Gryphon and Portfolio Company News

Gryphon Investors Recapitalizes LeadAmerica

San Francisco, CA -

Gryphon Investors announced today that it has completed the recapitalization of the National Youth Education Council, L.L.C, also known as LeadAmerica. Terms of the recapitalization were not disclosed.

LeadAmerica is a leading provider of academic-oriented youth leadership conferences for promising student leaders in high school and middle school. The organization offers leadership development programs and conferences in a wide variety of career fields such as medicine, business, law and government and politics. LeadAmerica provides its programs under five brand names: Congressional Student Leadership Conference, Leadership University, National Junior Leaders Conference, Study Abroad and Washington Summer Scholars.

“LeadAmerica is an attractive platform in the $10+ billion student camps and trips market,” said David Andrews, Gryphon’s Managing Partner. “We look forward to supporting LeadAmerica’s growth both organically and through add-on acquisition opportunities in this fast growing and highly fragmented industry.”

LeadAmerica was founded in 2001 by Chris M. Salamone. A lawyer by education and profession, Mr. Salamone is a pioneer in the education and youth leadership fields. He has a lifetime of experience in youth programs and conferences beginning with work as a Director of his family’s summer youth basketball camps. In 1989, Mr. Salamone founded the National Institute for Legal Education, which offered pre-law school preparatory courses as well as youth education, academic and leadership programs, before founding LeadAmerica. Since 1989, more than 60,000 students have attended leadership and educational programs founded by Mr. Salamone.

“Our mission is to transform our world’s next generation of leaders by educating, inspiring and instilling in them ethical and principled leadership values, attitudes and skills,” said Mr. Salamone. “Our partnership with Gryphon Investors will further that mission by allowing us to grow nationally and internationally.” Mr. Salamone is LeadAmerica’s Chief Executive Officer and will retain and expand his management team consistent with the organization’s expanding scope. “This investment builds on Gryphon’s already strong franchise in the education sector,” commented John Rogers, a principal at Gryphon. “Our track record includes current and former investments in Delta Education Systems, Inc., the Academy of Legal Studies, National Career Education and Miller Heiman, Inc.”

About Gryphon Investors

Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors focuses on leveraged acquisitions of, and growth investments in, middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. Having managed more than $1 billion of discretionary equity capital, Gryphon has an extensive track record of investing $25 to $75 million of its own capital in companies with sales ranging from $25 to $250 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form proactive partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, professional resources and significant financial and operational expertise. Visit for more information.


Caroline Luz

Lambert & Co.