The Chinook Team is made up of talented individuals with diverse backgrounds. We collectively possess a variety of degrees, skill sets, and professional experience. We are graduates of leading local universities, including Gonzaga University, Seattle University, and the University of Washington, from various fields of study, including finance, accounting, engineering, and Juris Doctor. We also possess professional credentials relevant to valuation and M&A. We have a wide range of work experience ranging from investment banking to military service. We are passionate about working together as one team to serve every client.
We are changing lives.
Ed has a diverse background which includes over 25 years in various aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Combined with personal experience in engineering, operations, finance, project management, business development and real estate, he has a wealth of practical experience working with businesses of all types and sizes. Ed is passionate about educating owners concerning business valuation and the process of transitioning out of their business so they can move on to the next phase in their lives.
Ed began his professional career as a project engineer in the oil and gas industry with ConocoPhillips where he provided project management and engineering support throughout the United States, Canada, and South America. He eventually moved on to become a business development manager, participating in dozens of acquisitions and divestitures while working closely with most of the top Wall Street investment banking firms.
For the past 15 years Ed has assisted business owners throughout the Northwest in planning for and executing the sale of their companies, specializing in representing privately held businesses across a broad range of industries. His passion for working with privately held businesses began when he helped start a company in Houston that developed internet-based character education programs for high school students.
Ed spent four years after college serving in Germany as a combat engineer for the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer. He has a Bachelor of Science in engineering as well as an MBA and is a certified valuation analyst with the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA).
John has been a trusted advisor working with business owners and shareholders of privately held businesses for more than 30 years with leading investment banking firms such as Seattle-based Meridian Capital and global investment banking firms including Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. He has developed a successful track record by helping owners work through complex business transitions, recapitalizations, and company sale transactions. John has closed more than 100 company sale, recapitalization, financing and M&A transactions across multiple industries ranging from consumer products & e-commerce, manufacturing, distribution, aerospace, business services, technology and more.
John lived and worked in Asia for more than 20 years, including in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. During his time abroad he picked up two Chinese dialects as well as global insights which enable him to bring both a local and global perspective to transactions and business situations. In 2010, John returned to his native Seattle and continued his work in investment banking with Meridian Capital. In 2017 he co-founded Chinook Capital Advisors with Ed Kirk. John is also an active member of Vistage International and Alliance of International Corporate Advisors (AICA).
As an alumnus of Seattle University and Gonzaga University, John remains passionate about giving back his time and helping students. He and his wife, Candy, have three grown children and two grandchildren. When he’s not helping his clients, John often dreams of time on his crabbing boat or cheering for the Mariners in a World Series.
Oliver joined Chinook Capital Advisors in February 2018 and supports all phases of the merger and acquisition engagement lifecycle including financial & business analysis, marketing material preparation, marketing coordination, due diligence, and purchase agreement review. Oliver finds fulfillment helping small business owners solve complex problems.
Oliver is a certified mergers and acquisitions advisor as credentialed by the Alliance of Mergers and Acquisitions Advisors and is licensed to practice law in the state of Washington. Oliver graduated with his Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from Seattle University in May 2016 and passed the Washington State Bar Exam in July 2016. Oliver served as a Research and Technical Editor on the Seattle University Law Review during his second and third years of law school. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Washington.
Prior to working at Chinook, Oliver worked as a tax associate at RSM US LLP for sixteen months where he provided tax planning and compliance services to middle market businesses and high net-worth individuals. During Oliver’s time in graduate school, he worked for Barbri, Inc., and Thomson Reuters in an academic student representative role. He also interned with the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel and KPMG LLP’s Economic and Valuation Services group.
Oliver currently serves as Director and Treasurer for the King County Law Library Foundation, a charitable organization providing financial and operational support for the services of the King County Law Library.
When not at work, Oliver enjoys fishing, scuba diving, hunting, and wood working.
Michael joined Chinook Capital Advisors in 2018. As a lifelong Pacific Northwesterner, he is passionate to understand the needs and challenges regional business owners face in transitioning to the next phase of their lives. He contributes to the team by performing financial and data analysis, preparing informational marketing materials, supporting diligence efforts, and assisting with closing activities. Since 2020, Michael has been an active member of Vistage International.
Michael graduated cum laude from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with concentrations in Finance and International Business. During his time at Gonzaga, Michael completed internships with Northwest Farm Credit Services, a farm cooperative lender, and Kaspien, an eCommerce startup. Michael competed in the CFA Institute Research Challenge, where the Gonzaga team placed second place regionally. He studied abroad at Queen Mary University of London for a semester.
Michael is passionate about assisting the next generation of students and recent graduates interested in finance careers. He volunteers his time with Rainier Scholars, a program that offers a pathway to college graduation for hard-working, low-income students of color.
Outside of work, Michael is an aviation geek (aka “av-geek”), stays active through biking and running, and is constantly planning his next fine dining experience or adventure around the globe.
Ajay joined Chinook Capital Advisors in June 2020. A Seattle native, he is dedicated to serving business owners in the Pacific Northwest. He contributes to the team by performing financial and data analysis, conducting industry research, preparing marketing materials, supporting diligence efforts, and assisting with closing activities.
Ajay graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington in 2020 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance. While at UW, Ajay spent five months as an intern with the Foster School of Business’ Global Growth Consulting Project, where select students were partnered with a local Seattle business to develop an optimal international expansion strategy. He also worked as a Summer financial advisor trainee at Brighton Jones, a Seattle-based comprehensive financial planning firm for high net-worth individuals.
Ajay was involved in multiple student organizations while at UW, including the UW Finance Association, where Ajay remains an active alumni member with an interest in the student investment group.
When he’s not working, Ajay enjoys learning to cook new things, weightlifting, getting his heart crushed by the Mariners, and attempting to translate his baseball swing to the golf course.
Erich joined Chinook Capital Advisors in July 2022. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, he is dedicated to serving business owners in the Pacific Northwest. He contributes to the team by performing financial and data analysis, conducting industry research, preparing marketing materials, supporting diligence efforts, and assisting with closing activities.
Erich graduated magna cum laude from Gonzaga University in 2022 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance and Entrepreneurship and a minor in Political Science. During his time at Gonzaga, Erich worked on the university’s event team to plan, coordinate, and execute events across campus. Beginning in the fall of his junior year, Erich worked as an intern at Chinook Capital Advisors, earning valuable experience and access to the entire mergers and acquisitions process.
Erich was involved in multiple student organizations while at Gonzaga, including serving as the president of the Gonzaga University Investment Club. Erich remains committed to the club and expanding opportunities in investment banking to students. He also volunteered his time at Second Harvest, an Inland Northwest organization that brings community resources together to feed people in need through empowerment, education, and partnerships.
When not at work, Erich enjoys biking, watching the Sounders, exploring the outdoors, and traveling.
Chinook’s business insight and advice to the management team helped position our company as an attractive acquisition. Their knowledge of potential investors and their strategic approach of introducing our company to investors resulted in a premium valuation for the business and a successful sale. I would recommend Chinook Capital without qualifications to other family, small or medium sized businesses.