Who We Are
The consultants at Southwood come from an impressive range of backgrounds and education. Our staff’s diversity lets us find the best solution for making your ideas successful. We come from a variety of disciplines and career paths, ensuring that our approach considers all angles. Basically, whenever you have an idea, we produce a strategy to make that idea work. We won’t rest until you’re completely satisfied.
Jon Babek has a long history of entrepreneurial projects, and brings a diverse skill set rooted in international business and strategy. Jon started his first company while earning a Mechanical Engineering degree from Lehigh University. He followed a unique career path and worked as an engineer and project manager in professional motorsports, with ties to a CHAMP car championship and several NASCAR wins. On completion of an MBA from Wake Forest University, Jon went to work for a machinery manufacturer, and focused on building a market-based diversification strategy for the company’s’ product portfolio across four international production facilities. He lived in Germany for two years while developing the plan, and successfully aided the company in entering new industries with existing products. Jon has travelled extensively and is equally at ease in a board room as he is in the field. Jon runs a private consulting company that focuses on assisting startup companies and specializes in mechanical design and strategy development.
His background in business development began in the 1980's after a being honorably discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard. Mr. Michel was actively opening restaurants for both corporate and individual owners. He is currently the Director of publicly held CPSM, Inc, a firm that specializes in the pool and spa industry and Hitec Corp, a company focused on OTR tire pyrolysis. In 1993 he was recruited by a small Broker-Dealer and entered the field of Financial Services. The firm specialized in retail financial services and underwriting small and medium sized companies in various fields. Furthering his career in the financial services industry, he took on the role of President of a regional Broker-Dealer supervising circa five hundred stock brokers and support staff. In that position Mr. Michel initiated and had direct oversight responsibility for numerous underwriting initiatives ranging from several hundred thousand dollars to ten million in syndicate lead projects. The firm acted as lead underwriters, syndicate members and as market makers thus Jeff's duties included the responsibility for maintaining an orderly after market. Mr. Michel’s last position as a licensed securities professional (FINRA) was as Senior Options Principal for a small firm in New York, resigning in 2010. Since his departure, Jeff has continued consulting for public and private companies on corporate development, turnarounds and capital underwriting. Mr. Michel has held senior management and/or director positions in excess of twenty five years and has sat on the board of companies domiciled in the US, UK, Isle of Man, Canada, BVI, Liberia, and Poland.
Roy joins Southwood with over 36 years of experience in the energy sector. His industry experience spans across coal, natural gas, coke and renewal energy projects. Roy is a licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania, demonstrating his ability to take on a high level of responsibility. He has tenure with Consol Energy, CNX Gas, Kela Energy and Clean Air Engineering, Inc. Not only does Roy have a complete understanding of engineering and the mindset to think outside of the box, he also has years of experience with operations, maintenance, R&D, business development and project management.Roy is a member of the Board of Managers for IMACC, LLC and is the President of Pennsylvania Energy Consultants. Roy received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. Roy has been married for over 34 years and is a resident of Pennsylvania.
Capt. Sadler graduated from Maine Maritime Academy, (Castine, Maine) in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science in Nautical Science and carries the following USCG certifications:
His career spans over four decades with notable tenure beginning in 1073 with Hudson Waterways Tanker Corp where he held the position as Third Mate on the SS Erma Elizabeth (product tanker) then on to Moran Towing and Transportation holding several positions including Trainee Harbor Mate, 2nd Mate of Oceans, Coastal and Harbor Tugs, Chief Mate Of Ocean, Coastal and Harbor Tugs then Master in 1975. He was assigned to a 3,300 hp tug towing a 14,000LT DWT cargo barge throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Basin. Upon returning to the NY operations unit on fleet tugs of 1,650 to 6,500 HP completed numerous single and multiple unit tows, coastwise and trans-oceanic, including what may still be the largest nuclear equipment delivery by water from Westwego, LA to the San Onefres power plant site near Camp Pendleton, CA in 1976-77. Assigned to harbor operations, ship docking/transport tugs and local towing work as needed. Capt. Stadler went on to work with Turecamo Maritime Corp as Master Harbor, Coastal and Ocean Tugs. American Steamship Co. as Master, then on to Moran Towing and Transportation where he is the Master ATB “Liberty/750-3”. New build ATB. Tug unit only delivered from Anacortes WA to Pascagoula MS. At VT Halter Pascagoula the tug was mated with its barge, the 750-3. Tug is a 148’ x 60’ x 26’ intercon pin connected unit of 16,000 HP, the barge is 600’ x 105’ x 57’ (42’ draft) of 330,000 Bbls capacity. Unit total Displacement is 57,700 LTons. First ever Articulated Tug Barge (or any type vessel other than a ship) to call at the Single Point Mooring’s at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port. The unit was in clean product trade from May 2013 through November 2013. Currently in crude oil trade.
Capt. Sweet has over forty years in the maritime industry. Specialties include: maritime towing, bridge inspection and construction, barge operations, chartering, tug operations, dredging and general marine construction. Has been the owner /operator of three maritime concerns over his tenure. He is a certified 200 ton master of towing vessels upon near coastal waters and western rivers, a 200 ton master of steam or motor vessels upon near coastal waters and western rivers, and a radar observer unlimited.
Capt. Sweet serves as a maritime expert to a variety of clients including admiralty attorneys. He was formerly an instructor at the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point in Ship Handling and since 1993, has been the Vice President of Quality Control for Sea Services Inc.
Mr. Vanrenen has worked in the financial industry for the past seven years, initially managing and trading private money on the UK and US futures market. In 2003 Mr. Vanrenen co-founded Waltech PLC as a incubator/accelerator fund to operate and provide value added management to specific technology companies, he was involved in the marketing and money raise for the listing in 2004 and the investment of funds into a number of South African and UK technology companies. Mr. Vanrenen also has strong business relationships in South Africa which lead him, in 2006, to co-found Aladdin partners, which is principally involved in funding Black Economic Empowerment projects in South Africa.