Virginia Capital Partners

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Meet Our Team Members

Fred Russell, Managing Partner

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804-648-4802 ext. 12
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Fred has been Managing Partner at Virginia Capital since its inception in 1996. He has more than 25 years of venture capital and private equity experience. Fred sponsored growth capital investments in more than 40 companies in a variety of industries including health care, media, communications, consumer and insurance. He was the private equity investor in four companies that subsequently completed an initial public offering (IPO) and has arranged for the sale of nearly 30 venture capital backed portfolio companies with total sales proceeds of more than $2 billion.


Fred is on the Board of substantially all of Virginia Capital's active VC investments and is the Chairman of several of these companies. Fred is on the Board of Kinsale Capital, Virginia Business Media, SC Business Media, Tall Cotton Partners, Clear Signal Towers, Car Pool and Sewickley Partners. Over the last fifteen years Fred has arranged dozens acquisition for these private equity backed enterprises and has sponsored numerous rounds of growth capital.


Fred was previously with a $1 billion private equity firm in Washington and a $100 million venture capital fund before that. Before joining the VC industry, he worked in New York with the Chemical Bank (now part of JP Morgan). Earlier in his career, he also took a sabbatical from private equity to serve as Managing Director for a VC backed health care services company which he helped build into a $70 million revenue business.


Fred is active in a number of civic and philanthropic causes. Fred is the co-founder and Chairman of the Frederick Banting Foundation which sponsors research on promising technologies, devices and drugs that might cure Juvenile Diabetes. Fred and his wife Susan are also actively involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and are active supporters of the University of Virginia, Virginia Athletics Foundation, the Richmond SPCA, the Richmond Ballet, the Wounded Warrior Project, the MS Society and Children's Hospital. Fred is a member of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Small Business Committee where he is involved with small business tax policy initiatives.


Fred graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned an MBA and from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia where he graduated with his Bachelor of Science. Fred has lectured on venture capital and private equity topics at the Wharton School, the University of Virginia, the University of Richmond and VCU.


Fred lives in Richmond with his wife, Susan, and their three children. Fred is passionate about being on the water, fly fishing, hunting upland birds and finding a cure for Juvenile Diabetes.

Tom Deardorff, Managing Director

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804-648-4802 ext. 14
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Tom has worked at Virginia Capital Partners since its inception; starting as an Associate and working his way up to Partner and Managing Director. He has more than 15 years of venture capital and private equity experience. Tom sponsored growth capital investments in more than 20 companies in a variety of industries including healthccare, media, communications, consumer and insurance. He was the private equity investor in two companies that subsequently completed an initial public offering (IPO) and has arranged for the sale of nearly 15 venture capital backed portfolio companies with total sales proceeds of more than $1 billion.


Tom is on the Board of most of Virginia Capital Partners's active VC investments including: BioInformatics, Virginia Business Media, SC Business Media, Tall Cotton Partners, Clear Signal Towers, Car Pool and Sewickley Partners. Over the last fifteen years Tom has arranged dozens of acquisitions for these private equity backed enterprises and has sponsored numerous rounds of growth capital.


Before joining the venture capital industry, Tom began his career at an investment banking boutique where he worked on venture capital and growth capital financings. Tom also worked with a specialty environmental services firm.


Tom received his undergraduate degree from Tulane University and liked it so much he stayed on and earned his MBA as well.


Tom grew up in Decatur, Illinois and is passionate about staying fit, hunting and fishing.

Matt Austin, Managing Director

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804-648-4802 ext. 15
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Matt has more than ten years of venture capital and private equity experience. Matt sponsored growth capital investments in companies in a variety of industries including health care, media, communications, consumer and insurance. He has arranged for the sale of numerous venture capital backed portfolio companies over the last ten years.


Matt is on the Board of most of Virginia Capital's active VC investments including: Virginia Business Media, SC Business Media, Tall Cotton Partners, Clear Signal Towers, Car Pool and Sewickley Partners. Over the last ten years Matt has arranged several acquisition for these private equity backed enterprises and has sponsored numerous rounds of growth capital.


Matt joined Virginia Capital in 2002 and became Managing Director in 2007. Prior to entering the private equity business, Matt worked in investment banking with BB&T Capital Markets, where he was worked in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance for a variety of clients including private equity and venture capital firms. He has lectured on growth capital and private equity matters at the McIntire School of Commerce and at James Madison University. Matt has also passed the Series 7 Exam and previously worked with a Registered Investment Advisor where he managed money for high net worth clients.


Matt received his undergraduate degree with distinction from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.


He currently lives with his wife and twins in suburban Richmond. Outside of the office and home, he is the Treasurer and Board member of the MS Society and is an active volunteer for Bon Secours Hospice and also Treasurer at Woodlake United Methodist Church in Midlothian, Virginia.

Joe Hernandez, Senior Associate

804-648-4802 ext. 11
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Joe joined Virginia Capital as a Senior Associate in 2012. He has worked for many years with Virginia Capital as a consultant while working on his graduate degree.


Prior to joining Virginia Capital, Joe worked in investment banking, where he worked on a variety of mergers & acquisitions and public offerings in a variety of industries. Joe graduated with honors from Virginia Tech where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering.


He currently lives with his wife and daughter in suburban Richmond. Joe also serves as the director of research and development for the Frederick Banting Foundation, which funds medical research for type 1 diabetes.

Andrew Carraway, Associate

804-648-4802
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Andrew began working for Virginia Capital in 2010. A part of the private equity team, Andrew performs industry research and conducts financial and qualitative analysis of potential investment targets. He has worked with Virginia Capital’s Managing Directors on a number of projects, across a span of industries that includes Materials, Media, Healthcare and Consumer Services.


Additionally, Andrew contributed to several of Virginia Capital Partners’ internet marketing initiatives. These included the topics of search engine optimization, website design and social media.


Outside of the office, Andrew is training to become a Major League Baseball player. He is a right-handed pitcher in the Seattle Mariners organization. Most recently, he pitched for Seattle’s AAA affiliate—the Tacoma Rainiers. Previously a member of the Virginia Cavaliers' Baseball team, Andrew pitched in the College World Series in 2009.


Andrew graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. He is from Marietta, Georgia and is another Virginia Capital team member who enjoys spending time outdoors.




Dena Higgins, Office Manager

804-648-4802 ext. 16
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Dena joined Virginia Capital in 2010. She was previously the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer of Alterra Specialty Insurance Services Limited. Prior to that, Dena was the Executive Assistant to the Chairman/CEO of Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Company. She brings 30 years of administrative experience with her.


Dena is a native of Richmond and lives in Mechanicsville with her 15 year old daughter, BreAnna and her 12 year old son, Gage. She enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.




Paulina Hidalgo, Controller

804-648-4802 ext. 23
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Paulina has over 14 years of experience in accounting and finance and joined Virginia Capital in 2011. She currently serves as Controller, managing a broad range of responsibilities for internal entities as well as several portfolio companies.


Before moving to Richmond in 2002, Paulina worked as an accounting supervisor and translator with an American-owned power utility company located in her native Ecuador. After relocating, she served as an accountant within a Richmond family office, working in family wealth and portfolio venture management.


Paulina received both her CPA Certification and her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Universidad Católica del Ecuador in 2001 and 2005, respectively. She completed her MBA at the University of Richmond in 2009.


Paulina currently lives in suburban Richmond with her husband, Edwin and two daughters, Daniela (13) and Kayla (8). In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, experimenting in the kitchen, traveling and volunteering at St. Michael’s Catholic Church.

Virginia Capital Partners

(804) 648-4802
www.vacapital.com
matt@vacapital.com

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Founded in 1996, Virginia Capital Partners is one of the oldest venture capital and private equity firms in Virginia. With a twenty-year remaining fund life on Virginia Capital Partners' fund, our portfolio companies have the luxury of a partner with an indefinite investment hold period. Unlike traditional venture capital or private equity funds, which have a three-to-five year investment period, followed by a short "wind down" period; Virginia Capital Partners' investment is essentially permanent capital. As a result, Virginia Capital enables our portfolio companies to take the necessary time to build and grow their businesses without pressure to seek a liquidity event because of a constraint imposed by their investment partners. Virginia Capital Partners has no such constraints.

Virginia Capital Partners is also differentiated from traditional venture capital or private equity firms because of our reliance on our own professionals to complete our due diligence assessment. We don't use outside advisors or consultants. So, unlike many venture capital firms, Virginia Capital Partners professionals perform all of our assessment work. We believe our model ensures prompt response and guarantees confidentiality.

Click the following links learn more about our investment philosophy, our team, our portfolio and our contact info.