Meet Our Team

Know Who You Are Partnering With.

Forest Lane’s group of investment professionals and Operating Partners brings a dynamic mix of pre-close and post-close transaction experience. The Operating Partner team is comprised of seasoned executive “athletes”, each bringing with them a career gravitated towards a specific industry of interest to Forest Lane. This unique perspective allows us to be more nimble and add more value across a broader range of companies.

JOEL POKORNEY, CFA
CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNER

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Joel is responsible for day-to-day sourcing, evaluating, executing, and managing Forest Lane’s investments.


Has more than ten years of experience working with and investing in lower middle market, family-owned businesses. Prior experience includes 5 years with Tecum Capital Partners (control equity family office / SBIC fund), and 6 years with PNC in the Corporate Banking and Asset Backed Securities divisions where he focused on delivering financial solutions to corporate clients. Involved in 20+ acquisitions. Current/prior board member of three companies.

Education: Finance Major from Wake Forest University, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Family:  Ineligible bachelor and proud uncle of one nephew

DAN WINGARD
CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNER

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Dan is responsible for day-to-day sourcing, evaluating, executing, and managing Forest Lane’s investments.


Has more than ten years of experience working with and investing in lower middle market, family-owned businesses. Prior experience includes 6 years with Superior Capital Partners (control buyout PE firm), 3 years with Tecum Capital (control equity family office / SBIC fund), and 3 years with Stout investment banking. Began career at Ford Motor Company in the Financial Controls Group. Involved in 20+ acquisitions. Current/prior board member of four companies.

Education: Finance Major with a Minor in Economics from The Pennsylvania State University

Family: Husband and proud / tired father of two toddlers

Mike Williamson
PARTNER

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Mike is responsible for supporting day-to-day sourcing, evaluating, executing, and managing Forest Lane’s investments.

Has more than five years of experience working with and investing in lower middle market, family-owned businesses.  Prior experience includes 5 years with Tecum Capital Partners (control equity family office / SBIC fund), and 1.5 years with Stewart Capital Advisors researching public equity investments.  Involved in 15+ transactions.  Current/prior board member of one company.



Education: Finance Major with a minor in mathematics from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Family: Two snowboards, a mountain bike, a jet boat, and too many fishing rods to count

ERIC CLOSE
OPERATING PARTNER: BUSINESS SERVICES

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Eric is responsible for evaluating Forest Lane’s investments and providing operational guidance to the CEO’s of FLC’s portfolio companies.

Highly accomplished entrepreneur and operator. Completed five separate ventures as owner and operator from 1998 to 2017 – all led to successful exits including three to private equity and two to Fortune 500 companies. Representative exits include TrueLearn (online and mobile learning services), RedZone Robotics (infrastructure inspection services), PartsZone (aerial work platforms), Blue Fish Labs (e-commerce), and ProLine Services (rail car manufacturing).

Education: Electrical Engineering Major from Lehigh University, MBA from Carnegie Mellon University

Family: Husband and proud / uber competitive father of three girls

MIKE HARTLEY
OPERATING PARTNER: NICHE MANUFACTURING

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Mike is responsible for providing strategic guidance on day-to-day execution, operational initiatives, efficiency opportunities, and human capital management.

Serial entrepreneur and CEO with several successful exits, including three sales to PE (Grey Mountain Partners, Superior Capital Partners, and Rockwood Equity) and one to a Fortune 100 company. Mike grew multiple businesses from the ground up, some requiring a deep turnaround plan.  Mike’s niche manufacturing experience has been honed through his ownership of multiple businesses: refractory machining, architectural/security glass fabrication, and medical cannabis.

Education: Accounting Major from Ohio University

Family: Husband and proud / busy father of four children and grandfather of eleven grandchildren

STEVE MICHALSKI
OPERATING PARTNER: VALUE ADDED DISTRIBUTION

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Steve is responsible for providing strategic guidance on sales organizations, go-to-market campaigns, and revenue growth strategies for existing/potential investments of the firm.

Perpetual private equity backed CEO of value-added distribution companies with current/prior PE partners including Frontenac Company, Pfingsten Partners, Audax, and Tecum Capital. Proven track record highlighted by organic growth achievements and two successful exits to PE. Prior to his CEO roles, Steve spent 15+ years running sales organizations of lower middle market companies. Also an active board member of AFC Industries (owned by Incline Equity Partners).

Education: Marketing Major from Elmhurst College

Family: Husband and proud / protective father of three girls