Our Team

Managing Directors

Managing Director Click Here to read Timothy's biography
Timothy B. Armstrong Managing Director
New York Office Download vCard (212) 518-2028

Timothy joined Roark in 2015. He is responsible for all key aspects of the private equity investment process, including: investment origination, due diligence, transaction structuring and negotiation, and portfolio company oversight. Prior to joining Roark, Timothy served as the head of the Retail and Consumer vertical of H.I.G.’s Middle Market Fund where he led its investments in HOA Restaurant Group, TLC Vision, Sightpath Medical and VisionSource. Timothy began his private equity career in 1996 when he joined Saunders Karp & Megrue which subsequently merged with Apax Partners. While there, he was a partner in its Retail and Consumer practice and helped lead and manage the investments in Tommy Hilfiger, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Rue 21, Spyder Active Sports, Café Rio and Mimi’s Café, among others. Timothy earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University.

 

Managing Director Click Here to read Neal's biography
Neal K. Aronson Founder and Managing Partner
Atlanta Office Download vCard (404) 591-5201

Neal founded Roark in 2001. In addition to his responsibilities as Managing Partner, he is most actively involved in Roark's investments in Arby's, Batteries Plus Bulbs, CKE Restaurants, Corner Bakery, Driven Brands, FOCUS Brands, and Primrose. Prior to founding Roark, Neal was Co-Founder and CFO of U.S. Franchise Systems ("USFS"). Neal helped transform USFS from one brand with 22 hotels in nine states to three brands with more than 500 hotels in 50 states and five countries, making USFS the tenth largest hotel company in the United States. Prior to founding USFS, Neal was a Principal of Odyssey Partners, L.P., a private investment partnership founded by Jack Nash and Leon Levy. Prior to Odyssey, Neal was a Principal and General Partner at Acadia Partners, L.P. (now Oak Hill Partners), and subsequently a Managing Director of its successor company Rosecliff Inc. Neal began his career in the corporate finance department at Drexel, Burnham, Lambert Incorporated. Neal received a B.A. from Lehigh University.

Managing Director Click Here to read Stephen's biography
Stephen D. Aronson Managing Director and General Counsel
Atlanta Office Download vCard (404) 591-5201

Stephen joined Roark in 2005. In addition to his responsibilities as General Counsel and Managing Director, Stephen is actively involved in the execution of all Roark investments, financings, recapitalizations, and sales. Prior to joining Roark, Stephen was a Senior Vice President and General Counsel of USFS. While at USFS, he was also co-manager of Constellation Development Fund, LLC, a hotel investment vehicle. Stephen received a B.A. from Lehigh University and a J.D. from The University of Chicago. Stephen is a member of the Georgia Bar Association.

Managing Director Click Here to read Ezra's biography
Ezra S. Field Senior Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer
New York Office Download vCard (404) 591-5201

Ezra joined Roark in 2007, and currently leads Roark's investments in Atkins Nutritionals, CKE, Driven Brands, Massage Envy, Miller’s Ale House, Naf Naf Grill and Pet Retail Brands.  Ezra is also a Director of GAM Holding AG and Business Executives for National Security, as well as a Trustee of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women Support Foundation and Global Kids. He is a former Director of numerous companies, including Roark portfolio companies Peachtree Business Products and CyberCore Technologies, as well as Jenny Craig, Accent Energy and Excel Polymers. Prior to joining Roark, Ezra was a Managing Director at ACI Capital, a middle market private equity firm, where he played a lead role in all aspects of the firm's investment activities. During his tenure at ACI Capital, the firm completed successful investments in several franchise businesses, including Jenny Craig and Qdoba Restaurants, as well as in other sectors including direct selling and marketing, and business services. Prior to joining ACI Capital in 2001, Ezra was an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, including co-founding Teachscape, a leading in-service provider of teacher training to the public education market. From 1998 to 1999, Ezra served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ralph K. Winter, then Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Ezra received a B.A. from Wesleyan University, an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. At Columbia, Ezra was Senior Review and Essay Editor of and published in the Columbia Law Review.

Managing Director Click Here to read Paul's biography
Paul D. Ginsberg President
Atlanta Office Download vCard (404) 591-5201

Paul joined Roark in 2014, having been an outside adviser to the firm since its inception. Prior to joining Roark, he was a partner, Co-Head of the Global Mergers & Acquisitions Group and a member of the Management Committee and Partnership Committee at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, the international law firm, which he joined in 1987 immediately upon graduating from law school. During his twenty-six year career at Paul, Weiss, Paul led hundreds of M&A and private equity transactions earning him recognition as a leading practitioner in Chambers USA, Legal 500, IFLR 1000, SuperLawyers and Best Lawyers in America. Additionally, he has been named by The American Lawyer as Dealmaker of the Year and Dealmaker of the Week. Paul received his B.A. from Union College and his J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School.

 

Managing Director Click Here to read Erik's biography
Erik O. Morris Senior Managing Director
Atlanta Office Download vCard (404) 591-5201

Erik joined Roark in 2007.  He is actively involved in Roark’s investments in Jimmy Johns, Drybar, Orangetheory, Anytime Fitness, Arby’s, Corner Bakery, Wingstop (NASDAQ: WING) and Primrose.  Prior to joining Roark, Erik was a Partner at Grotech Capital Group, a private equity firm based in Baltimore, MD. At Grotech, Erik was responsible for the sourcing, execution, oversight, and realization of investments primarily in the consumer sector.  Prior to joining Grotech in 1999, Erik worked in the investment banking division of Deutsche Bank and its predecessor entities, BT Alex. Brown and Alex. Brown & Sons.  Erik received a B.S. from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Managing Director Click Here to read Steven's biography
Steven M. Romaniello Managing Director
Atlanta Office Download vCard (404) 591-5201

Steven joined Roark in 2008. He is actively involved with Roark's investments in FOCUS Brands, Wingstop, Corner Bakery, Anytime Fitness, and Arby's. Steven is the immediate past Chairman of the International Franchise Association and a member of their Executive Committee. Prior to joining Roark, Steven was CEO of FOCUS Brands. Prior to becoming CEO of FOCUS Brands, Steven served as President of Carvel Ice Cream. Under Steven's leadership, FOCUS Brands acquired Cinnabon in 2004, Schlotzsky's in 2006, and Moe's Southwest Grill in 2007. Prior to his tenure at FOCUS Brands, Steven was President and COO of USFS. Steven helped grow USFS from one brand with 22 hotels in nine states to three brands and more than 500 hotels open in 50 states and five countries. Prior to joining USFS, Steven was a Vice President at Holiday Inn Worldwide, responsible for franchise services, support, and training for 1,700 hotels in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean operating under the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands. He also led franchise sales and during his tenure, Holiday Inn increased its franchise sales from 60 in 1991 to 300 franchises in 1995. From 1988 to 1991, Steven held various positions with Days Inn of America. Steven received a B.A. from Tufts University.