Benefit from Our Experience.
Profit from Our Insight.

Tamarack’s expertise is representing business owners who want to realize the value they have built.

What sets us apart is the combination of our many years of merger and acquisition execution experience with the insight of our industry partners.

Transaction Team

With extensive careers in investment banking, venture capital and financial services, Michael Kessler, J.D. Blank and Larry Gamst recognize the need for a new and better approach to sell-side advisory services. Together, they combine their own expertise with the real business insights of owners and operators.

Providing entrepreneurs and small business owners a more valuable sell-side advisory service.
Michael J. Kessler


Laurence E. Gamst


J.D. Blank


Michael Kessler


Michael’s investment banking career began at New York based Smith Barney in 1985. In 1992 he moved to Minneapolis to join the partners of Wessels, Arnold & Henderson, an institutional investment banking firm serving high growth / emerging market companies. During his career, he has specialized in healthcare, technology and industrials, underwriting IPO’s, raising private capital and advising on mergers and acquisitions. For the past 15 years he has focused exclusively on advising private business owners in mergers and acquisitions. He has sat on several charitable boards, include the United Health Foundation and Children’s Cancer Research.

Michael married Kathy in 1990 and they have two wonderful children – one in New York City and one in Montreal. Michael loves a fine restaurant and a good golf course but mostly a family reunion. He is a graduate of St. John’s College Annapolis and received his MBA from Columbia University. He served active duty in the Marine Corps in the late 70’s.

Laurence E. Gamst


Larry led DS&B, a Twin Cities based financial and tax advisory firm that grew significantly under his leadership. During this time, Larry has been a trusted advisor to leaders and owners of public and private companies and high net worth individuals, assisting with strategic planning, operations, financing, succession and mergers & acquisitions. He and a small team of investors also acquired or invested in numerous private companies. He has served on the board of several for-profit and non-profit entities including the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Paul, United Hospital Foundation, Kowalski 4 Kids and H2O Innovation.

Larry is an accomplished guitarist and musician and actively performs at informal venues. He is married to his lovely wife Antonella and has a son, daughter and grandchild in Minneapolis. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and served active duty marine corps in the 1970’s.

J.D. Blank


Prior to joining Tamarack Partners in 2019, J.D. was the Managing Director of Treehouse Health, a Minneapolis-based healthcare Venture Capital firm and Incubator. In this role, he was responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing investments in seed, venture and growth- stage companies in the healthcare IT & services and medical technology sectors of healthcare. In addition to working alongside and advising portfolio companies, he developed and managed a variety of partnerships with large corporate partners and professional service providers. J.D. has served on the board of multiple organizations and currently serves on the board of directors at the Bakken Museum.

J.D. has lived in Minnesota for most of his life and moved back shortly after college. Outside of work, he likes to spend his time on the golf course, the lake, or traveling somewhere new. J.D. is a graduate of Miami University (OH) and received his MBA from the University of Minnesota.

Industry Partners

Our Industry Partners include past executives of 3M, US Foodservice, Accenture, McCann, Upsher Smith, United Health, Honeywell, as well as founders and entrepreneurs who have built and sold businesses to HCL, Boston Scientific, Kyocera, JDS Uniphase, Baxter and private equity. Please Email us for additional information about our Industry Partners.


Operational Experience

Experienced businesspeople who have operated successful companies

Tamarack Industry Partners chart


Seasoned veterans who have been
buyer and seller.

Industry Sector Focus

Executives and entrepreneurs who understand your market.

Business Sector Focus

Tamarack’s sector focus mirrors the professional backgrounds of our Industry Partners.

Healthcare Devices & Services

Devices, Digital & HIT

Outsourced Services

Physician Groups / Other Providers

Manufacturing & Industrial

Niche Manufacturing

Commercial Services

Supply Chain and Logistics

Retail and Consumer Services

Retail Technology Solutions

eCommerce / Merchandising

Consumer Home Services

Performance Marketing and Digital Media

Digital Channel/Media

Content Creative/Production

Martech Solutions

Food Service & Food Distribution


Last Mile Distribution


Connected Technology

Tech-enabled Services

Software as a Service



The founders and industry partners of Tamarack have significant M&A experience in our focus industries.

Tonka Bay Equity Partners acquired Aero Systems Engineering, Inc., a world wide leader in wind tunnel and jet engine testing facilities.


Atritech, a developer a medical device to close the left atrial appendage in patients with atrial fibrillation, was sold Boston Scientific.


Automotive Cooling Products Inc., which grew to a seven location distributor of automotive heating and cooling products, was sold to 1-800-Radiator.


The Burchfield Group, a leader in pharmacy benefit consulting, auditing and health plan compliance services, was acquired by Aon, Inc.


Cirus Controls, a provider of controls and systems for the winter road maintenance industry was acquired by Certified Power, Inc.


Endocardial Solutions, a developer of a software mapping system used for the navigation and localization in atrial fibrillation ablation, sold to St. Jude.


Fair Isaac sold its bill review and medical cost containment technology to the workers compensation industry to Mitchell Corporation.


Gentra, a manufacturer of nucleic acid purification reagents and instruments for clinical and clinical research laboratories, was sold to Qiagen.


H2O Innovation acquired Itasca Systems Inc., a provider of specialized industrial process water treating solutions.


Livio, a provider of specialized services making house calls low-income and elderly patients covered by Medicaid and Medicare was acquire by BCBS of Minnesota


Medicode, a provider of claims adjudication software and databases for healthcare providers and insurance companies, was sold to UnitedHealthGroup.


Mednet, an SaaS-based eClinical software technology company, was recapitalized by Arrowroot and Cohesive Capital Partners.


Network Instruments grew to a uniquely effective network solution that integrates customer needs and feedback, while raising the benchmark on quality.


PowerObjects, a professional services firm providing service, support, education and add-ons for Microsoft Dynamics CRM was acquired by HCL Technologies.


Proximagen, a biotechnology company with a pipeline in various stages of development across a number of therapeutic, was acquired by Upshire Smith.


Sanovia Corporation, a provider of automated decision-making technology health plan pharmaceutical administration, was sold to Health Information Design.


St. Anthony Publishing, a provider of health information for the coding, reimbursement, and managed care industries, was acquired by UnitedHealth.


Synovis, a developer of medical devices used primarily in surgical procedures for soft tissue repair, was sold to Baxter International.


Top Tool Company, a manufacturer of complex precision stamped components primarily for medical devices, sold to Cirtec Medical LLC.


Trussbilt LLC, a manufacturer of steel hardware for the corrections market, has been acquired by the New York-based private equity firm, Sentinel Capital Partners.


Worldwide Clinical began as an investigational site before expanding to become a global Contract Research Organization and was sold to UnitedHealth.


Zepol, a provider of US import and export competitive intelligence, market research, lead generation, sourcing, and trade compliance, was sold to Datamyne.


Zyga, a developer and producer of minimally invasive medical devices to treat conditions of the lumbar spine, was sold to RTI Surgical, Inc.


Contact Us

Tamarack Partners
60 S. 6th Street #2625
Minneapolis, MN 55402

612.422.7175 phone

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