Vineyard Capital Group
vineyard capital group

Team

Rich Helppie is widely credited with revolutionizing the healthcare information technology consulting industry. Prior to Helppie founding Superior Consultant in early 1984, the consulting industry was modeled after the audit business, i.e., regional offices with a hierarchy and local franchise where consultants were mostly limited to advice and white papers. Helppie introduced the business model of ³advise and do², which, despite resistance from entrenched consultants of the time, has become the business model in practice today. Other innovations include bonus structures, legal infrastructure, ³co-opetition² with other industry participants, and widely adopted customer service methods. He began practicing the concept of a mobile work force, national deployment, and little office overhead as he literally built the company, Superior Consultant, ³from the computers up.² While in leadership at Superior, the company grew from a one-person operation to industry leadership with a peak employment of over 1,400 employees and annual revenue of $149 million. . 

An innovator and market-leader, he developed and executed the firm's public financing and gained recognition for Superior (formerly SUPC) as a NASDAQ top performer multiple times and led the first public financing of a pure play healthcare consulting business with Superior Consultant¹s 1996 IPO. Later, weathering the 1999-2000 IT market changes, he successfully re-positioned the company with Outsourcing as its lead offering and regained Superior's NASDAQ top-performing distinction. Ultimately, the firm was sold to a Fortune 500 company in 2005.

Today, Rich Helppie serves as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Santa Rosa Holdings where he brings over 26 years¹ experience in business services and healthcare and over 37 years¹ experience in information technology. Rich is a successful entrepreneur having served with distinction on boards of privately-held, publicly-traded and not-for-profit entities. He is the founder of Santa Rosa Consulting and Vineyard Capital Group, a firm that specializes in investing and providing governance and advisory services to small to medium-sized companies.

Richard Helppie
Managing Partner
   
From 2007 to 2010, Eric Green performed the duties associated with the chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Stonerise Capital Partners, a public-private cross over investment firm in San Francisco.  From 2005 to 2007, Mr. Green was a Managing Partner at Osmium Partners, a long-short U.S. equity hedge fund in San Francisco.  In this role, Mr. Green was responsible for research, operations, finance, investor relations and capital raising.  Prior to joining Osmium, Mr. Green served as an investment banker with Citigroup in New York and Los Angeles, where he participated in several transactions including sell-side acquisitions, leveraged buy-outs and numerous capital markets financings. Mr. Green began his career as an officer in the United States Navy. Serving as an engineer for the Naval Construction Force, Mr. Green deployed to Guam, Spain and Estonia.  Mr. Green received an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia and a BS in Engineering from the United States Naval Academy.  Mr. Green is married with three children.
Eric Green
Managing Partner
   
Shail Arora is an accomplished, multi-dimensional executive management professional with a solid mix of business skills, deep technical knowledge and entrepreneurial success. Before joining Vineyard Capital, Mr. Arora founded two organizations; one focused on a cloud-based software solution for healthcare and the second focused on ‘social e-commerce’. Prior to founding these companies, he co-founded and successfully built a technology company called Gradepoint, which was ultimately sold to an international human capital firm. Before Gradepoint, his roles included CIO at a private equity funded computing technology and services firm, a Principal at IBM running a national advanced technology practice and as a senior director at a large health system. Mr. Arora began his career at EDS working in advanced technologies including artificial intelligence, knowledge-based systems, and object technology. In recognition of his accomplishments, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) selected Shail to chair the OOPLSA 2009 conference.
Shail Arora
Managing Partner
   
Dennis Sarafa Dennis Sarafa is a proven business leader with a unique combination of sales, business development, process and technology experience. Before joining Vineyard Capital Group, Dennis was the Director of Sales & Business Development for a regional Apple Value Added Reseller. In this role, Dennis was able to increase the company's gross sales margin 40% by strategically directing the company to new and preferred lines of service and was responsible for improving the company's operating processes, product & service offerings, and people development. Dennis also served as an integral part of the management team directly reporting to the CEO. Prior to this experience, Dennis spent 10 years building an international franchise recruitment firm as the Vice President of Sales. While there, Dennis grew the firm through new lines of service that attracted Fortune 1000 clients and created a more consistent revenue stream and higher profits. The company eventually ranked 10th of over 1,100 international offices. From 1995 – 1999, Dennis served in multiple roles both in technology implementation and operations at Superior Consultant Company, a national healthcare IT consulting firm. Dennis began his career in the mortgage servicing industry. Dennis holds a MS degree in Software Engineering Management from University of Detroit Mercy and a BA degree in Economics from the University of Michigan.
Dennis Sarafa
Managing Partner
   
Jim House is a Senior Financial Officer with 25 years of professional financial experience. Over the course of his career he has raised or committed over $250 million in debt or equity capital for companies at all stages of development in a number of industries, including technology, manufacturing, distributions, healthcare and education. He has held a number of financial executive positions for both public and private entities, providing hands-on experience building and financing growth/value companies. In his positions as Chief Financial Officer, he performed the lead financial role in a variety of capital projects, including multiple IPO’s, numerous commercial lending projects and a secondary public offering. In addition, he successfully completed the evaluation, negotiation and financing of more than 15 mergers and acquisitions for both domestic and international companies. He also has extensive experience in public reporting and communicating with financial analysts and investors in the Wall Street community.  Mr. House is a graduate of Michigan State University and is a member of the Financial Executive Institute and the Institute of Management Accountants.
James T. House
Chief Financial Officer
   
Richard Saslow, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer, comes to Vineyard Capital Group with more than thirty years experience in commercial law. Mr. Saslow has formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors and as General Counsel to Superior Consultant Company, and in that capacity helped manage ten mergers and acquisitions, public company regulatory issues including corporate governance and Sarbanes Oxley compliance, contract processing, negotiation and management, and litigation matters. Mr. Saslow also was active in the sale of Superior Consultant Company to ACS, after which he remained with the ACS legal department in a lead role providing support to ACS’ healthcare provider business. Prior to joining Superior, Mr. Saslow spent twenty years in private practice specializing in complex commercial litigation, including securities, antitrust, banking and construction matters. Mr. Saslow appeared before state and federal courts of all levels, including the Michigan Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court, where he argued a case involving the role of private litigation in the regulatory oversight of investment markets.
Richard Saslow
General Counsel and CAO
   
Blake Helppie has an impressive business record spanning over eight years.  Prior to joining Vineyard Capital Group, Blake co-founded Dundee Shipping, a maritime logistics business serving the offshore oil industry in Brazil.  While running the business, he grew revenues from 0 to $4.2 million on an annualized basis and went cash-flow positive in the first month of client operations.

Previously, Blake was an Associate in the Real Estate Principal Investment Area of Goldman Sachs, focusing on principal investments in residential, hotel, and office assets as well as non-performing loan portfolios.  Before transferring into Goldman’s principal investment area, Blake spent three years as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs in Frankfurt, Germany, where he worked on M&A, equity and debt transactions. Prior to Goldman Sachs Blake served as a consultant with Superior Consultant Company, providing strategic planning for its healthcare clients.

Blake completed his undergraduate studies with a dual finance and accounting degree from Georgetown University and having also completed coursework at the University of Vienna (Austria) and Trinity College at the University of Oxford (UK).  Blake speaks fluent German and Portuguese.

Blake Helppie
Associate Partner
   
Grant Helppie CEO, Augustus Properties, is an Associate Partner within Vineyard Capital Group. Prior to joining Vineyard, he provided corporate marketing, industry research, contract writing and financial management assistance for a Fortune 500 company.  Grant attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh majoring in computer animation, and also Grand Valley State University with a major in Marketing.
Grant Helppie
Associate Partner