Our Team

Golden Circle Advisors

Golden Circle Advisors (GCA) is a business intermediary & business brokerage advisory firm specializing in assisting small to mid-size businesses in preparation for ultimate sale.  GCA supports owners by positioning their business or businesses for merger or acquisition by a third party.  Through a combination of strategic planning and preparation, GCA is capable of delivering a maximum return on the owner’s investment of time and money.  Using a comprehensive process, GCA is able to identify appropriate acquirers through various marketing methods and utilizing their extensive network, including private equity firms, owners of privately held corporations and individual investors.

Curtis D. Kuttnauer, Senior Partner

Traverse City

Office: (248) 896-8600 x300
Direct: (231) 922-9380
Email: curtis@teamgca.com

Curtis brings a mixture of large corporate America experience, with a life-long influence of entrepreneurial endeavors. While attending The University of Michigan, Curtis helped found Rent-A-Byte, a computer rental business. This entrepreneurial spirit comes from growing up in a family, where the family business spanned multiple generations. Curtis was the first in his family to have a successful career by taking a corporate path only later to return to the world of entrepreneurial achievements.

After graduating from The University of Michigan, Curtis joined IBM. There he spent 16 years in various sales and sales management roles, both in the field and at the corporate headquarters where he worked in a financial consulting role for corporate clients. During his years at IBM, Curtis maintained his entrepreneurial spirit by partnering with colleagues in the operation of three Hungry Howie franchises. While a franchisee, he learned the true lessons, both good and bad, of what it takes to successfully own and operate a small business.

After leaving IBM in 2000, Curtis founded Kuttnauer Search Group (KSG), a boutique executive search firm specializing in both the high technology and private K-12 education industries. KSG clients included early stage VC backed and established software companies, systems integrators, VAR’s (Value Added Resellers), consulting organizations and private schools. KSG places individuals from Senior Vice Presidents, to senior individual contributors, plus Heads of Schools for their educational clients.

In addition to his executive search engagements, Curtis co-founded Golden Circle Consultants to work with companies for the auditing & design of sales compensation plans so they align to specific business strategies and goals.

During the most recent economic downturn, Curtis saw a need to help small to medium-sized organizations control their operating expenses and he became a Principal with Alliance Cost Containment. By utilizing a proprietary methodology and organizational intelligence, Curtis was able to guide clients to lower operating costs through supplier selection and negotiation, group purchasing and vendor management.

Curtis’s cumulative experiences from the corporate world and his own business experience resulted in the co-founding of Golden Circle Advisors (GCA). An advisory group that provides assistance to owners of small to mid-sized interested in selling their businesses.

Curtis has long recognized the personal attachment individual owners have with their companies after years of hard work. He is able to work with clients to prepare their businesses for sale and market them to the most appropriate acquirer, whether an individual, a strategic acquirer, financial buyer
or a private equity group.

Most recently, Curtis became an active angel investor and is an active member of Northern Michigan Angels (NMA). NMA is focused on providing funding to early stage Michigan based companies so they can grow their businesses and increase employment opportunities within the state.

Curtis currently serves as Board Vice President of The Pathfinder School and was the President of the Board after its separation from Interlochen Center for the Arts. He also has served as Treasurer of Congregation Ahavat Shalom, Board Member of Temple Beth El and Treasurer of The Brotherhood of Temple Beth El.

Fred G. Manuel, Senior Partner

Plymouth

Phone: (248) 896-8600 x301
Direct: (734) 320-6667
Email: fred@teamgca.com

When business owners are contemplating selling their business, the best advice is to seek out an expert with integrity and the intelligence to understand the special nature of their particular business. It is rare to find an individual with the credentials and experience that Fredrick G. Manuel possesses; not only does he have years of experience as a CEO, but he has seen and participated in several enterprises from the ground up. Fred’s first job, at the age of 15, was washing dishes in a local restaurant and he eventually became the CEO of a multi-million dollar media enterprise. While a CEO he served on a corporate advisory board charged with consulting on business operations of various businesses including, an advertising agency, a national staffing enterprise, a major cattle feeding operation, hotels and restaurants, auto dealerships, real estate, various print media operations and an international automotive manufacturing operation.

About the same time Fred was invited to serve on non-profit and for profit Boards’ of Directors including, the State of Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Bank of Washtenaw, Arbor Hospice, Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Henry Ford Health Systems (Wyandotte, MI) not to mention holding a board seat on the National Suburban Newspapers of America Association.

During Fred’s career he has guided both strategic and financial acquisition strategies to successful conclusions all the while meeting the needs and goals of various companies and their principals. While CEO, of a multimillion dollar operation owned by well-known industrialist Heinz Prechter, Fred played a pivotal role in its sale to one of the largest investment banking firms on Wall Street.

In brief, Fred’s career has been successful and diverse. He has developed skills in business operations across a wide spectrum of enterprises both large and small. In recognition of his achievements, he was honored by Crain’s Detroit Business Magazine and named one of the top forty business leaders in Crain’s annual “Forty Under Forty,” in Metropolitan Detroit.

Fred’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree, as well as specialized executive training at the very prestigious Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business located in Evanston, Illinois.