The Notch Team

We believe that exceptional results start with exceptional people. This belief is not only the basis of our work with our private equity clients and executives, but also the foundation for our team at Notch.

MEI-MEI TUAN, Managing Partner and Founder

Mei Mei new 2As an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, BankAmerica and BankAustria, Mei-Mei led domestic and international transactions in project finance, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, syndications and sale leasebacks. Mei-Mei’s operating experience includes serving as chief financial officer and chief operating officer at two nationally prominent nonprofit organizations.

Prior to founding Notch Partners, Mei-Mei ran a thriving independent consulting practice, completing assignments for over 20 clients, including several private equity-backed companies, private equity funds and large corporations. Her current client relationships represent a range of industries, including media, apparel, consumer products, publishing, medical technology, telecommunications and enterprise software.

A frequent speaker at events and on panels that promote and support women business leaders and managers, Mei-Mei is an active board member of Friends of Thirteen, Montclair Kimberley Academy, the Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: TBBK) and the Harvard Business School Asian-American Association (HBS4A). She has also served recently on boards for the Wellesley College Alumnae Association, New Jersey Women’s Forum, New Jersey Network (NJN), Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation and New Jersey Wellesley Club, where she was president.

Mei-Mei is a member of Business Leadership Council (BLC) at Wellesley, New Jersey Women’s Forum, and the Committee of 100—an international, nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that brings Chinese-American perspective to issues concerning U.S.-China relations.

mtuan@notchpartners.com

ANDREW THOMPSON, Managing Partner and Founder

Andy Thompson 814Prior to founding Notch Partners, Andy was managing director of Primedia Ventures, where he co-managed two private equity investment funds. Through investments in 17 private companies, the firm generated top-quartile returns. In that capacity, he served on several boards of directors, providing strategic oversight and helping to build top-caliber management teams for the portfolio companies. Previously, he was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Andy has been a co-founder or early employee of three successful startup businesses. He was a member of the initial team at Andromedia, Inc., a private equity-backed software startup that sold to Macromedia, Inc. in a nine-figure transaction netting outsized returns for the private equity investment group, including UBS Capital, JK&B Capital, Draper International and Platinum Ventures.

His functional expertise spans strategic planning, private equity investment and sales/marketing. His executive relationships cover a broad range of industrial and business-to-business fields, including business process outsourcing, commercial banking, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, enterprise software and telecommunications.

Andy is a frequent speaker to senior executive audiences, addressing the topics of career transition and executive relationships with private equity buyout investors. He is on the board of trustees for New Jersey SEEDS, an academic and leadership program for high-achieving, low-income youth. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Dartmouth College.

athompson@notchpartners.com

ANASTASSIA BOUGAKOVA

Anastassia Bougakova - web resAnastassia joined Notch Partners after graduating from Colgate University with a B.A. in Sociology and English Literature. During her tenure at Colgate, she worked on several research projects in the Sociology department and was awarded High Honors for her thesis examining the experiences of LGBTQ students on campus. Anastassia was a peer consultant at the Writing and Speaking Center at Colgate, and acted in several university theater productions. She continues to enjoy theater and science fiction novels.

abougakova@notchpartners.com

JACOB COLE

Jacob Cole - Web resJacob joined Notch Partners following his graduation from Davidson College, where he studied Political Theory. While at Davidson, Jacob competed for the Men’s Crew Team and directed fundraising for Dinner at Davidson, a student-led initiative supporting higher education accessibility. In his free time, Jacob enjoys playing jazz and classical guitar and is an avid follower of Florida’s many underachieving sports franchises.

jcole@notchpartners.com

WES COLE

Wes newAs an executive, investor, and consultant, Wes has supported a broad range of companies. He began his career as a consultant to global telecom and IT companies, leading the Moscow office of J’son & Partners. Later he was with the Austin Technology Incubator, followed by Gefinor Ventures, an early stage VC fund investing in software, communications, semiconductors, and medical devices. Next, while at Alcatel-Lucent, he launched new ventures in mobile and cloud computing based on Bell Labs technologies. Prior to joining Notch Partners, Wes took on a series of operational roles, including VP Operations and General Manager, Wireless Services within ALU’s Wireless Division, and CEO of Vobi, a VC-backed mobile/cloud collaboration software company. A lifelong teacher and mentor, Wes has taught high school biology, coached youth soccer and creativity, and is a trained CEO coach and active career mentor. He has completed 15 marathons and 4 IronMan triathlons. Wes earned his bachelor’s degree, with honors, in human biology from Stanford University and his MBA from the University of Texas.

wcole@notchpartners.com

JUDY COLLINS

Judy Collins 814

Judy joined Notch Partners in 2005 where she focuses on a variety of industrial and consumer related projects. She has extensive contacts in building materials, water/electrical infrastructure and distribution/logistics. Prior to joining Notch, Judy served in operating roles at Flying Minds and Barnes & Noble. She started her career at Citibank in private banking. She holds an MPPM from Yale University and a BA from Wellesley College.

jcollins@notchpartners.com

 HEATHER MCNAUGHT GILPIN

Heather McNaught 814Before joining Notch Partners, Heather was a management consultant serving both for-profit and nonprofit clients. At McKinsey & Company, she worked primarily with financial services companies to identify strategic acquisition opportunities, improve human capital systems and streamline operations. Later, as an independent consultant, she advised nonprofits and state and city governments attempting to transform public education to improve education for low-income children. Heather also founded and led Learn NY, a nonprofit that worked with Mayor Bloomberg’s office to successfully advocate for the renewal of mayoral control over New York City public schools. She began her career in public policy, working for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy in Washington, DC. Heather holds a JD from Harvard Law School and an AB from Princeton University.

hgilpin@notchpartners.com

MORGAN GRIFFITH

Morgan joined Notch Partners after graduating from Oberlin College & Conservatory with a B.A. in French and a B.M. in Vocal Performance.  At Oberlin, she actively organized and promoted activities at La Maison Française, a French culture and language-themed dormitory, including the annual Mardi Gras celebration, crêpe nights, and French conversation hours. In addition to her studies in French, she spent several summers in Italy studying Italian.  Morgan won numerous awards for her talents in music and foreign languages in local and national competitions.

mgriffith@notchpartners.com

WILL GURAL

william-gural-high-resWill joined Notch Partners after graduating from Brown University with a B.A. in Business Economics, Entrepreneurship and Organizations. In addition to his studies, Will played Division I Lacrosse at Brown where he was deemed 1st Team All-Ivy League, USILA 2nd Team All-American, and helped lead the team to the Final Four in his hometown of Philadelphia. He enjoys the outdoors, particularly skiing and fishing, sports, reading, and live music.

wgural@notchpartners.com

 

GAHYE KOO

GaHye Koo web resPrior to joining Notch Partners in 2015, GaHye was an Associate at State Street Bank, where she worked on mutual fund portfolios for financial corporations. She graduated from Wellesley College in 2013 with a BA in International Economic Relations and Spanish. GaHye was actively involved in a cappella and spent the summers working in Argentina and South Korea. She enjoys exploring hidden food gems and training for marathons.

gkoo@notchpartners.com

LAUREN MARRAZZO

Lauren Marrazz - web resLauren joined Notch Partners after graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in International Studies and Writing Seminars. In addition to her two majors, she pursued a supplementary focus area in Global Public Health. Lauren was actively involved in service and education-oriented activities during her time at Hopkins, serving as both a Bystander Intervention Trainer and a Writing Tutor. In her spare time, she is an avid reader and outdoor enthusiast.

lmarrazzo@notchpartners.com

 

MONIE RYDER

Monie Ryder 814Prior to joining Notch Partners, Monie spent over 15 years in the private sector, serving as executive assistant to C-level executives, largely within the telecommunication industry. She has worked at Bay Networks (acquired by Nortel), Flarion Technologies and FiberTower Corporation (merged with First Avenue Networks). She began her career in Washington, DC, where she served as assistant director, Presidential Appointments and Scheduling for the president of the United States, and in similar roles for the vice president and for a U.S. senator. Later she served as deputy associate director of Presidential Personnel. Monie attended Katharine Gibbs School and Wheaton College.

mryder@notchpartners.com

KATE THOMPSON

Katherine Thompson web resKate joined Notch Partners in 2015 after graduating from Georgetown University with a B.S. in Culture and Politics. She also earned a certificate in Asian Studies based on her senior thesis exploring the effect of Chinese Internet censorship on the written language. While at Georgetown, Kate was an active member of the Dahlgren Chapel Choir and Rangila: an annual South Asian dance festival and fundraiser. She continues to enjoy music and watercolor painting.

kthompson@notchpartners.com

 

JEFF WEATHERS

Jeff Weathers -web resPrior to joining Notch Partners, Jeff was an Investment Banking Associate at Credit Suisse where he helped execute over $8 billion of M&A and LBO transactions, high-yield and investment-grade debt financings, and recapitalizations. He worked in the Global Industrials Group supporting several industries, including Paper & Packaging, Diversified Industrials, Aerospace & Defense, and Metals & Mining.  Previously, Jeff was a Senior Engineer at Bell Helicopter and an Officer in the US Air Force. Jeff holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and a BS from Georgia Institute of Technology. Jeff is a licensed pilot and has over 450 hours of flight time in eight different jet and piston aircraft and enjoys traveling the globe in his free time.

jweathers@notchpartners.com

 

AYELET WITELSON

Ayelet head shot

An executive with extensive hands-on experience in financial management and business leadership, Ayelet held the role of Chief Financial Officer of SIGA Technologies (SIGA), a biotechnology company specializing in the development of antiviral countermeasures for life-threatening infectious diseases and bio-warfare agents. Ayelet began her career as an auditor in the Silicon Valley. While obtaining her graduate degree, Ayelet joined Mercury Interactive, a software development company, to lead its financial planning and analysis efforts. After moving to New York, Ayelet joined Pricewaterhousecoopers, LLP, where she served in various positions of increasing responsibility, worked primarily with technology companies and assisted clients in the development of their financial reporting and regulatory compliance. Prior to joining Notch Partners, Ayelet ran an independent consulting practice where she supported her clients on a variety of financial issues. Ayelet earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her MBA from the University of Santa Clara, CA.

awitelson@notchpartners.com