Black River Equity is Committed to Community and Growth

April 24, 2024

In the realm of business, particularly in the often-overlooked lower middle market, there are those who not only weather storms but thrive amidst them. Black River Equity is a company dedicated to fostering the growth of businesses in this sector.

At the heart of Black River Equity’s mission is a commitment to accelerating the growth of lower middle market businesses. Founder Daniel A. Skedel explains their strategy, which involves acquiring businesses, preserving their core essence, and propelling them towards sustainable success. 

“Our strategy is to buy businesses then build and develop them into sustainable companies preserving the legacy core products, services and employees,” Skedel explains. This approach is underpinned by clear long-term strategic plans, meticulous execution of tactical specifics, and over six decades of combined experience within the team.

Check out our full conversation with Skedel below…

Tell us about your business and the role you play in it.

At Black River Equity, we focus on accelerating the growth of lower middle market businesses.  Our strategy is to buy businesses then build and develop them into sustainable companies preserving the legacy core products, services and employees.  We accomplish this by creating clear long-term strategic plans and then prioritizing and executing the tactical specifics to achieve goals.  With over 60 years of experience our team has helped hundreds of companies adapt and succeed is today’s rapidly changing environment.  I personally work with every team, on each engagement to ensure success from the very start.

Where did your career find its start? How did you get involved with your company?

My first job out of college was the CFO of a small company in Columbus, OH with responsibilities for accounting, finance, HR, IT and a large real estate portfolio.  I loved the diversity and began taking wholistic approaches to the problems we were facing.  When I started Black River in 2011, the country was still reeling from the sub-prime mortgage crisis and good businesses with excellent opportunities were starved for growth capital.  I stepped in and filled the gap for those businesses forging lasting relationships between lender and owner.

What’s a little-known fact or trivia about your business?

I’m often asked how I came up with the name Black River.  My very first acquisition was a distressed oil drilling company and in conversation it came up that oil flows through the ground very much like a river.  My intention was to convert the red ink this business was producing into a profitable sustainable company that flowed a river of black ink instead. Visualizing success for a client provided a great metaphor for the overall business and Black River was born!

How has your/your company’s idea of success transformed?

When we started it was about helping owners fix their companies, so we crafted creative solutions with defined targets and helped them transform into sustainable, forward looking companies.  That’s a WIN!  Over time, we’ve found a lot of owners just don’t like or want to change, so we acquire the business, then build and develop the business ourselves.  We preserve the core business but update the processes, and set it on a path for growth and we can do it faster as we perfect our process.

What’s the greatest business advice you’ve been given?

If you think you are done, start again!  The business environment is ever-changing, with new tools abound to grow and flex your business to keep pace with changing opportunities.

What is most important to you/your company now?

I love what I do and now, finding the right businesses where we can provide the best solutions is where we are currently focused.

What do you see as your company’s legacy?

The businesses we serve, their employees and local communities is our legacy.  We strive to create thriving organizations that support growth for individuals and become anchors in the communities they serve.

What’s on the horizon?

We are excited about engaging with the local business community and serving where we can best add value.

Why did you decide to join the Chamber?

Asheville is our new home and we intend to get to know our neighbors and support the community we live in.   We joined the Chamber because we wanted to jumpstart building those relationships and community connections.

For more information about Black River Equity, visit [their website]( or connect with [Daniel A. Skedel on LinkedIn](