David J. Raffel
Managing Director - Minneapolis

Dave is a Managing Director and Co-founder of Brass Ring Capital. He has 22 years of experience in private equity investments, small business consulting and commercial lending. Dave manages Brass Ring’s Minneapolis office, and currently serves on the boards of Brass Ring portfolio companies American Finishing Resources and Nationwide Learning.

Prior to forming Brass Ring, Dave was a Vice President at Agio Capital Corporation, a $42 million private equity firm in Minneapolis. As one of Agio’s original two investment professionals, he played an instrumental role in nine of the firm’s fifteen transactions over a six year period.

Dave began his career in private equity at New York-based Harvest Partners. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin he now resides in suburban Minneapolis with his wife and two children.

     

 

Steven D. Peterson
Managing Director – Milwaukee

Steve is a Managing Director and Co-founder of Brass Ring Capital. He has 23 years of experience in private equity investments, investment banking and money management. Steve manages Brass Ring’s Milwaukee office, and currently serves on the boards of American Finishing Resources and Nationwide Learning.

He is active in the Wisconsin Chapter of the Association of Corporate Growth (ACG), where he serves as President and on the Board. Steve also is a founding member of the Wisconsin Chapter of Midwest Business Brokers & Intermediaries (MBBI), where he serves as Vice President - Programs and on the Board. He is a frequent speaker on private equity to various groups and has twice served as a judge in the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year (MOTY) awards.

Prior to forming Brass Ring, Steve was a principal at Cedar Creek Partners, a $100 million private equity firm in Milwaukee, and its predecessor Bank One Venture Corporation. As one of four investment professionals, he played a lead or co-lead role in 12 of the firm's investments over a nine year period.

Steve's career began in money management with Ameriprise Financial, and also included investment banking at Piper Jaffray as well as consulting for Supervalu. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Kellogg School and the University of Minnesota's Carlson School, and earned his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Raised in Minneapolis, he now resides in Milwaukee with his two children. He has twice completed the Twin Cities marathon.

     

 

William L. Grindell
Principal - Minneapolis

Will joined Brass Ring Capital in 2012 as a Principal. Prior to joining Brass Ring Capital, he was with U.S. Bank in Minneapolis providing debt financing for middle-market private equity transactions. Will is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Superior and received his MBA from the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business. Raised in Wisconsin, he now resides in suburban Minneapolis with his wife and son.

     

 

Stephen J. Laczniak
Principal - Milwaukee

Steve joined Brass Ring Capital in 2013 as a Principal. Prior to joining Brass Ring Capital, he was an analyst for Golden Angels Investors and Keane D’Souza Venture Capital assisting with deal sourcing, due diligence, portfolio company management and fund management. Steve is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, holding degrees in Engineering and Medical Physics, and he earned his MBA and JD at Marquette University. Steve is a Milwaukee native and is also an avid soccer fan.

     

 

Mary L. Dyrhaug
Office Manager

Mary joined Brass Ring Capital in 2006 as Office Manager. She currently oversees all administrative and select marketing functions out of Brass Ring’s Minneapolis office.

Prior to joining Brass Ring Capital, Mary worked in the mortgage banking industry as a loan processor and an Assistant Office Manager. Mary was raised in Minnesota and currently resides in suburban Minneapolis with her husband and four children.

     

 

James W. Cox
Special Advisor - Southeast Region

Jim joined Brass Ring Capital in 2013 as a Special Advisor and will operate from an office in Florida. He will assist Brass Ring Capital with identifying and completing investments with a focus on the Southeastern U.S. Jim began his career as an accountant in Minneapolis, leading the CPA firm of Lund, Koehler, Cox and Arkema until its sale to Virchow Krause Baker Tilly in 2000. He then joined healthcare administration outsourcer, Trewit as its President and CFO. Trewit was acquired by Fiserv and Jim has served Fiserv in senior executive roles for the past 12 years, most recently as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development. Jim serves on our Board of Advisors and is an investor in both of our funds.