Michael Thicksten

Michael comes to Tarnhelm Capital LLC with diverse experience advising companies and analyzing investments across various sectors. He brings a passion for excellence, and leading organizations that value their people and communities.

Michael advises growing companies in a range of settings and industries. He brings deal experience at all stages of the investment cycle. He has conducted numerous due diligence projects and analyzed potential investment opportunities. He has played in integral part in sourcing deals for the fund’s pipeline, and providing research and recommendations that drove investment decisions at each stage of the diligence process.

Michael holds a bachelor’s in communications from Texas State University and a Juris Doctor with a concentration in corporate finance law from The University of Miami School of Law.

Catherine Gayton


Brandon Jones



Our team of advisors has an established record advising and supporting business executives across a broad range of functional and strategic areas. Tarnhelm Capital’s operating partners have deep and relevant experience working with management teams of midmarket companies and a long history of being responsible business partners. Our operating partners also have extensive networks that provide access to the critical resources management teams can draw on to help them execute their business strategies.

Jeffrey Cartwright

Jeff is a seasoned executive with deep operations and general management experience. He has led manufacturing, logistics, engineering, sourcing, product development, marketing, and sales for leading multinational consumer products firms for over 35 years. Experiences include leadership in US, Mexico, China, and Europe. He has conducted multiple successful interventions resulting in value that has consistently exceeded expectations.

Jeff’s experience includes serving as the President & COO of Igloo Products, where he led the company through significant double digit growth and a 15% improvement in EBITDA. Prior to this, Jeff was also the President & CEO of Cosco Home and Office Products. During his tenure, this $150 million business received two Vendor of the Year Awards from Wal-Mart in addition to sole supplier in two different product categories.

Jeff has held VP of Operations positions in several consumer products companies, including Dorel Juvenile Group, Silver Line Building Products (n.k.a. Andersen Windows), Intercraft Burnes (Division of Newell Rubbermaid), Newell, Frito-Lay, and Procter & Gamble. Several of these assignments have been significant turnarounds from losses or breakeven results to double digit profitability in under a year.

Jeff resides in Dallas, Texas where he is actively engaged within the community. Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and four grandchildren. His interests include military history and college football.

Mark A. Melton

Mark is an attorney with the international law firm Holland & Knight LLP where his practice focuses on federal income taxation issues related to domestic and international transactions of multi-national corporations and other business and investment organizations. Mark assists clients with private equity and hedge fund issues including fund formation, deal acquisition structuring, financial instruments and derivatives, and audit representation. He is experienced in a broad spectrum of tax issues such as partnership allocation issues, merger and acquisition issues, inbound and outbound cross-border investments, and investments by sovereign wealth funds, tax-exempt entities, international organizations, and other institutional investors.

Prior to joining Hunton and Williams LLP, Mark was a Fund Tax Manager for multi-billion dollar international private equity group. He is a certified public accountant and adjunct lecturer in the graduate tax program at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. Mark is also a level II candidate in the CFA program.

In addition to his professional activities, Mark is passionate about giving back to the community and serves in various leadership roles with several community service, civic and political organizations.

Leeann Woods

Lee Ann Woods is a consumer goods business consultant and strategist based in Dallas, Texas. Her work with clients includes: operations assessment, market and competitive analysis, forecasting, strategic planning, product development and management, advisory, capital formation, mergers & acquisitions. Industry specializations: food & beverage, sports products & properties, licensing, manufacturing, packaging, and related technology.

Woods has many years of experience in national product development, management, and licensing for consumer goods companies, including: Miller Brewing Co., 7Up, FootAction USA, NHL, Disney, ProSet Trading Cards, 1st & 10/Emmitt Smith, Cadbury Neilson, BSN/Sport Supply, Dewar’s, Einstein Bros., Boston Market, Kelley Gloves, MTV, Lotto USA, Dallas Cowboys, Sea & Ski, Frito-Lay, among others.

Woods is proudly active with: Association of Corporate Growth, APICS, DFW French Chamber, The First Tee, and Dallas CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). Woods is an arts advocate, and enjoys golf, tennis, photography, jazz, and cooking.