IX. Private Equity
Charles is a Co-Founder and Partner of the Ascend Venture Group, a venture capital firm headquartered in New York City. With approximately $150 million under management, Ascend targets investment opportunities in the applied technology and for-profit education industries. Charles was responsible for Ascend’s investments in the network management and storage industries including Snap Appliance (sold to Nasdaq: ADPT), Netilla Networks (sold to AEP Networks) and GridApp Systems. In addition, Charles has been involved with a variety of technology enabled services companies including SafeRent (sold to NYSE: FAF), Portaga and Send Word Now.
Before Co-Founding Ascend, Charles was a Director with The Beacon Group, a $2 billion private equity firm. At The Beacon Group, Charles worked on leveraged buyout and management buyout transactions in a variety of industries. Charles started his career in the Structured Finance Group at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Charles received his JD from Stanford Law School and his BS from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Charles is a currently a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Software Industry Association (NYSIA) and of the Board of Visitors of Stanford Law School. A Wharton LEAD alum, Charles previously served on the LEAD Board of Directors.
Formerly a Managing Director in the Global Media and Telecommunications Group of Chase Securities, Inc. Prior to joining Chase Securities, Inc., Mr. Hollinger was a Managing Director and Group Head at PaineWebber Incorporated where he ran the Communications Investment Banking Group. Mr. Hollinger worked for the previous eight years at Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated where he was a Principal focused on originating and executing strategic transactions in the communications industry. Mr. Hollinger has cultivated a broad set of relationships throughout the communications industry. Mr. Hollinger is a Director of Archway Broadcasting Group, LLC and Radiovisa Corporation. Mr. Hollinger holds a B.A. from Williams College and a M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
Mr. Tellis has operated and invested in numerous companies as an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist. He is a founding partner of Towerview Capital Management, a focused buyout firm that attracted investment from a prominent few Duke University Trustees, and enjoys a strategic relationship with Duke University.
Prior to Towerview Capital Management, Mr. Tellis founded and operated Healthy Body Products, LLC. The Company is credited with pioneering the business effort to remove soda machines from middle and high schools. Healthy Body Products signed the largest healthy beverage deal in the State of California. Mr. Tellis addressed President Clinton’s Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and Duke University’s Diabesity Conference after being recognized for his business leadership in healthy living.
Mr. Tellis was profiled in Forbes Magazine “No Charity Cases” for his origination, structuring and operation of a $38MM Fund called HEOF. He has worked as a strategy consultant and as a mergers and acquisition professional where he has arranged hundreds of millions of dollars in equity and debt capital. He has also held P&L responsibilities and worked in general management and sales in the automotive, media, consumer products and energy industries.
Mr. Tellis graduated from Duke University with an A.B. in Economics, where he was a Carl Rowan Scholar. He subsequently received an MBA from the Wharton School of Business as a Merrill Lynch Fellow. He is a major donor to several homeless charities and actively volunteers with the LEAD Program in Business.
Mark J. Johnson
Mark J. Johnson is a Vice President in the U.S. buyout fund at The Carlyle Group focused on opportunities in the telecommunications and media sectors. Since joining Carlyle in 2004, Mr. Johnson has played a key role the firm’s investment activities throughout the telecommunications and media industry and has been particularly involved in the execution and management of the firm’s investment in WILLCOM (formerly DDI Pocket), a wireless service provider based in Tokyo, Japan.
Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Johnson worked at The Blackstone Group where he executed leveraged buyouts in the communications and general industrial sectors, including investments in the Columbia House Company, TRW Automotive and Freedom Communications. He also worked at J.H. Whitney & Co. and in the Telecommunications and Media Investment Banking Group at Merrill Lynch & Co.
Mr. Johnson is a graduate of St. Albans School in Washington D.C. and Princeton University and he received his M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.