Atlee Valentine Pope, President & CEO

Atlee Valentine Pope is co-founder and leader of Blue Canyon Partners and the co-author of the growth strategy book, CoDestiny: Overcome Your Growth Challenges By Helping Your Customers Overcome Theirs. Atlee has worked with global business-to-business executives and private equity firms, co-authored more than 50 papers, and has been a guest speaker at numerous business and university events. Before co-founding and building Blue Canyon Partners, Atlee served in leadership roles in several start-up ventures and was a vice president in global corporate finance with First Chicago. Atlee earned an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and a BA from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

Atlee serves as an Independent Director at Gibraltar Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROCK). She sits on the Compensation and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees.

Axel J. Leichum, Partner

Axel has been turning insights into actionable strategies for over 15 years, working with clients in a wide variety of industries and markets—from high-tech to healthcare to industrial automation and control to private equity. Axel speaks frequently and has published several thought-provoking publications on adjacencies, disruption, pricing, and segmentation. Axel holds an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and a BA in Economics with departmental honors from Northwestern University.

Kevin G. Sarb, Principal

Kevin brings extensive experience in leading and executing client engagements across multiple B2B industries and has authored white papers on pricing strategy, customer segmentation, eCommerce and product portfolio strategy. He earned an MBA, with honors, from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, an MA in Applied Economics from the University of Michigan, and a BS in Pre-professional Studies and History from the University of Notre Dame.

Ari N. Kellman, Senior Engagement Manager

With extensive consulting experience in operations, strategy, and mergers and acquisitions, Ari combines analytical problem solving with creative thinking to deliver actionable growth strategies across multiple industries, including high tech, industrials, business services, and telecommunications. Prior to Blue Canyon, Ari worked in mergers and acquisitions for PwC and in operations strategy for Accenture Strategy. Ari received an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and holds a BS in Finance from Yeshiva University.

Ann Manix, Director

Ann plays a leading role in managing client relationships and actively helps to address clients’ most significant growth challenges. Ann’s career includes a number of senior management positions with manufacturing companies, as well as having served over 20 years as an outside director on various NYSE boards. Ann’s prior board roles have spanned a variety of industries, including oil and gas, consumer brands, chemicals, and many more. Ann earned a BA in Political Science from Mt. Holyoke College.

Christopher D. Motogawa, Director

Chris has more than 20 years of executive experience in finance and operations. Prior to joining Blue Canyon, Chris was CFO and member of the board of directors for Motor Coach Industries, Inc. Chris has extensive experience in private equity and has worked at Jordan Industries in their business-to-business services portfolio company. Chris is currently serving as a board member for VanderCook College of Music. Chris holds a BA in History from Northwestern University and is certified in lean processes with a CPIM from DePaul University.

Melike Yavuz Inonu, Senior Consultant

Melike has deep and diverse strategic management and consulting experience across a wide range of industries around the globe. Prior to joining Blue Canyon, she led the strategic planning and business development efforts of Kamil Koc, a leading portfolio company in the largest private equity fund of Turkey, Actera Group, and also served as a strategy consultant at Accenture and IMS Consulting Group (now known as IQVIA). Melike is pursuing an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and has earned a BA in Economics from Bosphorus University in Istanbul.

Birkir Larusson, Senior Consultant

Birkir has comprehensive strategic management expertise in the utility energy efficiency and manufacturing sectors, including extensive project management and implementation experience. Prior to joining Blue Canyon, Birkir was a Head of Section for DNV GL where he led a team of energy service professionals in the implementation of a commercial and industrial energy efficiency program for Michigan’s largest public utility. Birkir received his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and holds BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and Economics from Michigan State University.