Our Credentials

Our credentials can be measured in two ways: First, by what we’ve done for others. Secondly, on our potential to add value to your current situation.

What we’ve done for others is reflected in our biographical profiles and transaction tombstones shown here. What we can do for your company, however, is best measured by talking to us. We’ll tell you what we see, what we think, and offer specific ideas. Select us on the quality and clarity of our thinking.

Stuart H. Kessler
President
Mr. Kessler is a founding partner and President of Clear Thinking Group. As a consultant for fifteen years, he has been engaged by numerous companies in the consumer product, retail and temporary staffing industries needing assistance with strategic, financial and operating alternatives. As part…
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Lee A. Diercks
Partner
Lee Diercks is a Founding Partner of Clear Thinking Group LLC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business/Marketing from St. Thomas University, and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Impac University. He is a business executive with over 37 years of…
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Amir Zfira
Partner
Mr. Zfira has over twenty years of experience advising businesses in the consumer product wholesale/ manufacturing, retail, and service industries. His expertise includes working with consumer product companies: recreational/sporting goods, electronics, giftware, home goods and apparel as well as service companies: staffing and transportation.…
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Paul Davies
Partner
Mr. Davies has been a consultant for the past seven years, and has over 35 years of experience in both public and private consumer product and retail companies. His expertise includes operations, logistics, human resources, merchandising and profit structure of both national and regional…
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Joseph Marchese
Partner
Mr. Marchese has over twenty years of experience consulting in the accounting and financial operations arena. His expertise includes all areas of business planning, cash management and financial reporting. In addition, his background in financial operations allows him to evaluate a client’s accounting practices…
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Michael Wesley
Partner
Mr. Wesley has over 15 years of consulting and management experience within the consumer product manufacturing and retail industries. He has worked in all areas of operations including manufacturing, supply chain, warehousing/distribution, inventory management, planning/allocation, finance, and IT. As a consultant, Mr. Wesley has…
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Brian Allen
Managing Director
Mr. Allen has over twenty years of experience serving in Controller and CFO positions with both public and private companies. Over the past six years, Mr. Allen has been engaged by numerous companies in the consumer product, retail and manufacturing industries assisting with strategic…
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Patrick Diercks
Managing Director
Mr. Diercks has over 12 years of experience as a consultant in the turnaround/restructuring arena dealing primarily with companies in consumer product manufacturing/distribution and retail. He has participated in numerous assignments related to cash management and operational performance improvement. He has been retained to…
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James Rategan
Managing Director
Mr. Rategan has more than 10 years of advisory experience in the consumer product/retail sector, and leads Clear Thinking Group’s Business Development initiatives. He partners with senior management teams and company stakeholders to perform business enterprise diagnostics in order to identify and solve complex…
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AR Williams
Managing Director
Mr. Williams is an experienced senior executive with over 30 years of leadership experience in finance, operations, merchandising, distribution and manufacturing for both growing and distressed retailers and manufacturing companies. He has served in various senior management capacities including Executive Vice President, Chief Financial…
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Eric Luukko
Managing Director
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Stuart H. Kessler
President
Mr. Kessler is a founding partner and President of Clear Thinking Group. As a consultant for fifteen years, he has been engaged by numerous companies in the consumer product, retail and temporary staffing industries needing assistance with strategic, financial and operating alternatives. As part…
Read More
Lee A. Diercks
Partner
Lee Diercks is a Founding Partner of Clear Thinking Group LLC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business/Marketing from St. Thomas University, and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Impac University. He is a business executive with over 37 years of…
Read More
Amir Zfira
Partner
Mr. Zfira has over twenty years of experience advising businesses in the consumer product wholesale/ manufacturing, retail, and service industries. His expertise includes working with consumer product companies: recreational/sporting goods, electronics, giftware, home goods and apparel as well as service companies: staffing and transportation.…
Read More
Paul Davies
Partner
Mr. Davies has been a consultant for the past seven years, and has over 35 years of experience in both public and private consumer product and retail companies. His expertise includes operations, logistics, human resources, merchandising and profit structure of both national and regional…
Read More
Joseph Marchese
Partner
Mr. Marchese has over twenty years of experience consulting in the accounting and financial operations arena. His expertise includes all areas of business planning, cash management and financial reporting. In addition, his background in financial operations allows him to evaluate a client’s accounting practices…
Read More
Michael Wesley
Partner
Mr. Wesley has over 15 years of consulting and management experience within the consumer product manufacturing and retail industries. He has worked in all areas of operations including manufacturing, supply chain, warehousing/distribution, inventory management, planning/allocation, finance, and IT. As a consultant, Mr. Wesley has…
Read More
Brian Allen
Managing Director
Mr. Allen has over twenty years of experience serving in Controller and CFO positions with both public and private companies. Over the past six years, Mr. Allen has been engaged by numerous companies in the consumer product, retail and manufacturing industries assisting with strategic…
Read More
Patrick Diercks
Managing Director
Mr. Diercks has over 12 years of experience as a consultant in the turnaround/restructuring arena dealing primarily with companies in consumer product manufacturing/distribution and retail. He has participated in numerous assignments related to cash management and operational performance improvement. He has been retained to…
Read More
James Rategan
Managing Director
Mr. Rategan has more than 10 years of advisory experience in the consumer product/retail sector, and leads Clear Thinking Group’s Business Development initiatives. He partners with senior management teams and company stakeholders to perform business enterprise diagnostics in order to identify and solve complex…
Read More
AR Williams
Managing Director
Mr. Williams is an experienced senior executive with over 30 years of leadership experience in finance, operations, merchandising, distribution and manufacturing for both growing and distressed retailers and manufacturing companies. He has served in various senior management capacities including Executive Vice President, Chief Financial…
Read More
Eric Luukko
Managing Director
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Representative Engagements
Value Creation
 
Provided merger and acquisition due diligence and integration planning.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the exclusive financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 reorganization and turnaround.
Value Creation
Performed a business enterprise diagnostic, organizational review, and provided project/interim management.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the exclusive financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 reorganization and turnaround.
Value Creation
Performed a business enterprise diagnostic including assisting with the 3 year business planning process.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the exclusive financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 process and asset sale.
Value Creation
Retained to perform a diagnostic related to management structure and reporting. Also assisted management in devising a plan to improve inventory productivity.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as financial advisor in the turnaround and successful sale of the company.
Value Creation
Retained to perform a business diagnostic with a focus on expense reductions, improving advertising and inventory productivity.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 and asset sale.
Value Creation
Retained to make recommendations for improving the processes and procedures related to quoting and estimating projects.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as financial advisor in successful workout.
Value Creation
Retained to provide a strategy and operational business diagnostic in addition to assisting with supplier communications.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 process and asset sale.
Value Creation
Retained to assist in developing new merchandising and planning/allocation processes to support accelerated store and sales growth.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 process and asset sale.
Value Creation
 
Retained to assist with a review of the merchandising distribution and operations functions.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 process and asset sale.
Value Creation
Provided a business diagnostic and strategic review. Additionally, assisted with the formation of a 3 year business plan.
Value Preservation
 
Served as interim management to restructure company and build a foundation for growth.
Value Creation
Retained to perform a review of business plan key initiatives implementation. In addition, assisted management in selecting and implementing a new ERP system.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the exclusive financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 and asset sale.
Value Creation
 
Provided merger and acquisition due diligence and integration planning.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the exclusive financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 reorganization and turnaround.
Value Creation
Performed a business enterprise diagnostic, organizational review, and provided project/interim management.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the exclusive financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 reorganization and turnaround.
Value Creation
Performed a business enterprise diagnostic including assisting with the 3 year business planning process.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the exclusive financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 process and asset sale.
Value Creation
Retained to perform a diagnostic related to management structure and reporting. Also assisted management in devising a plan to improve inventory productivity.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as financial advisor in the turnaround and successful sale of the company.
Value Creation
Retained to perform a business diagnostic with a focus on expense reductions, improving advertising and inventory productivity.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 and asset sale.
Value Creation
Retained to make recommendations for improving the processes and procedures related to quoting and estimating projects.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as financial advisor in successful workout.
Value Creation
Retained to provide a strategy and operational business diagnostic in addition to assisting with supplier communications.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 process and asset sale.
Value Creation
Retained to assist in developing new merchandising and planning/allocation processes to support accelerated store and sales growth.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 process and asset sale.
Value Creation
 
Retained to assist with a review of the merchandising distribution and operations functions.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 process and asset sale.
Value Creation
Provided a business diagnostic and strategic review. Additionally, assisted with the formation of a 3 year business plan.
Value Preservation
 
Served as interim management to restructure company and build a foundation for growth.
Value Creation
Retained to perform a review of business plan key initiatives implementation. In addition, assisted management in selecting and implementing a new ERP system.
Value Preservation
 
Acted as the exclusive financial advisor in the successful Ch. 11 and asset sale.
Clear Thinking Group
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