Fund Managers

John Kerschen, Managing Director: John Kerschen has more than 24 years of financial experience in early stage investments, commercial banking, mergers and acquisitions, and investment banking in the Chicago and West Michigan markets. Kerschen has demonstrated ability to combine his significant banking/financial background with his strong transaction-management skills. Kerschen has been responsible for more than 75 successfully completed transactions with more than $500 million in aggregate transaction value. These transactions include diverse industries such as manufacturing of metal parts, plastics, electronics, medical devices, and more, as well as, construction services, energy services, business services, and various distribution industries.

Through the formation of Charter Capital Partners, Kerschen is an investor/acquirer in growth companies seeking investment capital or an outright acquisition. Kerschen is a past President of the Board of Trustees of United Memorial Hospital, having served on the health system board for nine years, a past President and board member of the West Michigan chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG). He is also a past national Board member for ACG and is a current board member for Hastings Mutual Insurance, Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing, nanoRETE, and the Michigan Medical Device Accelerator.  He has a BA from Michigan State University and an MBA from DePaul University.

Kerschen holds Series 79, 62 and 63 securities licenses.


Dale Grogan, CSCIP, Managing Director: In his more than 20 years of professional business expertise, Dale Grogan has been an entrepreneur and an investment banker.He has raised more than $30 million for start-up and early stage companies and VC funds.

Grogan has started and owned numerous businesses, including an NASD broker/dealer firm (Stanley Grogan Investments), several technology companies, and consulting firms focused on start-up businesses (Acuity Capital Management, Acuity Capital Partners). He was the founder and CEO of a high-tech, Leapfrog Smart Products, which he took public, and then private again. In terms of technology competence, Dale was an original member of the GSA Interoperability Standards Committee for the development and usage of smart card applications within the federal government. Grogan is currently a Board Member of the Smart Card Alliance, the smart card industry’s non-profit trade association, as well as serves as Secretary of the Healthcare Steering Committee.

Grogan sits on the Board of SMART Association, Inc., the nation’s leading smart card solutions provider in the healthcare market and EyeSupply USA, a niche ophthalmic supply business. As it relates to Michigan entrepreneurial activities, Grogan is a member of the “Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund” Investment Review Board (since 2008), responsible for vetting business plans for investment by the Fund, has been a judge for the Great Lake Entrepreneurial Quest (since 2007), and a judge for the ACG Cup (since 2009) an MBA business student competition analyzing advanced business case studies. Grogan attended Huntington College in Montgomery, AL where he studied chemistry and biology and was granted early admission to the University of Alabama School of Optometry in Birmingham, AL, where he studied general optometry and physiological optics.

He is also a board member for MichBio and Michigan Israeli Business Bridge; sits on the SWMF Capital Committee; and represents MAF-1 interests on portfolio company boards. Dale holds the Series 65 securities license.


Brian Hamilton, Venture Capital Associate: Brian leads the analysis, research, and administrative processes for MAF-1. He has more than 10 years of business expertise, including extensive experience working with family-owned businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

Most recently, Brian served as manager of operations for a local family office. His responsibilities included operations, strategic planning, and streamlining of processes. Brian also provided leadership in finance, operations, and process management for many of the family’s portfolio companies. He has worked with local start-ups in areas of business strategy, commercialization, revenue modeling, and investor relations.

Brian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Calvin College, and received an MBA from Grand Valley State University.