OUR TEAM

Leslie Frécon, Founder & Managing Partner

Leslie has been working with management teams to develop and execute growth strategies for over 30 years. Prior to founding LFE Capital, she was senior vice president, corporate finance, at General Mills, where she had responsibility for treasury, risk management, and corporate development worldwide. Her 17 years with General Mills included management positions in finance and operations. Prior to General Mills, Leslie was a corporate lending officer at Bank of America in Los Angeles. Her board experience includes being a director for 13 years and former audit committee chair for The Ryland Group, NYSE, one of the nation’s largest home builders. Leslie is active in the community, having served as a trustee and executive committee member of the Greater Twin Cities United Way, the MacPhail Center for Music, Breck School and the Minnesota Opera. She has served on the advisory boards of WomenVenture, Enterprising Women Magazine, and the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable. She speaks regularly at conferences, is an author and has been profiled in numerous publications regarding her work as a director, investor and advisor for female-owned and led businesses.

Leslie holds a B.A. with distinction from Stanford University and an M.B.A. in finance from UCLA.

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Duane Harris, Partner & CAO

Duane has worked with LFE Capital as a partner since 2006 and oversees all of the fund administrative functions. His 15 years of experience as a principal and senior executive in middle-market investing, includes being one of the founders and managing partners of Northstar Capital, LLC and prior to that as senior vice president at Churchill Capital, Inc. He served as a senior manager in the investment process for over 50 transactions and as a member of the investment approval committee. Before entering the private equity fund management business, Duane worked with Leslie at General Mills in strategic planning.  He also was a professor of finance and economics at Iowa State University for 10 years and spent three years as an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Duane earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Iowa State and a Ph.D. in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Kellie Bauer, Partner & CFO

Kellie has been part of LFE Capital since its inception and manages all internal and external financial reporting. A licensed CPA, she has tax preparation and accounting skills from 15 plus years of working with small businesses. She serves on the Investment Committees of Funds II and III and oversees cash flow and fund return modeling, transaction structuring and documentation. Kellie’s role includes working with portfolio company CFO’s to improve their financial reporting, forecasting, and controls and serving on portfolio company boards.

Kellie has a B.S. in accounting from Metropolitan State University and is licensed as a CPA in Minnesota.

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Laurent Frecon

Laurent Frécon, Vice President

Laurent joined LFE Capital in 2008 and manages LFE’s investment process and business development activities. His responsibilities include deal origination and screening, valuation analysis, due diligence, and transaction execution. He also serves on portfolio company boards.

Laurent has a B.A. from Lawrence University and an M.B.A. from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

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Roberta Antoine “Bobbie” Dressen, Senior Advisor

Bobbie works with LFE Capital to evaluate new investment opportunities and with portfolio companies in director roles.  She is a global director for the Healthcare Solutions & Partnerships team at Boston Scientific. Previously, she was a partner at White Rock, an innovation think tank and advisory services firm focused on healthcare access, quality, and cost effectiveness. Bobbie has served on the senior leadership teams at Medtronic, UnitedHealth Group, and Allina Hospitals. She serves as a faculty member for the FDA post market surveillance imitative as well as on the FDA MDEpiNet Stakeholders Advisory Board and on the board of M Health of the University of Minnesota/Fairview.

Bobbie holds a B.A. in healthcare administration from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas.

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Diana LaTour, Operating Partner

Diana sources new investments, evaluates investment opportunities and serves as a director. She has extensive experience in the formation, development, and exit of new ventures in Silicon Valley in the healthcare, high-technology, and consumer sectors. She served as the CEO of World Telehealth Corporation, an international medical products distribution company, and the CEO of Contour Pak International, a cold therapy healthcare product company. Diana is chair of the board for PN Medical Inc, a respiratory medical device company and served as a director of Theranetics, Inc., a physical therapy video products company, and International Nutrition Consultants, Inc., a healthcare supplement distribution company. Diana began her career with the IBM .

Diana holds a B.S. in mathematics from UCLA, M.S. degrees in mathematics and behavioral psychology from USC, and is a graduate of the Advanced Management School at Harvard.

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Steve Shank, Operating Partner

Steve supports the investment activities of LFE Capital by evaluating potential investments and serving on portfolio company boards. He is the founder and former CEO of Capella Education Company, NASDAQ. Prior to founding Capella, Steve served for 12 years as chairman and CEO of Tonka Corporation, a consumer products company. He began his career as an attorney with Dorsey & Whitney. Steve currently serves on the boards of Tennant Co. and Capella Education Company.

Steve has a B.A. from the University of Iowa, a M.A. from the Fletcher School, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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Justin Wender, Senior Advisor

Justin serves on LFE Capital’s investment committees and on the boards of portfolio companies.  He has worked with LFE since its inception as an advisor on fund strategy and execution. He is the co-founder and managing partner of Stella Point Capital, a middle-market private equity firm. Prior to Stella Point, Justin was the president of Castle Harlan and the liaison for the alliance between Castle Harlan and LFE Capital. Prior to joining Castle Harlan in 1993, he worked in the Corporate Finance Group of Merrill Lynch & Co. He is a trustee of the Weitz Funds and Carleton College.

Justin is a cum laude graduate of Carleton College with a B.A. in political science and has an M.B.A. from the Wharton School.

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Barb Gooch

Barb Gooch, Director of Administration

Barb is responsible for investor communications and fund administration and has worked with LFE Capital since 2006. She has 20 years of experience in private equity fund administration. During that time, she managed the administrative functions for eight separate funds totaling more than $600 million in commitments. Previously she held administrative positions at CitiCorp and CenterPoint.

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Sharon Johnson, Operations Manager

Sharon manages administrative activities for the office.  She also supports the investment team in areas such as industry research and maintaining databases. She has more than 25 years of project management and office operations experience.

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