THE MBA GROUP - Leadership

RICHARD J. (RJ) Valentine

Chairman, The MBA Group of Companies

Richard J. (RJ) Valentine is Chairman and CEO of The MBA Group of Companies, and CEO or President of all of The MBA Group operating companies. He is the serial entrepreneur and investor featured throughout this website. In fact, this site is a biography of RJ, detailing many of the companies he has founded, build and sold as market leaders. His history includes dozens for companies, 18 successful exists, more than a dozen operating companies and 75 private equity investments.

Here are a few highlights of RJ Valentine’s entrepreneurial history includes the following:

Notable Exits

  • RJ built Massachusetts Business Association (MBA) into the largest third-party health insurance administrator in New England, serving 60,000 small businesses with nearly 500,000 employees. In 2007, when RJ sold MBA to an NYSE company, MBA had trailing annual premiums in excess of $1.8 billion.
  • He introduced Jiffy Lube in New England where he conceived, built and operated the largest and fastest-growing area franchise in the international chain. When he sold his stores to an NYSE company, RJ’s stores included 6 of the top 10 grossing Jiffy Lube service centers in the United States.
  • Another of RJ’s exits was in the professional investigations business, with LCF Associates. He took over LCF Associates at an early-stage, then built and operated the business until selling the firm to another NYSE company, generating a 24x return for his investors.

A Few of Today’s Businesses

Click on a business to read about it.

He co-founded Global Business Funding Group (GBFG), a private equity investment and consulting firm. The company helps early stage and lower middle-market firms grow by assisting them with business planning, raising capital and operations. The company also invests in and takes an active management role in portfolio companies, including:

  • EarthSafe Chemical Alternatives – which develops and manufactures unique, industry-leading clean chemicals that solve common ‐ but challenging ‐ problems for industry.
  • Impact Power Technologies – pioneers in design, engineering and manufacturing of long-lasting batteries, including the world’s longest-lasting lithium polymer batteries for first responder radios.

GBFG is also developing a new kind of private equity fund, Milestone Active Management Fund.

RJ Valentine is also known for his ventures related to auto and kart racing. Among these many businesses are:

  • F1 Boston – a 106,000 sq. ft. conference, meeting and dining center, built around two indoor kart racing tracks – the premier indoor kart tracks in North America.
  • Impact Safety Systems – the premier choice of safety barriers for race tracks, kart tracks, and an ever-widening range of locations where a safety system is required.

RJ Valentine is also a professional race car driver, with over 400 professional starts, and was the 2009 winner at the 24 Hours of Daytona. A graduate of Suffolk University, RJ is a highly sought-after speaker, lecturer and mentor.

Read more about RJ throughout this website.


CEO, Global Business Funding Group

Alan Braverman, CEO of Global Business Funding Group and a Chief Officer in all of the GBFG portfolio companies, is an investment analyst, entrepreneur and senior manager who, with RJ Valentine, is co-founder of Global Business Funding Group and its portfolio companies. On Wall Street, Alan was ranked #1 Analyst by the Wall Street Journal and named to Institutional Investor magazine’s “All-America Research Team.”

Alan has appeared and been quoted in multiple media outlets, including CNBC, CNN, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Bloomberg. He served as Senior Managing Director at Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities and Bank of America Securities. While serving in this capacity, Alan led or assisted in the funding, sale and IPOs of many growth stage companies.

Alan also served as a senior partner at Excelsior Private Equity Fund, the PE fund group of US Trust (now Bank of America). In his capacity as one of the fund’s three partners, Alan raised a fresh $200MM fund focused on investments in growth stage companies. Previously, he served as President of a publicly traded division of General Electric (NYSE GE; NASDAQ: NBCI), which he helped grow to 1,000 employees and a $6.5 billion market capitalization. Before this, Alan also served as an operating manager and director of the telecom and cable growth company portfolio of US West, the Fortune 50 “Baby Bell.”

Alan was an advisor to the Pritzker family as a member of the board of New World Equities and New World Ventures. He has served as a judge in the prestigious Wharton School’s business plan competition.  


COO, EarthSafe Chemical Alternatives

Jeremiah Gray, COO of EarthSafe Chemical Alternatives-, leverages a career that spans sales and management, environmental-focused institutional finance and private equity as one of the founding partners of EarthSafe Chemical Alternatives.

After successfully leading an enterprise sales division of Experian Marketing Services in 2007, Jeremiah transitioned to private equity and wealth management with Allen Partners in New York City. There he attained Series 7 and 66 licensing and helped structure a wealth management platform focused on public and private placement investment opportunities in green technologies and alternative energy. Jeremiah was instrumental in advising and raising capital for several green venture funds including Sail Capital Ventures and for developing an investment philosophy that linked corporate financial performance to environmental sustainability and social responsibility. He maintains that focus to this day.

In 2011, Jeremiah relocated to Boston and became a partner in a team within the Private Client Wealth Management Group at Merrill Lynch. His focus remained on environmentally sustainable investing helping to structure tax advantaged investment strategies involving tax equity arrangements within alternative energy funds until leaving in 2014 to help launch EarthSafe Chemical Alternatives.

Jeremiah is an avid supporter of environmental causes, a benefactor of the Oceana, international ocean conservation and advocacy organization and active outdoorsman. He lives with his wife and son in the Boston metro area.



As GM, Karen brings extensive knowledge in technology to F1 Boston from her background in technology consulting. Prior to joining F1 Boston, she was involved in technology infrastructure consulting for investment trading floors in New York City, Boston, San Francisco, and Connecticut. At F1, she has developed a database warehouse for internal database management, and has implemented a custom software program for sales/lead management and event contract management/scheduling. A member of the World Karting Association, she is an accomplished outdoor kart racer, who competes nationally.


President, Impact Power Technologies

Curt Quinter brings more than 30 years of experience in the battery industry to IPT, where he leads all aspects of the company’s engineering, manufacturing, technical and quality control operations.

His extensive background in the energy and manufacturing sectors includes managing the manufacturing and technical operations for two international battery companies; developing and training the management and engineering staff at these companies in business methods and policies, battery design and quality methods; implementing ISO 9000 quality systems and implementing the process for manufacturing Factory Mutual Intrinsically Safe batteries.

Curt has conducted extensive work in battery research, design and product development for lithium polymer batteries, lithium ion batteries, zinc-air batteries, nickel iron batteries, electric vehicle batteries, mine batteries, installed rack mounted batteries for UPS systems, lead acid batteries and systems of all sizes, aircraft and train battery systems and nickel cadmium batteries and systems.

His experience includes 11 years with Global Technology Systems – distributor of Honeywell Batteries, where, as Vice President of Manufacturing, he launched the technical operations of the new start-up company, established and operated its technical and distribution centers and developed and trained its staff. He has worked in battery manufacturing with several other organizations including Westinghouse Electric Corp, Saft America, and Yuasa America. Curtis holds an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor’s degree from Belknap College.


Executive Vice President of Sales, Impact Power Technologies

Colleen is IPT’s top sales executive in charge of major accounts for both the 2-way radio and barcode scanner markets. In just three short years since joining IPT, Colleen was promoted from Account Representative to Executive Vice President of Sales, a testament to her expertise in sales management and her knowledge of the industries she serves.

Colleen started her career in distributor aerospace sales where she became the first female outside sales representative for the entire Southern California network. During her years in the aerospace field, she was responsible for negotiating multi-million dollar contracts with top accounts such as McDonald Douglass, Hughes Aircraft and Hughes Helicopter. Following that, Colleen received her real estate and broker’s licenses and started her own building and development company. Her firm built and sold custom homes, as well as developed multi million dollar land projects; further demonstrating Colleen’s exemplary management skills. While seeking financial assistance for start-ups, she met IPT and was immediately offered a position with the company.

Colleen attended the University of Massachusetts, majoring in Business Management. She has 2 children and 1 grandchild, is a sports enthusiast and an avid golfer.


Partner and Senior Vice President, The MBA Group

With concentration on real estate and finance, Dick Brown was an operating partner in most of The MBA Group companies and President of MBA Capital Management. Dick expanded Jiffy Lube/Lube 495 with high-profile real estate acquisitions that resulted in record-breaking car-counts. Prior to joining The MBA Group: Executive Vice President and Senior Loan Officer of Patriot Bank, a $1 billion commercial bank in Boston.


Partner and COO, The MBA Group

Pat Gallagher is the Chief Operating Officer of The MBA Group of Companies, and Executive Vice President of Massachusetts Business Association (MBA). He built the Association from a small organization to the state's leading provider of small group health insurance. Pat managed the transition when MBA became a member of National Financial Partners. Prior to joining MBA in 1974, spent 17 years as a banker. Member of the Board of Directors of The Federal Savings Bank and Beacon Fiduciary Advisors, Inc., a private money-management firm.


President of Strategic Management Advisors

Sharon Theall is the founder and President of Strategic Management Advisors, LLC (SMA). She consults with an elite group of independent financial services firms across the country on building and growing their business. Her clients are the owners and executives of successful life insurance, benefits and securities practices, including the wealth transfer, executive and employee benefits and retirement sectors.

Sharon serves as a business coach, strategic growth advisor and virtual partner, primarily responsible for leading highly entrepreneurial management teams to articulate and refine their strategic direction, implement key projects and monitor the impact of the finished result. She has advanced strategies to achieve substantial revenue growth, improve operational effectiveness, and has negotiated joint ventures combining the resources of Insurance, Banking and Investments. Since founding SMA in 1997, Sharon has led the strategic development and creation of a fee-based insurance consulting firm; launched a registered investment advisory; overseen corporate acquisition of a private asset management company; and been the key catalyst in a host of other high-level projects. She has presented at many industry venues including, The Forum 400, Partners Financial, Highland Capital, The New York Life Nautilus Group and John Hancock Partners leadership conferences. Sharon is a member of the Financial Planning Association and the Society of Professional Consultants, and is the driving force behind SMA’s vision of Creating Intentional Success™.


CPA and, Chief Financial Officer, The MBA Group

Robert Winter has served as Controller and Chief Operating Officer for The MBA Group for 30 years. He provided knowledge and financial acumen through many stages of growth and numerous fiscal cycles, ensuring The MBA Group's financial success. Previously, he was senior accountant with the firm of Seidman & Seidman. He is a graduate of Bentley College. Member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.


Chief Financial Officer

Peter Lake, CFO, is Chief Financial Officer of The MBA Group of Companies and many of the firms within The MBA Group. Since 1986, he has helped RJ achieve his many entrepreneurial successes, including F1 Boston, Impact Power Technologies, Impact Safety Systems and EarthSafe Chemical Alternatives.

In his more than 25 years as a business owner, consultant and CFO, Peter has worked with more than 50 different entrepreneurial businesses throughout the United States and England. These have included start-up situations, high growth development, mergers and acquisitions.

He has an extensive record of success providing entrepreneurs with the resources to achieve business and investment objectives, driving profitability and resolving financial and operational problems.

Peter’s specialties include financial reporting, systems analysis/design/implementation, cost reductions, cash management, budgeting and forecasting, new business initiatives, manpower strategy and incentives, compensation and benefit programs, development of internal controls and the establishment of key performance indicator metrics.

A graduate of Babson College’s School of Management, Peter began his career working with Ernst & Young as a founding member and information technology audit specialist of the Entrepreneurial Services Group in the Boston office.