3 Meetings That Changed Everything, presented by JP Morgan
Learn which meetings for these successful founders altered the journey of their company.
Hosted by Alton McDowell, Co-Head, Technology and Disruptive Commerce, Middle Market Banking and Specialized Industries.
Alton has been with JPMorgan Chase for over 20 years. He most recently joined Middle Market Specialized Industries where he co-leads support for clients in the technology and disruptive commerce space. Alton came to Middle Market banking from Corporate Client Banking & Specialized Industries, where he was a Managing Director in the Financial Institutions Group Mortgage Finance team.
Prior to that, Alton was a Managing Director in the Debt Capital Markets group, leading a banking team focused on the Diversified Industrials and Paper & Packaging sectors. Alton also worked in the Telecom Media and Technology group as a Media banker working on M&A, IPO and High Yield transactions. He has also worked in the Financial Controllers Group within the Investment Bank and was responsible for select fixed income businesses.
Alton is an active participant in recruiting, training and mentoring efforts within the firm.
Alton graduated from the University of Houston and received an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York City. He currently resides in Houston with his wife and two children.
Founder and CEO, Ka-Pop!
Dustin began his career as an investment banker and equity research analyst at Goldman Sachs, but realized his true passion was for building businesses in the food and nutrition categories.
Following his MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, he shifted into general management, marketing, operations, and sales roles for both large and small companies in the conventional CPG and natural foods space.
In parallel with the roles he held in the CPG and natural foods space, Dustin founded MacGray, LLC specializing in providing leadership, strategy, marketing, financial, and valuation services to business primarily in the food space, as well as Private Equity groups looking to invest in the Food Space. In this role, Dustin has served as interim CEO & CMO, advisor, and board member to numerous natural foods companies for well recognized natural foods companies across the country.
He also provides mentorship for multiple entrepreneurs in the community as they move across key tipping points in business development. Driven by his track record of success, The University of Colorado, Boulder, recruited Dustin to teach business classes to both its undergrad and graduate populations.
Dustin is a community service leader and participant; competitor in multiple sporting events, avid cross fitter and is passionate about food.
Founder, The Chocolate Therapist
Julie Nygard graduated from the University of Colorado in Denver with a degree in psychology, and also has a Nutrition Educator’s Certificate from Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts in Boulder, Colorado.
After thirteen years as a department manager for a wholesale sporting goods company, she left to start her own company. Five successful years later, she sold it to pursue her dream of becoming an author. She’s since written four books and the founded The Chocolate Therapist chocolate company.
The Chocolate Therapist gives a percentage of profits from all book and chocolate sales to children’s programs focused on poverty, hunger, shelter, medical issues and education.
Julie gives presentations every month to various groups about chocolate and healthy eating. She has appeared on local television and national radio numerous times to educate people about the health benefits of chocolate.
In addition to owning her own chocolate shop and hosting events for years, Julie’s extensive background in nutrition, health and psychology all combine for an intriguing experience of education and entertainment. Her latest book, “The Last Damn Diet: A Step by Step Guide to End Your War With Food Forever” expands her presentation offerings to groups more focused on nutrition.
Co-founder, The Real Dill
Justin Park is a co-founder of The Real Dill, which is a Denver-based company known for their premium pickles and bloody mary mix. Their products can be found online and in approximately 1,000 accounts throughout the United States.
Prior to founding The Real Dill, Justin graduated from Bentley University with a degree in Marketing. He spent several years post-graduation traveling and living abroad in Costa Rica and South Korea where he worked a variety of jobs.
After his travels, Just began a career back in the United States in the non-profit sector, focusing on empowering disadvantaged communities to drive and lead change within their own neighborhoods to make them more supportive of healthy and active lifestyles.
In 2012, Justin co-founded the Real Dill. The Real Dill is proud to be a zero food waste company, and has been recognized by the City of Denver and the State of Colorado for their environmental leadership.
Justin and/or The Real Dill products have been featured in People and Time Magazines, and on The Today Show, 2 Chainz's Most Expensivest, and Marcus Lemonis' competition show The Elevator Pitch.
When he is not pursuing the thrill of the dill, Justin likes to spend his time with his family, go to concerts, travel, cook, and play ice hockey.