Our Team

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Kenneth H. Marks, CM&AA, CFq

Founder & Managing Partner
Raleigh, NC



Kenneth is the founder and Managing Partner of High Rock Partners, Inc. He is an entrepreneur and subject matter expert in mergers, acquisitions and financing of emerging growth and middle market companies. He combines his first-hand experiences in financing, building and selling multiple businesses for himself with more than fifteen years of developing growth strategies and doing deals …all to partner with CEO’s to make key strategic decisions; navigate and execute on transitions of ownership; accelerate growth to the next level; or to reposition their company.

His past positions included President of JPS Communications, Inc., a fast growth technology subsidiary of the Raytheon Company and President / CEO of an electronics manufacturer that he founded and grew to $22 million. He was a director for a Research Triangle Park area investment bank focused on raising capital for early stage and middle-market companies during the late 1990’s.

He was a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) ; the founding YPO Sponsor of the  Entrepreneurs Organization (EO formerly YEO) in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Chapter;  a member of the Association for Corporate Growth; a former member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Technology Association and former director of the Partnership for Defense Innovation (the parent of the Defense & Security Technology Accelerator).   He founded the Research Triangle Chapter of the National Funding Association .  He is a member of the board of advisors of the Alliance of M&A Advisors and is an active member of the board of directors of Youth Camps for Christ, Inc.  Kenneth is a strategic advisor to American Express regarding its middle market initiatives.

Kenneth created and taught a graduate level course at Boston College in connection with the Hult International Business School in Boston (formerly the Arthur D. Little School of Management) titled “Managing Emerging Growth Companies”. In addition, he teaches graduate level electives titled “Financing Early Stage & Middle-Market Companies” and “Middle Market M&A” at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. In addition, Marks lectures at Depaul University in Chicago and Pepperdine University in California as part of the Merger & Acquisition certification program.

He is the lead author of Middle Market M&A: Handbook of Investment Banking & Business Consulting and  “Handbook of Financing Growth: Strategies, Capital Structure and M&A Transactions, 2nd Edition” both published by John Wiley & Sons, and he authored the publication “Strategic Planning for Emerging Growth Companies: A Guide for Management“. Most recently he co-authored “Value Levers: Increase the Value of Your Business from 3X to 7X“.

On special assignment, Marks is a Research Advisor for American Express Global Corporate Payments in connection with their CFO Research and middle market surveys.

Kenneth obtained his MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and his undergraduate studies were in electrical engineering at North Carolina State University. In addition, he has attended executive programs at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He held series 62 and 63 securities licenses.  He is a Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) and holds a Corporate Finance qualification (CFq) granted by the ICAEW.




Buddy Howard, CFA, ASA

Raleigh, NC



Buddy has more than 30 years of experience as a valuation and financial analyst. In addition to his work with High Rock Partners, Inc., he owns Equity Research Services, Inc. (www.equityresearchservices.com), a contract equity research, investor relations, and business valuation firm that was started in 1989. He also publishes financial reports on approximately 15 publicly traded companies, principally in the banking sector.

He has completed more than 200 valuations assignments, covering a wide variety of industries, and has served as an expert witness in the area of business valuation approximately 30 times. Mr. Howard has also been a financial adviser to many community banks and has, on multiple occasions, been listed in U.S. Banker as one of the 50 largest merger and acquisition advisors in the nation, based on transaction volume.

Buddy obtained his undergrad degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from the University of South Carolina. He has achieved his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation from the CFA Institute and his Accredited Senior Appraiser designation (ASA) from the American Society of Appraisers. He has held a Series 7 (General Securities), Series 24 (General Securities Principal), and Series 86/87 (Research Analyst) licenses.




Joshua Nelson

Chicago, IL



Joshua provides strategic advisory services to established mid-market and emerging growth companies. Services include strategic planning and business problem solving; corporate recovery services including crisis management and turnaround strategies; securing financing through our capital resources network; mergers and acquisitions due diligence; business valuations (as client advisers); preparation of financing memorandums; preparation of company budgets, business plans, and annual reports; and financial modeling and analysis. In addition to his work with High Rock Partners, Inc., Joshua is the principal and founder of Nelson Business Financial Consultants, Inc. (www.nelsonbusiness.com).

Mr. Nelson has developed a powerful template-based, financial modeling and analysis software package for performing M&A analyses, valuations, corporate recovery assignments, and preparing financial forecasts and projections, all based on his “Business Performance Management” approach.

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Kyle Breischaft

Raleigh, NC



Kyle has a wide-ranging and very diverse background that includes extensive entrepreneurial experiences, broad public safety experience and military service. The one skill that transcends his entire career is his innate leadership capability. Kyle has held various leadership positions in government, non-profit and corporate organizations.

In addition to his work with High Rock Partners, Inc., he is the Founder and Managing Partner of Unite Advisors, LLC, a firm that provides pragmatic strategic and tactical solutions that help companies break through operational inefficiencies and re-energize leadership teams with easily implemented tools that provide clear strategic alignment needed to manage efficiently and effectively.

Prior to Unite Advisors, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Emergency Technologies, Inc. (ETI) where he focused on the long-term strategic development of the company and managed day-to-day operations. ETI was acquired by a strategic partner in 2013.

Kyle brings over ten years of public safety experience. He worked in various capacities including as a certified Fire Fighter, a licensed EMT, a sworn Police Officer and Detective. During his public safety tenure, Kyle received awards for his service during an assignment in which he responded to New York City after the September 11th attacks, where he provided critical incident stress debriefing to NYPD officers.

Kyle’s formal education includes Associate’s degrees in Fire Science and Fire Fighting, Law Enforcement and a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice. Kyle’s thirst for continued, ongoing learning has driven him to attend several advanced executive learning programs, such as Grinnell Leadership and the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Key Executive Program at MIT.

He has been recognized by Business Leader Magazine as a “Mover & Shaker” and received the Triangle Business Journal’s” Top 40 under Forty Leadership Award”. He also has been granted the NACD Governance Fellow which is issued by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). Under his leadership, ETI was presented the “North Carolina Companies to Watch” award by CED and the Edward Lowe Foundation. ETI was also given the “Top 300 Small Businesses” award by Business Leader Magazine.

Kyle has served on various corporate and non-profit boards including the Board of Emergency Technologies, Inc., Board of Directors for Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), the Board of the Triangle Region Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Board of the Raleigh-Durham Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and the Board of Homeland Heroes.

Kyle is one of the hundred carefully selected and professionally trained Implementers of EOS®.  The Entrepreneurial Operating System®, which is a comprehensive business framework that integrates a holistic business model with a complete set of simple business tools and a proven business processes to align and synchronize all the elements of the company.  It couples with High Rock Partners’ Strategy Navigator® to provide a holistic strategic and operational set of tools for growing the value of a business.




Lauren Whitehead

Raleigh, NC


Lauren provides background work and analysis for client projects and firm marketing.  After graduating with a BS in Hospitality and Business from East Carolina University, Lauren spent time working in sales and conference coordination.  She was involved with the Entrepreneurs Organization of Raleigh-Durham as their Chapter Administrator and is now part of management at Bevello’s.




Entrepreneurial Operating System® and EOS® are registered trademarks of EOS Worldwide www.EOSworldwide.com
The CM&AA designation is provided to individuals with expertise in M&A transactions for middle-market companies.
 The Corporate Finance qualification confirms the expertise and experience of leading specialists in corporate finance, granted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.
 Review Kenneth’s Author Page on Amazon.
CFA Logo
The CFA charter is the designation of excellence in the investment banking community.
ASA Logo
ASA is the premier credential for professionals involved in private company valuation.

Contact Us

High Rock Partners, Inc.
8601 Six Forks Rd
Suite 400
Raleigh, NC 27615

Our Mission

....to be the go-to advisors for M&A projects and strategic problem solving for the shareholders of emerging growth and middle-market companies

© 2017 High Rock Partners, Inc.