Managing Director and Founding Partner of Seneca Partners in Birmingham, an investment banking and private equity firm. With nearly 20 years of investment experience, Kothari has spent his career analyzing, structuring, and monitoring a variety of transactions in the public and private markets. At Seneca, he has led such transactions as mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, and provided other strategic advisory services to middle-market businesses and entrepreneurs. In addition, Kothari helps lead Senecaís private equity practice, which includes direct investments in a variety of companies through change in ownership, and management of Seneca Health Partners, a venture capital fund focused on providing growth capital to emerging health care companies. On behalf of Seneca Health Partners, Kothari serves on the board or is the board representative of Critical Signal Technologies, MSO Holdings, Inc., and RedPath Integrated Pathology, Inc. From 1996 until forming Seneca, Kothari was a director for Beringea (formerly GMA Capital) and its health care private equity fund, InvestCare Partners. During the formation of InvestCare in 1998, Kothari served as an investment officer at ProVen Private Equity in London, a GMA Capital affiliate. Prior to joining Beringea, Kothari co-founded Cranbrook Capital Management, served as treasurer and director of international investing, and managed domestic and international public equity investments. The firm grew from $10 million in assets to more than $650 million in two and a half years. Kothari has helped establish several professional organizations to promote Michiganís investment community, including Detroit chapters of both the National Association of Securities Professionals and the Indus Entrepreneur Association. He also served on the board of the Michigan Venture Capital Association, as chair of Great Lakes Entrepreneurs Quest, and on the council of the Village of Wolverine Lake. He currently serves on the board of MedBio, Inc., the development committee for Providence Park Hospital, the finance committee of the Village of Wolverine Lake, and the investment committee of the Civil Air Patrol. Kothari is an adjunct instructor at the University of Notre Dameís Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and was recently named one of Crainís Detroit Businessís 40 Under 40. He has more than 25 years with the Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. A Chartered Financial Analyst, he earned both a BA and MBA from the University of Michigan.

WHERE BORN: "Pontiac."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "The folks that I work with in Civil Air Patrol. The group has had the most profound impact on my leadership style, the way I think about things and work, manage, and deal with people."

LAST BOOK READ: "The CEOís Guide to Talent Acquisition by Ginni Garner, Tim Tolan, and Russ Riendeau; and The Arctic Event by Robert Ludlum and James Cobb."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Energetic, direct, self confident."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "The demand and need for investment dollars is accelerating as economies such as Michiganís work to reinvent themselves, leverage the tremendous innovation available, and position themselves for the future. At the same time, the number of entrepreneurs is growing tremendously as the opportunities for success converting innovation and new technologies into compelling enterprises grows. We are at a crossroads, bringing those two dynamics together and helping them succeed with not only capital, but also access to other resources, customers, and insight. But venture capitalists are not the only ones seeing this opportunity. Angel investors, other private investors, and even institutions focused on impacting their local economies are playing a more significant role. As a result, we have to work harder, look deeper, and better understand who can be successful in the long run. We have the chance to be a part of the success of growing Michigan and the Midwestís economy. Seneca and our principals have invested in over a dozen Michigan companies over the years and look forward to expanding that portfolio of success."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "Unfortunately, probably my Treo 700 WX. I absolutely live on that thing. Itís absolutely critical."

FAVORITE PLACE: "Alaska or the Wind River Basin in Wyoming."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "Backpacking, waterskiing, sports car racing, and Civil Air Patrol. You name it, Iíve probably tried it."

FAVORITE FOOD: "I love ethnic food, but Indian is my favorite Ė all kinds. I canít pick out one."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "My passion for Civil Air Patrol and the work I do in search and rescue. I qualify as an incident commander so I help coordinate and manage search-and-rescue missions. Itís an integral part of my life."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As someone who cared a lot about people and lived life to fullest Ė just being part of life and bringing lots of people together to enjoy it. I like bringing people together who have different interests."