Steve Oatway

Steve Oatway


Steve Oatway is a Trusted Advisor in DAK’s Strategic Leadership Advisory practice. He has the experience of guiding closely held, family and entrepreneurial companies through a change process to position them for a successful exit. As an owner-operator of private and family-owned businesses for over 30 years he knows that leadership can be lonely at times. Owners can become emotionally invested and at times clouded, he firsthand understands that there is real value to having a trusted advisor.

Steve’s industry experience spans manufacturing, distribution, field service, and technology in both B2B and B2C. He has successfully led companies with his expertise in Strategic Planning, Culture & Value Definition, Team Development, Risk Identification, Monitoring & Mitigation, Transformation & Innovation, Emerging Technology Insight & Adoption, Growth, and Partner Ecosystem Development. He applies this expertise to his clients’ businesses, helping them make the changes necessary to maximize value in advance of a sale.

Previously, he was Senior Advisor at Innovative Vending Solutions, a leading B2C contactless retail systems provider. He helped the company expand its product offering, optimize its supply chain operations globally, and developed new revenue channels. He also led efforts to maximize operational efficiency through the application of new tools and technology.

Earlier, he served as President and COO of NER Holdings, Inc. a provider of print solutions, data center infrastructure, and managed services leading financial performance, strategy, and policy. During his time in this role, he led the transformation of the company from a product-oriented business into a technology and service-oriented one by refocusing the efforts on end-users and by developing critical partnerships.

In addition, Steve has been on both sides of Merger & Acquisition deals and has participated in over a dozen buy-or-sell side transactions. He deeply understands how to build value in a company to warrant a premium valuation at the time of a sale. He knows what buyers are looking for, and how to prepare a company in a way that maximizes value and mitigates risk in a transaction.

Steve graduated with a BA from Kenyon College. He is a sought-after panelist and has participated in a number of events focused on Buying and Selling Middle Market Businesses.

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    Steve Oatway Thought Leadership

    Delving into the Value Quest: 3 Proven Tips for Business Owners Eyeing Legacy or Exit

    The economy is in a pivotal period today especially for business owners running medium-sized privately held companies. The pandemic, although  far in the rear-view mirror, ...
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    VCI – Emergency Vehicle Specialists recapitalized by Tightrope Capital & NewSpring Capital

    VCI is the preeminent full lifecycle sales and service provider of emergency ambulance solutions to first aid squads, EMS organizations, fire departments, hospital organizations, municipalities, and private medical transport companies in the Mid-Atlantic Region. VCI was recapitalized by private equity firms Tightrope Capital Partners and NewSpring Capital.

    DAK led a competitive, sell-side process for VCI, generating multiple offers from a wide range of strategic buyers and financial sponsors. By positioning the combination of VCI’s market leadership position, comprehensive services offering, strong manufacturer relationships, and robust backlog, DAK achieved an outstanding outcome for the company’s shareholders.

    The acquisition provides the shareholders of VCI an opportunity to accelerate its growth strategy by expanding its core ambulance business, building out the value-added segments of conversions and remounts, implementing operational improvements, and pursuing acquisitions with the help of its new partners. Tightrope and NewSpring have an opportunity to leverage VCI’s strong management team and operating platform to build a multi-regional player in emergency ambulance solutions.

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