March 20, 2023


Will Busch III joined as Managing Director of Organizational Strategy & Transformation; Rob Celin and JD Elder promoted to Managing Directors.

CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 20, 2023  |  Tilia Holdings, LLC (“Tilia”), a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on investing in the evolving midstream segment of the global food supply chain, announced today that Will Busch III has joined the firm as Managing Director of Organizational Strategy & Transformation as well as the promotion of Rob Celin & JD Elder to Managing Directors. 

Mr. Busch brings over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and leading strategic human capital initiatives that accelerate profitable growth to Tilia.  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 incorporates strategy execution, behavioral economics, change management, and customer analytics to create and capture value. Specializing in growth-focused firms and investors, Mr. Busch’s expertise leverages human capital and organizational growth levers to drive revenue generation and enhance operational efficiency.  Mr. Busch is an Advisory Board member of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, a Chicago-based non-profit serving at risk and disadvantaged youth.

“We are thrilled to have Will join our growing and talented team,” commented Tilia Co-CEO & Managing Partner Eric Larson.  “We remain focused on our mission to support the global transition in food by enhancing the safety, nutrition & sustainability of the food supply chain.  People are at the center of that mission.  Will’s unique background and experience in organizational strategy further strengthens our ability to accelerate each of our investment’s growth potential in support of our mission.” 

“Having worked with Tilia in varying advisory capacities for the past few years, I am excited to join Tilia’s impressive team to build upon its distinctive approach to developing organizations and cultivating positive workplace environments that deliver results,” said Mr. Busch.  “I look forward to partnering with Tilia and its portfolio company boards and management teams in this new role to develop talent, processes, and disciplines that drive organizational outcomes across our stakeholders.”

Rob Celin joined Tilia at the firm’s inception in 2017 and has been involved in the firm’s investments in Certified Group, FlexXray, NutriScience Innovations, and Universal Pure.  JD Elder joined Tilia in 2018 and has been involved in the firm’s investments in Ellison, Proven Partners Group, and Wheat Montana & Stone Ground Bakery.  Rob also serves as the firm’s Chief of Staff.  Prior to joining Tilia, Mr. Celin and Mr. Elder both worked at Linden Capital Partners.

“Eric and I have worked with and known Rob and JD for over a decade.  Both have played instrumental roles in the development and successful execution of our investment strategy.  We are delighted to recognize their contributions to our firm and look forward to our continued partnership in these new leadership roles,” commented Tilia Co-CEO & Managing Partner Johannes Burlin. 


Tilia is a Chicago-based private investment firm focused exclusively on making control investments in the evolving “farm-to-fork” segment of the global food supply chain. Tilia partners with growing, middle market companies who provide business services across the food supply chain and support leading, emerging and private-label CPG brands. The firm’s sector focused strategy is a successful approach to investments that spans three decades. Tilia’s deep understanding of operations enables a collaborative partnership approach with management which we believe uniquely positions the firm to scale business service companies in the lower middle market. Through a value creation & governance model emphasizing stewardship, Tilia builds distinctive growth companies that enhance safety, nutrition & sustainability in the food supply chain.  For more information, please visit