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The Story of Gilead Group and What Comes Next

The Gilead Group began as the idea of three individuals, each with their own track record of shepherding businesses toward profitability and healthy growth. Their goal was to establish a different kind of investment firm — one that operated with confidence and trust to fulfill the promise of its companies. Without strict adherence to exit timelines or hard and fast investing criteria, the founding members of Gilead Group firmly trusted their team’s ability to identify businesses with unique potential, develop sound growth strategies, and execute those strategies in operation.

The Founders’ Backgrounds and Vision for Gilead Group

The journey began in 2003 when Gilead Group was founded by Howard Wood, Kent Kalkwarf, and Dave Barford. Gilead Group’s founders brought a wealth of knowledge and practical skills to the table. They knew that, with the right plans and teams in place, they could leverage their expertise and investments to help high-potential business models optimize profitability and adapt to evolving technologies and market demands.

Howard Wood is one of Gilead Group’s Co-Founders and current Chairman. He was instrumental in a range of telecom success stories including the formation of Charter Communications in 1993. Along with his partner Jerry Kent, Howard helped guide Charter to become one of the largest cable providers on the planet. He and Jerry also founded Cequel III, a separate investment firm with its own incredible track record of business investment and management. Howard is still actively involved in Gilead Group companies. He serves vital board roles for Gilead Group, Customer Choice, C4 Connections, Joink, Linxup, and Realtime Results.

As former Executive Vice President and CFO of Charter Communications, Kent Kalkwarf played a key role in that company’s remarkable rise in a competitive market. Kent joined Charter in 1995 to lead its Mergers and Acquisitions Department. From the time he joined until his departure in 2002, Charter’s customer base grew from 500,000 to over 7 million accounts. Before his time at Charter, Kent spent 13 years at Arthur Andersen LLP where he rose to the position of Senior Tax Manager. Kent’s experience in cable, retail, and international tax issues makes him a valuable member of several corporate boards of directors. These include Gilead Group, Customer Choice, C4 Connections, Realtime Results, Joink, Linxup, and Archlogix. He is currently Gilead Group’s President and CEO.

Dave Barford was a founding member of Gilead Group and remained a Managing Director until 2017 when he turned his focus to one of Gilead Group’s success stories: Archlogix LLC. Since that time, Dave has served as Chairman, President, and CEO of Archlogix. As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, he worked with his Gilead Co-Founders at Charter Communications during a period of rapid growth. Dave is a serial entrepreneur who has produced an impressive body of work mentoring outstanding, motivated teams to realize their full potential. Further demonstrating his passion for helping others fulfill their potential and purpose, Dave co-founded the Global Learning Exchange Initiative (GLXi). GLXi develops and distributes high-quality curriculums, classroom materials, and teacher training programs in developing countries.

With their rich and diverse backgrounds in business development, strategy, and operations, Gilead Group’s founders were uniquely positioned to pool their expertise toward a common goal, in service of businesses they believed in.

Gilead Group Nurtures Businesses from Acorn to Tree

Aware of each other’s business sense and skillset, Gilead Group’s founders assembled a team of Accounting, HR, and Business Management professionals they could count on to deliver essential centralized services to our companies. Gilead Group’s goal was and is to help young companies in the midst of pivotal growth periods by providing crucial management services, strategic oversight, and capital. We provide a built-in support network and collaborative environment where teams can combine their experience and viewpoints, connecting great ideas with proven business strategies.

Gilead Group’s dedication to supportive growth is evident in its portfolio of companies. The first investment, Joink LLC, began as a dial-up ISP in Indiana. A long list of satisfied business clients helped them grow their networking and data business. As a result, their total client map expanded across rural Illinois and Indiana. Today, Joink continues to grow, extending its fiber internet service to new markets. Following its successful expansion, and with further growth in sight, Joink reached an agreement with DIF Capital Partners in late 2021 to provide additional capital to Joink and partial liquidity to Gilead for its investment. This investment partnership has empowered Joink to deliver its sought-after fiber-optic network to a wider market of clients, faster than what was previously possible.

Linxup (formerly Agilis Systems), another Gilead Group investment, has achieved success developing location-based solutions for businesses and individuals since 2004. Businesses that manage fleets of vehicles use Linxup technology to track locations, increase mobile worker productivity, and reduce operating costs. Linxup’s products were successful and its prospects were strong. So in 2018, Gilead Group received partial liquidity of our investment with an equity recapitalization from Spectrum Equity.

The Gilead Group’s interest in identifying and serving unmet business needs also extends to organic start-ups. C4 Connections is a direct sales and marketing organization founded in 2003, with the goal of partnering with telecommunications companies to provide cost-effective door-to-door sales operations. Realtime Results is yet another start-up that Gilead Group cultivated to steady growth. Their proprietary mobile software solution, Open Door, has improved communication and efficiency for sales and service teams across the country. Realtime’s focus on innovative and creative business solutions is the reason that companies large and small look to their product recall division, Recall Results, as a strategic partner when faced with a recall. Recall Results serves as a consulting service and outsourced provider of Product Recall planning, support, and implementation across the recall landscape.

Finally, Gilead Group has been able to offer strategic and minority investment support for companies such as Archlogix and Data Dynamics. The former, Archlogix, is Gilead Group’s very first minority investment in partnership with co-founder, David Barford. They have grown to become a leading provider of handset-based GPS and work management solutions including their newest offering, SoloHustle. The latter, Data Dynamics, offers data analytics, mobility, security, and compliance solutions to help their clients strategically leverage their data while keeping it secure.

Where Opportunity, Sound Management, and Dependable Support Come Together

Our history of investment and management success is only possible because of our people. The companies we have poured into have each achieved impressive results and growth thanks to the hard work and dedication of their teams combined with the steadfast support of Gilead Group’s dedicated business specialists.

In 2003, Gilead Group’s founders were determined to create a space for small businesses with big ideas. By establishing trust through long-term commitments and consistent support, we have been able to see dreams become reality. The people who make up our companies at Gilead Group are brilliant problem solvers, innovative technologists, and capable leaders. By partnering with Gilead Group for key investments, strategic oversight, and operational management, they have been able to see their visions through, with the freedom to dream even bigger.

Today, Gilead Group continues to guide teams to greater success while seeking more opportunities to serve markets with new and exciting solutions. At the core of each success story, you can find our values of long-term commitment and continuous communication. We believe in the power of teams, the efficiency of complementing strengths, and the importance of trust in growing businesses. Through the keen business sense and experience of our core teams, we are thrilled to continue the work of finding and nurturing exciting new businesses now and in the future.

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