New Senior Management for Staging Concepts

by Jacob Coakley


 Staging Concepts has a new leadership in place.
Staging Concepts has a new leadership in place.

Staging Concepts has a new railing solution, and now they have new upper management as well. The firm announced last week they have retained John Lewis as CEO and Mostafa Ahmed as CFO.

Staging Concepts Appoints New Senior Management
Names Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer

MINNEAPOLIS., Minn. June 28, 2012 – Staging Concepts, a leading manufacturer of portable stage, seating riser and custom railing solutions and a portfolio company of Blackford Capital LLC, today announced the appointment of John Lewis as Chief Executive Officer and Mostafa Ahmed as Chief Financial Officer.

“John Lewis and Mostafa Ahmed bring a wealth of leadership to the management team at Staging Concepts,” said Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital LLC. “We believe we have the strongest management team in the industry, and Blackford is fully committed to supporting them in their drive to increase their market share of the portable staging products market, through innovative designs that meet the emerging needs of entertainment venues.”

Lewis has a successful track record as CEO, CFO, COO and independent director of several publicly traded and private equity-backed businesses.  His prior experience includes leading GPS-technology provider GeoLogic Solutions, as well as running a Twin Cities-based fabricator of specialty products for the construction industry.  He also served on the board of Plato Learning, Inc., a leading provider of e-learning instruction.  Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

“I am honored to take the helm of Staging Concepts during a time when the company is poised for so much growth,” said Lewis.  “We see many opportunities to further the development of our business by meeting and exceeding the demands of the evolving staging sector for venues around the country.  With the addition of Mostafa Ahmed as CFO and his financial experience, and the support of the rest of our management team, we expect to see continued success in growing Staging Concepts in the coming years.”

Ahmed specializes in mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity management, international accounting, and investor relations.  Prior to joining Staging Concepts, Ahmed was the Corporate Controller of Help/Systems.  Before joining Help/Systems, Ahmed worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in a number of positions within the audit practice.  Ahmed holds a Bachelor’s degree from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt and is a CPA.

Thanks to the temporary seating configuration constructed of custom seating riser equipment from Staging Concepts, 17,000 fans were front and center during this year’s NCAA Final Four at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans.  Staging Concepts’ temporary seating riser configuration is also contracted for the 2013 regional games and Final Four in Dallas and Atlanta, as well as the 2014 Final Four in Dallas.

Staging Concepts is a portfolio company of Blackford Capital, LLC, a national private equity firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., that acquires, manages and builds middle-market energy, manufacturing, distribution and service companies.

About Staging Concepts

Staging Concepts is a leading manufacturer of portable stage, seating riser and custom railing. They have been providing portable staging solutions for theatres, production companies, performing arts centers, worship facilities, and colleges and universities since 1990. The company’s custom railing solutions are used in a large number of stadiums and arenas across the nation.  For more information, visit

About Blackford Capital Blackford Capital is a private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, MI, that acquires, manages and builds middle-market manufacturing, distribution and service companies, with seven portfolio companies operating in 13 states employing more than 950 people and with combined revenues of approximately $225 million. Blackford has offices in Grand Rapids, MI (headquarters) and San Francisco, CA.  For more information, visit