Meet the Team

100+ years of combined automotive relationships, partnerships and integrity

Senior Leadership Team

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson

Co-Founder, Investment Committee Member

  • Founder of MD Johnson Inc., one of the nation’s premier auto-focused M&A firm
  • Led $5 billion+ buy / sell investment transactions over the firm’s 16-year history
  • Former automotive dealer
  • Expert witness in automotive dealership valuations
Cliff Spencer

Cliff Spencer

Counsel to GearUp Automotive

  • Shareholder in Lane Powell PC, JD and MBA (Finance)
  • 20 years’ experience in M&A, capital formation and securities
  • Counsel to public automotive retailer, executed growth strategy through acquisitions — $700M to over $3B in sales (1998-2014)
  • Former Counsel to NY private equity group implementing automotive roll up
  • Counsel to 100+ automotive dealership acquisitions/divestitures
Chris Cento

Chris Cento

Co-Founder, Investment Committee Member

  • Progressive executive management and leadership at Toyota and Lexus (1987-2012)
  • Executive Director Automotive Operations for NY PE Fund
  • Top 5 Private Platform Vice President, Herb Chambers Co.’s
  • Director North America CDK Global Business Consulting
  • Extensive industry relationships
  • Global insights
  • MBA in Marketing/Finance
Don Ray

Don Ray

Co-Founder, Investment Committee Member

  • Highly regarded CPA working exclusively with auto dealers
  • Former Co-managing Partner, Dixon Hughes Goodman Dealer Service Group
  • Prior CFO of multiple large auto groups
  • Regular contributor to national trade publications
  • Extensive dealership M&A experience including due diligence