• Hal Chrisman
    Hal Chrisman

    Hal Chrisman

    Hal Chrisman is a seasoned aerospace & defense professional with over 32 years of experience in the industry.  Hal has split his time between consulting and executive–level industry positions.  His experience spans all major market segments including commercial air transport, Defense, rotary wing and business aviation.  His functional focus has been M&A transaction support, strategic planning, operational improvement, and industrial marketing.

    Most recently, Mr. Chrisman was a Vice President with ICF’s Airlines, Aerospace & MRO practice.  Previously, he was a Principal with AeroStrategy, a boutique consultancy focused on the aviation and aerospace industries; Sr. Vice President of Corporate Development for Pemco Aviation Group; Sr. Vice President of Business Development for Aerospan, a spare parts eBusiness Joint Venture between AAR and SITA; Sr. Director – Aerospace and Defense Solutions for Oracle Corporation; and a Principal with The Canaan Group, an aerospace consultancy.  He began his career as a project engineer with Williams International, a leading gas turbine Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), working the cruise missile engine program and leading the development of the Sub-system Power Unit for the Comanche Helicopter.

    Hal holds a BA from Hanover College, a BS in Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

  • Operational-Excellence

    Operational Excellence / Kenneth P. Rusterholz

    Kenneth P. Rusterholz brings over 35 years of Engineering, Operations, Supply Chain/Logistics and Lean Manufacturing experience and a proven track record of formulating and coordinating high impact strategic plans, business transformation, performance recovery/improvement and accelerating multi-site cross functional productivity for various domestic and global organizations. Currently Mr. Rusterholz is President of Operational Excellence Solutions an independent consulting firm specializing in Engineering New Product Development, Operational Industrialization and Excellence, Lean Manufacturing Applications, Facility Design Concepts, and Business Strategy/Performance Execution Recovery Plans. Most recently he served two years as Chief Operating Officer for Unitech Aerospace and prior to that over 20 years with B/E Aerospace as Corporate Vice President of Operational Excellence, Quality and HS&E.

    Mr. Rusterholz holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, an MBA from the University of New Haven, and numerous certificates for Executive Education within the Operational Excellence, Business Strategy and Finance disciplines.

  • Kathleen Searle
    Kathleen Searle

    Kathleen Searle | Special Advisor

    Kathleen Searle
    As the Special Advisor and Chief Marketing Officer for Acorn, Kathleen Searle provides strategic guidance and expertise in strategy, marketing and business development across Acorn’s portfolio companies, affiliates and strategic partners including its marketing partner, Saxum. She leads the firm’s strategy across all marketing disciplines as well as guidance in operational effectiveness during due diligence.

    Searle has a proven track record of success in Fortune 500 corporations in aviation, industrial, defense & intelligence and financial services – specifically Textron and Bank of America. Throughout her marketing career, she has established the vision and strategies necessary to grow profitable multi-billion dollar global corporations. With numerous promotions throughout her career, she is known for driving results by leading high-performing teams. Searle has strong P&L experience and leadership accomplishments as well as M&A experience. She has a well-deserved reputation evidenced by her numerous national and international awards for marketing excellence. Additionally, Searle has a successful track record leveraging strategic business and governmental relationships and her background includes negotiating high-profile licensing, sports marketing and endorsement deals.

    Prior to engaging with Acorn in November, 2017, Searle spent 13 years with Textron, the $13.4 Billion Fortune 500 corporation (NYSE: TXT) serving the aviation, defense and intelligence, industrial and finance industries. Most recently she served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and led all aspects of the corporation’s efforts to create powerful, memorable interactions with Textron’s 40 brands including Cessna, Bell Helicopter, Beechcraft, E-Z-GO, Kautex, Greenlee and Textron Systems. Through leading the Marketing and Sales Council (sales and marketing leaders of each of Textron’s businesses,) she had responsibility for maximizing sales opportunities across all businesses while driving customer consideration, preference and loyalty. Searle provided strategic marketing leadership and sales guidance to all businesses – domestic and international – and increased the level of collaboration on international business pursuits across all of Textron’s businesses. Among many accomplishments, she played a significant role in the opening of new offices in Russia and UAE and successfully planned and executed the brands and strategy for the launch of two new Textron companies, TRU Simulation + Training and Textron Airborne Solutions.

    At Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Searle participated in the Chief Marketing Officer Forum and the Executive Marketing Program. She attended the Executive Marketing Program at The Ohio State University and the Executive Leadership Program at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Her undergraduate education was at Rhode Island College. Additionally, she was Six Sigma Champion Trained at Bank of America and Six Sigma Green Belt Certified at Textron.

    Searle is a participant in the Chief Marketing Officer Forum and has advised on marketing curriculum development at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. She has served on numerous Boards and community organizations throughout her career.