Dedicated and Passionate Individuals. Collaborating at Parity.

Our team consists of individuals whose backgrounds, history, and heritage are rooted in the food, life sciences, healthcare and nutrition industries. Combined with our highly complementary set of financial, operating and governance expertise, we are uniquely positioned to help companies navigate a dynamic and changing market. We culturally embrace an interdisciplinary effort to build distinctive growth companies through self-reinforcing principles and governance processes.

Johannes Burlin is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Tilia and has over 25 years of professional experience as an operating executive in companies related to Tilia’s investment area, including most recently serving as Partner and President of Safe Foods International, a group focusing solely on making investments in nutrition and safe food and water.

Johannes Burlin is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Tilia and has over 25 years of professional experience as an operating executive in companies related to Tilia’s investment area, including most recently serving as Partner and President of Safe Foods International, a group focusing solely on making investments in nutrition and safe food and water.

Prior to joining Safe Foods, Johannes served as President of Silliker North America, from October 2008 until July 2013. Johannes joined Silliker from Advanced Bioscience Laboratories, a Mérieux Alliance Company, where he served as President and CEO from 2003 until 2008 and Chairman from 2003 until 2013.

From 2000 until 2003, Johannes served as Vice President of Business Development for the Mérieux Group located in Lyon, France. From 1995 to 2000, he served as the General Counsel of bioMérieux, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of bioMérieux, where he was also responsible for licensing and intellectual property. Prior to joining bioMérieux in 1995, he practiced corporate law with the law firm of Bryan Cave.

A native of Sweden, Johannes holds a Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College in Economics and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

Johannes Burlin

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Eric Larson, Tilia’s Chairman, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, started his career as a private equity investor and business builder in 1986. Prior to co-founding Tilia in 2017, Eric established Linden Life Science in 2002, now known as Linden Capital Partners, a leading healthcare focused middle-market private equity firm. Eric was Linden’s Chairman and, as its senior investment professional, developed the firm’s strategy and organization.

 Eric Larson, Tilia’s Chairman, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, started his career as a private equity investor and business builder in 1986.  Prior to co-founding Tilia in 2017, Eric established Linden Life Science in 2002, now known as Linden Capital Partners, a leading healthcare focused middle-market private equity firm.  Eric was Linden’s Chairman and, as its senior investment professional, developed the firm’s strategy and organization.

Before Linden, Eric was Executive Vice President and Managing General Partner of First Chicago Equity Capital (now One Equity Partners), which he co-founded in 1991.  He began his private equity career at First Chicago Venture Capital (now Madison Dearborn Partners), where he was a Partner and Investment Principal.

In addition to Tilia, Eric is involved with several technically-oriented organizations, including: the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Member of the Nutrition Roundtable); the National Geographic Society; the Illinois Institute of Technology (Trustee and Chairman of its Institute of Design); Center for Higher Ambition Leadership (Executive Fellow); and the Commercial Club of Chicago (member).

Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Eric Larson

Co-Founder, Chairman & Co-CEO

Rob Celin is a Managing Director and serves as Chief of Staff and has 11 years of principal investing, operating and investment banking experience. Prior to joining Tilia in 2017, Rob worked as an Investment Associate at Linden Capital Partners and held an Executive Team management role at one of Linden’s portfolio companies, Young Innovations, where he worked on a variety of strategic initiatives with the company’s CEO. Rob began his career as an Investment Banking Analyst in the Technology, Media and Telecom group at Barclays Capital.

Rob Celin is a Managing Director and serves as Chief of Staff and has 11 years of principal investing, operating and investment banking experience. Prior to joining Tilia in 2017, Rob worked as an Investment Associate at Linden Capital Partners and held an Executive Team management role at one of Linden’s portfolio companies, Young Innovations, where he worked on a variety of strategic initiatives with the company’s CEO. Rob began his career as an Investment Banking Analyst in the Technology, Media and Telecom group at Barclays Capital.

Rob holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance, summa cum laude, from Boston College with a Dean’s Letter of Commendation and an MBA and MS in Design Innovation from the Kellogg School of Management and Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University.

Rob Celin

Managing Director, Chief of Staff

JD Elder is a Managing Director and has 10 years of principal investing, investment banking, and strategy experience. Prior to joining Tilia, JD worked as an Investment Associate at Linden Capital Partners, leading diligence on new investment opportunities. More recently, he worked with the The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, partnering with scientists and researchers to develop commercialization plans for their discoveries. JD began his career as an Investment Banking Analyst in the Global Industrials group at Citigroup.
He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.

JD Elder is a Managing Director and has 10 years of principal investing, investment banking, and strategy experience. Prior to joining Tilia, JD worked as an Investment Associate at Linden Capital Partners, leading diligence on new investment opportunities. More recently, he worked with the The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, partnering with scientists and researchers to develop commercialization plans for their discoveries. JD began his career as an Investment Banking Analyst in the Global Industrials group at Citigroup.

JD holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Mathematics, summa cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA with High Honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.

JD Elder

Managing Director

Will Busch III joined Tilia as Managing Director, Organizational Strategy & Transformation in 2023. Will Busch III brings over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and leading strategic human capital initiatives that accelerate profitable growth. Most recently, Will led the Private Equity practice at FMG Leading as Managing Director, Growth Strategies. Prior to FMG …

Will Busch III joined Tilia as Managing Director, Organizational Strategy & Transformation in 2023. Will Busch III brings over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and leading strategic human capital initiatives that accelerate profitable growth.


Most recently, Will led the Private Equity practice at FMG Leading as Managing Director, Growth Strategies. Prior to FMG Leading, Will held a variety of executive roles at Korn Ferry and Gallup, where he developed a unique approach to business transformation that incorporated strategy execution, behavioral economics, change management, and customer analytics to create and capture value. Specializing in growth-focused firms and investors, Will’s expertise leverages human capital and organizational growth levers to drive revenue generation and enhance operational efficiency.


Will earned his Master of Business Administration from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his Bachelor of Business Administration from Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Will Busch III

Managing Director, Organizational Strategy & Transformation

Andrew King is a Vice President and has 6 years of principal investing and operating experience. Prior to joining Tilia, Andrew worked as a Senior Associate at Pritzker Private Capital, evaluating middle market investment opportunities, and managing operating company workstreams. Additionally, Andrew served as a director at one of Pritzker’s portfolio companies, LBP Holdings, in …

Andrew King is a Vice President and has 6 years of principal investing and operating experience. Prior to joining Tilia, Andrew worked as a Senior Associate at Pritzker Private Capital, evaluating middle market investment opportunities, and managing operating company workstreams. Additionally, Andrew served as a director at one of Pritzker’s portfolio companies, LBP Holdings, in which he identified and executed on strategic initiatives with the company’s CEO and CFO. Andrew began his career as an Investment Professional at Main Street Capital Corporation.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Notre Dame and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business.

Andrew King

Vice President

Marisa Vavruska is a Vice President with 8 years of principal investing, investment banking, and management consulting experience. Prior to joining Tilia in 2023, Marisa was a Vice President at Pritzker Private Capital, leading diligence on new investment opportunities in the manufactured products sector and supporting M&A and strategic initiatives at portfolio companies. She also …

Marisa Vavruska is a Vice President with 8 years of principal investing, investment banking, and management consulting experience. Prior to joining Tilia in 2023, Marisa was a Vice President at Pritzker Private Capital, leading diligence on new investment opportunities in the manufactured products sector and supporting M&A and strategic initiatives at portfolio companies. She also served as an investment banking associate in the Global Industrials group at Citigroup and began her career as a management consultant at PwC.

Marisa holds a BA in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought from Amherst College and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Marisa Vavruska

Vice President

Judy Huong Slater joined Tilia in 2019 as VP of Finance and Administration and serves as Chief Compliance Officer. Prior to joining Tilia, Judy was Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Compliance Officer at Glencoe Capital, LLC, a middle-market private equity firm. From 2003 to 2018 at Glencoe Capital, Judy gained private equity experience focused on corporate accounting & financial reporting, while administering human resources and IT functions, among others, and most recently, SEC compliance.

Judy Huong Slater joined Tilia in 2019 as VP of Finance and Administration and serves as Chief Compliance Officer. Prior to joining Tilia, Judy was Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Compliance Officer at Glencoe Capital, LLC, a middle-market private equity firm. From 2003 to 2018 at Glencoe Capital, Judy gained private equity experience focused on corporate accounting & financial reporting, while administering human resources and IT functions, among others, and most recently, SEC compliance. Prior to Glencoe Capital, Judy spent 1998 to 2002 at Heller Financial (G.E. Finance) in corporate accounting. Judy started her career in 1994 as an accountant at SPS Transaction Services, Inc. (Associates Capital) and earned her CPA designation in 1995.

Judy holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Judy Huong Slater

Vice President, Finance & Administration, CCO

Elyse Hughes joined Tilia as Administrative Services Manager in 2022. Elyse brings extensive operations and property asset management experience from several sectors including real estate, advertising, and technology. Prior to joining Tilia, Elyse was the Operations/Asset Manager at Newcastle Partners in San Francisco for over 10 years.

Elyse Hughes joined Tilia as Administrative Services Manager in 2022. Elyse brings extensive operations and property asset management experience from several sectors including real estate, advertising, and technology. Prior to joining Tilia, Elyse was the Operations/Asset Manager at Newcastle Partners in San Francisco for over 10 years.

Elyse Hughes

Administrative Services Manager

Henry Stack joined Tilia as an Associate in 2022. Prior to joining Tilia, Henry was an Investment Banking Analyst in the Consumer & Retail group at William Blair, in Chicago. Henry holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Indiana University.

Henry Stack joined Tilia as an Associate in 2022. Prior to joining Tilia, Henry was an Investment Banking Analyst in the Consumer & Retail group at William Blair, in Chicago. Henry holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Indiana University.

Henry Stack

Associate

Joe joined Tilia as an Associate in 2024. Prior to joining Tilia, Joe worked for Deloitte in Chicago as a M&A Advisory Analyst and as an Analyst in Baird’s Industrial Investment Banking Group. Joe graduated with Highest Honors and received his B.S. and M.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Joe joined Tilia as an Associate in 2024. Prior to joining Tilia, Joe worked for Deloitte in Chicago as a M&A Advisory Analyst and as an Analyst in Baird’s Industrial Investment Banking Group. Joe graduated with Highest Honors and received his B.S. and M.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Joe Garibotti

Associate

Operating Partner & Strategic Advisor *

Margaret currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Executives’ Club of Chicago, the nexus for connecting and growing the region’s business leaders. In this role, she oversees the strategic direction and operations of more than 100 programs annually for 16,000 executives. After receiving her Ph.D. in Sociology, Margaret left academics to pursue …

Margaret currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Executives’ Club of Chicago, the nexus for connecting and growing the region’s business leaders. In this role, she oversees the strategic direction and operations of more than 100 programs annually for 16,000 executives.

After receiving her Ph.D. in Sociology, Margaret left academics to pursue a career in market research and brand strategy. In 2012, she launched “CarbonSix” into one of the most successful Health and Wellness strategic research firms in its space. After helping bring the company to sale, Margaret facilitated a roll up of four companies into a single brand, “Shapiro+Raj.” She later took the helm as President of Shapiro.

+Raj in 2016 and was instrumental in a significant transformation and reinvention of the firm into what is now the sixth largest independent insights company in North America.

Throughout her career, Margaret has advised senior decision-makers across a range of industries. She has experience in supporting brand and business development strategies in the consumer, retail, pharmaceutical, healthcare, food and beverage, trademark and litigation, and financial services sectors.

Margaret has guest-lectured and taught graduate business courses at top business schools such as University of Chicago and Loyola University Chicago and has appeared on various media outlets speaking to issues such as consumer sentiment, marketing trends, and the economy.

Margaret holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.A. in Social Science from the University of Chicago, and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

She is the immediate past president of the University of Chicago Alumni Board, a Trustee of the Associated Colleges of Illinois, serves on the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation Board of Directors, and on the and on the Advisory Board of First Women’s Bank. She also participates as a member of National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), Young Presidents Organization (YPO), The Chicago Network, Commercial Club of Chicago, Economic Club of Chicago, and International Women’s Forum. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two sons.

Margaret Mueller

Operating Partner

Jonathan Hook recently retired as the first Chief Investment Officer for three separate organizations in late 2022. The most recent was The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation of Owings Mills, Maryland in May 2014. He was responsible for managing the foundation’s investment portfolio of $3.4 Billion, and the first internal investment team at the foundation. …

Jonathan Hook recently retired as the first Chief Investment Officer for three separate organizations in late 2022. The most recent was The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation of Owings Mills, Maryland in May 2014. He was responsible for managing the foundation’s investment portfolio of $3.4 Billion, and the first internal investment team at the foundation. The foundation, headquartered in Owings Mills, MD, is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. Its’ sole purpose is to assist low-income and vulnerable individuals and families through nonprofit grants to direct-service providers and programs.

Prior to joining the Weinberg Foundation, Hook was the first Chief Investment Officer at two separate universities, Ohio State University and Baylor University. In each case, he created and managed the university’s Office of Investments to manage the long-term investment pool which included its endowment funds. He was responsible for asset allocation policies, building an investment team, and charting a new path for the institutional capital of each school. As a result of his efforts, he has been nominated for and honored several times with industry awards.

Throughout his career, Mr. Hook has been an active fundraiser for many charitable and civic organizations. He now serves on several Boards working with various firms in the investment business. He graduated from Willamette University with a B.S. in Economics and Sociology and from Baylor University with his M.B.A. in Finance.

Jonathan D. Hook

Retired Chief Investment Officer

*Operating Partners and Strategic Advisors are not employees of Tilia.