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Chicago, IL | November 12, 2021

NextGen Growth Partners Executive Honored in Crain’s Chicago Business 2021 Cohort

Jim Bland named to the Notable Military Veteran Executives class

NextGen Growth Partners (“NGP”), a leading private equity firm that partners with Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and management teams to invest in sustainable, growing companies, announced today that Jim Bland has been named to the Crain’s Chicago Business 2021 Notable Military Veteran Executives class.

“Jim is an exceptional leader on the NGP team as well as within his community. We couldn’t think of a more worthy honoree,” Brian O’Connor, NGP Founder and Managing Partner, said. “In addition to his extensive investing and operating experience, Jim’s background as an accomplished Field Artillery Captain and continued work with the Armed Forces positions him to be uniquely qualified in mentoring aspiring entrepreneur-veterans.”

Bland started his career as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army where he continues to serve as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA), a three-star general protocol appointed position representing the Secretary of the Army in Illinois. Bland earned his B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

“I’m humbled by the Crain’s award,” Bland said. “Veterans aren’t often thought of as being entrepreneurial, but I have found the opposite. Veterans can bring leadership, strategic and execution skills, and resiliency to bear in the markets in which we invest.”

Bland is currently working alongside Chicago-based Naval Veteran Mitch Pulver at NextGen Growth Partners, to mentor him into a CEO position within a company that we are working to acquire. Bland seeks to recruit several more veterans to lead acquired companies on behalf of our firm as first time CEOs.

“Jim embodies the ethos of our military,” Mitch Pulver, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, said. “As a fellow veteran working alongside Jim, I am privileged to interact with him daily in his role as an Investment Partner at the firm. He brings a unique perspective and experience to NextGen and has provided me with invaluable guidance along with access to his strong business and military network in my search to acquire and operate a small business.”

NGP is always seeking to partner with veterans looking to operate small businesses, as well as connect with veteran business owners looking for a strategic partner to help shepherd their organization into its next phase of growth. For more information, or to speak with someone on our team, please visit

About NextGen Growth Partners

Headquartered in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago, NextGen Growth Partners is a private equity firm that partners with the best and brightest entrepreneurial talent to acquire, operate and grow lower middle market businesses across a variety of industries. The team has a strong track record of creating value through growth and operational improvement in middle market businesses.

For more information on NGP and its investment approach, please visit

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