Upside: Ben Lehrer

Ben is a seasoned finance and investment professional with 15 years of experience ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. He is the founder of First Water, a Relational Finance firm providing finance function transformation and capital solutions to small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and private equity portfolio companies. Since inception, First Water has partnered with dozens of companies, private equity firms, credit funds, and family offices to drive better business visibility, accelerated growth, improved profitability, and efficient execution on capital and transaction initiatives.

Prior to First Water, Ben served in multiple institutional investment roles in New York City. He was a member of the Private Equity team at Fortress Investment Group, part of the Global Structured Solutions Group within the Fixed Income Capital Markets division of Citigroup, and an Investment Officer for credit opportunities and internal M&A for CapitalSource Finance. Over the course of his career, Ben has played an integral role in the execution of over $5B in debt and equity transactions.

Ben graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics and concentrations in Finance and Accounting. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a holder of the FINRA Series 79 and 63 securities licenses, an Eagle Scout, a former competitive chess player, and the author of the upcoming book Relational Finance: Better Teams. Better Growth. Better Deals.

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Rusty Shelton speaking at EO Alchemy conference

Rusty Shelton

Rusty Shelton first spoke at Harvard on the changing world of PR and marketing at the age of 23. He is a dynamic keynote speaker, successful entrepreneur, Founder & Chairman of Zilker Media and the co-author of Authority Marketing: Your Blueprint to Build Thought Leadership That Grows Business, Attracts Opportunity, and Makes Competition Irrelevant (ForbesBooks, 2018), which features a foreword from Steve Forbes, and co-author of Mastering the New Media Landscape: Embrace the Micromedia Mindset…

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