M&A Affiliations

ABI markets its companies nationally and internationally to meet the requirements of clients worldwide. In addition to the direct efforts of ABI’s professional and support staff, strategic relationships with other firms and intermediaries provide presence in nearly every major market in North America.


Jim Afinowich
Fox & Fin Financial Group, L.C.
Scottsdale, AZ

Jim Afinowich, CBI, Founding Principal, Designated Broker With more than 25 years of successful experience in selling businesses, Jim adds further depth to the leadership team. A Certified Business Intermediary, he too has achieved the highest level of accreditation in the industry. Jim has owned more than 15 businesses, which gives him first-hand experience in the manufacturing, marketing, publishing and international trade sectors. Jim is a member of the M&A Source, and a fellow and past President of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), the profession’s largest trade association. Jim also has provided expert-witness service in a variety of court cases relating to business transfers.


Ronald V. Chernak
First Business Brokers, LTD
Colorado Springs, CO

Ron V. Chernak, President Prior to organizing First Business Brokers, Ltd., Ron practiced law with a 175-member law firm in Chicago. He has a CPA Certificate (Illinois), is a Colorado Real Estate Broker, a Certified Business Intermediary Fellowship status (the highest professional designation within the Business Brokerage industry), and is a Master Merger & Acquisitions Intermediary. He has extensive experience in contract and lease negotiations, financial planning, and financing. He is very active in many community activities, such as the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce (former Chairman of the Board), the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the Rotary Club. He also has served as the Chairman and/or Director of the Board for numerous business brokerage committees and organizations, including a national advisory committee on mergers and acquisitions. Ron also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Business Brokerage Association (IBBA), the premier industry trade association, with a membership of over 1,200 intermediaries in 22 countries, and Chairman of the M & A Source, the largest association of middle market intermediaries.


John Johnson
Bluestem Resources Group, LLC
Tulsa, OK

Mr. Johnson founded Bluestem to provide business owners with unsurpassed acquisition and divestiture services. They understand owners are best served locally by direct personal interface tied to superb access to the broad national market and beyond. John created the Business Wealth Counsel™ to bring together strategies for creating, harvesting, and keeping wealth through business ownership. John is an engineer with an MBA. He worked in Fortune 100 companies, specializing in business decisions, valuation, strategy, and M&A. He built a successful distribution business and sold it. John is a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) and a Master & Acquisition Master Intermediary (M&AMI). A “hands-on” strategist to entrepreneurs, he is skilled in communications, analysis, and creative solutions. The US SBA honored him as the state’s Financial Services Advocate of the year. Peers in The M&A Source, the world’s premier specialists in mid-market business sales, selected him as Chair and to receive the Darrell Fouts M&A Award for visionary leadership and contributions. He is a member of Association for Corporate Growth. He served as IBBA’s President, Director, Fellow, Strategic Planning Chair, and coordinated writing its certification exam. He received IBBA’s top distinction, the Tom West Award for outstanding professional contributions as well as its President’s Award for leadership. John is committed to serving the business community; he was President of the Oklahoma Private Enterprise Forum, as well as Director of Leadership Oklahoma, Oklahoma Manufacturers’ Resource Network, Tulsa Executives Association, the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, Entrepreneurs of Tulsa, The State Chamber, and the Oklahoma Alliance for Manufacturing Excellence.


Rocco J. Pezza
New England Brokerage Corporation
Providence, RI

Rocco Pezza, President There is a common thread among people who have had the opportunity to work with Rocco: that they want him to stick around even after the deal is done. Some say it is his uncanny ability to see around the corner and warn of a potential pitfall. Others say it is the tenacity he brings to everything he does, especially for his clients. And yet others claim it is the calm, sensible and reassuring way he will walk a buyer and seller through even the most difficult negotiations. For over 22 years, Rocco has led NEBC’s clients through the fulfilling, challenging and sometimes intensely personal acquisition and divestiture process. He is a credit to his profession, having received the highly coveted CBI designation and named a fellow of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA). Rocco also sits on many industry boards and presents regularly to trade groups of all kinds. In addition, and perhaps key affirmation of his worth to the companies he has guided, he serves on the Board of Directors of several of those same companies. Rocco Pezza will bring intellectual integrity and a proven process approach to each opportunity-and will be successful in helping buyers and sellers realize their personal and professional objectives.


Edward C. Telling, JR., MBA, CBC, CBI
Telling Group, LTD
Cortland, NY
Ed Telling specializes in providing professional merger and acquisition expertise to privately held businesses, possesses experience from hundreds of successful business transfers, and is a regular speaker and writer in the brokerage industry.  The Telling Group, Ltd. is a full service company with primary focus on the following areas: Apple Program ($3 -$10 million in business value), Gold Apple Program ($10 – $75 million in business value), and business appraisal.



John Zayac
IBG Business Services, Inc.
Greenwood Village, CO

John R. Zayac founded IBG Business Services, Inc. in 1982 to provide the mid-market business seller with the same level of resources and sophisticated services traditionally reserved for firms valued over $100 million. Over the last fifteen years, Zayac has built IBG into the industry’s most comprehensive provider of valuation analysis, strategic planning, marketing, and transaction structuring services for mid-market business sellers. In addition to his responsibilities as founder and CEO of IBG, Zayac has owned and operated a variety of businesses, including a printing company, an automobile importing agency, and a chain of car washes. Zayac’s success as a business intermediary includes hundreds of completed transactions with a combined value exceeding $300 million.