Everett R. Cook
Co-Founder & Managing Member
Prior to co-founding Pouschine Cook, Everett was a managing director of Ampton Investments, Inc. where he focused on private middle market recapitalizations and acquisitions and was chairman and CEO of Bake Rite Foods, Inc. Prior to Ampton, Everett served as an operating executive and director at several companies owned and controlled by his family. He was a vice president and director of Cook International, Inc., a vice president and director of Terminix International, Inc., a director of PBCM, Inc., and chairman of Cook Flexner & Co., Inc. Previously, he was a mortgage securities and corporate finance professional with First Pennco Securities, Inc.
Everett graduated from Dartmouth College and from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He is currently a Director of SDI and formerly the Chairman of the Board of Drilltec, The RoomPlace and Fantastic Sams. Everett is also a board member of several not-for-profit organizations.
Co-founding the Firm: I wanted to bring a proactive approach to private equity investing, along with a broad investment mandate that included the ability to invest in a broad spectrum of industries, and provide control and non-control capital. Smart private equity investing goes beyond corporate finance and financial engineering. To take companies to the next level of scale and value creation, you’ve got to know a good deal about operations, marketing, and the human side of an enterprise. And that’s what we bring to our portfolio companies.
Business Values: Every situation is a new learning experience, which means: Remember to respect differing managements’ viewpoints. Open-mindedness is crucial, which translates into capturing-and applying-the collective experience and ideas that come from the diverse set of companies in our portfolio. We learn as much from them as we give back.
Biggest Challenge: We thought that Pouschine Cook was about making investments. It is, and it isn’t. The big challenge is developing teamwork-getting everyone in each of our portfolio companies, from top to bottom, to play as a high-performance team: one where everyone acts like an owner, is accountable for his or her results and the results of peers, and ratchets up performance year after year.
Biggest High: To be able to partner with and invest in companies that were once just a grain of an idea and then took root under the guidance of a dynamic CEO and team, and then help move that company forward to a new level of performance and value-there is no higher “high.”
Key Lesson Learned: Leadership in this industry is a delicate balancing act. The executives we deal with don’t want to be controlled; they prefer being challenged. To get them to the next level requires challenging them while not diminishing them in any way. Consultation works best. It allows you to take good leaders and make them great.