Team

Our Team

Overview

Our professionals bring unparalleled expertise and capabilities to our clients.  The IAP team has over 100 years of experience spanning corporate finance and strategic consulting both domestically and internationally.  Complementing our past work with both private and public companies, we have a special appreciation for the dynamics unique to many family-owned firms.  Unlike traditional investment banking or strategy consulting firms, we integrate the best of these two disciplines with an operating perspective to deliver exemplary financial and strategic advisory services to our clients.  We are headquartered in Chicago, a traditional food center in the US, and our network includes other US, European and Asian associates.

Managing Directors

A co-founder of the firm, Bob is a career capital markets professional and entrepreneur with extensive experience working with companies ranging from emerging growth to large, publicly traded enterprises.  He specializes in developing and implementing creative capital formation strategies and advising clients on alternative approaches for maximizing shareholder value in connection with merger and acquisition activities. Bob has been an advisor to a wide assortment of public and private companies in the food and consumer products industries including independent and franchise restaurants, food retailers and food packaging companies.  As a senior banker with ABN AMRO, Inc. and Prescott, Ball & Turben, Inc. (an affiliate of Kemper Insurance Company) he arranged over $2 billion of private market transactions during his investment banking career.  Bob is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth where he co-chairs the committee responsible for hosting ACG’s Annual Food Conference.  For the past three years, Bob has served as a Super Mentor to several emerging growth food companies that have been accepted into the Good Food Business Accelerator (part of the 1871 incubator) mentoring program, and he also serves as a member of its Steering Committee.  Bob holds a BA in Economics from Denison University.  He is a FINRA Registered Representative of StillPoint Capital, LLC and holds the Series 62, 63 and 79 registrations.  He is also a licensed Real Estate Managing Broker in the State of Illinois.

Prior to co-founding the firm, Craig spent 15 years as a strategy and business development professional in the food and consumer products industries, most recently as Vice President of Corporate Strategy with the McDonald’s Corporation.  Craig has deep expertise in helping companies improve their core business strategy, launch new ventures, develop partnerships, facilitate acquisitions and divestitures, and raise capital. In addition to his experience at McDonald’s, he previously advised numerous consumer products companies while with the Boston Consulting Group and as an independent consultant.  He also worked in both the Risk and New Venture groups at Capital One Financial. After college, Craig served as a Marine Corps officer including service in Operation Desert Storm. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA in Economics from Northwestern University.

Milo brings an unusual balance of analytical, managerial and leadership skills to the firm, which he developed through 25 years of management consulting, financial services, and military experience combined with an MBA, an MA and a PhD.  Prior to co-founding the firm, Milo spent 15 years as a consulting and finance professional in both the US and Europe, including time with both Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in New York and Accenture in London.  He has extensive knowledge corporate strategy and pre- and post-merger integration, and his residence in six countries has given him unusually broad exposure to international business.  In addition to his work with the firm, Milo occasionally teaches at IE Business School in Madrid (ranked in 2013 by The Financial Times as the best business school overall in Europe), and is a regular instructor at Wal-Mart‘s Leadership Academy in Bentonville, AR, where he works with high-potential senior leaders on topics like commodities, geopolitics, and macroeconomics.  Milo serves on two boards, including as a non‐Executive Director of his family’s fifth‐generation food business in Wisconsin.  Milo began his career by serving four years as an officer in the Marine Corps.  Milo holds a PhD and an MA (with Honors) from the UK’s University of Kent, an MBA from London Business School and a BA from Northwestern University.  In 2013 Stanford University Press published his study of strategic surprise at the CIA.  He writes regularly in media such as Forbes and Seeking Alpha.

Todd has extensive experience in a wide range of financial and operational activities that span a 30 year career.  He has advised numerous public and private companies in the acquisition and disposition of strategic assets, including acting as a court‐appointed receiver.  Prior to forming his own strategic consulting practice, Todd was a senior executive with the largest Denny’s restaurant franchisee, a publicly‐held company with multi‐state operations and over $400 million of revenue; that company also owned and franchised the Black‐eyed Pea restaurant brand.  Previously he spent 14 years with Deloitte in both the audit and reorganization services departments.  He has served on the boards of directors of several public and private companies and currently serves on the boards of Star Buffet, a publicly‐held restaurant company, and Buffets, Inc., a 357 unit chain which is in the process of emerging from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Todd has an MBA from the University of Missouri and a BA in Accounting from Southern Methodist University.

Senior Advisors

Bob is a senior advisor to the firm and currently serves as a CEO of Essendant (formerly United Stationers), a leading supplier of workplace essentials with over $5 billion in sales.  Recently he was the CEO of Feeding America, which oversees the nation’s largest network of hunger relief organizations.  He previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Foodservice, one of the leading foodservice distributors in the United States with over $18 billion of revenue and nearly 25,000 employees. Bob is currently a member of the board of directors of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (NASDAQ: RRGB), an operator of over 400 casual dining restaurants.  Bob began his career as a business lawyer, first with the firm Sidley & Austin in Chicago and then Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, CA.  Bob earned a JD and BSBA from Georgetown University.

Polly Kawalek Polly Kawalek Chicago Send an email to Polly Download vCard

Polly is the former President of Quaker Foods, a division of PepsiCo, a position she held for eight years before retiring in 2004. She began her 25 year career at The Quaker Oats Company in 1979, first as a Marketing Assistant and later serving in progressively more senior positions, including: Brand Manager; Marketing Director for the Pet Foods and Fisher Price Toy divisions; Vice President-New Business; Vice President-Wholesome Variety; President-Quaker Snacks; and eventually to President-Quaker Foods.  Polly currently sits on the board of directors of John Bean Technologies (NYSE: JBT), a global technology solutions provider to the food processing and air transportation industries, and Elkay Manufacturing, a leading supplier of high value residential kitchen, bath, cabinetry and plumbing products and related services. She previously served on the boards of Martek Biosciences, now a division of Royal DSM N.V., and Kimball International. Polly earned her undergraduate degree at Middlebury College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.