Welcome to the Arena

Welcome to the Arena

In the increasingly crowded and competitive corporate and financial ecosystem, it’s harder than ever for companies to break through the clutter and be heard. The media, investors, agenda-driven influencers, even customers and competitors, are defining your business story on their terms. Therefore, it is imperative that companies take control and proactively drive the conversation with stakeholders in an effort to build & maintain equity value. In Welcome to the Arena, Co-Founder & CEO of ICR, Tom Ryan, interviews key business and financial players who influence the fate of public or aspiring public companies in the capital markets. As a former Wall Street Journal ranked sell-side equity analyst and the founder of one of the largest strategic communications firms in the world, Tom understands what it takes to navigate this complex environment. This is a forum for CEOs, CFOs, institutional investors, sell-side analysts, financial journalists, private equity professionals and other financial community participants to share their stories and give advice in an open and candid conversation. For more information, visit http://www.icrinc.com


September 20, 2023 33 mins

When you're a founder, you need creative ways to grow your business. Today's guest recognized that need, and built her company on it.

We're sitting down with Keri Findley, Founder and CEO of Tacora Capital. Keri has two decades of experience in structured credit investing at leading firms, and as a private investor. She founded Tacora in 2022, securing a $250 million investment from renowned venture capitalist Peter Thiel.


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As the economy shifts, and interest rates rise, there's an extraordinary opportunity right now for lenders who pay attention and lean in.

Today we get to sit down with Warren de Haan, Founder, Managing Partner, and CEO at ACORE Capital. ACORE is one of the largest credit managers focused on commercial real estate lending, with approximately $20 billion of assets under management for the past three years.

ACORE originates, ac...

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Sleep apnea affects a billion people worldwide and can cause serious medical problems, and yet its most widely prescribed therapy can be intolerable for many sufferers. My guest today has identified and jumped on a huge need for an alternative therapy.

We're sitting down with Len Liptak, founder and CEO of ProSomnus Sleep Technology, which trades under the symbol O S A. He's a board member and the co-inventor of the company...

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After a couple of turbulent years, there are still a lot of unknowns in the market. But today's guest is sharing his insights based on a wealth of experience, grounded in his firm's excellent reputation. 

Today we're sitting down with Tom Schadewald, who is a Managing Director working on Baird's Equity Capital Markets Team. Tom is focused on technology and on the technology and services sectors. He joined Baird in 2022 from...

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For companies with expenditures that run into the billions, strategic procurement can mean millions for the bottom line. 

Today we're sitting down with David Pennino, President, CEO, Board member and Founding Partner of LogicSource, a purpose-built procurement services and technology provider focused exclusively on indirect or not-for-resale expenditures. LogicSource’s service and technology solutions drive cost reductions ...

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During the pandemic, there was an eruption of on-demand delivery sites and apps focused on consumer convenience. Today's guest has built a strategic service that provides flexible opportunities for both their customers and their employees.

This week we sit down with Jeff Grass, Co-Founder and CEO of HUNGRY. It's the first ever platform that connects independent chefs to the catering and corporate food services markets while...

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Starting any business is a highly complicated endeavor. In the start-up space, where stakes are higher and more competitive than ever, businesses need guidance to survive and stand out from the crowd. Today's guest draws on her vast career experience to provide expertise to businesses at pivotal phases in their development.

This week we sit down with Alison Lange Engel, a partner at Greycroft. Greycroft is a venture capital...

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This week we're re-sharing a really fun interview from back in April, with the unstoppable Sarah-Marie Martin.

It's pretty inspiring to hear from people who climb huge heights, and then go looking for even bigger challenges. And that's exactly what today's guest did. On this episode we're sitting down with Sarah-Marie Martin, who joined Uber in 2022 as Head of M&A Investor Relations and Capital Markets, after a successf...

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When it comes to high-stakes strategising for businesses undergoing challenging shifts, the incredible value of legal training mixed with communications expertise can't be overstated. Today's guests know all about that.

On this episode, we welcome two of ICR's finest, Joan Vollero and Lee Pacchia. Joan and Lee are both Managing Directors in ICR's Special Situations practice group.

Joan advises companies and individuals on a ...

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In the developing post-pandemic landscape, the discussion of a possible recession has been the latest ongoing hot topic, leaving businesses in a difficult position for decision-making. Today’s guest is sharing his expansive career knowledge to inform businesses about the reality of the current market. 

We're sitting down with my only two-time guest, Gregg Nabhan. If you tuned in to the first episode with Gregg, you'll remem...

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Solving today's huge environmental problems takes creativity and innovation, but it also requires businesses to build strong industry partnerships. Today's guest is doing just that. 

We're sitting down with Vijay Manthripragada, President, CEO and Board Member of Montrose Environmental Group, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol, M E G. Vijay brings significant leadership in management experience to ...

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A great thinker once said "what is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right." Our guest on this episode has built his legacy on difficult, but hugely influential decision-making.

We're joined by Cyrus Vance Jr., best known for serving as New York County's top law enforcement officer for 12 years. As Manhattan District Attorney, he oversaw everything from white-collar fraud to cybercrime, human-tra...

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Millions of Americans with medical conditions spend years waiting for breakthrough treatments. Today's guest is making extraordinary advances in cancer treatment to significantly improve outcomes.

Today we're sitting down with Dr. Marc Hedrick, President and CEO at Plus Therapeutics whose stock trades under the symbol PSTV. Previously, Dr. Hedrick served in a number of executive leadership roles, including President, CEO an...

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When it comes to legacy industries, it's all too common for business processes to become embedded and stagnant, but with growing technological and environmental transformation across markets, there may be no choice but to change. Today's guests are teaming up to promote a technology that could drive that change with the potential to disrupt the mining industry.

Today we're talking with John Dowd, CEO of GoGreen Investments ...

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Sometimes abstract thinking that can lead to real breakthroughs. The knowledge and innovative thinking of today's guests led to an life-changing solution to an ongoing 75-year puzzle. Today we sit down with David Katz and Robert Jacks; Chief Scientific Officer, and President & CEO, of Sparrow Pharmaceuticals, respectively. Sparrow has come up with a groundbreaking way to help patients who need steroid treatments. 


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Building partnerships and investing strategically can be key in the growth of a business. However, for big corporations, and small start-ups, creating and managing a variety of partnerships can be challenging. Today's guest created his company to help ease that process.

On this episode we're sitting down with David Horowitz, founder and CEO of Touchdown Ventures. Touchdown partners with leading corporations to manage their ...

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Making mistakes is a natural part of building every business, but leaving problems unresolved for too long can be costly. Today's guest is teaching business owners that huge success can come out of grand failures - if you’re paying attention. 

Today we're sitting down with Robert Irvine, a world-class chef and host of Food Network's hit show 'Restaurant: Impossible', where he takes two days and under $20,000 to transform fa...

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To create a brand with a lasting legacy, owners have to set and follow clear principles from the very beginning. Today's guest has continued to strengthen and grow their brand while maintaining those key principles. 

Today we're sitting down with Alex Ryan, President, CEO, and Chairman of The Duckhorn Portfolio, North America's premier luxury wine company, with 10 wineries, eight state-of-the-art wine-making facilities, sev...

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Recently, the restaurant industry has been struggling to hire new workers and retain their current employees. Today's guest is using innovative AI technology to deliver speed and consistency in customer service, and in the kitchen. 

On this week's episode we sit down with Krishna Gupta, Chairman and Interim CEO of Presto, one of the largest drive-through automation technology providers in the hospitality industry. Krish...

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The fashion industry is powered by the sometimes differing perspectives of artistic entrepreneurs and business executives. It takes an intuitive and bold business innovator to merge those visions, and lead brands into the future. 

On this episode we sit down with Sandra Campos, a board member, three time CEO and two-time entrepreneur and advisor. Throughout her career, she's built global lifestyle brands, and she's been ins...

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