Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions
From flying seaplanes, shipwreck diving, riding a gondola in Hong Kong to see the Tian Tan Buddha statue, or standing inside the pyramid of Khafre in Egypt, James is always ready for the next great adventure.
James was a financial enforcement officer for the State of Oregon’s Division of Finance and Corporate Securities (now the Division of Financial Regulations), where he was tasked with, among other things, enforcing Oregon’s statutes and administrative rules relating to securities and commodities.
Prior to joining FP Transitions, James was an attorney at a mid-sized law firm, primarily litigating cases involving airplane and helicopter crashes nationwide. After a chance seat assignment next to our president, David Grau Sr., on a flight from Minneapolis, James decided to trade in the courtroom for greater adventures of assisting FPT’s clients. As head of the Transactions team, his experience navigating complex legal issues and as a securities regulator, allows him to quickly understand and resolve any client concerns and challenges that may arise.
James, who is a commercial pilot, flight instructor, certified scuba diver, amateur mechanic, and general tinkerer, loves talking airplanes, classic cars (including the 1966 Mustang he and his wife are rebuilding in their garage), and his life growing up in the Florida Keys. When not up in the clouds, working on the Mustang, or dreaming of the island life, James enjoys exploring Oregon’s trails and beaches with his wife, daughter, and their German shepherd/golden retriever shelter dog. In his spare time, James also teaches aviation law as an adjunct professor at two of Oregon’s three law schools and serves as legal counsel for a local aviation nonprofit.
James has a business degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a law degree from Willamette University. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar.
Jeanie is the gatekeeper for the largest open marketplace in the industry.
Another FP Transitions’ original, Jeanie has been on board since the very beginning. She has had a hand in, or has led, every one of FP Transitions closings for the past 20 years. That’s a lot of practices, a lot of clients, a lot of everything. Most of all, a lot of hours and nights and weekends, and a trail of spent cell phones to prove it—the life of a “closer."
Jeanie’s background is in legal services, but she found her true calling as a marriage counselor—helping each seller, year after year, seriously address retirement for the first time and make a final selection from the best out of 50 or more interested buyers and successors, all while helping buyers succeed and enjoy the explosive growth that comes with an acquisition. Though well versed in law, rules, regulations, and taxes (and the paperwork to support it all), it is the hand-holding function more than any other that describes the reasons for Jeanie’s success as the charter member of FP Transitions’ Transaction team. Jeanie understands the difference between activity and achievement. No one has more ‘Thank You’ notes in our company than Jeanie O’Reilly Northcutt.
An Oregon native, Jeanie served (and occasionally still subs) as Beaverton High School’s mascot even though her children have both graduated and have embarked on careers of their own. She is an active proponent for military and veteran causes as well as being an advocate for animal rescue. She and her husband have provided a home to a German Shepard, a Maine Coon cat, and two sugar gliders.
Assistant General Counsel
Ericka is a Nebraska native who moved to Oregon—for the weather.
Ericka is part of FP Transitions’ brain trust. Prior to joining our legal team, Ericka worked as an associate in private practice for a general civil litigation firm. She has experience in the areas of corporate law, torts, professional negligence, real property, estate planning, and probate. In addition to her law degree, she also holds a B.S. in business with a focus on economics.
As is befitting a legal professional and trusted consultant, Ericka has a calm, even-tempered personality. She comes from a family of high-achieving academics, which collectively boasts two JDs, a PhD, a DDS, an MBA, and one ND. She continues in the academic community through volunteer work, and has participated in the Multnomah Bar Association Imprint Program and acted as attorney-judge for Classroom Law Project’s High School Mock Trial State Finals. She is a member of Oregon Women Lawyers and served for the last three years on the board of Clackamas Women Lawyers, including a term as chapter president.
Originally from Nebraska, Ericka is happily settled into her Oregon home. Not only is the weather perfect for weekends of reading, but also hiking, playing miniature golf or just spending quality time with family and friends. She is a talented baker, a skill which can make her very popular in the FP Transitions office.
Lisa’s philosophy is that nobody ever gets lost taking the high road. It shows in her unwavering optimism and cool, calm, collected attitude in the face of difficulty.
Lisa grew up in Los Angeles and escaped the heat of the suburbs when she moved to the Pacific Northwest to earn a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Oregon.
She loves animals down to her core. She is the proud owner of two cats, affectionately named Gray Cat and Orange Cat respectively, and a labradoodle puppy named Chewbacca. Since Lisa was in third grade, she has been riding horses. Once she became old enough to compete, she trained and rode horses in hunter/jumper contests until her junior year of high school. Her experience with horses led to her managing large-scale horse facilities for the NCAA Division 1 Fresno State Equestrian team. She kept everyone level-headed in a high-stress setting by maintaining a safe and functional work environment; a skill she uses to keep order at FP Transitions.
When she isn’t helping clients, Lisa spends her afternoons enjoying quality time with her pets, as well as riding and training horses.
Michael Pellatz is a true outdoorsman in the classic Oregon sense of the term. A native to the state, he embraces the natural beauty through hiking, skiing, fishing and hunting. But Michael's pursuits are not limited to our state's political boundaries; he participates in outdoor pursuits throughout the West. As just one example of that deep passion, Michael informed us that in the past year, he has skied in four different states.
Growing up in the Portland area, Michael went to McMinnville to attend Linfield University; he earned his bachelor's in picturesque wine-country. After his degree, Michael passed the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) exams and earned the CAIA designation. Before joining FP Transitions, Michael spent nearly six years at RVK, one of the largest fully independent, employee-owned investment consulting firms in the nation. Most recently, he was on the research team covering hedge fund, liquid multi-asset and inflation sensitive investment strategies.
Michael is also passionate about mergers and acquisitions; in fact, this is one of the reasons that he joined us at FP Transitions. His desire was to join FPT to continue actively growing relationships the firm has already established, while also helping the M&A Team as they continue to increase the value they add to clients as well as the organization. In his new role at FP Transitions, as an M&A Analyst, Michael will be helping that team as they keep building relationships with future sellers and potential buyers. He will also manage multiple clients through all phases of their transaction. When he considers the new role, he is excited about the opportunity to be part of a small but dynamic team that can help grow the business.
Michael is extremely passionate about sports. He caught game balls at both Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, and he and some college friends recently won in a Portland flag football league! As Michael said, "yes- there is a league where grown adults play flag football."