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Managing Directors & Directors

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Managing Directors & Directors

Thomas E. Kelso

President, Managing Director & Principal tkelso@matrixcmg.com (667) 217-3330

Tom serves as the President of Matrix and is a member of the Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail (DER) Group. He founded the DER Group to provide financial advisory services to companies engaged in the petroleum marketing and convenience store industries. He also manages the firm’s Restructuring, Reorganization and Bankruptcy practice. Prior to joining Matrix in 1997, he was a principal at Kennilworth Holdings, Inc., where he consulted with clients on mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings and private placement of debt and equity. During that time, he worked primarily with companies engaged in the distribution of motor fuels and heating fuels, and in convenience store retailing. In addition to serving as President of Matrix, Tom oversees all of the activities of the DER Group with a focus on marketing and client recruitment. He also co-advises clients on company sales, divestitures, acquisitions, capital raises, recapitalizations, restructurings, valuations and strategic planning. Tom was the co-founder, 50% stockholder and CFO of Ocean Petroleum Company, an independent petroleum marketer and branded distributor for Exxon USA, Sunoco and BP in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Prior to founding Ocean, he was employed as the Business Manager of the Evening College and Summer Session, one of the six divisions of Johns Hopkins University, and was the CFO and a Director of the Johns Hopkins Federal Credit Union. He was educated at the University of Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University. Tom has advised many of the leading companies in the petroleum marketing and convenience retail industries and he has been employed as a professional in thirteen Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. He has authored and contributed to a number of articles on the topics of mergers and acquisitions, access to capital, strategic planning and valuations for petroleum marketers and convenience store companies. He is a member of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), the NACS Hunter Club and the Turnaround Management Association (TMA). Tom currently serves as Chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, Chairman of Change Maryland and Chairman of An America United. He was Chairman of Hogan for Governor Reelection Committee (2018) and Chairman of the Hogan Rutherford Inaugural Committees in both 2018 and 2014. In addition, he is a former Vice Chair & Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Government House of Maryland, Inc., past Chair and Trustee Emeritus of the Maryland Public Policy Institute and a past trustee, Chairman of the Board and Trustee Emeritus of The John Carroll School where he is the 2019 winner of the Charles K. Riepe Award. Tom is qualified as a FINRA General Securities Principal (Series 24), Uniform Securities Agent (Series 63), Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) and Operations Professional (Series 99).

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Spencer P. Cavalier, CFA, ASA

Co-Head of Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Group, Managing Director & Principal spcavalier@matrixcmg.com (667) 217-3320

Spencer is Co-Head of the Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail (DER) Group and is responsible for new client development and managing all aspects of client transactions. He advises clients on company sales, corporate carve outs, capital raises, recapitalizations, restructurings, valuations, strategic planning, and assisting clients with acquisitions of target companies. Since joining Matrix in 1998, Spencer has advised numerous companies on various transactions, with the majority of those being downstream energy companies involved in petroleum marketing and convenience retailing, wholesale fuels distribution, propane and heating oil distribution, lubricants distribution, and fuels terminaling and blending; including Carroll Independent Fuel Co., CrossAmerica Partners, LP, Global Partners, LP, Getty Realty, Inc., Pester Marketing Company, Ports Petroleum Company, Inc. & Ports Investments, LLC, Tedeschi Food Shops, Inc., and The Wills Group. Spencer has advised many of the leading companies in the downstream energy industry. He has authored and contributed to a number of articles on the topics of mergers and acquisitions, access to capital, strategic planning and valuations. He is a member of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), and the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) and a member of the investment committee for the Fuel Fund of Maryland, Inc. Prior to joining Matrix, Spencer was a senior business valuation consultant with Ellin & Tucker, Chartered, a nationally recognized business valuation, consulting and accounting firm, and a commercial lender with NationsBank (now Bank of America). As a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, he is a member of the CFA Institute and is also recognized as an Accredited Senior Appraiser by the American Society of Appraisers. Spencer holds a B.S. degree (with honors) from West Virginia University and an M.B.A. from Baylor University. He is actively involved with The Bennett Institute’s Physically Challenged Sports Program at Kennedy Krieger and previously served on the Board of Visitors for University of Maryland’s Hospital for Children and the Board of Directors for TheCollegeBound Foundation. He is also qualified as a FINRA General Securities Representative (Series 7), Uniform Securities Agent (Series 63) and Investment Banking Representative (Series 79).

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Cedric C. Fortemps, CFA

Co-Head of Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail Group, Managing Director & Principal cfortemps@matrixcmg.com (804) 591-2039

Cedric is Co-Head of the Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail (DER) Group and is responsible for new client development and managing all aspects of client transactions.  He advises clients on company sales, corporate carve outs, capital raises, recapitalizations, restructurings, valuations, strategic planning, and assisting clients with acquisitions of target companies.  Cedric joined Matrix in 1998 and has advised numerous companies on various transactions, with the majority of those companies being petroleum marketers, fuels distributors, and convenience store chains; including Warren Equities, Inc., Victory Petroleum, Inc., Cumberland Farms, Inc., Express Lane, Inc., Angus I. Hines, Inc., and Rogers Petroleum, Inc. Cedric has also advised real estate investment trusts, municipalities, hospitality, specialty retail, manufacturing, distribution, consumer services, and business services companies, including Getty Realty, Inc., eatZi’s Market & Bakery, Inc., ZOOTS, and Connecticut’s Department of Transportation.  He has also been employed as a professional in excess of a dozen Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, including DB Companies, Inc., Acme Petroleum & Fuel Co. Inc., and Fas Mart, and has provided expert testimony in court on behalf of some of those clients.  In addition, Cedric has successfully advised clients in financial distress on transactions outside of bankruptcy. Cedric received a B.S.B.A. with a concentration in Finance and graduated cum laude from the University of Richmond.  He is a CFA Charterholder and member of the CFA Institute.  He is qualified as a FINRA General Securities Representative (Series 7), General Securities Principal (Series 24), Introducing Broker-Dealer Financial and Operations Principal (Series 28), Uniform Securities Agent (Series 63) and Investment Banking Representative (Series 79).  He also serves on the Advisory Board for the University of Richmond’s Student Managed Investment Fund and has been a guest lecturer for the University’s MBA Program.

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David W. Shoulders

Managing Director, Head of Consumer & Industrial Products Group dshoulders@matrixcmg.com (804) 591-2034

David is Head of the Consumer & Industrial Products (CIPS) Group.  He has many years of financial and merger & acquisition advisory experience and has managed a variety of transactions with privately-held, middle-market companies since joining Matrix in 2006. In addition to his general experience in manufacturing, distribution, and service industries, David has specific expertise with automotive, building products, staffing, metals, aerospace, outdoor recreation, retail and forest products.   His current responsibilities include the origination and execution of sell-side M&A engagements, capital raising and private placements, as well as general advisory assignments for both privately owned and publicly traded companies. He has been instrumental in successfully closing numerous transactions, including Connecticut Warehouse Distributors, Inc., Quality Assurance Services, Inc., Narcote, LLC, Area Equipment Sales & Rentals, Budget Signs, LLC and Southern Filter Media, among others. Prior to joining Matrix, David worked for Stifel Nicolaus’ Aerospace, Defense & Government Services Investment Banking practice in Baltimore, Maryland where his experience included a variety of mergers, acquisitions, and public offerings. David graduated from the College of William and Mary where he received a B.B.A. in Finance with a concentration in accounting. He is also qualified as a FINRA General Securities Representative (Series 7), Uniform Securities Agent (Series 63) and Investment Banking Representative (Series 79).

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M. Vance Saunders, CPA

Managing Director & Principal vsaunders@matrixcmg.com (804) 591-2037

Vance is a member of the Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail (DER) Group and is responsible for new client development and managing all aspects of client transactions including company sales, corporate carve outs, capital raises, recapitalizations, restructurings, valuations, strategic planning, and assisting clients with acquisitions of target companies.  Vance joined Matrix in 2006 and has extensive experience advising petroleum marketers, fuels distributors, and convenience store chains on various transactions.  Vance has also advised municipalities and specialty retail chains and has advised financially distressed companies both inside and outside of bankruptcy proceedings.  Prior to joining Matrix, Vance worked in the Business Assurance and Advisory Services Group for the public accounting firm of Keiter, Stephens, Hurst, Gary & Shreaves in Glen Allen, Virginia, where his experience included a variety of assurance engagements.  Vance also held a senior associate position in the Treasury group of Capital One Financial Corporation. Vance received a B.S.B.A. with concentrations in Finance and Accounting from Longwood University and an M.B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University.  He holds the Certified Public Accountant designation. He is also qualified as a FINRA General Securities Representative (Series 7), Uniform Securities Agent (Series 63) and Investment Banking Representative (Series 79).  He also serves on the Alumni Advisory Board for the Longwood University College of Business & Economics.

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John J. Underwood

Managing Director junderwood@matrixcmg.com (667) 217-3324

John is a member of the Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail (DER) Group and is responsible for new client development and managing all aspects of client transactions including company sales, corporate carve outs, capital raises, recapitalizations, restructurings, valuations, strategic planning, and assisting clients with acquisitions of target companies.  He brings over 30 years of major integrated oil company experience to the Matrix team.  Prior to joining Matrix in 2011, John was the Retail Portfolio Manager for BP and was responsible for managing BP’s retail station divestment program in the United States east of the Rockies.  He oversaw over 50 transactions, comprising in excess of $1 billion of transaction value, during a six year period and managed the transition of BP’s retail assets from direct-supply to jobber-supply.  John has worked in virtually all facets of retail marketing, and has substantial experience in product distribution, logistics, product supply and supply planning.  In addition to his U.S. experience, he has worked in overseas downstream operations in Romania, Poland and England. John received a B.S. degree in Accounting from Indiana University, and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado and holds the Certified Public Accountant designation.  He is also qualified as a FINRA Uniform Securities Agent (Series 63) and Investment Banking Representative (Series 79).

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Robbie L. Radant

Director rradant@matrixcmg.com (667) 217-3323

Robbie is a member of the Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail (DER) Group and is responsible for new client development and managing all aspects of client transactions including company sales, corporate carve outs, capital raises, recapitalizations, restructurings, valuations, strategic planning, and assisting clients with acquisitions of target companies. Prior to joining Matrix in 2016, Robbie worked for 7-Eleven, Inc. for 28 years.  During his tenure with 7-Eleven, he served in multiple operational, finance and accounting roles.  His most recent position was Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A).  In that capacity, he led 7-Eleven’s acquisition team on closing 27 transactions, totaling 1,400 convenience stores and over 1,200 wholesale fuel sites.  The aggregate value of these acquisitions exceed $3 billion.  These efforts included the analysis of both public and private companies factoring in a variety of market conditions and various MLP structures.  In addition, Robbie executed 5 structured sell-side divestment processes and oversaw the sale of more than 300 individual store locations.  As part of his responsibilities, Robbie also initiated and managed the sale leaseback of 50 small strip centers. In addition to his role leading 7-Eleven’s M&A efforts, during his tenure at 7-Eleven, Robbie previously served as Director of Payment Acceptance; Manager of Treasury Planning and Analysis; Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis; Senior Financial Analyst of FP&A; Senior/Project Accountant; and, Internal Auditor.  Robbie was also responsible for several leasehold negotiations for 7-Eleven’s corporate offices as well as managing the sales process of two corporate headquarters buildings. Robbie received a B.S. in Accounting and Related Services from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is also qualified as a FINRA Uniform Securities Agent (Series 63) and Investment Banking Representative (Series 79).

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Sean P. Dooley, CFA, ASA

Director sdooley@matrixcmg.com (667) 217-3322

Sean is a member of the Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail (DER) Group and is responsible for new client development and co-managing all aspects of client transactions including company sales, corporate carve outs, capital raises, recapitalizations, restructurings, valuations, strategic planning, and assisting clients with acquisitions of target companies.  Prior to joining Matrix in 2010, Sean was an associate in the Forensic and Valuation Services Group for the public accounting firm of Ellin & Tucker, Chartered in Baltimore, Maryland, where his experience included a variety of valuation engagements.  He also held an analyst position in the Federal Systems Group of Unisys Corporation. Sean received a B.S.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from East Carolina University.  He is a CFA Charterholder and member of the CFA Institute, and is also recognized as an Accredited Senior Appraiser in Business Valuation by the American Society of Appraisers.  He is also qualified as a FINRA Uniform Securities Agent (Series 63) and Investment Banking Representative (Series 79).  

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Melvin L. Strine

Director - Matrix Consulting Services mstrine@matrixcmg.com 804-591-2061

Mel is Head of Matrix Consulting Services and is a member of the Downstream Energy & Convenience Retail (DER) Group.  He has worked in the retail petroleum industry for over 40 years.  In 1977 he joined Exxon Company, USA and served in many different key management roles, geographies, and departments, all within downstream marketing.  In January 2000, he joined The Wills Group as the President/CEO of SMO, Inc. and Dash In Food Stores, Inc. and Potomac Energy Holdings, LLC.  The latter being a joint venture started in 2008 between MOTIVA/Shell and The Wills Group.  While President, he defined his career in three primary areas:  creating accelerated, profitable growth, helping people develop their skills and capabilities, and managing strategy and succession for the next generation of leaders. Mel is a results-driven thought leader in the retail petroleum industry.  He has served as a member of the Board of Directors at The Wills Group, the Maryland Area Petroleum Distributors Association (MAPDA), Junior Achievement of Central Virginia and The Greater Richmond Youth Development Association.  He has also served as a contributing member in various petroleum and convenience store organizations. He has been an active member of the community, providing financial support, positive energy and career counseling to many students, individuals and organizations. He is a native of Ohio and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from The Ohio State University, his Training and Development Certification from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from Averett School of Business in Virginia.

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