Success Matters

About Water Street Advisors

Water Street Advisors is a Wisconsin-based consulting firm providing Mergers and Acquisitions services. These M&A services include buy-side, sell-side, and consulting engagements to privately held businesses and their owners across the Midwest. Companies served range in size from $1 million to $30 million in annual revenue and include a broad spectrum of industries. In addition to transactional services, Water Street Advisors assists companies in preparing for the completion of successful transitions.

Get to Know The Team

John Kielich, CPA as owner and principal consultant of Water Street Advisors brings over 30 years of experience assisting businesses to strategically develop and successfully implement corporate growth and succession initiatives. He is an expert in all aspects of the M&A process and has participated in the evaluation of over 300 acquisition candidates and the completion of more than 50 transactions. Prior to founding Water Street Advisors, John held senior level corporate development and operation roles with two large publicly held companies in different industries. Additionally, he has been responsible for strategic planning and led the implementation of a significant restructuring project. John began his career with a Big 4 public accounting firm and was a senior manager in their New York and Milwaukee offices. Additionally, in 2007, John started and successfully ran an M&A advisory division for a regional CPA firm. John is a frequent speaker at seminars and has authored several articles. John currently serves on the board of the Wisconsin Chapter of MBBI.

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LeAnne Foster, CPA,  brings experience in mergers & acquisition, finance, and tax.  She has worked with privately held businesses through the transaction process-developing marketing materials, advising during negotiations and closing, and consulting on countless other details that go into conducting a successful and lucrative transaction. LeAnne has conducted acquisition target searches, drafted confidential offering memorandums and other seller materials, and developed and reviewed projections.  Her creative and innovative approaches allow for the best possible results for each client. Industry experience includes companies in investment services, medical, transportation, technology, biotech, manufacturing and distribution industries.  Having tax preparation and financial planning experience give LeAnne insight and guidance for deal structure and solutions.

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John B. Weber brings over 30 years of transaction experience in helping companies obtain debt and acquisition financing. Previously, as a commercial banker for several large regional and multi-national banks, John actively assisted clients on both sides of acquisition transactions with a passion for creating transactions that meet the goals of all parties involved. John has experience in a wide array of industries, including manufacturing, wholesale, retail, franchising, distribution, logistics, transportation, healthcare, service, not for profit, and international. Most recently, John was the Executive Director for a public/private partnership that assisted minority owned businesses in obtaining capital for growth. John is and has been active in several finance industry associations, and most recently was an At Large Director for the Chicago Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.

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Alan Hill is part of this team and has over 20 years of global experience in the automotive aftermarket and tools industries, with core competencies in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia and experience in manufacturing and engineering in China. Mr. Hill has served as a President/ Director for the past 18 years. His track record is demonstrated by global growth as a mid-level executive with a large public corporation, a mid-size private corporation, and multiple startup businesses on four continents, as well as consulting on successful cross-border acquisitions for private equity-owned companies in the European automotive aftermarket. Mr. Hill currently serves on the board of four private automotive and motorcycle aftermarket tool and technology companies in the USA, the UK, Germany, and Australia, as well as advising on privately-held mergers and acquisitions in the USA and Europe. Mr. Hill is bilingual English/German and functional in several other languages.

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Dale Elliott is currently President and CEO of FCM Advisory Group, Ltd., a business consulting company he founded in 2007. Prior to that, he was President of American Standard's Global Bath and Kitchen business, a leading manufacturer in that segment. During his tenure at American Standard a successful turnaround was accomplished while also completing the sale of the unit to a large private equity firm. Before that he was Chairman, President and CEO of Snap-on Incorporated, a global leader in professional tools, diagnostics and equipment. Dale held several senior positions in the organization before becoming CEO, joining Snap-on in 1995 as President of the Industrial Business. Before Snap-on, Dale spent 11 years with Emerson Electric, first with the Dremel division and then with the S-B Power Tool business, a joint venture between Emerson and Robert Bosch GmbH. Dale received a master's degree in business administration from Michigan Tech in 1979 after having earned his bachelor's degree from Michigan State in 1976. In his role as Chairman of the Advisory Board of Water Street Advisors, Dale will be guiding and assisting the team in the development of a global automotive aftermarket vertical.

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Gary Les is a global senior executive with over 25 years of experience in leading, managing, and growing small and middle market companies. His specialties include: international revenue development, P&L responsibility, strategic planning, manufacturing, worldwide supply chain management, technology solutions, licensing, and legal affairs. Gary currently serves on boards of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Gary is part of the CEO consulting team for Water Street Advisors.

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Gary Steinhart is an accomplished senior executive offering over 20 years of exceeding revenue, profit and business growth objectives within start-up, rapid change and high growth environments within diverse markets. He is accomplished at establishing and driving strategic and tactical initiatives to achieve targeted top and bottom line growth and at maximizing individual and team competencies. He works to extract maximum revenue from existing markets and create growth opportunities within new markets. Gary is part of the CEO consulting team for Water Street Advisors.

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At Your Service

Buy-side Services

Acquisition readiness
Confidential targeted searches
Transaction management

Sell-side Services

Seller preparedness
Sales process
Execution and closing


We will help your business with bank financings or securing more permanent capital


Our consultants bring significant experience in assisting companies with strategic and tactical initiatives to improve performance.

Current Opportunities

Project APOLLO
APOLLO is an established Midwestern contract manufacturer serving customers in several growing industries. APOLLO provides contract machining services, manufactures fixtures & work-holding devices, and develops and builds specialized, highly engineered OEM and prototype machines from customer provided designs and concept.

$1.2MM Manufacturer of Natural Enzyme Products
CATALYST manufactures for many different industries such as Pets, Agriculture, Water Gardening, Hydroponics, Birding, Farming, Pool & Spa. All products are environmentally friendly and are made with food-grade enzymes and natural ingredients. These enzymes are safe for people, animals, wildlife and can be used anywhere. The products are used for treating agricultural crops in the growing hydroponics industry, various cleaning purposes, pest control, pet care, and improving water quality.

$7.3MM Full-Service Fire and Water Restoration Company
Eldorado does damage assessment and repair with their capable team of seasoned and experienced professionals including construction experts, former insurance adjustors and estimators, and customer service professionals.

$$1MM Manufacturer, Developer, & Distributor of Quilting and Sewing Products
GLACIER specializes in in Custom Manufacturing, Machine Quilting Tools, Mats, Rulers, Notions, Home Machine Quilting Tools, and other related products. Customers in a variety of markets in the sewing, quilting, and signage industries including Wholesalers, Distribution, Retail, and Manufacturing.

$4MM Full-Service Custom Designer and Builder of Exhibits & Interiors
PARAGON offers a full range of services including designing and fabricating trade show displays and graphics with a primary focus on Custom Modular and Custom wood fabrication.

$14.2MM Successful Transportation and Logistics company serving North America
PROVERB is a leader in the transportation and logistics industry which continues providing essential services through the Covid-19 crisis. PROVERB specializes in time-critical general commodity cargo on a 24/7/365 basis.

$20MM Highly Successful and Profitable Recruiting and Staffing Firm
Project DAYTONA offers a full range of staffing services including flexible staffing, temp-to-hire and direct placement for general and professional staff. DAYTONA is a franchise with an exclusive territory in a growing market that includes a strong base of growing and profitable companies.


“You kept the process on track and moving forward after bringing strategic buyers to the table and negotiated terms that were in my best interest long-term.”
 Dan, President, Injection Molding Company

“When we first began discussions, we realized that our best approach to changing our ownership structure was to first bring on board a new partner, grow the business then have a future sale. This plan has been very successful due to the way John and LeAnne structured the transaction”
 Wade, Owner, Technology Company


Ready for Spring - March 2018

Who is Sitting in Your Seats? - June 2018

August Ramblings - August 2018

It Came During The Night - February 2019

What's Really Important - April 2019

How Long Does It Take? - July 2019

Time To Be Thankful - November 2019

Would You Buy Your Business? - March 2020

To Buy or Not To Buy - May 2020

Showing Up - July 2020

Alphabet Soup - September 2020

Let's Connect


John Kielich (414) 899-0565

LeAnne Foster (262) 210-6637

John Weber (630) 201-0348

Dale Elliott (312) 497-3823