In the early ‘90s, while working on a consumer IPO at William Blair & Company, Chris discovered a passion for the industry, and he has never looked back. His career has afforded him opportunities to engage with a wide range of consumer, ecommerce, retail and franchising brands, including many that grew to become household names. Maintaining his focus on the consumer sector, Chris has spent 20+ years leading and structuring deals as a placement agent, M & A advisor, IPO underwriter, and more recently, investor.
In 2014 Chris partnered with Meadow Lane Capital and one year later formed AHR Growth Partners with John to be able to work more effectively with promising brands at an earlier stage. As an entrepreneur himself, Chris appreciates the unique challenges growing companies face, the importance of properly resourcing key strategic and financial initiatives, and the role that flexibility and creativity can play in driving successful outcomes.
Chris earned a B.A. in History, cum laude, from Cornell University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He spent almost 20 years in consumer investment banking at William Blair & Company and one year at Partnership Capital Growth prior to its acquisition by Piper Jaffray. Chris started his career as an Analyst in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs & Company.
While Chris is often on the road, he lives in the Chicago suburbs where he grew up with his wife, who he met in high school, and their two teenagers.
John was born into the world of retail. He learned the family grocery and home furnishings business through hands-on training in stores and dinner-table sales recaps and strategy discussions. His fascination with consumer innovation and retail operations has stayed with him during the 15 years he has spent advising, funding, and running branded consumer companies.
Forming AHR Growth Partners with Chris has given John the opportunity to continue doing what he loves: discovering great consumer and retail brands, and helping them to achieve their potential.
John has been a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting, an investment banker with William Blair & Company, a private equity investor with Castanea Partners and a marketing and e-commerce executive with VRP, a nutritional supplement company.
John completed his undergraduate studies at Emory, and got his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He, his wife and their two children make their home in Dallas.
SARAH Langlas kinman
As the child of two small business owners, Sarah has a genuine understanding and interest in working with and learning from entrepreneurs. She is the newest member of AHR Growth Partners, sharing John and Chris' enthusiasm for consumer and retail brands. Sarah joined the team in August 2015 with a focus on engagement execution. Prior coming to AHR, she spent two years at Robert W. Baird as an Analyst in the Technology & Services Investment Banking group. Sarah also spent one year as a Senior Analyst with Baird Capital, where she worked on corporate development M&A and private equity investments. Sarah earned her BBA in Accounting and Finance from the University of Iowa, where she captained the varsity soccer team.