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The Team


Ziad K. Abdelnour - President & Chief Executive Officer

Ziad K. Abdelnour is President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a New York based private equity "family office" that focuses on originating, structuring, advising and acting as equity investor in management-led buyouts, strategic minority equity investments, equity private placements, consolidations, buildups, and growth capital financings in companies and projects based both in the US and emerging markets.

Blackhawk Inc. is also a reliable trader and supplier of a wide range of commodities to industrial and financial consumers globally. The Firm’s customers around the world rely upon Blackhawk as a source of Metals and Minerals and Crude Oil and Oil Products. These products originate either from Blackhawk directly or indirectly owned assets, or are secured by Blackhawk from third parties.

Since 1985, Mr. Abdelnour has been involved in over 125 transactions worth in aggregate over ten billion dollars in the investment banking, high yield bond and distressed debt markets and has been widely recognized for playing an integral role in those three key market sectors.

Mr. Abdelnour also serves on the Advisory board of DPG Investments, a recognized premier multi strategy global merchant banking, alternative investment, management and advisory firm.

On a more personal level, Mr. Abdelnour is Founder and President of the United States Committee for a Free Lebanon (USCFL), Founder and Chairman of the Financial Policy Council, Member of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Forum and Former President of the Arab Bankers Association of North America.

Mr. Ziad Abdelnour holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Economics, Summa Cum Laude, from the American University of Beirut.

He is the author of "Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics" and a regular panelist and speaker on private equity and venture capital topics at industry conferences nationwide.

Hicham K. Abdelnour - Special Partner

Hicham K. Abdelnour, a citizen of Lebanon and Canada and brother of Ziad, has been involved in real estate and corporate transactions in the U.S. and Turkey, where he currently resides full time since 1995.

Among his key achievements, Hicham is the co-developer and owner of the Konak Pier project, a major waterfront retail centre located at the heart of Izmir, Turkey. Today, Konak Pier is the flagship of the city of Izmir and an essential destination center for international visitors.

Over the past three years, Mr. Abdelnour has also been advising some of the leading U.S. and European private equity funds seeking investment opportunities in Turkey. His advisory role includes product identification and origination, transaction negotiation and final execution, all within specific guidelines and parameters dictated by the investor.

In addition, Mr. Abdelnour provides post-closing asset management services, including performance monitoring, corporate restructuring, financial reporting, debt/equity financing, board membership and other on-going supervision tasks. Overall, Hicham remains fully involved in the company/project until final exit by the investor.

Prior to 1995, Mr. Abdelnour has been actively involved in real estate transactions in the U.S. and Europe, including corporate advisory work, cross-border transactions, debt and equity securitization and property portfolio management. During this period, Mr. Abdelnour was associated with the major Wall Street firms of UBS Securities Inc., Kidder, Peabody and Co. and Paine Webber, Inc.

Hicham Abdelnour received a BS in civil engineering, a BA in Economics from Stanford University and earned an MS in real estate development and finance from Columbia University.

The Team

Duane Adelson -

Duane Adelson is CEO and Managing Director of Modern Capital Strategies, Inc., (“MCS”) a private equity firm, and with his Partners’ provides funding, strategy, and Board of Director services, building and growing companies to enterprise value since the 1990’s.  Duane leads in a variety of industry verticals that involve many aspects to the defense industry including military technologies and cyber security matters. His expertise extends across many different functional areas to include strategic planning, competitive intelligence and strategy, technology innovations, sales and marketing management, alliances, organization change, and funding. Duane’s skills and leadership abilities are utilized to assist the board of Directors and CEO’s to develop what the effective business ideas are, and assist the management team from concept to profitable reoccurring sustainable revenue.
Prior to founding MCS, Duane served as Director of Marketing and Corporate Competitive Strategy and Competitive Intelligence for Nortel Networks in their CLEC and Carrier Groups.  Duane leads a team that positioned Nortel as a business partner while supporting multiple sales and marketing teams across North America, Europe and Pacific Rim.  He was directly involved in building Venture Capital relationships relating to “leap frog” technology and product line enhancements and investments that extended to relationships in the emerging CLEC markets. 
In an executive exchange, Duane joined Nortel Networks leaving SandStream Communications & Entertainment, Inc. where he was one of the first five employees to help their efforts in an emerging global market. While at SandStream in the mid to late 1990’s, Duane served as the Assistant to the Chairman and Vice President of Administration and Human Resources. SandStream was one of the first to market companies developed from concept several technologies that converged voice, video, data and transmitted those signals from fiber optics to twisted pair. Starting in the multifamily, multitenant and mixed use developments markets, Duane helped secure both seed funding and the first round funding (from Nortel Networks cash, engineering support, equipment) for the company.  There, Duane brought key strategic relationships, led the investor solicitation effort, and developed a comprehensive modern Human Resource Services Department including staffing the organization.  
Previously at Moonfire SA, as its Chief Operating Officer and member of the Board of Director, Duane managed global operations of the Stockholm headquartered company with operations in Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sydney, Los Angeles and Dallas offices in building global strategy in a new technology market.  As COO, Duane led the investment banking efforts while managing and together with the Moonfire, team achieved several major accomplishments. These included developing web-based distance learning, orchestrating significant web casting events that included The Grammies, World Cup Soccer and Europe’s largest concert tours, web casting for UEFA Champions League and developing significant business relationships through contract negotiations with organizations like Ericsson, Sony and Warner, British Telecom, and others.
On a personal level, Duane, his wife and five children live in Texas. Originally, from Memphis Tennessee, he attended Texas A&M University, and holds a BS in Business Management and a MS in organizational dynamics and behavioral psychology degree from Columbia State, is a CPC and holds other certifications.   Duane serves on the board of several private companies and non-profits.  He is actively involved with BENS (Business Executives for National Security) and JINSA (Jewish Institutes for National Security Affairs) both of which are Policy Think Tank organizations based in Washington DC and whose memberships include Flag Officers, Senators, Justices, Congressmen and many Captains of Industry.  Mr. Adelson enjoys many outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, and competitive distance target shooting and scuba diving attaining a Master Diver qualification with additional specialized certifications. Duane is a Guest Lecturer at Texas Christian University in the Business School to both the Undergraduate and Master’s Programs.

Daniel Galvanoni -

Daniel Galvanoni is the Chairman and Founder of DPG Investments, LLC,  DPG is a multi strategy investment, advisory and merchant banking firm and affiliated companies managing diverse assets comprised of private equity interests, short term high yield notes, and private investment partnerships.

Mr. Galvanoni assists in managing portfolio investments and operating partnerships which the firm strategically holds and exits. DPG is active, managing over 30 operating private partnerships and portfolio investments/interests in which Mr. Galvanoni takes an active role by adding strategic value to DPG positions in its portfolio on an annual basis. The Capital Markets Group of DPG Investments focuses on the structuring and securing of both debt and equity for multi strategy alternative investment fund managers globally.

DPG Investments brings not only a West coast presence to Blackhawk Partners but a mutually profitable relationship as well; especially when it comes to middle market buyouts.

Daniel has originated over $1billion in high yield debt and equity since the formation of DPG Investments into DPG sponsored transactions and advisory mandates. Mr. Galvanoni is involved in the structuring of financial transactions inconjunction with private equity funds, hedge funds, REITS, equity portfolios, private merchant banks, public and private pension funds, and life companies with a special emphasis on ultra high net worth family office partnerships globally.

Daniel currently serves as a board member with DPG Realty Capital, DPG Investments, DPG Advisors and Fintramex. Prior to starting his own firm, Mr. Galvanoni was an associate at a Lazard Frères and Wesselink & Galvanoni Enterprises,  a General partnership founded after the Galvanoni families successful sale of computing mobile wireless company, Telxon corporation and affiliated entities, a hand held mobile wireless conglomerate the family had economic interests in. Wesselink & Galvanoni Holdings was set up as a multi strategy family office deploying capital into international and domestic real estate development projects, early/mid stage private equity companies, and various early stage technology investments. 

 Mr. Galvanoni graduated from Fairfield University, in Fairfield Connecticut.

Darcie Jacobsen -

Darcie Jacobsen is the President of JayJeen International Trading, a company that specializes in global trading of physical commodities.  Over the past 17 years, Darcie has developed direct relationships with dozens of major buyers and traders for Iron Ore, Metals and Petroleum products in addition to working as mandate for an international petroleum trader, BPM International.

Darcie brings expertise in negotiations, logistics, and contract facilitation. She has almost two decades of experience in vetting companies and working through tough contract situations.  In addition to trading physical commodities, Darcie is also part of Cascade Mining Equipment which refurbishes and sells mining equipment worldwide.  She is an owner and President of Integrity Mortgage Solutions and has previous experience as an investment banker for US Bank.

Darcie graduated cum laude from University of Puget Sound (the Harvard of the West) where she was Vice President of her University and currently lives in the Seattle area.

Ashley John Heather -

A technology guru second to none, Ashley John Heather has over 15 years of experience in Silicon Alley having founded and operated a number of innovative media/tech companies including Entertainment Media Works, MusiKube and CuttingEdged Technologies and built in the process partnerships with leading interactive groups including ABC, AOL, CBS/Showtime, 20th Century Fox, Fremantle/19, Intel, Microsoft, MTV Networks, MySpace, and Virgin Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Univision.

Mr. Heather’s companies have received awards from the prestigious AlwaysOn Top 100 in Hollywood award in 2007 to European Interactive Consultancy of the Year in 2001.

Mr. Heather is also a frequent speaker at leading wireless/media industry events such as iBreakfast, CTIA Wireless, iWireless World, The Digital Media Summit, MoMeMo and the Digital Coast Roundtable and is regularly quoted in press including the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, with frequent appearances on NY1, CCN Headline News too.

Mr. Heather holds a BA in Economics from Sheffield University, England and is a board member of Nextcode Corporation, Cutting Edged Technologies, Zaah Technologies and co-founder of MoMeMo.org.

Sampath Kumar -

Sampath Kumar has nearly three decades of international / U.S Senior Management banking experience in India, the U.S, the U.K and the Middle East with cutting edge expertise in International Correspondent Banking, International Trade Financing, Treasury Management, Credit Management & Marketing, Private Debt & Equity Financing and Foreign Exchange Risk Exposure Management.

As the CEO/President of Comp Systems Inc, New York; established in early 1998, Mr. Kumar advises large Arab groups out of Dubai (UAE) & has deep & close connections with Oil Rig owners, Government owned Oil Majors in South America, investment banks in the United Arab Emirates and Private Equity firms in both the U.S and the U.K.

Through close affiliations, Mr. Kumar has built up over the years prized relationships with High Net worth entities and individuals including Single/Multi Family offices both in the U.S & South Asia.

Mr. Kumar headed an Arab International bank’s North American operation as the Executive Vice President/ Country Head & General Manager in New York for five years.

Prior to that, he had the responsibility of Group Treasury of the bank headquartered in Dubai as Group Treasurer & directed the resources of all the trading desks in different major centers of the world including the U.K, the U.S & Hong Kong.

Mr. Kumar has a BA in Commerce (with Distinction) from Chennai, India, an MBA from Mumbai University- India & is a Certified Associate of the Institute of Bankers- India.

Andy Lo -

Andy Lo is a world class Hong Kong based Serial Social Impact Entrepreneur who networks extensively with high net worth individuals, 100+ private equity funds, private bankers clubs, social impact investment funds, and strategic legal firms to facilitate global project transactions; ranging from debt to equity, infrastructure financing, sales and marketing, and mortgage banking.   
Andy is also with a series of social impact and IT ventures via his own Advisory firm (www.TrinityVPO.com ), co-label owner of a gold leaf sparkling wine (www.DonEiffel.com ), co-owner of a 30-year old air conditioner installation business (www.TyphoonAir.net ), a luxury online auction membership site (www.EviteBid.com ); a couple of Crowd Funding Ventures (www.Buy2Crowd.com ; www.Crowd2Build.com ); and a Social Impact Real Estate Fund (www.PurposeDrivenGlobalCapital.com ) 
While moving a F/X Autopilot platform (www.EagleMountainCapital.com ) to Hong Kong, Andy serves as Special Advisor for a few family offices in Asia and is also part of a family office from Singapore and Indonesia with industrialist and banking background.  On the High Finance side, Andy is one of the growing Social Impact Private Bankers in Asia who knows how to structure project financing using mezzanine financing, bank instrument, and collateral sponsors.  
Andy is a 1998 graduate from University of San Diego with a BBA degree.  He has a healthy marriage with a one-and-half-year-old boy.  One of his life-time goals is operate a long-lasting NGNPO in global scale.  He is founding this NGNPO (www.SocialWorkersNetwork.org ) with a group of selected business associates aiming to solve the following world issues with other NPOs.

All in all, Andy brings unparalleled access to Blackhawk in the Asia Pacific region as he is also in direct position with a few established gold bar buyers / refiners in Hong Kong; along with being very well positioned with key oil & gas products along with some very reputable family offices in trading ultra-fine copper powders.

Demetri Michalakis -

Demetri Michalakis is the CEO of Inter-M Traders - an international trading firm focusing on the physical trading and processing of oil products, LNG ship building/Management and a service provider of oil rig platforms - and an active board member of Inter-M companies, a multi-faced set of independent companies dealing in oil and energy related assets .

Since its inception in 2008, Inter-M Traders Ltd has become a capital partner with commodity related investment funds operating as the oil division for purchasing of crude oil, refining and selling off finished products of various clients .The company's longevity and success lies in is ability to add value beyond the relatively straightforward movement of physical products and resolutely customer focused, providing fuel oil solutions along with stock and hedging expertise in Europe and the Mediterranean .

Mr. Michalakis has also been  involved since 1992 in numerous oil exploration projects in Europe, Middle East ,and Eastern Europe and has since then been involved in assisting raising capital for the companies financial group by forming business relationships with various hedge funds and banks  located in the US , Europe and Asia  .

Mr. Demetri Michalakis holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology  .

Alijandra Mogilner -

Dr. Alijandra Mogilner has successfully helped develop over the last 10 years a wide range of businesses from virtual pharma in China, green building technologies in the US, to natural resources in Africa. 
Among other projects, she was a consultant to a world-wide lottery company serving 42 nations from the period 2002 until it merged with Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd in 2009. She still advises the company's original owner on a broad-range security company, Blackthorn Services Int’l, Ltd based in the UK and Spain. From 2002 - 2013, she was a partner of Stewart Nean Sanders in international banking and development.  Sanders was one of two authors of the constitution and banking laws for Aruba. 
Mogilner is very knowledgeable about various aspects of developing overseas corporations and facilitating legal presence in areas with particular tax and personal wealth advantages and advantageous economic structures in the United States. Her personal clients have included a British conglomerate; an oil trading company in Panama and Geneva, and those involved in a wide range of other endeavors from famous artists to cyber security. In the area of green development she has been involved in SIPs, natural materials for insulation, vertical axis wind mills, hydroponic farming, and deeply buried structural exoskeletons.
In other areas, Mogilner is an expert on counter terrorism and has been a member of the President’s Special Task Force on Terrorism, helped train the NYPD cyber counter-terrorism unit, and has acted as a consultant to the Fox national news channel.
Mogilner has done futurist work for the US government and business.  She is currently particularly interested in electromagnetism; biotechnology, technology for learning enhancement; clean water technology; nanotechnology; and the transportation of mass at a quantum level (teleportation) as enterprises on the horizon that will change the world.
Mogilner holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México as well as personal studies in various cultures.  She uses her background to focus on her work internationally.  As a result, she has developed an eclectic network of long term business and security relationships.
On a personal note, Mogilner studies and works with the principals of Maneuver Warfare and prefers to use complimentary teams designed for each project rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.  She is also deeply interested in what has been, until recently, the use of conceptual physics in a real world setting. She is the author of a half dozen trade books, two text books, hundreds of magazine articles, and was considered for a Pulitzer prize for her graded thesaurus.  Dr. Mogilner's work has been translated into over 40 languages and has been listed in Who’s Who in America for over 10 years.  She is involved in helping those in intelligence as well as military veterans and their families. She sits on the board, or is a trustee, of a half a dozen charities.

Jeffrey Nichols -

With nearly four decades experience as a Wall Street economist, precious metals analyst, and gold-market guru, Jeffrey Nichols has long been recognized as one of the world’s top experts in the economics and finance of precious metals.

Jeff began his career as an international economist at Citibank, moved to Wall Street to head the international economic forecasting unit at Argus Research where he rose to chief economist, and then led the precious metals research group at Goldman Sachs before setting out on his own as a gold and precious metals market analyst and consultant.

Today, as managing director of American Precious Metals Advisors (APMA), he provides expert analysis of precious metal markets and offers strategic consulting and market research services to a wide range of corporate clients.

Jeff has advised mining companies on financing and investor relations, served as a director of two public companies, managed a mining-related mutual fund, and worked with national mints, central banks, jewelry manufacturers, futures exchanges, and industry associations. He has been a keynote speaker at dozens of investment and industry conferences, corporate meetings, and private company events around the world and brings invaluable expertise to the Blackhawk Partners team.

Natalia Sokolova -

Natalia Sokolova is one of the founders of SGG World LLC - an international consulting and advisory firm for public and private companies in the energy and natural resources sector with main focus is investor relations and strategic communication. Ms. Sokolova was previously head of Marketing/ PR and IR at Bidz.com , the world’s largest online jewelry auction site. Her team increased the sales revenue more than 300% in a two-year period.

Natalia started her career at the US Chamber of Commerce, International Division, European Affairs in Washington, DC. She graduated Cum Laude in 1998 with degrees in Finance and International Business from University of Maryland, College Park after surviving a life threatening car accident that left her paralyzed for several months.

Natalia is a Member of the National Association of Professional Women and of the Cambridge Who Is Who. In her spare time, Natalia is a dedicated philanthropist. Her event planning company, Exquisite Planning LLC , has organized many fundraisers benefiting children with mental disabilities and those of third world countries. She serves on the Board of Best Buddies Foundation and Sunflower Children. 

U.S East Coast
Blackhawk Partners, Inc
445 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Tel: 1-212-452-0743
Email: info@blackhawkpartners.com

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