Chief Executive Officer
Ashley is the Chief Executive Officer of The Michaels Companies.
Ashley joined Michaels in early 2020 after a distinctive and successful career at Walmart. He served in various roles of increased leadership and responsibility across the company. His final role at that company was Chief Merchandising and Chief Operating Officer for Walmart U.S. eCommerce.
Prior to joining the U.S. eCommerce team, he was the Chief Merchant at Sam’s Club where he led a merchandising team and oversaw activities including assortment, private brand strategy, pricing, global sourcing, packaging, replenishment, and supply chain. He also previously served in a broad set of senior merchandising roles at Walmart. Earlier in his career, he spent time at Dell where he held a variety of positions in finance, after spending five years at Accenture focused on the retail industry.
Ashley earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Real Estate as well as a Master of Business Administration from Baylor University.
Andrew Jhawar is a Partner, Private Equity at Apollo, where he oversees its Los Angeles office. Now in his 24th year at Apollo, Andy is a member of the Investment Committee of various Apollo funds. Since joining Apollo in February 2000, Andy has led, structured, managed and exited private equity transactions primarily focused on the consumer and retail industry. Andy currently serves as Chairman of the Board at The Michaels Companies and The Stand, and lead Board member at Heritage Grocers Group (Cardenas Markets/Tony’s Fresh Market) and The Fresh Market. He also previously served as Chairman of the Board of The Fresh Market, Smart & Final (Fund IX), Qdoba Restaurants, Sprouts Farmers Market and lead Board member at Hostess Brands, Smart & Final (Fund VI), General Nutrition Centers and Board member at Rent-A-Center. Transactions for Apollo that Andy has led have resulted in excess of $6 billion in investment profit dollars for Apollo Funds. Prior to joining Apollo, Mr. Jhawar was an investment banker focused on leveraged finance transactions for five years with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation and Jefferies & Company.
Andy graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated, summa cum laude, with a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In December 2020, Andy was featured in the Business Insider video related to the Rise and Fall of Twinkies, and the April 2015 Forbes Magazine cover story for Hostess Brands. In addition, in May 2012, Andy was the featured cover story in Mergers & Acquisitions Magazine related to Apollo’s successful investment in Sprouts Farmers Market as well as being named in September 2007 as one of the “Top Dealmakers Under the Age of 40” by Dealmaker Magazine.
Monte E. Ford
Monte Ford is currently the Principal Partner at the CIO Strategy Exchange, an organization of the top 50 sitting Chief Information Officers in business. From February 2012 until September 2013, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Aptean Software Corporation, a provider of enterprise application software.
Prior to joining Aptean, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of American Airlines, Inc. from December 2000 through December 2011.
Monte currently sits on the board of directors of Akamai Technologies, Inc., a leading internet network and security company where he serves on the Talent, Leadership and Compensation Committee and the Environmental, Sustainability and Governance Committee; JetBlue Airways, a major American passenger airline, where he serves on the Audit Committee; and Iron Mountain Incorporated, a storage and information management company where he serves on the Compensation Committee, the Technology Committee and the Risk and Safety Committee. Monte previously served on the Board from September 2015 to April 2021.
Mr. LeBlanc is a Senior Advisor and Co-Founder of CapRidge Partners, LLC, a role that he has held since August 2012. From January 2006 until December 2008, he served as an Adjunct Professor at The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas. From June 1998 until February 2005, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Summit Properties, a NYSE listed company. Prior to joining Summit Properties, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Urban Growth Property Trust from April 1996 to April 1998. From March 1992 until March 1998, Mr. LeBlanc served as the Executive Vice President for Archstone Communities Trust.
Mr. LeBlanc currently sits on the boards of Affordable Central Texas (as Chair), Austin Presbyterian Seminary and Blue Sage Capital. Mr. LeBlanc received a Bachelor of Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.
Riddi Kline currently serves as an Executive Partner of Comvest Partners, a role that she has held since April 2016. She also founded Provencal Partners, LLC in April 2015.
Riddi previously served in various roles with Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. from August 2002 to March 2015, most recently as its EVP, Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer. Prior to joining Jo-Ann Stores, Riddi also had roles with Kraft Foods, RadioShack and Michaels Stores, Inc.
She earned a Bachelor of Science from The University of Texas at Austin.
David Lenhardt previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of PetSmart from October 2000 to March 2015.
Prior to joining PetSmart, David also had roles with Bain & Company and Merrill Lynch. David currently serves on the boards of Casey’s General Stores, Natural Balance Pet Foods, Phoenix Art Museum, Dogtopia, and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
David received an M.B.A from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a B.S. from Cornell University.
Salim Hirji is a Partner, Private Equity at Apollo where he is responsible for analyzing and monitoring investments across industry sectors, including Consumer, Retail, and IT Services. Prior to joining Apollo in 2013, Salim was an analyst in the Financial Institutions Group at Goldman, Sachs & Co. from July 2011 to August 2013. Salim serves on the board of directors of the parent entity of PetSmart. He has previously served on the board of directors of Athene Co-Invest Reinsurance Affiliate Holding Ltd., Mood Media Corporation, Presidio, Inc. and the parent entity of Yahoo!. Salim is a member of the TEAK Fellowship, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping students from low-income families gain admission to top high schools and universities. Salim graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science.