johnvelerisJohn is an entrepreneur and private investor with extensive experience in rebuilding and growing middle market manufacturing and technology companies.   He is currently the Chairman of JVA Partners, an operationally-focused private investment firm. Since founding JVA Partners in 1998, he has led numerous M&A transactions in which he assumed CEO and active board roles as part of building best class executive teams and best-of-breed business models.

John held leadership positions in several middle market companies. Prior to launching JVA, John held various professional and management positions with Rexnord, RR Donnelly, Grant Thornton, and Deloitte & Touche. During his management consulting career he held senior management positions, led the formation of new services, and was involved in national service practice initiatives. He developed methodologies and tools for rapid value creation, business performance assessment, and high-performance management systems.

John is a member of Vistage, the Turnaround Management Association, and is a life member of the Association for Engineering Management. He holds certifications by the Institute of Management Consultants and the Association for Operations Management. He has published various articles and white papers and conducted executive seminars sponsored by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the International Institute for Productivity Improvement, and Global Research, among others.

John holds a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology, a BSE in Manufacturing Engineering, and a BSE in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Illinois.

georgegarifalisGeorge has over fifteen years of financial and business strategy experience and has served as an advisor to middle market service and manufacturing concerns. He brings expertise in managing complex financial structures and has extensive experience in all aspects of banking, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions.

George teamed up with John Veleris and Associates (JVA) in 1998 where he led the financial restructuring of La Francaise Bakery as part of a JVA rapid value creation engagement, accomplishing significant financial results in a condensed time frame. Shortly thereafter, George applied his skills to Kennedy Manufacturing resulting in the successful turnaround and management of the business. His current role focuses on the application of the JVA methodology for the JVA Group Holdings through active and specialized board involvement.

For several years prior to joining JVA he served as the acting president of Internet Chicago, Inc., a local web services firm. During this time he developed strong leadership experience in the deployment of information technology as a mechanism for value creation in the middle market where he led the implementation of multiple projects involving web-based information system applications.

George began his career in 1989 with the LaSalle Bank Group/ABNAMRO. During his career there, he worked within the Middle Market Commercial Lending group, rising to the position of Vice President and Team Leader within the Metropolitan Lending Group, managing a $100 million plus commercial loan portfolio comprised of middle market, privately held manufacturing, and service companies.

George has been exposed to business operations in S.E Asia, Australia and throughout Europe.

George holds both a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and a Master’s Degree in International Economics from DePaul University. He is an active member of the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) and the Project Management Institute. He grew up in the Chicagoland area and currently resides in Chicago.

John has over 27 years of accounting, finance, M&A and operational experience, working with firms of various sizes.  After passing the CPA exam on the first sitting, John started his professional career at Ernst & Young, working in both the Audit and Tax Departments.  He remains a licensed CPA.

John subsequently joined Motorola’s Corporate Audit group, gaining an understanding of best practices in manufacturing and internal controls, in many manufacturing facilities in Europe, Asia and the Americas, including a six-month rotation in Tokyo.  John later spent six years in Motorola’s Corporate Strategy Office managing activities such as deal flow, due diligence, equity and IP transactions and start-up incubators.  Transactions with Mark Cuban, Dean Kamen and Don Katz were typical examples of the talent level the Strategy Office encountered.  Biochips, DNA Sequencing and Internet Radio were examples of start-up initiatives.

From 2003 to 2017, John served as Executive Vice President at Lake Cable LLC, and as CFO of three affiliated manufacturing companies.  John played a key role in Lake Cable’s turnaround and managed the M&A process for four acquisitions and three company closures.  From the beginning, John was an advisor to the CEO on corporate restructuring and implementing various programs, such as his new bonus program and managing to his dashboard of key metrics.  John’s discipline and transparency grew the company’s credibility with its investors, bank and employees, after years of erosion.

John holds a BS in Finance from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from DePaul University.