Sam Simon is the Founder and Managing Partner of Lone Pine Investments II (LPI), Soaring Pine Capital Management, and Chairman and CEO of Simon Holdings and its affiliates. Headquartered in Taylor, Mich., Simon Holdings’ affiliates include Atlas Oil Company, Fast Track Ventures, Vixta Solutions, Atlas Indiana, and other business entities.
Sam started in the fuel business in 1976, while working at one of his father's 30 gas stations. In 1980, he assumed management of all 30 stations as well as an ice company. Sam ran the businesses until 1985 when he purchased his first fuel truck by leveraging a $30,000 credit card cash advance. With this asset, he was able to provide wholesale delivery of gasoline and diesel fuel to local customers on a 24-hour basis. Atlas Oil was born.
Today, Atlas Oil has grown to become one of the largest fuel distributors in the country, delivering nearly 1.5 billion gallons of fuel annually to customers in 32 states. Atlas Oil's customer base ranges from commercial, and industrial fuel users to nearly 300 retail locations under the Marathon, Clark, CITGO, Phillips 66, and Valero brands. In addition, Atlas is active in oilfield services, including crude hauling and transloading, and is a leader in renewable fuels, including ethanol, biodiesel, and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).
Sam was appointed to the National Petroleum Council by Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and sits on its advisory board. In 1999, he received the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award, and currently serves as a national judge for the annual program. A former board member of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), Sam remains active in the SIGMA organization. He is also involved in many charitable activities.
Atlas Oil was named a Detroit Free Press “Top Places to Work” company for 2008-2011 and earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013.
Michael Evans is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Simon Group Holdings. He is responsible for the Family Business Group consisting of Lone Pine Investments, Soaring Pine Capital, Empire Petroleum, Vesta Housing Solutions, Fast Track Ventures and the company’s Retail and Toll Road strategic business units. Evans previously served as President of Atlas Oil Company. Prior to that he was Executive Vice President, Real Estate and Business Development.
Evans' business career spans more than 27 years including eight years with Electronic Data Systems (EDS) where he began as a Financial Analyst supporting General Motors Executive Staff business units. He was selected for many significant M&A opportunities culminating in the lead financial role for the negotiating team on EDS's spin off from General Motors (GM) in 1996 - $40 billion dollar deal.
Evans attended Western Michigan University and graduated with honors with a BBA in Finance and Accounting. He is active in several professional organizations including the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and the Michigan Petroleum Association (MPA). He also served on the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Underground Storage Tank (UST) System Cleanup Advisory Board. Evans has also been active in community organizations, including the Harvest Temple Cass Corridor Outreach group, a feeding program for the homeless and the World Vision Organization.
Paul V. Schapira is Vice President of Soaring Pine Capital Management, LLC at Simon Group Holdings. Reporting to the EVP/COO, Schapira is responsible for the daily operations of all the investment vehicles in the Simon Group Holdings family office including investments in real estate and in private equity. Schapira has oversight and responsibility of the management of the investment portfolio, which currently totals approximately $70 million in committed capital and nearly $50 million in assets under management. Schapira duties include new fund formation, investor reporting and public relations, in addition to playing a key role in deal sourcing and capital raising. In addition, Schapira is tasked with leading deal teams and bringing investments from close to exit. Additionally, Schapira manages the Soaring Pine Capital and Simon Group Holdings family office accounting and administrative functions along with the deal team financial analyst pool.
Prior to joining Simon Group Holdings, Schapira served as the Managing Director of Alternative Investments for CIG Capital Advisors, Inc. where he sat on the firm’s Executive Committee as well as other senior committees for management, revenue creation, and marketing. Acting as the resident manager for CIG Capital Advisors, Schapira handled the funds for two primary platform investments, which involved the planning, design, building, and construction of a 1,000,000 sq. ft. integrated ambulatory health facility in the Middle East, partnering with a multi-billion dollar not-for-profit integrated health system in addition to managing a large investment in a mobile healthcare company
Schapira’s career spans nearly 25 years including work with Flagstar Bank, Jadda Capital Management, LLC, Telemus Capital Partners, and AlixPartners/Questor Partners Funds, where he worked for the Firm’s sole owner and founder, Jay Alix on numerous initiatives. These initiatives included investments in Questor Partners Funds, a $1.1 billion distressed equity fund, the formation of the Firm’s merchant bank operations, the opening of new offices in Asia, and the analysis of numerous investment opportunities. Prior to AlixPartners/Questor Partners Funds, Schapira worked for Liberty BIDCO Investment Corporation, a regional mezzanine fund, and as a commercial lender for NBD Bank in Detroit.
Schapira specializes in fund operations, deal sourcing, financing, valuation, mergers and acquisitions, negotiation, financial management and compliance, turnarounds, commercial real estate, commercial lending, and capital raising.
Schapira received his Masters of Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. He is a member of the Association of Corporate Growth (ACG) - Detroit Chapter and holds several Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) licenses (Series 7, 66, and 79).
Simon “Victor” Simon is Vice President of Real Estate for Soaring Pine Capital Management, LLC at Simon Group Holdings. Reporting to the EVP/COO, Simon is currently responsible for sourcing and negotiating fund investment opportunities, including designing creative financing solutions and implementing unique exit strategies. Simon has significant experience in financing multifamily properties and has worked on numerous loan purchase opportunities throughout the Midwest. In addition, Simon has managed land contract sales along with handling retail properties that are distressed and underperforming, especially those placed into receivership by the Banks. Simon also plays an integral and hands-on role in monitoring and managing the fund’s investment portfolio.
Simon began his career in 1975, when the Simon family opened their first business, Simon Store, Inc. From 1980 to 1984, the Simon family ventured into purchasing gas station sites in California. Simon went to California where Simon successfully managed five gas stations. At 18, Simon became one of the youngest people ever to complete Shell Dealer Training. In 1984, Simon returned to Michigan to take over the Great Lakes Ice Company, which was started by Simon’s father, Ramzi Simon. In 1984, when Simon took over the company, it had 350 accounts. By 1995, Simon has developed Great Lakes Ice Company into the second largest ice manufacturer in Michigan with over 40 trucks and 1,365 customers, including CVS, Spartan Foods, Kroger and the former Farmer Jack food stores.
Since 1988, Simon has been involved with real estate investments, buying properties, and building gas stations. In 2003 after becoming the Director of Real Estate for Fast Track Ventures, Simon was on the team that negotiated the simultaneous purchase and sale of 52 locations from Clark Retail Enterprises. Simon has built 23 new stations from the ground up in Michigan, Illinois, and Arizona and has remodeled more than 56 sites in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. In 2013, the National Association of Convenience Stores recognized Simon by awarding him its prize for Store Design of the Year. Simon has been instrumental in the development of retail centers and gas stations; in addition to gas stations, Simon has also built new Starbuck’s and Chase Bank locations in Michigan.
In 2008, when the economy weakened, Simon facilitated the acquisition of BP gas stations in the Indiana and Chicago markets, where Simon was responsible for more than $100 million in transactions by acquiring locations and finding new dealers. In 2009, Simon focused on developing relationships with banks and other financial partners in order to buy distressed asset notes and short sale properties and then improving them for resale. In addition to gas stations, Simon also purchased shopping centers, apartments and other retail properties. These properties accounted for more than $150 million in collective transaction value. Simon has also been a member of the Turnaround Management Association – Detroit Chapter since 2011.
From contributing to the support of his family in 1973 delivering newspapers, to the success and energy that Simon brings to all his endeavors, Simon demonstrates his passion and drive for life, never forgetting his family’s beginnings, while always growing and moving forward.
Silke Kuhn is Senior Accountant at Simon Group Holdings, supporting both Soaring Pine Capital Management, LLC and Lone Pine Investments. Reporting to the Vice President of Soaring Pine Capital Management, LLC, Kuhn prepares and analyzes individual accounting records, financial statements, and other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and adherence to industry accounting requirements for approximately 20 single-asset real estate entities along with 2 pooled vehicle real estate funds and 1 private equity fund entity. In addition, Silke will supports the Soaring Pine Capital/Lone Pine Investments II Portal, which was designed and implemented by affiliate Vixta Solutions, LLC.
Kuhn has been with the Atlas Oil Enterprise for more than 10 years, having started in 2006 as a Supply Analyst before moving to Assistant Controller, where she handled some of the more intricate accounting functions for Atlas Oil Company including hedging. In addition, Kuhn was instrumental in implementing a risk management system used to capture supply chain processes for bulk purchases and sales in order to react quickly and effectively to volatile commodity markets. Kuhn has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Michigan – Dearborn and is pursuing a Masters in Accountancy from Walsh College in Troy, MI.