Our People & Leadership

They have built and worked in middle market companies, just like yours.

We believe it is essential to understand first-hand the challenges faced by our clients. And to gain that perspective you need to earn your spurs working in middle market companies. All our leaders have that experience – which is reflected in how we built FortéONE to serve the needs of middle market client. With more than 200 middle market executives available to assist business owners, below is just a sample of our experts.

Mark Rittmanic

Founder and CEO

Mark Rittmanic

Founder and CEO

Office: 224.639.1181

Mobile: 630.247.1622

Email: mark@forteone.com

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A passionate and results-oriented leader, Mark has conceived, built, led, and sold several successful businesses. He is the founder and inspirational leader of FortéOne, and he leads business development, designs processes for serving clients, and identifies growth opportunities for the firm.

Since 2000, he has assisted hundreds of companies in the manufacturing, distribution, consumer products, construction, and services industries. Mark began his business career in banking and financial services and has also built and sold a number of technology companies. Mark is a former U.S. Army captain.

Mark holds a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and a Master of Business Administration from Southern Illinois University. He sits on the board of visitors for Davidson College and is also a member of Vistage.

Philip Franz

EVP and Practice Director, Supply Chain & Operations

Philip Franz

EVP and Practice Director, Supply Chain & Operations

Office: 224.639.1188

Mobile: 630.460.7445

Email: p.franz@forteone.com

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In his role with FortéOne, Philip provides oversight and support for FortéOne’s largest and fastest growing practice group supporting business owners and financial sponsors to middle market companies.

Over the past thirty-five years, Philip has worked in both line operational roles and provided consulting assistance, including development of and leadership within the supply chain practices at Price Waterhouse and Crowe Horwath. Philip has had operational roles in logistics and supply chain with large and middle market companies, senior operations management roles in manufacturing and logistics, and provided operational and information technology consulting, business process re-engineering and information technology management.

Throughout his career, Philip has assisted companies in developing and enhancing their operations and information systems to meet ever-changing business models. He has led business optimization efforts at Philips 66, Huntsman Chemical, Campbell’s Soup, Southwest Airlines, Abbott Laboratories, Allstate, and McDonald’s. Prior to joining FortéONE, Philip has also served in senior roles in organizations including Crowe Horwath, McDonald’s Corporation, Price Waterhouse LLP and Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

Philip is an alum of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Michigan State University.

John Gengler

Executive Director, Business Development

John Gengler

Executive Director, Business Development

Office: 224.639.1184

Mobile: 708.427.9383

Email: j.gengler@forteone.com

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John joins FortéOne with over 15 years’ experience in management consulting and professional services sales and delivery management. He has spent the past 25 years in sales, sales management, operations management, strategy development, and executive leadership.  As Executive Director of Business Development, John works with FortéOne management and our consultant team to establish and grow relationships with both clients and the community of trusted advisors with whom we partner and support.

​John started his entrepreneurial leadership as a Co-Founder and Principal of eJobs, Inc., an early pioneer in the now $2BB Recruitment Process Outsourcing industry.  He went on to working with early stage investors on building value in multiple portfolio companies over the past 15 years. During his career, he has sold and managed products and services across multiple industries domestically and internationally.

John holds a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from the University of Iowa and was a commissioned officer in the US Army for 12 years. John has served on the Board of Directors for several non-profit organizations supporting developmentally disabled teens and adults and volunteers frequently with several of his service dogs to work with similar organizations and wounded warrior programs.

Judy Cotter

Director, Finance and Administration

Judy Cotter

Director, Finance and Administration

Office: 224.639.1186

Mobile: 847.863.2133

Email: j.cotter@forteone.com

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Judy has a strong 25+ year track record of success and diverse skills in finance, human resources and talent management, and risk and operation management in the retail, consumer products and professional service industries. As a member of FortéOne’s leadership team, Judy is involved in developing strategies and implementing key initiatives to elevate performance and profits while controlling risk and liabilities. She builds best practices and new programs to ensure efficiencies at all levels.

​Before joining FortéOne, Judy was an associate member in finance and administration at SRBL Architects, a leading sustainable architecture firm. Her work to elevate company standards, policies and benefit programs helped the firm earn a spot in ZweigWhite’s “2008 Best Firms to Work For,” which boosted retention and recruitment marketability. Prior to her work at SRBL, Judy was national committee select at Saks Fifth Avenue, where she helped build compensation and retention programs and improved sales and service operations.

​Judy is a native Chicagoan, holds a Bachelor’s degree in human resources and business from the University of Illinois, an active member of the Northbrook Woman’s Club Foundation, and staunch supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Jessica Deming

Director of Operations

Jessica Deming

Director of Operations

Office: 224.639.1187

Mobile: 847.322.7871

Email: j.deming@forteone.com

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Jessica brings extensive technical and analytical skills to her work at FortéOne.  She spearheads the firm’s marketing and technology initiatives while supporting ongoing business development and engagement management efforts. She also oversees consultant recruitment and utilization.

​Prior to FortéOne, Jessica served as senior data analyst for Strategic Fulfillment Group, a marketing services and fulfillment company.  In this role, she was responsible for  complex reporting and analytics projects for both internal and external client usage.  She worked across multiple departments to improve operational efficiencies and procurement.  Jessica oversaw business intelligence and database marketing projects and assisted in client support, sales, and billing. Prior to that, she held various roles in education and government operations.

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of Illinois. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Northbrook Woman’s Club Foundation.

Christopher Chiles

Senior Consultant

Christopher Chiles

Senior Consultant

Chris Chiles is a highly driven senior executive with over 35 years of operations experience in sales, marketing manufacturing, engineering, logistics, distribution, and project management, working in environments ranging from small entrepreneurial businesses to large multi-national corporations. His leadership experiences include the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and China.

Chris has held various leadership roles as CEO, President, Chief Operating Officer, Group VP of Operations, Plant Manager, and Engineering Manager for large architectural, food, industrial and consumer products manufacturers. He has spent the last 19 years at a senior level, both running and integrating acquired businesses, M&A deal maximization, re-engineering operations, implementing strategic initiatives, managing operations consolidations, and performing manufacturing turn arounds. His accomplishments in this area have led to very successful outcomes for the businesses.

Chris has a BSEE from Ohio Northern University, an MSE from the University of Central Florida, and additional studies at IMD (Switzerland) and Babson University.

Chris resides near the Asheville, NC area, and enjoys spending time with his wife, hiking, and fly fishing.

Amy Green

Senior Consultant

Amy Green

Senior Consultant

Amy Green is an accomplished supply chain professional with over 25 years’ experience in distribution and logistics, transportation, operations, and network optimization. Her strengths include operational turnarounds, strategic planning, process improvement, profitability enhancement and teambuilding. She has experience successfully managing private and contract distribution networks with fleets in excess of 300 trucks in same day/next day service environments.

Amy has worked on and led several successful engagements with FortéOne in supply chain, transportation, and logistics as well as serving as interim Chief Operating Officer. Prior experience includes senior leadership at Robeks Corporation as VP Supply Chain, McLane Foodservice as Director of Operations, and Home Depot Supply as Director of Logistics as well as roles with Coca-Cola, Penske, and Whirlpool. Amy received her BA in Materials and Logistics Management and completed the Logistics Executive Development Program, both from Michigan State University.

Amy held the title of international Pro-Am women’s jet ski champion for four years and continues to organize races for the international committee.

Stephen Krawczyk

Stephen Krawczyk

Senior Consultant

Stephen Krawczyk

Senior Consultant

Steve is an experienced CEO, GM, COO and Product Planning executive who has assisted both middle market and publicly held companies across a variety of consumer product industries. As CEO of Coleman Powermate, he managed a turnaround for the business. As GM of the Consumer Products division at Bristol-Myers Squibb, he was responsible for a wide variety of products, including skin care, deodorants/AP, acne, and OTC medications, including analgesics and cough/cold products. At Vidal Sassoon, Steve started as a Product Manager and eventually was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. He began his career as a production planner at Max Factor.

Over the past decade, Steve has assisted consumer product companies including all aspects of product development and operation, competitive positioning, and cosmetics and personal care manufacturing/operations/testing/regulatory/R&D.

George Lampros

Senior Consultant

George Lampros

Senior Consultant

George is a proven CEO who has turned around, grown and sold at strong multiples of EBITDA several private equity and family owned portfolio companies. He has decades of experience as Interim CEO, board advisor, consultant and executive roles at Procter & Gamble, other Fortune 100 and middle market firms. George often is called in to rebuild the bottom and top lines (as well as the organizations and functions) of companies in distress, stalled, or looking for a highly successful sale / transition to new ownership.

George has a down-to-earth, pragmatic approach that leverages good judgement, relationship-building and strong leadership, financial, operational and analytical skills. Highly effective at forging trust with PE owners/family owners/investors, boards, bankers and senior management, George handles major time-sensitive matters – including loss or pending departure of CEO and/or other key executives (i.e. President. COO, CMO) due to non-performing EBITDA / bottom line losses, pricing problems, declining revenues, customer relationship and/or customer buyer issues, as well as potential unexpected departures, illness and leaves of absence.

George has been recognized in several industries for solving urgent situations, achieving significant business growth, and completing turnaround successes in a broad range of sectors: Brand & Private Label Foods; B-to-B as well as Consumer Goods; Retail & Wholesale Distribution; and Industrial as well as Technical/Technology Products & Services. His experience spans all core functions – CEO & executive management, finance, sales, marketing, R&D / new products, operations, planning / budgeting, systems, human resources, and supply chain / purchasing / inventory / warehousing.

George has received many industry awards and attained them for clients, too. Prior to his professional career, George worked in skilled trades / plant labor positions, was a university counselor, and graduated from University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana with top-of-class honors including: Beta Gamma Sigma, Bronze Tablet, Mortar Board and Student Leadership awards.

Gary Les - Senior Consultant

Gary Les

Senior Consultant

Gary Les

Senior Consultant

Gary Les is a successful global executive with more than 30 years of experience exceeding revenue, profit, and corporate growth objectives. His background includes strategic planning, business development, manufacturing, distribution, engineered solutions, worldwide supply chain management, mergers/acquisitions, and legal affairs. Gary adds tremendous value to middle-market or large companies that compete in the global marketplace.

In his roles as President/CEO/COO he has managed international manufacturing and distribution projects that encompass all aspects of business growth, innovation, and value creation and is a savvy navigator of today’s complex business challenges. He has managed people and projects in over 35 countries. Gary has delivered value to some of the best companies in the world including GE Healthcare, Medtronic, Drager, Rockwell Automation, Cummins, Illinois Tool Works, Bank of America, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Kroger, and Home Depot. He currently serves on the boards of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Gary is a graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics where he was a NCAA scholarship athlete, and school record holder. He earned an MBA degree from Loyola University and a JD degree from DePaul University.

Laura Mangini

Senior Consultant

Laura Mangini

Senior Consultant

Laura Mangini has extensive Human Resource Management experience in all facets of the HR function, spanning the entire employee lifecycle. Her specialty is providing Human Resources services on an outsourced basis to clients including the development, support, and administration of the following: Recruiting, Hiring Process, and Onboarding; Benefits, Employee Handbook, and Employee Relations; and Performance Management including Corrective Action and Termination Process.

Industries she has worked in include education, staffing, transportation, restaurants, marketing agencies, architecture, medical, financial and manufacturing.

Laura is also a member of the HR Mentor Subscription and Outsourcing Team, and the Voyageur One Organizational Development Team.

Previously, Laura was the Business Manager for a human resource consulting firm, where she managed the human resources function internally, providing human resource support for clients, the recruitment, training and management of staff, and development and documentation of company operations and procedures.

Laura graduated from Elmhurst College, with highest honors, with a B.S. in Business Management.

Charles Martin

Charles Martin

Senior Consultant

Charles Martin

Senior Consultant

Charlie Martin is an experienced President and Executive Officer with a successful track record of leading the profitable growth of consumer branded and food service products sold direct and through brokers and specialty distributors across a wide range of channel segments and e-commerce. He trained and developed his skills at Kraft Foods and other well-known consumer companies including ConAgra and Associated British Foods. Charlie’s more recent experience and focus has been growing and leading privately held entities, start-ups and mid-cap companies. Areas of strength include: General Management, Sales & Sales Operations Management, Business & Product Development, and Marketing & Brand Leadership.

Some of Charlie’s prior roles include President of Papa Charlie’s, Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer of ACH Consumer Products North America (Associated British Foods), and Executive Vice President of ConAgra Refrigerated Retail Foods Group, North America, Charlie holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Charlie also serves on both profit and non-for-profit boards and is a major sports fan and outdoor enthusiast.

Donald Mower

Senior Consultant

Donald Mower

Senior Consultant

Don Mower has more than 35 years of business management experience including Fortune 500, P.E., and V.C. & Family owned companies.

As a proven middle market executive, Don has led Family Owned, Private Equity and Venture Capital based companies. He has repeatedly addressed urgent company needs including raising significant capital funds, identifying, and completing multiple acquisitions, creating, or reorganizing sales functions and distribution channels, improving operational excellence, and driving top and bottom line growth with aggressive new product development processes. Currently “in market” new product and services exceed well over $1 billion in annual sales within multiple business sectors including Branded and Private Label Consumer Products; Food Service Manufacturers, Distributors and Chain Restaurants; and Food Ingredient and “Over the Counter” Drug Industries.

Don has led businesses by creating & executing growth strategies during critical “crisis management” periods including the 2008 financial crisis where he was instrumental in driving double digit growth for a $250 million dollar food company during the worst economic crisis since the great depression.

Prior to his work in middle market firms, Don held positions in leading companies including Deloitte, Keebler/Kellogg’s as Senior VP of Marketing and ConAgra Foods Inc. a multi-billion dollar food company where he served in various senior executive roles across multiple ConAgra companies.

Don has a B.A. in Accounting, has been a Certified Public Accountant, and attended Management Programs at Oxford School of Management, Oxford England.

Mark Peck

Senior Consultant

Mark Peck

Senior Consultant

In his 30-plus years of consulting, Mark has developed sales teams, revenue improvement programs, and VOC (voice of the customer) programs with middle market firms and public companies. He has been responsible for assisting firms with sales growth in excess of several hundred million dollars. Mark’s clients have included Monsanto, BellSouth, Hewlett Packard, Metavante, Dun & Bradstreet, Belden Wire & Cable, Bell Canada, Newark Electronics, Reedy Industries, MasterCard International, Rockwell Automation, Fiserv, Troxell, and Corporate Express.

A frequent speaker for numerous international marketing and business associations, Mark pioneered IAM (Integrated Account Management); a sales improvement tool adopted by hundreds of Fortune 500 corporations worldwide. In addition to authoring the book, Integrated Account Management, he has conducted CRM, strategic planning, and business-to-business sales and marketing oversight, and built training programs and workshops. Mark has worked with hundreds of product and/or service-oriented businesses directing strategic and tactical marketing campaigns, website developments or re-developments, and electronic media campaigns.

Douglas Spitler

Senior Consultant

Douglas Spitler

Senior Consultant

Doug Spitler has been a CEO for multiple private-equity-owned companies as well as a group president for Fortune 500 and FTSE-50 companies. He specializes in general management, manufacturing and construction consulting and has implemented Lean Enterprise, Lean Manufacturing and Lean Construction methods in multiple companies. He has also successfully integrated multiple acquisitions in the aerospace and computer industries and has served on the boards of two companies.

As a CEO and group president, Doug dramatically increased the EBITDA of the businesses he led, and in one case increased EBITDA by 600%.

Doug’s industry experience includes filtration, construction, aerospace, electronics, defense, oil & gas equipment, controls and industrial products. His process expertise includes Lean Enterprise, Lean Construction, Lean Manufacturing, the Strategy Deployment Process, organizational alignment, strategic selling, strategic pricing, new product introduction and operational financial analysis.

With FortéOne, Doug has consulted with companies ranging from $100M to $600M in revenues in multiple industries.

Doug began his career with Exxon Chemical, holds a BA summa cum laude from Miami University and an MBA from the University of Nebraska. Doug is also the holder of nine patents.

James Woods

Senior Consultant

James Woods

Senior Consultant

Jim has 35+ years of supply chain management, logistics and analytics expertise in the retail, food service and consumer products industries. He has a track record of leading businesses to double-digit growth, building teams with strong supply chain talent, and managing large scale transformation initiatives.

Jim has been part of the FortéOne team on several large projects focusing on supply chain improvement and transformation. Specific areas of expertise include supply & demand planning, SKU profitability analysis and rationalization, inventory optimization, and customer service strategy.

Jim served over 22 years at HAVI, most recently as the Executive Vice-President of Analytics & Supply Chain. HAVI is the supply chain execution engine (people, processes, technology) to McDonald’s. Jim led the strategic business unit that provided supply chain managed services to McDonald’s and other major food service clients. Under his leadership, HAVI developed a Supply Chain Integration platform, utilizing POS and key supply chain & marketing data to drive retail and distributor replenishment, inventory visibility & planning, and predictive analytics. In addition, Jim led the strategic business development to grow the HAVI business to multiple customers. He has received client recognition for innovation, collaboration, cost management, and the ability to solve complex problems.

Jim was also Director of Supply Chain for the Quaker Oats Company where he developed inventory, logistics, and capital allocation strategies for the International, Pet and Foods Divisions. Jim rose through the ranks at Quaker Oats initially starting as a plant industrial engineer and taking on increasing responsibility in manufacturing facilities and the corporate headquarters.

Jim has a BSE from Princeton University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.