Renaissance Partners

Turnaround and Performance Improvement Advisors

Team Renaissance

Thomas HicksTom has over 34 years experience in the retail and retail related industry, the past 30 years working in and with troubled companies. Since 1995 Hicks has operated Renaissance Partners, L.L.C. and developed successful turnaround, liquidation, value enhancement and financing strategies for Cato Corporation, Bobby Allison Wireless, Elder Beerman Stores Corp., Mettler’s, Montaldo’s, Toys International, Sundance Catalog, Welcome Home, Inc., The Walking Co., Scotty’s, Retail Concepts, Luxury Ventures, Bedford Downs Management Corp. and others. Previously, Tom helped create market capitalization, profit and cash flow gains for The Higbee Company, Cato Corporation, D.H. Holmes Co., Ltd., Butler Capital Corp. and Best Products Company, Inc. Hicks functioned at the CEO, COO and CFO levels in these assignments and is well versed in restructurings in and out of bankruptcy proceedings. Hicks previously served as CFO and in other senior financial management roles for divisions of Manhattan Industries, Inc., Borden Inc., Federated Department Stores, Inc. and Burroughs Corporation. Tom is a member of the Turnaround Management Association (“TMA”), American Bankruptcy Institute, Association for Corporate Growth, Atlanta Venture Forum, Commercial Finance Association, National Funding Association, National Retail Federation, International Council of Shopping Centers and United States Trotting Association and he serves on the Advisory Board of the “Fashion School” (Rogers & Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising) at Kent State University and as a Director of the TMA – Florida Chapter and ACG-South Florida. Hicks is a regular instructor in the Harvard Business School Management Development Program at Queen’s University (McColl School of Business). Tom earned an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program and the Strategic Planning in Retailing program at The College of William and Mary - Babson College.

John LupuMr. Lupo has over 35 years of retail merchandising, management, and operating experience in department and discount stores in the US and also internationally, having served as President, COO, EVP Merchandising and at the GMM level. John assisted in the development of the Bassett Furniture Direct stores. During his tenure with Wal-Mart, Mr. Lupo directed store operations worldwide, with stores in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Argentina, China and Germany. Previously at Wal-Mart, John served as SVP-GMM for the entire Wal-Mart apparel operation. He directed the establishment of the Wal-Mart private label apparel business in 1993, developing the Kathie Lee, Catalina, White Stag, Basic Equipment and Faded Glory lines. Mr. Lupo served as President of The Higbee Company, having progressed through the ranks from trainee through department manager, buyer, store manager, DMM, GMM, and EVP Merchandising. John is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio. He serves on the Board of Directors of AB Electrolux, Citi Trends, Inc., and Spectrum Brands and on the Advisory Board of Hinckley Lighting, Mercury Plastics and the Kent State University School of Fashion Design and Merchandising.

Bernard ZindlerMr. Zindler has over 40 years retail experience in upscale apparel and accessories dominated department stores and specialty department stores, where he has served at the CEO, Chief Merchandising Officer and General Merchandise Manager levels. Bernard has served as President and CEO of B. Forman Co., Chairman and CEO of Charles A. Stevens, VP – Women’s Retail Group at Hartmarx Corporation and in various senior management assignments at Manhattan Industries, Inc., Swanson’s Kansas City, Joseph Magnin Co., Gus Mayer Stores, Neiman Marcus and Filene’s. Zindler is a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania.

Richard AlexanderMr. Alexander has over 33 years experience in retailing and its supply chain, the past 27 years as founder, President and CEO of R.B. Alexander & Co., Ltd. Founded in 1974, R.B. Alexander & Co. designed, sold, sourced and merchandised promotional and moderate price point footwear for both retailers and branded wholesalers. The Company also maintained warehouse replenishment inventories of private label merchandise and offered full warehousing and distribution services customized to clients needs. The company sourced merchandise from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil and the Pacific Rim nations of China, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Alexander’s clients included Belk, Spiegel, Arizona Mail Order, Hamrick, Cato, American Eagle Outfitters, Elder Beerman, Federated Department Stores, Mercantile Stores Co., Peebles Department Stores, Pic ‘N Pay, Rack Room Shoes, Troutman’s Emporium, Deichmann-Schuhe (Germany), Frederick Atkins Group, C.R. Anthony, Stage Stores, Dillard’s, Shoe Show, Shoe Department, Shoe Carnival, B.C. Moore, Florsheim, Wolverine, and Brown Group. Alexander also formed a practice devoted to merchandising, private label program creation, sourcing of private label products and advisory services to retailers and foreign factories. Clients included Pic ‘N Pay, Bank of America, Brown Shoe, The Pan Group and others. Mr. Alexander previously served in merchandising and buying positions with Cato Corporation and Consolidated Shoe Co. Mr. Alexander is Vice Chairman of the Advisory Board of Branch Banking & Trust Co. (BB&T).

Jerry MonahanMr. Monahan has more than 30 years experience in sports/entertainment management with emphasis in racetrack management. Jerry has spent the last 15 years in restructuring and new business development, with extensive experience in legislative issues, management and government relations through projects in New York, Kentucky and Virginia. Since 1999 Monahan served as Senior Vice President and V.P. – Racing Operations of Colonial Downs, Virginia’s first pari-mutual racing operation. He developed a partnership between his company, state and local governments for simulcasting and an account wagering system to serve Virginia locations at nine in-state off-track facilities and multiple out-of-state wagering venues. Monahan was actively involved in legislative processes regarding pari-mutuel wagering, account wagering, interstate, intrastate, intertrack and off track issues, and was liason between Colonial Downs, New Kent County and the Commonwealth of Virginia. He launched Colonial Downs’ phonebet account wagering system in Virginia, managed racing activities for thoroughbred and harness racing meets and developed inbound and outbound simulcasting operations on and off-track. From 1991-97 Mr. Monahan served as EVP of Lexington Trots Breeders Association (The Red Mile/Tattersalls), where he blended live racing and simulcasting of thoroughbred and harness racing. He also restructured mutual operations increasing gross mutual handle by 60%, purses by 55% and the number of horses that raced at The Red Mile by 30%.Tattersalls became the first horse auction conducted by satellite allowing nationwide bidding. Red Mile publicity events also raised significant dollars for local charities. From 1987-91 Monahan produced similar improvements as VP – General Manager of Buffalo Raceway. He enabled the Company to be sold profitably following increases in handle, live attendance, and creation of nationally recognized stake programs. Previously, Monahan served in senior management capacities at Garden State Sales Company, Standardbred Owners Association of New York, Vernon Downs, Raceway Park, Northfield Park, Ocean Downs, Suffolk Downs, Brandywine Raceway, Yonkers Raceway, Liberty Bell Park, Pompano Park, Cahokia Downs and the Indiana State Fair. Monahan is a Director of the Thoroughbred Racing Association, serves on the Strategic Planning Committee of the Virginia Racing Commission and has served as Director of Harness Tracks of America.

Graydon WebbMr. Webb has over 30 years experience in restaurant and franchise retailing, having served as Chairman, CEO, Managing Director and Vice President-Franchise Sales. For the past 19 years Graydon has focused on food and food related technology companies as Managing Director of The Auric Group. Clients have included Rally’s/Zippos Drive Thru, Inc, Bojangles Inc., Wendco Inc., G.D. Ritzy’s Inc., TouchChoice Systems Inc., OneDentist Resources Inc., The Great American Bagle and AutoCafe Systems Inc. Mr. Webb also participated in management recruitment, corporate development, strategic planning, financings, concept direction, revenue enhancement and acquisition strategies for the above plus T.J. Cinnamon’s, Kenny Rogers Roasters, Pudgies Famous Chicken, I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt, Long John Silver’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Clucker’s, Rax Restaurants, Java Coast, Johnny Rockets Inc. and Au Bon Pain/St. Louis Bread (Panera). From 1980-86 Mr. Webb served as Founder and Chairman of G.D. Ritzy’s Inc., a chain of over 100 locations throughout the U.S. This nationally recognized “contemporary diner” restaurant concept featured award winning food and premium ice cream recognized by People Magazine, Town Square (Kansas City), Ohio Magazine, Orlando Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine, Columbus Magazine and The Columbus Dispatch. Webb led three equity offerings totaling $20 million. Graydon served as Vice President – Franchise Sales for Wendy’s International Inc. from 1971-80 where he initiated and grew U.S. franchise sales, planning and support to 2,000 locations. He defined and executed franchise agreements for international expansion in Canada, the Caribbean and Japan. Mr. Webb is a graduate of The Ohio State University.

Donald SmithDon is a 20-year IT veteran of the general merchandise retail, restaurant, media and consulting industries. During that period Mr. Smith owned and operated Business Applications Engineering, Inc., his own network integration and application software development company that wrote, packaged and installed fast food point-of-sale software. Formerly, he operated his own apparel retail chain for 15 years. Mr. Smith has functioned as CIO, Director – Information Services, IT Director, Project Manager, Business Analyst, Systems Developer and Project Designer at Retail Media Systems Networks, 2Connect Express, Inc., American Express, The Alexander Proudfoot Co., Burger King Corporation and Tutor Time Learning Systems, Inc. Don is a graduate of Gannon University.