP, Mr. Whitmore worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at DCS Advisory (formerly Sagent Advisors) in the Automotive and Industrial vertical groups.
While at Sagent, Mr. Whitmore successfully executed several M&A, debt and equity transactions for public and private clients. Select transaction experience includes advising Bank of America Merrill Lynch Capital Partners on the acquisition of National Powersport Auctions, a provider of auction and remarketing services to the powersports industry in the U.S.; advising MSX International, a global business process outsourcing company, on the refinancing of $205 million of senior secured notes with a combination of $240 million of debt and equity; advising Daicel Corporation on the acquisition of Special Devices Inc., a provider of pyrotechnic products used in a variety of applications including for automotive airbag inflators, seat belt pretensioners and fire suppression systems; and advising Nemak on the acquisition of JL French, a supplier of high pressure die cast aluminum driveline and powertrain components, for $215 million of consideration; among several others.
Mr. Whitmore sits on the Next Generation Board of Siloam Health, a Christian organization that serves those in need through health care. Mr. Whitmore graduated Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University in 2010 with a BS in Engineering Science and a minor in Financial Economics.
Mrs. Graham joined MGP in 2011 and is responsible for managing and tracking financial transactions, documentation, and relevant tax data and forms, as well as future potential investments. Prior to joining MGP, Mrs. Graham held over two decades of accounting experience, most recently including serving as the Bookkeeper for AKG Acoustics, U.S. in Nashville, TN.
Mrs. Graham studied Accounting at Nashville State Technical Institute.
Office Manager / Executive Assistant
Mrs. Mraz joined MGP in 2012 and is responsible for the execution of Managing Director and office management activities, including scheduling, client relations, vendor interactions, administrative tasks and resource management. Prior to joining MGP, Mrs. Mraz held nearly three decades of administrative experience, including, most recently, Manager positions at Crowe Horwath LLP and Crowell & Crowell, PLLC, managing several key aspects of each respective office.
Mrs. Mraz studied Business at Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, TN.