Apis & Heritage Capital Partners
Helping Workers of Color Own Their Futures
"Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him." — Booker T. Washington
The A&H Employee-led Buyout (ELBO©) approach provides:
Investors with timely exits, competitive returns, and clear and measurable impact
Founders with capital to support ownership transitions that preserve their legacies and meet their retirement needs
Workers of Color in essential industries with the most powerful wealth building tool in our nation - equity in a thriving business
Companies with the incentives and support to grow and the capital needed to build balance sheets for long-term resilience
Communities with stable jobs and business continuity
Capital for Founder Legacy and Worker Dignity
By combining the speed and scale of Private Equity with the preservation and wealth creation power of Employee Ownership, specifically a 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) — Apis & Heritage Capital Partners (A&H) is attacking the Racial Wealth Gap and helping to restore dignity and status to the American Worker.
THE IMPACT OF OWNERSHIP
Employee ownership creates measurable, proven impact on businesses and workforces.
It is a critical tool in fighting inequality.
Company sales, employment, and productivity increase by more than 2% per year after implementing an ESOP
Businesses with an employee ownership model, including through an ESOP, have higher profit margins
100% ESOP-owned companies do not pay Federal and often State taxes, which increases the business’s cash flow after transitioning to employee-owned
Millennial workers at ESOP companies have 33% higher median income from their wages when compared to millennial workers at non-ESOP companies
The employee ownership model and A&H’s management philosophy gives workers input in company decisions
ESOPs give low- and moderate-income workers economic security and often help them plan for retirement for the first time
During the COVID-19 pandemic, ESOP companies were between 3 and 4 times more likely to retain staff — keeping more money in employees’ hands and in the economy
Low/moderate-income workers in an ESOP have account values ranging from $15,000 to $6 million, with a median value of $165,000. By contrast, the typical American household has just $17,000 in savings
Low- and moderate-income workers in an ESOP closest to retirement (ages 60 to 64) have 10 times more wealth than the typical American in that age group
Through our Employee-Led Buy Out (ELBO) transaction, A&H buys profitable, privately-held companies from retiring owners and transitions them into 100% employee-owned businesses with significant tax advantages.
In Legacy Fund I, we seek enterprises with $1-4M of EBITDA with at least 40 employees, of which at least a third of the workforce are Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC) in manufacturing and essential service sectors such as maintenance, landscaping, mechanical trades, cleaning, home healthcare, food processing, logistics and other services.
We partner with management and the workforce to create a company culture of efficiency, resiliency and empowerment that creates REAL employee-owned businesses that outperform their peers, are more resilient and are more rooted in their communities.
A&H Capital Partners is supported by leading Employee-Ownership focused institutions
The Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) is a national organization dedicated to worker cooperative development, especially in economically and socially marginalized communities. DAWI works with A&H portfolio companies to instill the management tools and employee skills needed for employees to shift into owner/operators.
Since 1987, SES ESOP Strategies has provided guidance on legal, finance, investment, banking, tax and ERISA expertise to hundreds of firms planning transitions to ESOPs. SES is A&H’s backstop technical ESOP advisor on every A&H transaction.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a US non-profit community development financial institution that supports community development initiatives across the US. The New Markets Support Company (NSMC), founded by LISC in 2004, bridges the gap between philanthropic and traditional lending and investing to build community assets and increase access to capital in underinvested communities. LISC/NSMC is A&H’s preferred senior lender in all ELBO transactions.
"You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Todd Leverette has dedicated his life to bringing the tools and best practices of big business to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). After working in finance at J.P. Morgan and in residential real estate, he began a career as an independent business consultant focused on providing value-added financial and operational engineering for SMEs throughout Detroit.
Todd previously maintained a small base of SME clients and currently serves as a Program Manager with the Democracy at Work Institute's Legacy Business Initiative, which strives to utilize employee ownership as a means to preserve and build wealth in minority communities.
He received his JD/MBA from Columbia University and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College.
Philip Reeves is a proven leader in small business development and funding. He has more than 10 years of experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors focused on successfully advising senior executives on how to identify and implement actions needed to achieve their business goals.
Philip is the founder and principal of an investment and business advisory firm that works with global alternative investors. He also partnered with 1863 Ventures, where he led an industry-agnostic program focused on scaling businesses through operational improvements, sustainable sales processes, human capital best practices and financial management.
Philip’s background includes serving as the Manager of Small Business Technology and Innovation for the Government of the District of Columbia and working in corporate development for a growing government contractor, where he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships and business development. Philip began his career on Wall Street in private equity at Lehman Brothers.
He is the former President (Curator) of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Washington, DC Hub and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College.
Michael brings 22 years of investment fund management, process and expertise to A&H Partners. A co-conceiver with Walt Mayo of Middle Bridge Capital, a private equity firm focused on employee ownership. Michael and Walt have thrown the weight of their experience and connections behind Philip and Todd, to help them build the pre-eminent investment firm for employee ownership in the USA.
The American Dream only works for one if it works for every one. Michael’s commitment to public service is deep; in addition to co-founding Total Impact Capital, a pioneer impact investment bank in Washington DC, he is a 10 year city councilman and twice mayor of the City of Burlingame, CA.
He is an angel investor and board advisor for ConsejoSano.com, a leading provider of health services to the underserved, and a long time board member at the Foundation for College Education, helping kids of color aspire to and obtain degrees from four year college programs.
Natalie K. Edwards was most recently a Managing Director at Citigroup Inc. and the Head of the Corporate M&A Legal team. As the Head of Corporate M&A Legal, Natalie managed global strategic proprietary M&A for the Global Consumer Bank and the Institutional Clients Group and worked closely with Citi's functional groups (HR, tax, accounting policy, compliance, intellectual property, etc.) that supported those business units.
She has over 20 years’ experience advising major corporations and businesses on complex acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures and strategic alliances. Natalie, prior to her role at Citi, was a senior M&A lawyer at Linklaters LLP in its offices in New York and London and counsel in its office in Shanghai. She started her career at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, which included a rotation in its London office.
She is an A Better Chance scholar that attended the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She is also a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School.
Natalie is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Lilac Preservation Project (America's only surviving steam-powered lighthouse tender) and a member of the Board of Friends of the Double Discovery Center (which works with low-income, first-generation college bound youth in NY).
Jason Ollison is an international business executive with 20 years of experience as an award-winning Strategy & Risk Consultant, Multinational Corporate Manager, Private Equity & Investment Strategist, Political-Economy & Geopolitics Specialist, and ESG & Impact Analyst.
Jason has previously held executive, managerial, and analyst roles within Sumitomo Corporation, the World Bank, Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton, the US Government, and international startup firms focused on corporate strategy, global enterprise risk, portfolio firms, emerging markets, Asia, finance, research, trade, operations, and consulting. As a recent Principal for Asialantic Global Advisors, he led consulting efforts involving business, investment, risk, operations, economics, and industry topics, along with portfolio firm value strategy, deal origination, and global strategic advisory, operational planning, research, and risk management efforts for clients worldwide.
Jason brings cross-functional, global, analytical, advisory, and managerial experience, knowledge, and contacts from work with multiple industries, banks, governments, Fortune 500 companies, multilateral organizations, private equity firms, and startups involving North America, East Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Turkey, India, and the Mideast. He has lived in six countries on four continents, traveled to over 50 countries, and speaks Japanese, along with some Spanish.
Jason received his Master’s Degree (MSc) from the London School of Economics, his B.A. with Honors from Georgetown University, completed an International Business Management Certificate (also from Georgetown), and has also completed some coursework toward a second M.A. in Applied Economics at Johns’ Hopkins University. He is a proud alumnus of the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Kyle Chin-How is the first Associate at Apis & Heritage Capital Partners and previously worked at Skadden and Citigroup Inc. in New York City, where he provided project management and deal execution services to senior lawyers and executives. He has worked on a wide variety of public service, corporate outreach and strategic initiatives, including on Citi’s $50MM investment in minority depository institutions.
Before joining the private sector, Kyle held leadership roles in student government and engaged with local elected officials, advocacy groups and small businesses to impact issues affecting low-income people. He was also an intern in then-Vice President Joe Biden’s Office at the White House in 2015.
Kyle is a proud son of immigrants from Guyana and grew up in Queens, New York. He is a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar and received his B.A. summa cum laude in Philosophy and Political Science from The City University of New York. In his free time, he enjoys reading, dancing, meditation, hip-hop music, and basketball.
Melissa L. Bradley is a co-founder of venture backed Ureeka, a community where small businesses gain unprecedented access to the expertise needed to grow their business. She is also founder and Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures, a business development program that accelerates New Majority entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth. In this role she created a community of over 10,000 New Majority entrepreneurs in three years. Melissa also serves an advisor the New Voices Foundation and New Voices Fund, as well as the Halcyon Fund. Melissa is the former Co-Chair, National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and was recently named one of The Most Entrepreneurial Women Investors in 2018.
Melissa is a professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University where she teaches impact investing, social entrepreneurship, P2P economies and innovation. She is also a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Sidecar Social Finance, a social impact agency that provides impact investing advisory and capital services to individuals, institutions, and social enterprises.
Walt Mayo is the Chief Executive Officer of Expert System, a leader in Artificial Intelligence applied to text with more than 20 years of experience in Natural Language Understanding. Prior to joining Expert System, Walt led the growth of Endeavor, an impact capital organization focused on scale-up businesses, more than tripling its global market reach and developing major new sources of revenue. Endeavor’s global network includes investors and entrepreneurs in more than 30 countries around the world and in virtually every business sector.
He previously worked at Dell across a range of sales, marketing, software, and channel management roles and in accelerating the company’s international growth as General Manager for Southern Europe, Australia, Japan and Asia. He began his career after graduating from Harvard University as a Foreign Service Office and served in US diplomatic missions, the White House and the US Congress. He has an MBA from the University of Virginia and lives in the Boston area.
Melissa Hoover is the founding Executive Director of the Democracy at Work Institute, the think-and-do-tank that expands worker cooperatives as a strategy to address economic and racial inequality. A leader in the worker ownership movement for over fifteen years, Melissa helped start and grow the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the national grassroots membership organization for worker-owned businesses. She was a cooperative business developer for many years with the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives in Oakland, doing business and capital planning for two startups, training cooperative members, and serving as CFO in the first year of each startup's operations.
In 2018, Melissa was named an Executive Fellow of the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of The ICA Group/Local Enterprise Assistance Fund, The Working World, and Safe Passages of Oakland, and serves as a strategic advisor to foundations, investors, nonprofits, local governments and other organizations that want to incorporate worker ownership into their economic development and community wealth-building programs.
KAREN LARSEN BURNS
Karin Burns has over 20 years of operating and investing experience across venture capital, private equity, M&A, sustainability and alternative energy. Previously she was the Chief Executive Officer of Build It Green, where she executed a successful financial, strategic, and management turnaround before selling the business to Franklin Energy, where she then became Regional Vice President managing 5 Pacific states.
Prior to Build it Green Karin served as Executive Director for Code REDD, an environmental company she built from a piece of paper into a globally recognized brand. Its signature program, Stand for Trees, produced one of the most viral environmental videos in history, and under Karin’s leadership the organization’s efforts helped raise millions of dollars from corporations, government agencies, and everyday people for high-quality, voluntary market REDD+ carbon credits.
Before leading high growth organizations, Karin was a Managing Director at Ambata Capital and a Vice President at Gulf Capital, where she sourced, diligenced, fundraised, and/or invested in alternative energy, new media, and sustainability companies across the US and Middel East / North Africa. She has served on several boards and advisory boards of both companies and investment funds from US to Asia. Karin earned a Fulbright Scholarship to India, speaks several languages, and spent almost a decade overseas in emerging markets from Brazil to China. She has a certificate in energy innovation from Stanford School of Engineering, an MPA in international development from Harvard University, an MBA in finance with distinction from Edinburgh Business School, and a BA with honors from Duke University.
DR. RUSSELL READ
ADVISOR AND MEMBER, INVESTMENT COMMITTEE
Russell Read, CFA, Ph.D. Co-Founder and Group Managing Partner, C Change Group.
Dr Russell Read is a well known investor, having served as Chief Investment Officer for CalPERS, the Alaska Permanent Fund, and the Gulf Investment Corporation. He has also served as Chairman of the Investors’ Committee for the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets under Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. His undergraduate degree in Statistics and MBA in Finance and International Business are both from the University of Chicago while his master’s in Economics and Ph.D. in Political Economy (focusing on the role of natural resources in national economic growth) were earned from Stanford University.
Dr Read is now Managing Director of the C Change Group, which is focused on initiatives that can materially and positively transform the world’s utilization of natural resources. C Change’s initiatives over the past decade have included transformative energy and materials technology company investments that make the world cleaner and safer.
Michael’s work has focused on building high engagement organizations, where relationships and teamwork come first, and exceptional corporate performance follows naturally from the creativity and enthusiasm of employee-owners.
As a staffer at the National Center for Employee Ownership, Michael pioneered research in the relationships between employee ownership, workplace culture, and corporate performance (HBR, September 1987). He has since held executive roles in in industrial, aerospace, and medical device manufacturing companies, and currently serves as Vice President of Web Industries, a 1,000 person 100% ESOP-owned manufacturer in Marlborough, MA.
Believing that employee ownership promotes justice and human flourishing, Michael serves as the President of Ownership America. A policy research and advocacy organization launching in 2021, Ownership America is building a grassroots movement to promote broad based capital ownership as a foundational characteristic of public policy.
ADVISOR AND MEMBER, INVESTMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. Boothe brings decades of credit and investment experience to the A&H Investment Committee and advisory board. Prior to joining Directional Capital, Mr Boothe was a Principal at RLJ Credit, one of the largest minority-owned SBIC Funds, supporting U.S. small businesses by providing senior debt and subordinated debt investments in lower middle market companies. Prior to joining RLJ Credit, Mr. Boothe was an investment professional with RLJ Equity Partners, L.P., an investment fund focused on private equity investments in middle market companies with $230 million under management, beginning in March 2008. Both are and part of The RLJ Companies founded by Robert L. Johnson, the former Founder and Chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET).
Prior to that, Mr. Boothe served as an Associate with Allied Capital Corporation, a publicly traded private equity investment firm with more than $4.5 billion of assets under management, from March 2006 through February 2008. At Allied Capital, Mr. Boothe executed unitranche and mezzanine debt investments in excess of $275 million. Also at Allied Capital, Mr. Boothe executed five equity investments in excess of $475 million. Mr. Boothe received a B.S. in Finance from Georgetown University.
JUNE 7, 2021
The ESOP Revolution: Fighting Financial Inequality And Empowering The Working Class
In my research on purpose-driven businesses and stakeholder capitalism, one of the most important themes I have encountered is the transformative power of employee ownership.
MAY 27, 2021
Reducing racial wealth inequality and preserving beacons of hope through employee ownership
In 2019, Darrick Hamilton and three other researchers and policy analysts authored a report entitled “Ten Solutions to Bridge the Racial Wealth Divide.”
APRIL 30, 2021
The True Cost of Closing the Racial Wealth Gap
Policies like forgiving debt for all student loans and giving baby bonds to the whole population won’t be nearly enough to achieve racial wealth parity, an economist says.
WHAT'S IN A NAME: APIS & HERITAGE
The beehive is one of the most productive, efficient and egalitarian workplaces in the world. Apis is the Latin word for bees. Heritage is a reference to the legacy that we intend to preserve for founders, workers, their communities and the next generation.
A&H Headquarters is in Washington DC. A&H partners are based also in New York and San Francisco.
For any general inquiries, please fill in the following contact form: