The members of the OCA Ventures team have a passion for building early-stage companies into market leaders, have long histories working with one another, and share common core personal and professional beliefs, while at the same time contributing different skills and perspectives.

This cohesive group has close business and personal relationships dating back more than 25 years.  John Dugan, Peter Ianello and Marc Berman were partners in the 1980s when they led O’Connor & Associates. Jim Dugan is John Dugan’s third son, Ian Drury joined in 2013, Joe Dwyer joined in 2009, David Zyer joined in 2009 and Imran Ahmad joined in 2011.

Sam Guren - Strategic Advisor

Mr. Guren started in the venture capital/private equity business in 1975, with Continental Illinois Venture Corporation (CIVC), a subsidiary of Continental Bank (Chicago). During his tenure with CIVC, the firm’s investments ranged from Apple Computer to Yoplait to Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts. KKR took the firm into the buyout investment business.

In 1981, Mr. Guren was recruited by William Blair to co-found and manage William Blair Venture Partners (WBVP). He grew the business to six professionals during three funds. Investments ranged from the founding of The Sports Authority to the buyout of Sanford Corporation to investments in various technology, healthcare and cable television companies.

Robert Baird recruited Mr. Guren in 1996 to manage the Baird Capital funds. While there, BCP grew from two to five professionals with a focus on outsourcing and temporary staffing.

Mr. Guren joined Allied Capital in 1999, and stayed through 2002. He managed the Chicago office, and was on their Investment and Operating Committees.  Mr. Guren was Managing Director for the Hyde Park Angels

Mr. Guren is a senior advisor for OCA Ventures.

Mr. Guren is a recipient of the Stanley C. Golder Medal which “acknowledges individuals who have made profound and lasting contributions to the private equity industry in Illinois”. He is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin, and received an MBA from the Wharton Graduate School.


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