300 Million years ago, plants evolved to have lignin in their cell walls allowing them to grow tall and compete for more sunlight. Lignin gives trees their rigidity-defying the laws of gravity, and also their flexibility-allowing them to thrive in volatile conditions. We at Lignin Growth Partners think it is incredible that this simple evolution could have such an extreme impact on the trajectory of our world. It got us wondering what simple evolutions could change the trajectories of our country’s small businesses. Often times, it is a single new partnership, deal, product innovation or distribution line that can affect the entire landscape of a company’s future. Identifying these growth opportunities and learning how to effectively execute and monetize these new ideas is what we do best.
Caroline Howell is the founder of Lignin Growth Partners. She has spent her career in financial services. She previously was a co-founder of St. Vrain Partners, a boutique investment bank based in Denver, Colorado that focused on buy-side, sell-side, and capital formation. Prior to founding St. Vrain, she worked as a producer for Van Gilder Insurance Corporation, a Denver based insurance brokerage working with manufacturing and energy companies. She a passion for job creation in the United States and feeds that passion through helping her clients grow. She attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and received her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and International Business. Caroline completed her career at Tennessee as a four year varsity rower and team captain.
Caroline serves on the board of Ace Scholarships and WoMAN (Women of Mergers & Acquisitions Network).
In her spare time, Caroline can be found in the mountains or outdoors skiing, hiking, cycling, or climbing.
Jennie Hoff is a Partner of Lignin Growth Partners. She is a creative leader with proven experience in change management, software development, operational management, and executive leadership. Her 30-year career includes strategic technology roles at Dow Chemical and Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and executive leadership roles in mid-size private organizations and five technology startups. Jennie has experience in the alternative lending, healthcare/medical, consulting, enterprise/SaaS software, professional services, and oil/gas industries. Prior to founding Impact Lending, she served as COO at P2Binvestor, a crowd-lending platform servicing multi-million dollar business loans funded by accredited investors. Jennie was also an officer at several private companies including American Innovations, Troux Technologies, Rivet Software (Director as well), and Medical Simulation Corporation. Jennie executed three successful turnarounds in three different industries and served as a technology strategy consultant to Fortune 500 companies. She led acquisition teams and ran operations to ensure the acquisitions were a success for both the companies and employees. In addition to these roles, Jennie has served as a Director for a nonprofit focused on women enablement and education and she volunteers teaching and mentoring career skills and technology for marginalized women and youth.