Management & Board of Directors

We are led by Ronald W. Burkle, our President and Chairman, and Ira Tochner, our Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Our management team is supported by the broader Yucaipa Companies team.

Ronald W. Burkle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Ronald W. Burkle, our President and Chairman, is Managing Partner of The Yucaipa Companies, a private investment firm, which he founded in 1986. Mr. Burkle currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Soho House Holdings, Ltd., a group of members-only clubs and restaurants with locations all over the world, and The Ned, a 5-star 252 room luxury hotel located in the City of London. Mr. Burkle has served as Chairman of the Board and controlling shareholder of numerous companies in the retail, logistics and hospitality sectors including Pathmark Stores (NASDAQ: PTMK), Ralphs Supermarkets, Americold Realty Trust (NYSE: COLD), Eimskip Logistics (ICE: EIM), TDS Logistics, and Morgans Hotel Group (NASDAQ: MHGC).

Mr. Burkle also owns or is a major investor in several companies in the entertainment industry, focusing on movie, television, music, sports and live events (concerts/festivals). These companies include European film and television agency—Independent Talent Group, U.S. and European music agencies—Artist Group International, Paradigm Agency UK and X-Ray Touring, and U.S. and Europe-based music festival operators Danny Wimmer Presents and Primavera Sound. Mr. Burkle also controls Independent Sports & Entertainment, a major sports agency. Mr. Burkle has also served as a director of several other public companies including Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO), and KB Home Corporation (NYSE: KBH).

In 2010, Mr Burkle, along with partners Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary, formed A-Grade Investments, a venture capital firm established to invest in technology start-up companies including Airbnb, Uber, Spotify and Warby Parker. Mr Burkle is also co-owner of the NHL hockey team Pittsburgh Penguins with partner Mario Lemieux.

Mr. Burkle is Co-Chairman of the Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA and is broadly involved in the community. He is a member of the Board of The Scripps Research Institute and is a trustee of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). Mr. Burkle was the Founder and Chairman of the Ralphs/Food4Less Foundation and the Fred Meyer Inc. Foundation. He was a member of the board the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Music Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Carter Center, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the National Urban League.

Ira Tochner, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

Ira Tochner, our Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, is a Senior Partner at The Yucaipa Companies, which he joined in 1990. Mr. Tochner has been involved in all aspects of portfolio company ownership, including mergers and acquisitions, financings, portfolio company monitoring, strategic planning, labor relations, executive recruiting, asset dispositions, and public company reporting. Mr. Tochner currently serves as a director of O’Gara Coach Company, Aquahydrate Water Company, and YC Holdings. During his tenure at Yucaipa, Mr. Tochner has served on the board of directors of Americold Realty Trust (NYSE: COLD), Pathmark Stores (NASDAQ: PTMK), Dominick’s Supermarkets (NYSE: DFF), Fresh & Easy Stores, Golden State Foods, Wild Oats Marketing, Aloha Airlines, and TDS Logistics. Prior to joining The Yucaipa Companies, Mr. Tochner was employed by Arthur Andersen & Co. as an audit manager from 1983 to 1989. Mr. Tochner holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and Accounting from the University of Southern California.

Christel Sicé, Director

Christel Sicé serves as a director of Yucaipa Acquisition Corporation. Ms. Sicé has been an Executive with Steve Harvey Global since 2017, responsible for all areas of company operations including the investing division, Harvey Ventures. Steve Harvey Global, creates and distributes original, powerful entertainment, content and products that inspire the world. Ms. Sicé currently serves on the board of directors of Anthem Sports & Entertainment. Ms. Sicé previously worked at The Yucaipa Companies from 2002 to 2014 as a Director, managing all aspects of the investment and portfolio management process. Prior to joining The Yucaipa Companies, Ms. Sicé worked at Arthur Andersen LLP as a Transaction Advisory Manager from 1998 to 2002. Ms Sicé holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Yusef D. Jackson, Director

Yusef D. Jackson, Esq. serves as a director of Yucaipa Acquisition Corporation. Mr. Jackson is the Executive Director of the Jackson Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides for underprivileged students to pursue education, arts and athletics. Mr. Jackson also serves as Secretary for the Rainbow Push Coalition, a leading civil rights organization. After practicing corporate law at the law firm of Mayer Brown and Platt, from 1996 to 1999, Mr. Jackson acquired River North Sales and Service, and turned it into a leading beverage solution company in Chicago. During his leadership and expansion of River North Sales and Service, Mr. Jackson spearheaded the acquisition of dozens of beverage brands and led the design and development of commercial real estate development projects related to the warehousing sales, marketing and administration of the company. In 2006, Mr. Jackson acquired Radar Magazine, a niche media company specializing in witty au courant analysis, opinions and perspectives of modern day pop culture. Under his leadership, Radar Magazine acquired a team of talented writers many of whom have gone on to be industry leaders. Mr. Jackson is a graduate of University Virginia with a BA in Government and Foreign Affairs. In 1996, Mr. Jackson earned his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. Mr. Jackson is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Chicago Bar Association and serves as a director of the Chicago Children’s Choir, the Virginia Athletic Foundation and Rocket Wagon Ventures.

Tom Dahlen, Director

Tom Dahlen is an executive with 50 years of experience in the food industry including senior leadership roles across sales, marketing, procurement, advertising, operations, manufacturing, supply chain and logistics. In addition to his operational experience, Mr. Dahlen has a long history of leading mergers, acquisition integrations and overall best practices for transactions.

Most recently, Mr. Dahlen was appointed as Executive Advisor to Co-Protect Global and CSO for Swiftly Systems. In the past, Mr. Dahlen has held positions including interim CEO for both Pathmark Stores and A&P Grocery Stores, EVP of both Ralphs Grocery Company and Alpha Beta Stores, President of Food 4 Less Foods Co, Foods Company Markets and Fleming Retail Group, Chairman/CEO of Furrs Supermarkets, and CEO of Wild Oats. Mr. Dahlen is also a past President of the Food Industry Circle for the City of Hope and Vice President of MDA. Mr. Dahlen’s past and current board affiliations include Wild Oats, Premio Foods, Jana Water USA, Zacky Farms, Foods Company Markets, Furrs Supermarkets and Homeland Foods. Mr. Dahlen previously served as an Operating Partner at The Yucaipa Companies at various points over the last 25 years.