November 25, 2002

Celerity Partners Selects Project Leadership Associates, Inc. To Be Platform In Network Integration Services Consolidation

LOS ANGELES, CA (Business Wire)– November 25, 2002 — Celerity Partners (Celerity) announced today the completion of its recapitalization of Project Leadership Associates, Inc. (PLA). Project Leadership Associates provides network integration, network support, software development and management consulting to mid-sized businesses. PLA’s customers are predominantly professional services organizations, which include many of the Midwests largest law firms. Celerity is making an investment in PLA as its platform and in conjunction with future co-investors expects to acquire several complementary companies in major markets over the next four years.

USBX Advisory Services, assisted by Paul Dippell, supported Celerity in this process by identifying potential industry candidates, discovering and approaching PLA and recruiting Jim Dixon to execute the buy and build strategy as the CEO of PLA. Jim Dixon previously served as CEO and Chairman of CompuCom Systems, Inc. Under Mr. Dixons leadership the market capitalization of CompuCom Systems, Inc. grew from $38 million to $650 million and sales from $160 million to $1.7 billion.

Paul Behrman, a Partner at Celerity who led the transaction, stated, “We feel very positive about the elements of this buy and build strategy. The recent demise of the franchisee networks has created a void in this $50 billion fragmented market. With a management team that has successfully executed this strategy before and an excellent platform company to build upon, we hope to provide customers with greater service offerings, geographic coverage and technical expertise than is currently available.”

“We looked at more than 50 companies in the last six months”, stated Jim Dixon. “PLA is truly exceptional in terms of its 30% compound annual growth rate, as well as its excellent associate retention and customer relationships. We feel fortunate to have partnered with Daniel Porcaro who has built this fine company from the bottom up. PLA has a work hard, play hard philosophy that makes it not only a fun place to work, but also a great company with which to do business. PLAs company culture clearly sets it apart from others in the industry.”

Daniel Porcaro, founder and former CEO of Project Leadership Associates, will remain President of PLA and work with Jim Dixon on the strategic initiatives of the firm. “We have accomplished a lot over the last four years. PLA has become one of the premier systems integrators in the Chicago market,” said Mr. Porcaro. “In partnering with Jim Dixon and Celerity Partners we can take this business to the next level and truly become a national leader in the IT industry.”

ABOUT CELERITY PARTNERS: Celerity Partners is a private equity fund whose objective is to build businesses, in partnership with management, to preeminence in their respective markets. Since its inception in September 1995, Celerity has invested in 40 companies with an aggregate transaction value in excess of $2 billion. Celerity currently manages approximately $200 million of equity capital. Celerity has offices in Los Angeles and Menlo Park, CA.

ABOUT USBX ADVISORY SERVICES: Headquartered in Santa Monica, USBX Advisory Services ( provides investment banking advisory services to medium-sized businesses. USBX Advisorys investors include Carlyle Venture Partners and Evercore Ventures. For further information, please contact: Paul Collins, Director of Corporate Communications at USBX Advisory Services, at (310) 315-6735 or email at

ABOUT PROJECT LEADERSHIP ASSOCIATES, INC.: Headquartered in Chicago, Project Leadership Associates is a leading provider of information technology consulting and solutions to medium sized businesses. Specializing in network integration, network support, small business services, software development and management consulting, PLA helps clients plan, develop, manage and implement cost effective information technology strategies and solutions. For further information, please contact Daniel Porcaro at (312) 441-1570 or email

Celerity Partners
Phone: (310) 268-1710
Fax: (310) 268-1712
Paul J. Behrman