General Partner

Thomas J. Hillman

Mr. Hillman has been involved with private business enterprises over the course of his career, during which time he’s owned more than 60 companies in a wide variety of industries.
Mr. Hillman is Managing Partner of the Lewis & Clark family of companies, which represent an assortment of investment platforms.
Lewis & Clark Holdings includes both Lewis & Clark Capital – a preeminent Midwest boutique private equity firm with a selective approach to investing, and Lewis & Clark Real Estate – which partners with developers to create great communities, provides equity capital to high performing innovators in real estate, and maximizes risk-adjusted returns via investments in distinct real estate assets and operating businesses.
Spurred from many successes in Mr. Hillman’s private and individual investment sectors, Lewis & Clark Partners was formed as an institutional investment platform.  Represented are multiple active funds focused in growth capital through Lewis & Clark Partners and in venture capital / high potential Series A & B round investment opportunities in the Midwest region via Lewis & Clark Ventures.

Mr. Hillman serves on the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Board of Directors, is a member of the Executive Committee, and is Chair of the Finance & Planning Committee.  He also serves on the BJC Healthcare Board of Directors.  At Washington University in St. Louis, Mr. Hillman is a member of the Board of Trustees, is Chair of the Brown School National Council, and is a member of both the Skandalaris National Council and Medical Finance Committee.  He is also a long-standing member of YPO.

He and his wife, Jennifer, have also enthusiastically engaged in numerous philanthropic efforts.  Representative involvement includes their staunch support of WE Schools and creation of Hillman Scholars – a college scholarship program that works in conjunction with College Bound (mostly first generation) graduates in fulfilling their dreams of higher education.
Mr. Hillman has previously served as Director of Answers (internet lead generation and search engine company) and founding shareholder and Board member of Hoover’s, Inc. (public business content and research company).  He was Board President of the Center of Creative Arts (St. Louis-based community performing arts center) and Chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization – St. Louis chapter.
Mr. Hillman holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

General Partner & Managing Director

Brian Hopcraft

Brian Hopcraft is an entrepreneur and technology leader with more than 20 years of experience leading established technology companies as well as early-stage organizations. As General Partner & Managing Director of Lewis & Clark Ventures, he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the firm, including fund management, deal sourcing and investments. He also takes an active role directly with portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Lewis & Clark Ventures, Brian held senior leadership roles at high growth technology companies including Answers, Bullhorn, and Sendouts. At Answers, he was SVP of Operations, leading the integration and optimization of four Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) businesses into one operating unit. Prior to Answers, Brian was CEO of Sendouts, a SaaS company focused on the recruiting and staffing industries. Through his leadership, Sendouts transformed into a fast growing and profitable entity that was ultimately acquired by Vista Equity Partners and integrated with Bullhorn, one of Vista’s portfolio companies. Brian led this integration as General Manager of Bullhorn.

Earlier in his career he founded Simplified Workforce Solutions, a pioneer in workforce optimization technology. As founder and CEO, he led the fundraising, high growth and ultimately the company’s acquisition by 360Commerce. He has also held senior leadership positions at Oracle Retail, and with Dennemeyer & Co., an Intellectual Property software and services provider.

In addition to his involvement with Lewis & Clark, Brian is an investor and active advisor to numerous early-stage service and technology companies. He and his family reside in Clayton, Missouri.

Brian earned a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University.

Portfolio Involvement

  Big Squid – Board Member
  Blue Medora – Board Member
  Datica – Board Member
  OneSpace – Board Member
  Springbuk – Board Member
  Territory – Board Member
  Waldo – Board Member


Managing Director, Investor Relations

Bill Kay

Bill Kay is a venture capital and private markets professional with more than 20 years of experience building successful investment management businesses in a variety of strategies.  As a Managing Director of Lewis & Clark Ventures, he is responsible for leading investor relations and also actively participates in the investment process across the firm.

Prior to joining Lewis & Clark Ventures, Bill held senior leadership roles at private investment firms including Lubert-Adler and LLR Partners, in addition to holding product specialist positions at Apollo Global Management and Morgan Stanley AIP.  As a client-facing member of the investment teams, Bill has extensive global experience advising investors in tactical and strategic portfolio construction, in a wide array of private strategies in fund, direct and co-investment formats.

In addition to his involvement with Lewis & Clark, Bill is an active private investor and advisor.  He and his family reside in Haverford, Pennsylvania.

Bill earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Dartmouth College, and a Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Finance from The Fox School of Business and Management at Temple University.


Helen Ciesielski

Helen Ciesielski is a Principal at Lewis & Clark Ventures focused on the healthcare sector and is responsible for managing all stages of the investment process, from identification and investment to portfolio management and exit. She serves on the Boards of MedAvail and Kaizen.

Previously, Helen served as Principal at Ascension Ventures, a strategic healthcare venture fund focused on investing in healthcare companies in the IT, services, and medical technology sectors that deliver value to healthcare providers. Prior to that, Helen was an analyst at The Fortune Group, a middle market investment bank.

Helen holds a B.A. from the University of Puget Sound
and an MBA from the University of Portland. Helen enjoys spending time with her family and friends, running, swimming, and reading.

Portfolio Involvement

  Kaizen Health – Board Member
  MedAvail  – Board Member

Operating Partner

David Poldoian

Mr. Poldoian has led companies, both large and small, public and private, across a range of industries including consumer goods, professional services, and financial services. He’s served as trusted advisor and consultant to Fortune 500 CEO’s and other leaders helping to address key strategic and operating issues.

Mr. Poldoian has been affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis for over 20 years. He is an award-winning member of the adjunct faculty of its Olin Business School where he teaches entrepreneurship and strategy.

Prior Experience 
IronRock Investments, LLC – Chief Executive Officer 
Everest University Online – President and Chief Operating Officer 
Anheuser Busch – Division President Eagle Snacks, Inc., Senior Strategy Advisor 
Bain and Company –Vice President and Partner 

Current and Prior Board Memberships 
Inside Rx 
Beam Dental 
Anheuser-Busch International 
Joseph Phelps Vineyards 
FTL Finance 
Amerifit Nutrition

BA. Tufts University 
MBA – Harvard Business School

Portfolio Involvement

  Beam – Board Observer
  Growers – Board Observer
  Territory – Board Observer
  Waldo Photos – Board Observer



Matt Shandy

Matt Shandy is an associate at Lewis & Clark Ventures. He is responsible for investment sourcing and execution, portfolio management, and exit events.

Prior to joining Lewis & Clark Ventures, Matt was a corporate attorney at Cooley LLP, where he specialized in high-growth startups and venture capital. During his legal career Matt advised clients on over $1 billion in total deal value, with over $400 million in venture capital financings.

Matt holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma and a J.D. from the University of Virginia.

Portfolio Involvement

  Big Squid – Board Observer
  Waldo  – Board Observer

Chief Financial Officer & Chief Compliance Officer

Meg Lane

Ms. Lane brings a wide range of finance and accounting experience to her role at Lewis & Clark Ventures, including financial reporting, budgeting/forecasting, implementation and evaluation of internal controls, and external auditing. In her professional career, she has worked with a diverse group of companies in a variety of industries such as financial services, real estate, and health care.

Prior to joining our team, Ms. Lane served as the Chief Financial Officer for Lewis & Clark Holdings, and before that she held senior-level positions at Allegro Senior Living, LLC, and Deloitte & Touche, LLP. She holds both a BSBA and an MS in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame.

Executive Assistant

Courtney Moffat

Courtney Moffat is an Executive Assistant at Lewis and Clark Ventures. With over 10 years of experience supporting C-Level executives, she brings both organization and efficiency to the team. Courtney has an extensive background in complex calendar management, travel coordination, research and event planning. Prior to joining the team, she worked for Answers Corporation and Swank Motion Pictures. Courtney has a B.S.B.A. in Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an M.B.A. from Webster University.

Talent Manager

Meghan Norman

Meghan Norman is responsible for recruiting talent for the various Lewis & Clark investment verticals and its portfolio companies. She has over 15 years of full cycle recruiting experience and has sourced candidates across various industries, departments and levels. She came to work at Lewis & Clark in 2016 after the company she was employed by, Automation Service, was acquired by Lewis & Clark Capital.

She began her career in Finance at Deutsche Financial Services but pivoted to recruiting after being invited to run Robert Half International’s consulting program, Salaried Professional Services. She never looked back and loves connecting great people with great job opportunities. She holds a BS in Business Administration from Truman State University.

Portfolio Recruiting Involvement 

  Aker – CTO and Product Manager
  OneSpace – VP of Marketing
  Waldo Photos – Inside Sales

Operating Partner

David Russell, Ph.D

David Russell is an Operating Partner at Lewis & Clark Ventures located in St Louis, Missouri.   David is focused on the Ag Practices Fund looking at plant productivity, farm productivity, and supply chain efficiency.  David has a particular focus on finding and evaluating seed to Series B startups with high growth Ag Tech promise.  David serves as Board Observer on the Boards of Benson Hill and Greenlight Biosciences.

Prior to joining Lewis & Clark, David led Monsanto’s Biotechnology Prospecting Team looking for innovative opportunities to support the Monsanto agriculture technology platforms.   As part of this effort, he continued to build an extensive Ag Tech network including Research Institutes, Universities, start ups, and Agriculture companies.  In a previous role David helped lead the development of animal feed and grain processing traits as part of the Renessen LLC JV.  At Renessen, David was V.P. of Product Development & Technology and led the technology, product development and regulatory science functions. He started his Ag career  with Agracetus, Inc., an early Ag biotech startup, where he led teams developing new seeds traits and investigating novel plant seed approaches to animal nutrition and human health.

David received his B.S. from U of Minnesota, Morris, his Ph.D. from Rice University in microbial gene expression, and did a NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University exploring light regulation in corn.

Portfolio Involvement

  Benson Hill – Board Observer
  Greenlight Biosciences – Board Observer


Larry Page, Ph.D

Dr. Larry Page led six investments in Ag Fund I and is a Board member or observer in four Lewis & Clark Ventures portfolio companies. Larry joined Lewis & Clark in 2016 after working at PierianDx, a start-up specializing in clinical bioinformatics, where he managed several facets of the business including on the laboratory and sales teams. He was also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Nidus Partnership, and he served as Chief Technology Officer of Terra Biologics, a start-up working to commercialize cyanobacteria-based biofertilizers.

Larry enjoys serving as a Preliminary Judge at Arch Grants, as a member of the Selection Committee for Invest Midwest, and as a Young Friend of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

Larry received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, where his thesis focused on the basic mechanics of photosynthetic light harvesting. He conducted undergraduate research on plant molecular biology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he received a B.S. in Biochemistry.

Portfolio Involvement

  Aker – Board Member
  FarmLead – Board Observer


Dave Peacock

President, COO Schnuck Markets, Inc
Business owner
Board member and Chair, St. Louis Sports Commission
Former President, Anheuser-Busch


Maxine Clark

CEO, Clark-Fox Family Foundation
Founder, Build-A-Bear Workshop
INspirator, The Delmar DivINe
Managing Partner, Prosper Women’s Capital
Executive in Residence, Washington University in St. Louis – John M. Olin School of Business


David Karandish

Co-Founder & CEO of Ai Software
 Co-Founder & Chairman of
 Former CEO,


Mike Kinch, Ph.D

• Associate Vice Chancellor at Washington University
Former Managing Director, Molecular Discovery, Yale University


Phil Needleman

Former Chief Scientist, Monsanto
Developer of Celebrex™
Adjunct Professor of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology at Washington University 

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