Amy Arndt, Ballard Spahr

Ballard Spahr

Amy Arndt

 Amy Arndt is the Office Managing Partner of Ballard Spahr’s Sioux Falls office and a member of the firm’s Expanded Board. Known for her strategic and client service-oriented approach, Amy assists business owners with operational issues, management succession, financing options for growth, and restructuring. Her practice emphasizes securities and corporate finance and she represents clients in various industries such as agri-business, real estate, hospitality, consumer products, manufacturing, and renewable energy.

Amy has significant experience advising privately held companies on private offerings/placements and finance, corporate governance, disclosure matters, mergers and acquisition transactions, and asset acquisitions and divestitures. She acts as outside general counsel to clients advising on various matters including formation, shareholder agreements, and internal corporate structuring.

Andy Augenblick

Emigrant Bank Fine Arts Finance

Andy Augenblick is the president of Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance. Prior to co-founding the company, he was president and co-owner of the Related Companies, L.P., a privately held real estate and investment company. Before joining Related in 1985, he was a consultant at McKinsey & Company. Andy was named one of the top 100 collectors in the United States by Art & Antiques magazine. He is a member of the committee on media and performance art at the Museum of Modern Art.

He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School.

Brian Axelrad, Beyond Capital Fund and Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered

Beyond Capital Fund, HMB

Brian Axelrad is chief investment officer at Beyond Capital Fund, a nonprofit social impact fund that invests in social enterprises in India and East Africa. At Beyond Capital, he oversees investment decision-making and advises on portfolio and overall fund strategy.  At the same time, Brian is also a partner at Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered (HMB), a Chicago-based law firm, and serves as a member of HMB’s firm-wide executive committee. He leads the HMB’s regionally recognized venture capital practice; is active in the firm’s private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and technology practice groups; leads its search fund (entrepreneurship through acquisition) subpractice; and helped launch its philanthropy and social impact practice.

Brian is deeply committed to developing the field of impact investing, both locally in Chicago, as well as abroad. From 2014 to 2018, he worked closely with the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business where he was appointed as its first impact investor in residence, a post he held from 2015 to 2018. He also taught a course on impact investing as an adjunct associate professor of entrepreneurship. Brian holds a BA in Economics and History from the University of Michigan, a JD from the Northwestern University School of Law and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.



Mitch Baruchowitz, Merida Capital

Merida Capital

Mitch Baruchowitz

Mitchell has 20 years of entrepreneurial, legal, regulatory and financial experience in highly regulated industries and nine years of cannabis investment experience.  He is the founder and Managing Partner of cannabis-focused private equity fund Merida Capital Partners, which is currently on its second fund with ~$100MM AUM and is the largest outside investor in leading cannabis public companies KushCo(KSHB), GrowGeneration (GRWG), Freedom Leaf (FRLF) and leading private companies New Frontier Data, MainStem, Emerald Scientific, Steep Hill Labs and Vireo Health.

Mitchell is an expert in the regulatory component of cannabis limited licensing and multi-state cultivation operations and has architected top cultivation licensing scores in Connecticut and Minnesota. In 2013, Mitchell co-founded Theraplant, one of four Connecticut-based cultivators; Leafline Labs, one of two Minnesota cultivators; Grow West MD, one of 17 Maryland cultivation licensees, and Laurel Harvest Labs, a Pennsylvania-based vertical applicant in its pre-operational stage.  Mitchell is a frequent speaker and author on cannabis investment strategy and diligence.  Mitchell previously served as Associate General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of publicly-traded MarketAxess and General Counsel of Pali Capital before leading investment banking operations for ACGM and Cavu Securities.

Mitchell sits on the Board of New Frontier Data, Steep Hill Labs, Simplifya and Mainstem. He  holds a B.A. in History from Brandeis University, and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law. He also holds FINRA 7, 24, 63, 79 licenses.


Brad Batten, Zwick Partners LP

Zwick Partners LP

Brad Batten is a Partner at Zwick Partners LP, a single-family office located in Charlotte, NC.

At Zwick Partners we primarily focus on making equity investments in the lower end of the lower middle-market. First and foremost, we look for high caliber people we can trust, as well as businesses & industries that we can understand, and where the transaction provides a demonstrable value-add to the business. We like to partner with independent sponsors, traditional funded sponsors, search fund entrepreneurs, and business executives to help business owners and entrepreneurs grow their companies and realize their goals.  Since joining Zwick Partners in 2014, Brad has been responsible for building out and leading the family office’s private equity direct investing program.  As a partner of the firm Brad leads all aspects of the investment operation including deal sourcing, diligence, structuring, execution, and strategic management and board of director oversight of the existing portfolio investments.

Zwick Partners currently has 12 direct investments in their portfolio and has experience investing across a handful of industries including healthcare, business services, industrial services, light manufacturing, and specialty finance.

Prior to joining Zwick Partners, Brad spent 6 years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. At BofA Merrill Lynch Brad was responsible for structuring and underwriting credit products for Private Equity leveraged buyouts. In addition to transaction responsibilities, Brad was instrumental in managing the bank’s exposure to an $8.7Bn credit portfolio of sponsor-backed leveraged loans.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College in History with a minor in Economics.