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Team2021-03-03T16:24:54-06:00

PRESIDENT, CEO

Timothy Bullard

CEO, Tim Bullard, has been the Global M & A asset divestiture of one of America’s oldest global trading firms with clients such as Microsoft, Mercedes, Disney, Valvoline, Avon, K-Mart, 3M and Ameritech. Tim is also credited as the Founder of CRCA, a corporation with 100+ million dollars in annual sales out of Chicago, IL. He has started a total of eleven businesses to date and has retired twice only to open a VR franchise in Wisconsin for the sole purpose of providing what he couldn’t find when he moved to Wisconsin “… a business broker that knew what they were doing and could provide the service I would expect when I was trying to buy a business…”  He has been written up in the Chicago Tribune multiple times, Nation’s Business magazine, and The St. Petersburg Times, just to name a few.

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VP OF CLIENT SERVICES

Jon Gutoski

Jon Gutoski has over 15 years of experience in Finance spanning several industries including big 4 CPA firms, Food and Beverage, Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals, Nonprofits, and more.  He has his BS and Master’s in Finance and Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his MBA from Indiana University.

Jon grew up in Milwaukee and currently lives just north of the city.  Jon brings his experience in Finance, his entrepreneurial spirit, and knowledge the area, from Milwaukee to Sheboygan, to VR clients to help them navigate the buying and selling of businesses.

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BOARD MEMBER

Mark Smith

Mark has spent the last thirty years of his career in small business. His first venture was to take a small, family-owned, contracting business and grow it into a thirty-plus employee company with three divisions. After selling the company in 2002, he joined a metropolitan Milwaukee commercial real estate firm where he quickly became one of the company’s top producing brokers. His experience as a successful business owner combined with his knowledge of the commercial real estate market will benefit anyone who wants to buy or sell a business.

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PRESIDENT

Joe Braier

Joe is a seasoned M&A Advisor and current shareholder at Lakes Business Group.  He also has the CVA certification for business appraisals.  He has won a number of awards as a top M&A Advisor each year dating back to 2011.  Since joining the Lakes Business Group team back in 2009, Joe has worked with business owners in all industries, but has a primary focus in the manufacturing, distribution, technology, and medical industries.  Joe has a passion for athletics and volunteers as a coach in the Pewaukee Youth Sports programs.  He lives in Pewaukee, WI but provides services for buyers and sellers throughout the Midwest.

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Joe Braier

SHAREHOLDER

Andrew Schmelzer

Andy brings over 20 years of marketing, branding and sales experience both nationally and internationally to the Lakes Business Group, Inc. team. With an MBA from Edgewood College, experience negotiating intellectual property and licensing coupled with his depth in business management experience, Andy is a great asset to our team. Andy’s extensive marketing and management consulting experience drives his success in business sales, and mergers & acquisitions.

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VP OF CLIENT SERVICES

Larry Heck

As an experienced M&A Advisor and Exit Strategy Planning Advisor, with over 26 years of being an owner in different businesses, Larry relates very well with entrepreneurs and business owners as he works closely with clients to guide them through each step of their selling or buying process. Larry’s business owner experience in personally running and then selling his businesses give him special insight and understanding of clients’ needs which ensures a smooth, successful, and timely transaction.

As founder and President of a business for 12 years in the sports/golf services industry and co-owner and Vice President of a business in the food industry for 15 years prior to that, he has built a commitment to client-oriented service and high standards of professionalism, honesty, and integrity.

As Vice President, Larry utilizes creativity and out-of-the-box solutions along with the proven VR-Lakes Business Group systems to deliver needs to clients engaged in industries such as manufacturing, distribution, engineering, professional services, sports, investments, and more. Many business owners are either overwhelmed with the thought of exiting or are so busy fighting daily business fires that they think they cannot plan their exits. Larry can help with this most important lifelong financial transaction.

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VP OF CLIENT SERVICES

Michael Szmanda

Michael joined VR in 2010 and has been a top producer throughout his tenure (most recently, he was recognized as a Top 10 Broker for all of the VR Global Network – 2013). He has extensive experience in sales, finance, negotiations and creative deal making. Born and raised in Southeastern Wisconsin, he has earned success with smaller local firms as well as Fortune 500 companies. Michael has consistently been recognized as a top performer by national and international companies such as Sprint Corporation, National City Bank and Merrill Lynch. His vast and diverse experience coupled with creative problem solving make him an asset to both this firm, and his clients.

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MARKETING & ADMIN ASSISTANT

Tree Peterson

Theresa, who goes by Tree, comes from an IT/Web Company where she worked with clients to provide monthly reporting on search engine optimization and statistical reporting. She also performed periodic maintenance on the websites including file uploads and site changes and/or additions. Her past experience also includes search engine optimization and marketing on the sites as well as administrative support in the office. Tree’s role at VR Lakes Business Group makes use of her past internet experience as well as her attention to detail and multi-tasking skills.

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CLIENT SERVICES COORDINATOR

Destiny Wallen

Destiny comes to Lakes Business Group, Inc. as a licensed support Agent and Client Services Coordinator. She has extensive experience in restaurant management including employee relations, inventory management, product quality control, and customer service. With a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Maranatha Baptist University, Destiny brings great customer service and organizational skills to the Lakes Business Group, Inc. team in an effort to support the success of the business transactions.

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Destiny Wallen Client Coordinator

CORPORATE COMPLIANCE

Sue Bullard

Bio Coming Soon…

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VP OF CLIENT SERVICES

Steven Aubrey

Steve’s business experience is remarkable in both its depth and diversity.   His professional career has spanned over 30 years across many businesses and industries in energy, wood, paper, electronics, automotive, recycling, and transportation.  Prior to joining Lakes Business Group, Steve was an Executive VP for nearly a decade at a $120MM revenue corporation.  He brings with him a wealth of business relationships and deal making expertise.  Steve’s experience as a corporate VP, business owner, and practiced negotiator are some of his exceptional attributes that can be leveraged in maximizing the value of your business.  Steve is an University of WI -Stout alumni and currently resides in beautiful Central Wisconsin.

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VP OF CLIENT SERVICES

Spencer Thomason

Spencer spent 35 years as a business owner and during that period bought and sold several related businesses before selling  his company in 2008. He has spent many years in communications, data networking engineering and OEM sales. Spencer has also spent time as a consultant before starting a sales organization for 6 years. After consulting for private businesses, he has decided to join the team at VR Lakes Business Group.

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VP OF CLIENT SERVICES

Scott Gray

Scott Gray is an accountant and former real estate agent with a propensity for helping business owners simplify numbers and processes to achieve results. An approach that positively influences his role as a business broker with VR Lakes Business Group.

Scott leverages a service-focused approach and creative problem-solving to create a seamless experience for buyers and sellers; from uncovering the right opportunities to vendor management to effective start-to-finish execution.

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VP OF CLIENT SERVICES

Steve Dykstra

Steve Dykstra brings a wealth of experience in business consulting, sales, technology, finance and real estate. As a former lender, he has developed tremendous talent in assisting hundreds of buyers and sellers guide their transactions to a successful closing while avoiding unnecessary hurdles and complications.

Steve has been consistently recognized as a top performer and has won several state and regional sales awards while working with small/medium sized businesses and fortune 500 companies alike.

As a former business owner he relates well to owners and entrepreneurs and his comprehensive understanding of running a business, high energy, honesty and integrity, combined with VR proven Systems will allow him to deliver successful results for his clients.    Steve can be reached at sdykstra@vrbizlakes.com

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VP OF CLIENT SERVICES

James Wandorff

James is an experienced finance and operations professional with over 12 James has a triple major in accounting, marketing, and business administration as well as an MBA in finance.

His business and educational experience put him in a unique place to envision the needs of his clients and bring that to life in several ways – from budgeting to forecasting, marketing to operations. James experience provides valuable insight into the process and complexities of the negotiations required to successfully complete a business transaction; focusing on the client’s value drivers which is the key to maximizing the owners cash from the sale of their business.

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SHAREHOLDER

Nicole White

Nicole has 10+ years experience in the M&A world, and was the #1 Sales Agent World Wide for first quarter 2016. She comes to us from a large company in Wisconsin where she developed and implemented direct marketing and sales support programs to drive inbound calls and orders. Since inception of LBG, Nicole was the marketing guru who handled the marketing programs for Lakes Business Group including corporate contract compliance, web standardization, marketing communications with our diverse global client base as well as web site integration and key word click programs, SPIFFS, CRM implementation, etc. Nicole is now a Broker who specializes in creative deal structures and tough negotiations throughout the selling process.

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VP OF CLIENT SERVICES

Sheila Firari

Sheila brings 30 years+ of experience as a well-connected entrepreneur and Real Estate Broker in the local area. Her personal involvement is startup companies, Managing, and buying and selling businesses provide the expertise necessary to think “outside the box” to get the deal done. Sheila’s strong skills in real estate development as well as sales and marketing bring the knowledge necessary to provide clients with the edge in today’s business environment. Clients will have the trust and confidence in Sheila to work in their best interest to help reach their goal of buying or selling a business.

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