The CEO and founder of sb LiftOff, Ms. Heaton has thirty years of experience in business transitions as a lawyer, business executive, and policy maker. With a 360-degree perspective on successful transactions, and a great deal of insight into what it takes to build and run a profitable company as well as to exit it, Ms. Heaton is in a strong position to advise business owners on how to maximize value and optionality.
“I’ve sold assets worth $7,000 and companies up to $12 billion,” says Ms. Heaton. “Nothing focuses the mind as much as putting your own capital at risk. I have done that and have the mindset of the business owner.”
Heaton founded sb LiftOff to bring the highest level of professionalism to business owners in the lower mid-market. Prior to founding sb LiftOff, Ms. Heaton served as General Counsel and Deputy Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senior Counsel on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and Senior Policy Advisor for a U.S. Senator. She was a co-founder and Managing Partner of Wellford Energy Group, which provided strategic advisory and investment banking services to clean energy and low carbon companies and projects. Previously, Ms. Heaton served as General Counsel of Trans-Elect, Inc., the first independent transmission company and Deputy General Counsel of Columbia Energy Group, a Fortune 500 company with $6 billion of gas and electric assets and operations in ten (10) states.
Ms. Heaton holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School and a B.A. magna cum laude in Political Science from Barnard College at Columbia University. Upon graduation from law school, Ms. Heaton served as a Federal law clerk for a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She has been associated with the law firms of Skadden Arps and Latham & Watkins.
Tim Pitchford, Chief Financial Officer at sb LiftOff, is a results-driven accounting and financial management executive with more than 20 years of progressive experience helping small and large private and publicly traded organizations achieve financial and operational goals. Tim is an expert at action oriented financial analysis; financial modeling and what if analysis; global financial operations; financial internal controls (SOX); M&A; and is known for his focused attention to details.
“Strategic planning and having a handle on your financials go hand in hand,” says Tim. Tim served as the Director of Capital Allocation for Columbia Energy, a Fortune 500 company, coordinating a $1 billion discretionary capital investment post-completion review process for all subsidiaries to measure and report forecasted assumptions against actual results.
Tim served as Vice President, Global Financial Operations and Contracts Management for United BioSource Corporation, a $270M global division. He also served as Vice President of Covance Commercialization Services, a $120M global division, and Corporate Vice President/General Manager of Medical Marketing Services for PAR EXEL International, a $35M bi-coastal division.
Tim is especially proud that throughout his career he met the highest ethical standards. Tim continues to stress strong internal financial controls for his sb LiftOff clients.
Tim holds a B.S. in Finance and Accounting from Marshall University and is a Licensed Realtor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He has a Federal Government Contracting Certification from George Mason University and an M&A certification from Northwestern University. He lives in Virginia with his wife and children and is active with local charities.
Chris Curtin, Director of Valuation, is devoted to helping business owners sell their companies for fair market value. He works with sb LiftOff’s clients to assess company growth projections and identify risk factors that, if addressed, can increase the value of the business. Chris excels at financial analysis, due diligence, and market and industry research. He takes a comprehensive approach to valuation by using multiple valuation techniques to evaluate a company before identifying the most appropriate company value. Chris’s models also show the impact that changes in sensitive variables can have on overall company value. The multiple valuation approaches and sensitivity analyses that Chris prepares give sb LiftOff’s clients unparalleled flexibility and insight as they enter negotiations with potential buyers.
“No two companies are alike, and therefore no two valuation models should be the same. I build personalized models for our clients to make sure the valuation addresses the unique strengths and challenges of their companies,” explains Chris.
Chris founded an independent valuation firm, Summit Patent & Technology Advisors, through which he
provides a broader range of valuation services for clients who are seeking to raise funds, license patents
and technology, or assess their competitive positioning. At Summit, Chris has prepared valuations for
software and technology, engineering, and consumer product companies. Before founding Summit and
joining sb LiftOff, Chris worked for The Kenrich Group in Washington D.C., where he prepared litigation
damages valuations across a wide variety of industries, including defense contracting, aerospace, and
spent nuclear fuel.
Chris has a BS in Finance and Management from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and a member of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. Chris resides in McLean, Virginia, and enjoys playing rugby with the Washington Irish in his free time.
Nancy Langer, Managing Director, has decades of experience with the basics of selling businesses – from activating important networks to modern social marketing outreach, selected advertising and using data analytic tools to pinpoint hidden opportunities. Devoted to ensuring a positive experience for all of our clients, Nancy also works with the sb LiftOff team to craft winning business narratives that fuel buyer interest and competition.
Prior to her present position, she served as a top executive at the Stimson Center, a government contractor in Washington DC as Director of External Relations, bringing in $6- $7 million per year in income. “I know what it’s like to have the responsibility of a business on your hands. When a business owner is ready to take the next step and sell the business you have nurtured and grown, it’s important that that M&A journey is a satisfying one. You need to walk away feeling completely satisfied with the transaction. I'm passionate about delivering certainty of execution.”
Nancy draws on her thirty years as a communications professional to build business stories that inspire strong buyer interest. She has worked in banking and has decades of experience with government contractors and professional services companies. Her work has been profiled in US News and World Report and she has published in such venues as USA Today, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and the Baltimore Sun.
Nancy earned her degree in Communications from Goucher College and has worked in such varied markets as Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Her first film was nominated for an Academy Award and she produced an ad campaign for the UNHCR with Meryl Streep that earned an award from the Advertising Council. Her communications work for the Stimson Center on water security helped net the organization a MacArthur genius award for organizations. Nancy is the mother of two boys and is active in the Episcopal Church.
Tom Stephenson, Director of Technology, is responsible for driving results for sb LiftOff’s clients by creating a seamless flow among the company’s business functions that makes full use of technology and best practices. “I draw on my technology experience to support the organization’s strategic vision, execution, and leadership. My focus is sb LiftOff’s mission which is providing certainty of execution for our clients.”
Tom works with clients harnessing a wide experience within business and technology project initiatives and works to consistently deliver successful outcomes. This includes managing client’s initiatives through the end-to-end lifecycle with business & project management, client engagement and consulting skills. Tom has led programs aimed at improving service delivery, enhancing internal infrastructure, and integrating innovative technology. These include programs in organizational structure and technology implementation that follow the entire client’s development lifecycle.
Prior to his role at sb LiftOff, Tom served as Director of Training and Client Services for a consulting firm specializing in selecting and optimizing technology and streamlining operations for law firms and bar associations. In this role, he was integral in establishing processes and procedures, creating efficiencies, and productivity enhancements for back office functions and departments. Tom’s career also includes public-sector law firm experience as well as various management roles in a variety of organizations.
Tom earned his undergraduate degree in Business and Psychology and graduated with his Master’s degree in Legal Studies from the University of Illinois with honors. Tom resides in Chicago and enjoys training for triathlons and exploring the lakefront path with his dog.
Jennifer deCamp, Client Services Director, works to connect owners in the lower mid-market with the services they need to best meet their goals. She integrates with the sbLiftOff Team to plan events and develop educational materials that prepare owners for that very personal and important transition – the sale of their business. “For me, it’s all about being able to personally connect with people. I want to listen and understand the specific goals each owner has. I understand that their business is their legacy and many things must be carefully considered during the sale process. Some people want to concentrate primarily on maximizing sale prices while others want to focus on taking care of employees or remaining involved in the business with an equity position after sale. Our approach is to find the best transition according to each owner.”
Jennifer has worked with educational institutions for over twenty years. She is goal driven, adept in making connections, and skilled in finding solutions to complex situations. She has successfully applied these capabilities in positions in both public and private institutions.
Jennifer earned her B.A. in English at George Mason University and her M.A. in Rhetoric at Texas Woman’s University. She is the mother of three children and enjoys travelling and playing tennis.
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