OUR TEAM

Our founders have worked together for more than 18 years, and all investment professionals are Seattle natives.

ANDY BALDRIDGE
FOUNDING PARTNER

Andy has over 20 years of experience, including 18 years in private equity. He co-founded Westward Partners in 2010, currently leads the firm's origination activities, and is active in all aspects of managing the Partnership. Andy serves as a Director on all Westward Portfolio Company boards.

 

Prior to founding Westward, Andy was a Vice President at a Seattle-based private equity firm. Previously, Andy worked in investment banking at Piper Jaffray in both Seattle and Minneapolis where he executed mergers, acquisitions, and equity financings for middle-market companies. Andy has completed over $2 billion in private equity investments, has raised over $500 million in debt and equity for portfolio companies, and has played a leading role exiting six private equity investments.

 

Andy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, magna cum laude, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.

 

andy@westwardpartnersllc.com

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FOUNDING PARTNER

Erik has over 20 years of transaction experience and is a cofounder of Westward Partners, established in 2010. He leads the firm's portfolio management activities and is active in all aspects of managing the Partnership. Erik serves as a Director on all Westward Portfolio Company boards.

Prior to founding Westward, Erik was a Vice President at a Seattle-based private equity firm where he participated in a large number of private equity investments, debt financings, acquisitions and restructurings. While at his previous firm, Erik served on the board of a packing and distribution company in Washington and as an observer on a large industrial services company.  Erik has completed over $3 billion in private equity investments, has raised over $500 million in debt and equity for portfolio companies, and has held board memberships on seven private company investments.

Previously, he worked in investment banking at Piper Jaffray & Co. and Capital Run LLC where he executed buy- and sell-side mergers and acquisitions, public and private equity financings, restructurings and special advisory assignments for leading middle-market companies. In addition, Erik previously was one of two active managers of Piper Jaffray's late-stage venture investment funds.

Erik holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Washington, cum laude.

erik@westwardpartnersllc.com

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ERIK TOLZMANN
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BRIAN ERKE
VICE PRESIDENT
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RYAN SEXTON
ASSOCIATE
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Brian joined Westward Partners in the spring of 2019, and focuses on new investment transactions and portfolio company management. Prior to joining Westward, Brian led OTT (over the top communications) product integrations for Amazon Alexa. Before Amazon, Brian co-founded Gratafy, an experiential commerce technology platform, where he raised over $8 million in venture funding and grew the team to over 100 people. After running the company for six years as CEO, it was acquired by Inmar in 2018.

 

Prior to his time in technology, Brian’s background was in finance, spending two years as an Associate in the $130 billion distressed and high yield debt fund at Oaktree Capital Management in Los Angeles. He began his career in investment banking as an Analyst at Credit Suisse in the Financial Sponsors group in New York.

Brian holds an MBA from The Wharton School in Strategic Management, and completed his undergrad at the University of Washington.

brian@westwardpartnersllc.com

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Ryan joined Westward Partners in the spring of 2022 and focuses on new investment transactions and portfolio company management.  Prior to joining Westward, Ryan was an Associate at a Seattle-based middle market investment bank.  He worked on a variety of buy-side and sell-side transactions, mainly in the technology and industrial manufacturing verticals. Before transitioning to finance, Ryan spent three years at Ernst & Young in their Seattle audit practice, where he primarily served large technology companies.

 

Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and Information Systems from the University of Washington, cum laude.  He is a licensed CPA in the state of Washington.

ryan@westwardpartnersllc.com

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