It Takes a Village to Grow a Business
Founded in 2003, the Gilead Group takes a unique approach to private equity investing. We have no traditional exit timelines or even set investing criteria. We invest where we see opportunity and strive to establish long-lasting businesses. We are truly active managers, often times establishing a new business when we see a need. Other times taking front-line, operational roles in our businesses when we believe we can create synergy or boost results.
The Gilead Group is made up not just of the Gilead employees who provide centralize services to portfolio companies, but of all the management teams and staffs that populate the Gilead Group companies. The result is a collaborative, supportive environment for new companies where each team can lean in, learn from each other and benefit from combined experiences. When starting a business, it’s difficult to go it alone. Our approach provides a built-in support network featuring years of start-up experience and expertise.
As Chairman of the Gilead Group, Howard Wood brings broad experience gained through a distinguished career. That experience began in 1961 at Arthur Andersen & Co, where he served as a CPA and eventually became a Regional Tax Partner responsible for eight Midwestern offices. During that time, he assisted with financing the building of the cable television systems of Telcom Communicatons, and later was instrumental in the formation of Cencom Cable Associates, which he ultimately joined in 1987 as CEO. After the sale of Cencom to Hallmark in 1991, Howard, along with his partner Jerry Kent, formed Charter Communications in 1993. Charter eventually grew to be one of the largest cable systems in the world. In January 2002, Howard along with Jerry founded Cequel III. The Cequel III team built AAT Communications into the largest privately owned cell tower company in the United States before selling that enterprise in 2006. Cequel III also managed Suddenlink Communications, building it into the seventh largest U.S. cable company with operating results among the best in its industry before it was sold to Altice Group in 2015 for an enterprise value of $9.1 billion. Howard serves on the board of directors for the following organizations: Gilead Group, Agilis Systems, Customer Choice, C4 Connections, Realtime Results and Joink. Howard has a B.S.B.A degree and an Honorary Doctorate from Washington University.
Chief Executive Officer
Prior to founding Gilead Group, LLC in February, 2002, Kent Kalkwarf was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Charter Communications, Inc. Kent was promoted to that position in July 2000, having previously served as Senior Vice President-Finance and Acquisitions. Kent joined Charter in July, 1995 to head up the mergers and acquisitions department. From July, 1995 through his departure, Charter grew from an MSO of approximately 500,000 customers to the third largest MSO with approximately 7 million customers. Prior to joining Charter, Kent was employed for 13 years by Arthur Andersen LLP, where he attained the position of senior tax manager. He has extensive experience in cable, retail and international tax issues. Kent serves on the board of directors for the following organizations: Gilead Group, Agilis Systems, Customer Choice, C4 Connections and Realtime Results. Kent has a B.S. degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and is a certified public accountant.
Chief Executive Officer
Agilis Systems, LLC
Paul currently serves as the acting CEO for one of Gilead’s fastest growing portfolio companies, Agilis Systems, LLC. Paul came to the Gilead Group in 2003 after serving in a variety of marketing and ecommerce management roles. From 1994 to 2001, Paul served as the E-commerce Project Lead and Interactive Marketing Manager for Hallmark.com, the Hallmark Cards Website. He was Hallmark.com’s first employee and helped to grow that organization to more than 120 employees. He also worked in ecommerce and marketing for American Century Investments. He received a B.S. degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and a MAPW degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Paul serves on the board of directors for the following organizations: Gilead Group, Agilis Systems, Customer Choice, C4 Connections, Realtime Results and Joink.
Vice President - Fiscal Operations
During her time at the Gilead Group, Kim has taken on increased roles leading to her current position as Vice President of Financial Analysis. Kim also serves as a Managing Director and Board Member for Realtime Results, a Gilead Group portfolio company. Prior to joining the Gilead Group in 2005, Kim served as accounting manager at Reuters America. In this role, she provided communication cost support for the U.S., Canada and Latin America markets. From 1999 to 2003, Kim served as a cable programming account manager at Charter Communications. In this role, she managed relationships with national cable programmers and conducted a variety of audit work. She has a B.A. degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Kim serves on the board of directors for Joink.
Diane currently serves as a Managing Director and Board Member for Realtime Results, LLC, heading up the Technology Services group. Diane’s key focus is product development and supporting Realtime’s customer base – both internal and external. Before joining Realtime, Diane spent 20+ years with CSI Leasing, Inc., the largest privately held independent technology lessor and was responsible for the company’s IT department including development of a custom application to manage the lifecycle of leased assets. Diane is a CPA who spent 4 years with Arthur Andersen’s tax division. She has a B.A. in Economics from Emory University and an M.B.A from Duke.
Vice President - Operations
Since joining the Gilead Group in 2014, John has served as a Managing Director and Board Member of Gilead’s company, Realtime Results. In this capacity, John oversees the company’s field collection, call center, product recall and software licensing operations. Previously, John spent 20 years in the cable industry including leadership roles with Charter Communications, Suddenlink Communications, Broadstripe, Wide Open West and RCN. While in the cable industry, John served as Executive Vice President – Commercial Operations, Senior Vice President – Customer Care, Vice President of Financial Operations and Director of Regulatory Compliance. Prior to his time in the cable industry, Mr. McFerron was employed for 5 years as a Senior Consultant at Arthur Andersen, LLP in the tax division. John graduated from the University of Missouri in 1989 with a Masters of Accountancy degree.
Vice President - Controller
Ann joined the Gilead Group team in 2004, and over that time she has taken increased roles in both the accounting and human resource functions for the company. In 2006, she was promoted to Vice President/Controller where she oversees all accounting functions and HR for the Gilead Group and our portfolio companies. Prior to joining the company, Ann spent five years as an accountant for Sterling Direct, a direct marketing firm, and several years as a senior accountant for Charter Communications in the cable industry. Ann received a B.A. degree in accounting from Webster University and has more than 20 years of accounting experience. Ann serves on the board of directors for Joink.
Human Resources Manager
Nicole serves as the Human Resources Manager for Gilead Group. As HR Manager, Nicole works with the management teams at the Gilead Group and its portfolio companies where she oversees HR staff and employee groups in a variety of HR roles including recruitment, employee relations, training, compliance, policy creation, benefits administration, event planning and HRIS implementation. Prior to joining Gilead Group, Nicole served two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the Saint Louis area. As a VISTA, she worked with a local nonprofit that provided services to older adults to keep them engaged in the community, help them lead physically and spiritually active lives, and remain safely living in their own homes. Nicole studied Marketing and Management at the University of Central Missouri.