Blue Ops Network


Who We Are

The Private Equity CFO Network is sponsored by BlueOps and facilitated by Profitable Ideas Exchange (“PIE”). In a prior role, Mike realized that the role of the Private Equity Portfolio Company CFO is not an easy one as it makes asking for advice a challenge. Where do you go when you are top of your function without looking obsolete? How can you efficiently solve problems without recreating the wheel each time? As such the idea for the Private Equity CFO Network was born.

Mike Skillingstad

CEO, Blue Ops Partners

Mike has nearly 30 years’ experience in finance, business strategy, business re-engineering, mergers and acquisitions and integration. Mike is a Senior Operating Partner and a founder of Blue Ops.

Prior to founding Blue Ops, Mike served as the CFO for Best Brands Corporation, a private-equity backed bakery manufacturer and distributor. In his capacity as CFO Mike orchestrated the sale of Best Brands Corporation to CSM. From 1999 to 2008, Mike held a number of roles at ConAgra Foods, including heading up its Corporate Strategy and Business Development (M&A) Groups, CFO for the ConAgra Snack Foods Group, and CFO for ConAgra Store Brands. Mike also worked for U.S. Filter Distribution and Coopers & Lybrand.

Mike is an active board member for several private-equity backed organizations. He has an inactive CPA License and an MBA in Finance/Marketing from the University of Minnesota.

John Derus

Partner & CFO, Blue Ops Partners

John has more than 20 years’ experience in accounting, finance, business strategy, business re-engineering, mergers and acquisitions, and integrations. He has served clients from Fortune 50 companies to the lower middle market across numerous industries.

John is currently leading the Private Equity Consulting and M&A Due Diligence practice at Blue Ops where he has participated in 40+ deals across numerous industries.

Before Blue Ops, John acted as CFO at companies like Movati Athletic, Edge Fitness, RoC Skincare, Milani Cosmetics, and several others. John also held the role of Global Controller & CFO of the Private Label Division at Best Buy where he managed controllership, Treasury, Financial Risk Management and Capital Markets.

Dan Pesek

Senior Director, Blue Ops Partners

Dan’s experience includes in-seat roles as an interim CFO for multiple middle-market consumer businesses, including executing a successful sale of a consumer products business to a new PE owner.

Dan draws on a diverse technical and operational finance and accounting skillset to support primarily private equity and investment banking clients through the M&A transaction cycle. Including buy-side diligence, sell-side preparation & execution, and in-seat FP&A roles for PE held portfolio companies.

Keri Hamel

Concierge and corporate Events & Meetings Manager, Blue Ops Partners

Keri has several years of experience in the event industry. She has coordinated the design and build of trade show booths at an exhibit house then moved on to managing & executing 150 trade shows & events annually for a technology company in the Twin Cities. Keri has learned the value of communication, relationship building, organization, teamwork, and problem solving.

Today, Keri manages the Annual Conference for a sister organization to Blue Ops that hosts 700 – 1,000 attendees. Keri is also taking on the role of Concierge for the Blue Ops Network. She will be available to help you with questions you may have, providing you with updates regarding the network or relevant M&A or deal information specific to your industry or channel.