February 25, 2024

Principals

Norman E. Clarke

Managing Partner

Mr. Clarke has become a distinguished figure in the fields of investment banking and venture capital. Prior to establishing Clarke Advisors, Mr. Clarke served as the Founder, CEO, and Senior Managing Partner of Windstone Capital Partners, Inc. for eight years. This tech-focused firm, which comprised 15 members, expanded its operations throughout the western U.S., overseeing private equity placements and M&A deals. In addition, Mr. Clarke managed a Venture Capital Fund, in which he invested and cultivated 15 early-stage companies, primarily within the tech and service sectors, in affiliation with prominent capital groups such as Internet Capital Group, NGEN, and Morgan Stanley. His career kicked off at Hyatt Hotel Corporation, which paved the way for senior positions at AT&T, MCI, and a Phoenix-based company called Three Five Systems. A graduate of Michigan State University and Wayne State University, Mr. Clarke now dedicates his knowledge to The Clarke Library as a Board member. He possesses FINRA Series 7, 79, and 63 licenses.

Bob Peach

Bob Peach

Senior Managing Director

Mr. Peach is a seasoned technology and computing expert with over three decades of success in launching multiple companies. His career includes roles such as Managing Director at Windstone Capital Partners and Founder of Saguaro Venture Partners. His leadership as Vice President of Sales for 1Direct resulted in a successful acquisition and the establishment of Rand Federal. Mr. Peach’s strategic management of sales and technical teams has led to notable system deployments at DOE, NASA JPL, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and many universities. Additionally, he co-founded Abba Technologies. From 1986 to 1993, he served as a technical consultant for esteemed corporations such as Control Data and Digital Equipment Corp. During his time at the University of Arizona, made significant contributions to the development of the pioneering 3-D mine design system. Mr. Peach served in the Intelligence branch of the U.S Air Force, where he held DOD and DOE security clearances. Alongside his technical expertise, he has held 7, 63, and 79 FINRA securities licenses.

Juri Varangu

Juri Varangu

Senior Advisor

Mr. Varangu has accumulated over 40 years of experience in business, management, sales, and marketing. He has made a distinguished mark in multiple industries throughout his career. Mr. Varangu began his professional journey at Allstate Insurance and subsequently led Canadian operations for Policy Management Systems. He later joined Remanco Inc. as the Director of Sales for North America and Managing Director International. Mr. Varangu is the founder of Capdata Inc., a leading hotel customer technology product. His introduction of “virtual imaging” technology in Canadian television uniquely positioned him within the industry, leading to his role as Vice President and Executive Producer at Pyman Media Group, where he contributed to hundreds of television shows. Today, his vast experience benefits Clarke Advisors LLC. Mr. Varangu holds a Business Diploma from Ryerson Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Akron, Ohio.

Ken Lerro

Director, Business Development

Mr. Lerro is an experienced marketing specialist and entrepreneur with significant expertise in the financial and private sectors. Prior to his current role at Clarke Advisors, he had a successful tenure as an Investment Advisor at a boutique fixed-income securities firm, where he held FINRA Series 7 and Series 63 licenses. Mr. Lerro has a proven track record of transforming strategic marketing plans into successful outcomes for both local and national clients, including two tech startups. Academically, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University and actively participated in recruiting for the Sigma Phi Epsilon Chapter. Outside of work, Mr. Lerro leads an engaging personal life with hobbies that include bowling, mountain biking, swimming, and spending quality time with his family. He resides in Phoenix with his wife and daughter.

Steven Keim

Senior Advisor

Steven Keim works closely with principals, lenders, law firms, and others. Before joining Clarke Advisors, Steven was a Managing Director of Coldwell Banker Commercial Prime Properties. Prior, he was designated broker of Commerce One Realty, a member of the NAI Global Commercial Real Estate network. Mr. Keim’s experience is broad in the warehousing, logistics, and transportation industries and offers a unique perspective on supply chain-related issues and opportunities. Mr. Keim is a co-founder of the iWest group of companies that is a collection of asset-based providers of third-party logistics, final mile transportation, procurement management, and commercial warehousing where he managed business development is currently a strategic advisor and board member. Acquisition and disposition of related real estate component of a supply chain-related company is an area of specialty in his practice. Mr. Keim studied Real Estate Law at Idaho State University and Business Management at the University of Denver. His qualifications are underscored by his Idaho and Montana Real Estate Brokerage Licenses.

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Catherine Synan

Senior Analyst

Ms. Synan is an experienced entrepreneur, marketer, analyst, and data expert. She has successfully launched products, brands, and businesses across various industries, including business services and consumer goods. Catherine is well-versed in business and data technology tools and excels at evaluating market dynamics and constructing involved databases. Her analytical strengths enable her to effectively dissect complex data. She holds a BS in Marketing from Arizona State University. Catherine’s unique blend of business acumen and technical expertise serve as the foundation for her comprehensive approach to developing strategies.

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Barbra Holden

Analyst

Ms. Holden has held key roles in both the finance and film industries. Her financial expertise includes serving as a top-producing Vice President and Business Development Officer at Bank of America’s Commercial Finance Group, representing the bank in middle-market transactions across the Southwest. She was also a VP at Coast Business Credit. Ms. Holden is also a versatile entrepreneur, having launched businesses in video production, trainings & seminars, digital design & marketing, and graphic design. Her film industry experience includes film direction, Director of Development for Aaron Spelling Productions, and an agent with Creative Artists Agency. Her achievements have earned her various awards, including The Gisbert Award, The Start Award for Innovation, The Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin Award, and recognition from film festivals for short films. She pursued her education at Ohio State University, UCLA, and The American Film Institute.

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Ethan Johns

Intern

Ethan Johns is currently studying finance with a minor in accounting at Grand Canyon University. He aspires to make a difference in the financial industry and is particularly interested in joining an industrials investment banking group. When he’s not focused on his studies, Ethan enjoys discovering new culinary delights, traveling, and participating in outdoor activities like golf, tennis, and hiking.