- Kirk Martin
Kirk Martin is Managing Partner of Ascendant Partners and brings more than 25 years of executive and leadership experience to the firm as well as experience in financial advisory services for the food, agribusiness and bio-energy industries, including strategic development and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to cofounding Ascendant Partners he led the development of Business Advisory Services for CoBank ACB, was a senior vice president of Marketing and Product Development for CoBank, served as a senior vice president and director of Cash Management Services for First Chicago Corp as well as serving as vice president of Marketing and Product Development for First Chicago. He holds a B.S. in Marketing and Statistics and an M.B.A., both from DePaul University, where he graduated with top honors. Mr. Martin is licensed with FINRA as a registered investment banking representative.
- Scott McDermott
Partner and Chief Operating Officer
Scott McDermott is a Partner and Chief Operating Officer for the firm and brings over 20 years of experience in financial advisory services. Mr. McDermott’s experience includes strategic and tactical advisory services in the bio-energy, food and agribusiness industries, including strategic planning and alignment, mergers and acquisitions, business feasibility studies and planning, market assessments, business valuation and performance improvement. Prior to cofounding Ascendant Partners Mr. McDermott was one of the founding principals of Business Advisory Services for CoBank ACB and an analyst at Koch Industries (Flint Hills Resources) and Sparks Companies (Informa Economics). He received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Northern Colorado and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado. Mr. McDermott is licensed with FINRA as a registered investment banking representative.
- Mark Warren
Partner and Chief Financial Officer
Mark Warren is a Partner and Chief Financial Officer for the firm and brings over 18 years of financial and industry experience to our clients. His experience includes strategic, financial and business advisory services in the food, agribusiness, and bio-energy industry segments, including strategic development, mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and formation, turnaround initiatives, and performance improvement assessments. Prior to cofounding Ascendant Partners Mr. Warren was one of the founding principals of Business Advisory Services for CoBank. His prior experience also includes being chief financial officer for a start-up manufacturing firm. A native of Tennessee, Mark received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Kentucky and his master’s in business administration from Xavier University. Mr. Warren is licensed with FINRA as a registered investment banking representative.
- Susan Wyka
Susan Wyka is a Partner in the firm and brings more than 30 years of experience in corporate finance. Her experience includes investment banking, private equity fund management, corporate loans and equity and mezzanine investing for the food, agribusiness and bio-energy industries. Prior to joining Ascendant Partners Ms. Wyka was a partner and owner of Cybus Capital Markets, vice president at Newman and Associates, second vice president at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, senior analyst at UNUM and credit analyst at Hartford National Bank. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College where she graduated with top honors and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Ms. Wyka’s FINRA licenses include Series 24, Series 27 and Series 7.