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About Us > Partners

Gary Jacobs


Gary Jacobs, co-founder of J2 Partners, previously served as Special Partner at Kachi Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm, where he continues to work to support portfolio companies at the board level.

Previously Gary, a founding investor in Corporate Express, served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, responsible for developing and executing key elements of the firm's strategy including the successful completion of numerous public and private financing transactions, including its successful IPO and secondary offerings, many public and private mergers and acquisitions, a leveraged recapitalization, and negotiation of its 1999 merger for $2.3 Billion with Buhrmann N.V.

Gary has extensive experience with transaction negotiation, acquisitions, investments, financing and business execution in a broad range of industries. While Gary typically focused on successful transaction selection and execution, he also devoted significant energy to managing internal growth and operational transformation. Gary's career includes work in the publishing industry (at Random House and Grove Press;) as an institutional sales business planning and financing professional with Storage Technology Corporation (now a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems;) and as founder, CFO, and Executive Vice President of Capital Associates, Inc., an equipment and project finance firm where he was responsible for more than $1.0 billion of financing, including the execution of a successful IPO.

Gary and his wife have two adult children and he serves on the Executive Committee of the Advisory Board of the University of Colorado College of Engineering (from which he is a graduate) and on several non-profit and corporate boards. Gary is a true Coloradan enjoying skiing, hiking, good food, and world travel.

John Helson


John Helson, co-founder of J2 Partners, previously was a partner at Kachi Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm, where he continues to work in support of its portfolio companies. John focuses on all stages of our business, from deal sourcing and structuring to portfolio company development and governance. He currently serves on the Board of Instrument Sales and Service (ISS) and is Chairman of the Board of the Genesee Group.

Prior to entering the leveraged buyout and financial advisory business, John co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Restream Inc., a provider of reverse logistics solutions and inventory management services to the computer hardware industry.

Before Restream Inc., John spent three years at UBS/PaineWebber as a broker managing retail and institutional accounts. He also worked as an associate at Helson Associates, a middle market leveraged buyout firm. John completed his undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a BS. He holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Cornell University.

John's personal time is spent with his family, traveling the world, in the mountains skiing and hiking, and on the water sailing.

Heili Lehr


Heili Lehr, Office Manager at J2 Partners, provides high level administrative support to the partners as well as the portfolio companies. Heili has a long history with the founders, beginning in 1994 when she came to work for Gary Jacobs at Corporate Express where he was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer responsible for the strategic growth of the company. Heili remained at Corporate Express until the 1999 acquisition by Buhrmann N.V., and then accompanied Gary when he left the Company to serve as a Special Partner at Kachi Partners, a Private Equity firm in Boulder. Prior to working for Mr. Jacobs, Heili spent 5 years with the Department of Defense in Germany as a Military Housing Liaison and served 8 years in the Army and National Guard. Heili has one son and spends her free time enjoying the outdoors and volunteering as an Assistant Scoutmaster in her son’s Boy Scout Troop.