Growth-oriented private investment firm Orangewood Partners added two seasoned operating executives to its team with the aim of driving value creation.
The New York-based firm added Jake Brewer as managing director of operations and Chuck Sonsteby as an operating partner. Brewer is Orangewood’s first full-time investment professional dedicated exclusively to portfolio company operations. In the new role, he will focus on operational diligence and driving value add including institutionalization and innovation at Orangewood’s advisory network to improve portfolio company operations. Meanwhile, Sonsteby will provide strategic guidance to both Orangewood and its portfolio companies as part of the operating partner group.
“Jake’s significant expertise in driving digital transformation across our core areas of focus, particularly in the restaurant and multi-unit consumer sectors, coupled with Chuck’s proven track record of success at some of the most recognized and well-run organizations, will be valuable assets to the firm,” said Neil Goldfarb, managing partner of Orangewood. “Orangewood is dedicated to differentiating itself by providing strategic resources to its portfolio companies and having worked closely with Jake and Chuck previously, we are confident they will be instrumental in driving value for our portfolio companies, investors, and communities.”
Most recently, Brewer was chief strategy officer at Miso Robotics, a tech scale-up focused on back-of-house restaurant robotics. He led the company’s product strategy, marketing, fundraising and general corporate strategy. Before Miso, he was vice president of restaurant excellence at CKE Restaurants.
Sonsteby is the lead independent director for Darden Restaurants, serves on the Valvoline board and was previously a board member of The Zale Corporation. He has held several key management positions, including chief financial and chief administrative officer, at The Michaels Companies, where he helped transition the company from private to public before retiring as vice chairman in 2017.
Orangewood itself was founded in 2015 with a focus on partnering with founder-led businesses, management teams and entrepreneurs. Last October, Orangewood purchased Barrington James, a recruitment company focused on the life sciences industry.
The firm recently made other significant hires including Dylan Arpey as vice president of investor relations. Co-Founders of Southpaw Judd and Erica Wishnow were appointed as operating partners following Orangewood’s successful exit of its Kentucky-based Taco Bell franchisee, ABTB.