Speaker Bios

Shane O’Flaherty
National Director of Hospitality and Travel

 Shane O’Flaherty is the National Director of Hospitality and Travel for Microsoft and is focused on leading the hotel, airline, quick service restaurant and cruise industry in driving innovation that will enhance the customer and employee journey, while driving increased productivity and cost compression with the use of Microsoft’s technology and its eco-system of hospitality solution partners.  Prior to joining Microsoft, Shane held many senior executive positions including CEO & President at Mobil/Forbes Travel Guide. At Forbes Travel Guide, Shane successfully modernized the hotel, restaurant and spa Five Star ratings system that defines the global consumer experience and spearheaded its global expansion around the world. In addition, he created and grew Forbes Travel Guide Consulting Services into the leading, global provider of customer experience measurement and training for hospitality brands.  Shane was also Director of Business and Leisure Marketing for Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. In that capacity, he orchestrated marketing programs for their luxury hotels worldwide and also directed Preferred’s hotel quality assurance program. Shane has spoken at many industry and client conferences globally and also appeared on Today Show, Fox and Friends, Bloomberg, ChannelNews Asia and quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY and many other global publications, highlighting the travel and hospitality space.



Bill Wagasy
Director of Programs & Outreach
Gary Sinise Foundation

William (Billy) Wagasy is the Director of Programs and Outreach for the Gary Sinise Foundation (GSF), joining the foundation in April of 2014. It is his mission to reach out to those who wore the uniform and in collaboration with non-profits, for-profits, military institutions, communities, and other charitable and service oriented organizations, developing programs to help empower our veterans and their families as they transition into the civilian world and  strive to reach their full potential.

A former Outside Linebacker and Special Teams player for the University of Notre Dame under Coach Lou Holtz from 1992-1996, he graduated with an accounting degree and a second major in philosophy in 1996. He went on to receive his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University in 2000 and his Master’s degree in Dispute Resolution form Pepperdine in 2001. Following the attacks of September 11th, he enlisted in the Navy and became a U.S. Navy S.E.A.L. in 2003. He completed four combat tours, three to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and one to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Mark W. Yusko
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer (Chapel Hill)

Morgan Creek Capital

Mark Yusko is the Founder, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Morgan Creek Capital Management. Prior to forming Morgan Creek, Mr. Yusko was President, Chief Investment Officer, and Founder of UNC Management Company, the endowment investment office for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from 1998 to 2004. Throughout his tenure, he directly oversaw strategic and tactical asset allocation recommendations to the Investment Fund Board, investment manager selection, manager performance evaluation, spending policy management and performance reporting. Total assets under management were $1.5 billion ($1.2 billion in endowment assets and $300 million in working capital). Until 1998, Mr.Yusko was the Senior Investment Director for the University of Notre Dame Investment Office where he joined as the Assistant Investment Officer in October of 1993. He worked with the Chief Investment Officer in all aspects of Endowment Management. Mr. Yusko received his Bachelor of Science degree with Honors, in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance form the University of Chicago. Mr. Yusko is an Advisory Board member of a number of private capital partnerships and alternative investment programs and has served as a consultant on alternative investments to a select group of institutions. Mr. Yusko is an Investment Committee member of the MCNC Endowment, a member of the DukeEngage National Advisory Board at Duke University, President and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Foundation at the University of Notre Dame, and President and Head of Investment Committee of the Morgan Creek Foundation.

Dino Cusamano
Senior Managing Partner
American Industrial Partners

Joined American Industrial Partners in 2000. Served in the Investment Banking Department of J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc. from 1998 through 2000, where he worked on merger and acquisition and capital raising transactions primarily in the industrial sector. Served in the Investment Banking Department at Wedbush Morgan Securities. Mr. Cusamano graduated from the University of Notre Dame, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance with honors. He is a CFA charterholder.

Chris Brusznicki
Chief Executive Officer

Chris is a former paratrooper and serial entrepreneur.  He is the CEO of Vaystays, which is a vacation rental marketplace and toll used by vacation rental compnaies like Sotheby's and Wyndham.  He has been featured in Entrepreneur and was awarded the Bronze Star.  Chris lives in Chicago with his wife and 6 kids.

Kevin Burke
Managing Director
Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing

Kevin Burke, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame a member of the Wall Street Leadership Committee, is the first managing director of the Notre Dame Institute of Global Investing at the University’s Mendoza College of Business.  Burke, who retired as President of Conatus Capital in December of 2015, will be responsible for implementing the vision of the Institute and managing its operations, including developing and directing curriculum and programs, mentoring students, and recruiting and coordinating faculty to participate in the Institute’s programs. He will work in collaboration with the Institute’s faculty director, Finance Professor, Shane Corwin.

Burke joined Conatus Capital, a multi-billion dollar investment management firm based in Greenwich, CT at its inception in 2007 as a founding partner and member of the management committee. During his tenure at Conatus, he guided the firm’s business strategy, capital raising, staff development, risk management and trading, and, as a senior member of the investment team, advised on portfolio construction.

Prior to joining Conatus Capital, Burke was employed at Merrill Lynch from 1994-2007, holding leadership positions in equity markets in both the U.S. and Europe. He previously worked for Kemper Financial Services and The Chicago Corporation.

Burke earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1994 and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Notre Dame in 1989.


Michael A. LaSalle
Shamrock Capital Investments

Mike is a Partner of Shamrock Capital Advisors.  He currently serves as a director of Recorded Books, FanDuel, Giant Creative/Strategy, and Isolation Network.  Previously, Mike served on the boards of Mojiva, Harlem Globetrotters International, Media Storm, and Modern Luxury Media.  Prior to joining Shamrock, Mike was an Associate and Analyst at Putnam Lovell Securities focusing on mergers and acquisitions in the financial service industry.

Mike graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame and earned an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management as a Venture Fellow.


Joseph Kacergis

Joe has extensive experience advising comapnies in both the public and private capital markets, including private equity groups, and family-owned businesses.  As a trusted advisor, Joe has originated, marketed, and closed more than 100 merger and acquisition transactions, as well as capital raising assignments, including IPO's and secondary offerings.

Previously, Joe worked with investment banking firms, including Wachovia Securities.  He participated in a highly selective management training program at HSBC.  Also, Joe was an analyst on the buy-side transactions for McGraw-Hill and began his career as a senior auditor at Ernst and Yound where he passed the CPA exam.

For more than 20 years, Joe has worked closely with private equity firms and companies across a wide range of industries. Joe has originated and closed transactions in the aerospace and defense, consumer product, food, healthcare, industrial, wholesale distribution, among other sectors. He has played a key role in consolidating companies in several industries.  Also, Joe has assumed the role of interim CFO on numerous assigments.  Internationally, Joe has advised private equity groups and companies throughout Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Joe has cultivated and extensive network of professionals including family office members, CEOs, CFOs, lawyers, wealth managers, private equity professionals, amongst others.  Joe is regarded by his clients has having a high degree of honesty and integrity.  Joe works closely with the Board of Directors at K.I.D.S.S. for Kids and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

Joe recieved is BBA in accounting from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  At Chicago Booth, Joe participated in an international exchange program at the University of Melbourne in Australia where he completed independent research for two Nobel laureates.


Michael Rhattigan
Adventure to Fitness

Michael Rhattigan is the CEO of Adventure to Fitness, a leading children's media company whose mission is to make health and education fun for kids. The program is used in 40% of U.S. elementary schools and has expanded into 31 other countries. Prior to Adventure to Fitness, Michael ran Rhattigan Broadcasting, a broadcasting business that he built and sold. Michael was previously a sell-side analyst at JPMorgan Chase in Media & Telecom. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree from MIT Sloan School of Management. He lives in NY with his wife and two boys.


Daniel J. Turner
Chief Financial Officer
Heritage Life Insurance Company

Dan is CFO and a member of the Board of Directors of Heritage Life Insurance Company, a US-domiciled insurer with over $4 billion in assets. Previously, Dan was a Managing Director at Guggenheim Partners, a global financial services firm with over $240 billion in assets under management.  Prior to joining Guggenheim in 2003, Dan was an Associate Director at Aon Capital Markets, the investment banking division within Aon plc.

Dan holds a BBA, with honors, from the University of Notre Dame, and an MBA, with honors, from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

William P. Hogan
Senior Vice President
American Money Management Corp.

Mr. Hogan is a Senior Vice President and Co-head of Trading of American Money Mgmt. Corp. primarily responsible for trading mortgage and asset-backed securities.  Prior to joining AMMC in 1998, Mr. Hogan worked as a mortgage, asset-backed, and corporate fixed income securities registered representative at various broker-dealers, where, since 1984, he covered numerous institutional investors including insurance companies, mutual funds and banks.  Mr. Hogan is a CFA charterholder and earned a BS in Finance from University of Notre Dame in 1982.

Brian Gallagher, CFA CPA
Twin Bridge Capital Partners

Brian Gallagher co-founded Twin Bridge Capital Partners and has extensive experience in the middle-market buyout industry. He shares responsibility for all aspects of the Firm's investment and fundraising activities. Mr. Gallagher serves on the Investment Committee of Twin Bridge Capital Partners.

Before co-founding Twin Bridge Capital Partners, Mr. Gallagher was a Principal with UIB Capital, where he was responsible for leading private equity investments in the United States. Mr. Gallagher was also a Partner at PPM America Capital Partners, where he led investments in private equity funds and co-investments. Mr. Gallagher began his career at Arthur Andersen.

Mr. Gallagher is a board member of Renew Life, the Grosvenor Registered Multi-Strategy Fund and HFS Chicago Scholars. He also holds observer seats on numerous boards. Mr. Gallagher earned his MBA at Northwestern University and a BA in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Gallagher is a member of the CFA Institute, the AICPA, the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Association for Corporate Growth.

Thomas C. Lauer
Partner & Investment Committee Member

Mr. Lauer has more than 25 years of experience investing debt and equity capital in lower middle-market companies. Mr. Lauer was a managing partner of Fidus Partners, LLC, an investment banking firm, from 2008 to June 2011. Mr. Lauer was a managing director of Allied Capital Corporation, a publicly-traded business development company, from 2004 to 2008, where he was a member of the firm’s Management Committee from 2006 to 2008, Private Finance Investment Committee from 2005 to 2008, and Senior Debt Fund Investment Committee from 2007 to 2008. Prior to joining Allied Capital Corporation, Mr. Lauer worked with the Global Sponsor Finance Group of GE Capital, the financial services unit of General Electric, the Leveraged Capital Group at Wachovia Securities and its predecessor, First Union Securities, Inc., a retail brokerage and institutional capital markets and investment banking firm, and the Platform Components Division of Intel Corporation. Mr. Lauer earned a bachelor of business administration from the University of Notre Dame and master of business administration from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

Pete Walsh
President and CEO
Owards LLC.

Pete Walsh is the President and CEO of Owards LLC, a mobile gaming platform with personalized and targeted real life rewards.  Prior to launching Owards in 2013, Pete had a 23 year career in structured finance and investment banking with more than $11 billion of capital raised for his clients across a wide range of industries. He also provided strategic and corporate finance advisory services. Pete worked at Amherst Securities Group, BMO Capital Markets, UBS, and Continental Bank. Pete earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in finance from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters of Management from the Kellogg School of Management with a concentration in finance and entrepreneurship. He also serves on the board of directors for Sentinels of Freedom, a non-profit providing support for severely wounded veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as they transition back to civilian life.  He is also on the board of advisors for Cotter Consulting, a Chicago-based project management consulting firm focusing on construction and infrastructure projects. Pete is a lifelong resident of the Chicago area where he lives with his wife and teenage daughter and son.