• "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it."
    - Helen Keller
  • "Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done."
    - Peter Drucker
  • "Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching around for what it gets. "
    - Henry Ford
  • "Our favorite holding period is forever."
    - Warren Buffett
  • "Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag."
    - Luke 19:26 MSG
  • "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant."
    - Max de Pree
  • "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."
    - Jackie Robinson
  • "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."
    - Henry David Thoreau
  • "Don't be afraid to see what you see."
    - Ronald Reagan
  • "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
    - Albert Einstein


Todd A. Taranto
Decision Tree Resources, Inc.
123 W. Front Street, Suite 212
Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone:  630.728.2288
Fax:  630.914.6038


Decision Tree seeks to acquire a majority interest in privately held companies where the owner is looking for full or partial liquidity, but is also looking for a buyer that will focus on taking his/her company to the next level by injecting business expertise, technology, leadership, and strategic thinking into their business.  Potential acquisitions should satify most of the following criteria:


  • Continental United States and Canada
  • Midwest, mountain, northeast preferred


  • Business to business companies
  • Niche service providers or industrial manufacturing firms
  • Minimal capital expenditure requirements
  • Diverse regional or national client base
  • Recurring annuity revenue stream
  • Strong customer retention
  • Scalable growth path through organic sales or acquisition


  • Revenues between $3 to $10 million
  • Minimum Gross profit margins of 30%
  • Minimum EBITDA margins of 15%
  • Consistent record of profitability


  • Looking to exit or reduce management role
  • Seeking to diversify personal net worth
  • Not integrally tied to company operations
  • Open to adding management capabilities

No interest

  • Home businesses or eCommerce sites
  • Retail, restaurants or consulting
  • Startups
  • IT, scientific, or highly specialized industries


Some of Decision Tree’s investments include:

Executive Travel Directors – Chicago, IL, www.traveldirectors.com , Executive Travel Directors (ETD) is a niche service provider to the corporate travel and meetings industry.  Engaging in over 1,200 programs each year, ETD connects the industry’s most experienced logistic professionals and clerical staff with meeting planning organizations to assist in the onsite operation of their events worldwide.

Butterfield Foods – Noblesville, IN, www.butterfield-foods.com .  Butterfield Foods is a USDA inspected, private-label food manufacturing company located in suburban Indianapolis.  The company produces and assembles a variety of entrees, side dishes, soups, sauces, sandwiches, and hand-pulled meat products for wholesale distribution.

Mednick Associates – New Canaan, CT, www.mednickassociates.com Mednick Associates is a medical/legal consultancy that provides expert witness search, case review, guidance, and other associated services to both plaintiff and defense law firms for any case involving a medical question.

Firmatek – San Antonio, TX, www.firmatek.com .  Firmatek is a topographical volumetric measuring company that uses the latest Lidar and mapping technologies to provide accurate stockpile measurements and mapping solutions to the mining, aggregates, landfill and construction industries.

Bakersfield Blaze – Bakersfield, CA, www.bakersfieldblaze.com .  The Bakersfield Blaze baseball team is the long-season, single-A, minor league affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.  The team is a member of the California League, plays its home games at Historic Sam Lynn Ballpark, and is managed by Ken Griffey senior.

CIMA Systems – Pleasanton, CA, www.cimasystems.net CIMA Systems is a customer-direct, email marketing company with technology that interacts seamlessly with an auto dealership or insurance agency’s back office CRM system allowing for specific, relevant marketing messages to be delivered to customers.


Todd is President of Decision Tree Resources, Inc. (DTR), an acquirer of $3MM to $8MM business to business, niche service or manufacturing companies.  The company has acquired 15 companies in the last 10 years, and sold only one as its focuses is on long-term growth, value creation, and building operating cash flow.

Todd grew up in the small town of Bolton, Massachusetts as the oldest of five children.  His father was a local small business owner.  Todd began his business career in the travel industry after serving as an officer in the U.S. Army.  Todd is a member of the Young President’s Organization.  His experience has led to his participation on numerous industry panel discussions and boards—serving as the Chairperson of the Event Marketing Committee of the National Association for Retail Marketing Services (NARMS), as well as being quoted in Business Travel News, Crain’s Chicago Business, Meetings & Incentives Magazine, Supermarket News, and Progressive Grocer Magazine.

Todd lives in Wheaton, IL with his wife, son, and daughter.  In addition to building businesses, Todd enjoys triathlons and marathons, recently completing three IRONMANs and the 2012 Boston Marathon.  Todd is a 1990 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY and holds a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana University.

D.G. Elmore is Chairman or President and owner of a number of businesses including:  Gant Travel Management, Decision Tree Resources, Solution Tree, Cornerstone Information Systems, Velosport Vacations, CIMA Systems, Adams & Westlake, Helena Baseball Club, and The Elmore Sports Group – owner of five minor league baseball teams and one minor league hockey team.

D.G. is an active member of the Young President’s Organization, and also serves on the boards of the New Horizons Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit public charity organized for the purpose of helping individuals accomplish their charitable objectives in religious, educational, scientific, benevolent and health related activities, and The Navigators, an international Christian organization.

D.G. and his wife, Gini, live in Bloomington, IN with their six children.  Along with building businesses and the people that run them, D.G. enjoys coaching little league baseball and youth basketball.  D.G. is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, majoring in Accounting, and a graduate of Indiana University, receiving both a Law degree and a Masters of Business Administration.


Decision Tree Resources is the Chicago-based investment firm of the Elmore Companies, owned by partners Todd Taranto and D.G. Elmore.  Decision Tree concentrates on acquiring small, lower-middle market companies, typically from their founders.  Broadly, the company invests in profitable, niche, business-to-business service providers and manufacturers with revenues between three and ten million dollars.  With a bias towards growth and profitability, acquired companies are managed with an emphasis on long-term valuation creation and are rarely sold, not managed with a build and flip strategy.

Since 1989, Todd and D.G. have completed eight primary acquisitions into new markets and over fifteen add-on acquisitions.  The partners have invested over seventeen million dollars during this period and have raised over twenty million from the private debt markets to finance new platform and subsequent add-on acquisitions. They manage companies in the travel, software, publishing, manufacturing, food, technology, medical, professional sports, and staffing industries.

As most of its acquired companies are smaller in size, Decision Tree’s deals are usually intentionally overlooked by other private equity firms because these firms do not want to deal with, nor do they have the experience navigating many of the possible risks inherent in purchases of this size—founder transition, client concentration, small management team, little technology and marketing, etc.  We invest in companies where owners may want to exit or stay with the company, but ultimately desire to ally with a partner that will pull-up alongside them and play an active and hands-on roll in taking the company to the next level.

As such, Decision Tree works closely with the acquired company’s management to understand the company’s business and markets.  In addition to performing extensive business, legal, and accounting due diligence prior to the transaction, Decision Tree enters every deal with detailed and mutually agreed upon three-year business plan that sets forth the performance objective of each portfolio company.  The principals seek, hire, and mentor the acquired entity’s president and provide ongoing support in the areas of corporate finance, operational improvements, acquisitions and long-term strategic planning.