John Appel has over 15 years of private equity experience, including leveraged buyouts, industry consolidations, recapitalizations, growth equity and venture capital. He currently manages Apta Capital, a middle market private equity firm (www.aptacapital.com). From 2001 to 2008, he was a managing director at New York-based private equity firm Emigrant Capital, where he built their branded consumer products practice and established their Executive Partner program for operating executives. From 1997 to 2001, he ran San Francisco and Palo Alto-based Tira Capital, which provided investment banking services and managed private equity and venture capital investments. From 1991 to 1997, John was a principal in Saratoga Partners, a middle market buyout fund managed by Dillon Read & Co. Inc. Experience prior to that includes investment banking at Dillon Read and Merrill Lynch. John graduated magna cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley and has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Past board positions include: AC Label (specialty label printer); Boylan Bottling (leading gourmet/natural soda brand); EnvoyGlobal (web conferencing business now part of Microsoft); Forward Foods (Detour protein bars); The Jolt Company (energy drinks); Robeks Corp. (150+ store smoothie franchise system); U.S.I. Holdings (insurance services company built through over 100 acquisitions); and Zola (superfruit juices). You can contact John through his blog at johnappel.com (http://www.johnappel.com).