Your Trusted Exit Authority™

About Final Ascent

We're serious about trusted.

As a business owner looking to sell, you may have heard the terms “agent,” “business broker,” “M&A advisor,” and “investment banker.” And if you met someone with one of those job titles, you probably also heard them say that their job is to help people buy and sell companies.

"Final Ascent was an key part of building our benefits business so that it would be viewed, structured, & validated towards either succession or acquired. By far the best hands-on coaching Michelle and I could have asked for. No fluff. Final Ascent worked hard for us. We are focused in our new company and are building it “right” from the beginning. All because of their insight."
Doug Roberts
Business Owner

It's Vital To Pick The Right Advisor.

If you are like most business owners, you hear these terms and assume they all mean the same thing. They do not, and picking the wrong advisor could cost valuable time, resources, and money in a less than efficient exit.

We have earned the business of countless small business owners who picked the wrong representative and spent a year or more trying unsuccessfully to sell their company. When we sign them up for our services, they are amazed at everything they did not know and how they had previously wasted their time by hiring the wrong person.

Each Exit Is Different.

With decades of experience servicing lower middle-market companies, we understand that no two businesses are the same. Even more importantly, no two business owners share the same personal goals.

Companies that are worth $10MM+ are often complex entities that need proper planning and preparation before executing an appropriate exit strategy. When business owners seek answers, they often find small business brokerage firms that lead with a one-size-fits-all marketing approach.

Most business brokerage firms do not have the planning expertise or the right buyer network to create the competitive selling environment larger companies need.

The Final Ascent Difference.

At Final Ascent, we're different. Each path we create is tailored to what our client's need.

Whether an owner needs to maximize enterprise value and efficiencies for a future exit, find the right buyer, financially prepare for life beyond the business, or all of the above, Final Ascent has the tools and expertise to make it happen.

With Final Ascent, you get a team of true experts who are masters in their respective fields all with the same goal of getting you to where you want to go, and using your business as the vehicle to get there.

What To Expect With Final Ascent's services.

We don't just claim to be different, we prove it by being honest, up front, and unbiased with the advice and solutions we offer to you.


Our process includes an initial assessment of where your business stands in the industry, what it is worth, and how we can best serve you.

Plan Implementation

We work directly with you to begin towards the goals that we set. Whether that be selling your business, or growing to sell your business.


After our discussion, our team can help determine if your business is a fit for going to market, exit planning, or legacy planning services.

Ongoing Support

We don't just throw your business to the wind, instead we are there every step until we hit the milestones.

Meet The Final Ascent Leadership Team

Our leadership collectively has over 25 years of experience in the worlds of Mergers & Acquisitions, Exit Strategy, and Wealth Planning.

Leadership Built through trust.

Contact Steve

Steve Conwell, MS, CVB

Chief Executive Officer

Steve Conwell is an accomplished entrepreneur with over 25 years of business advisory and financial consulting experience. Steve is passionate about helping business owners creatively tackle their biggest challenges and successfully grow their businesses. Throughout his career, he leveraged public accounting, internal audit and controls experience with Fortune 500 and middle market companies, always returning to his entrepreneurial roots.

More About Steve.

Steve is the CEO and co-owner of Final Ascent LLC, bringing his passion and energy as an accomplished small business owner to entrepreneurs who want to sell their businesses. He helps owners prepare their businesses for sale, transforming their businesses into built to sell companies and maximizing their value at exit.

Steve has a Bachelor and Masters of Science in Accounting and is a member of several professional associations. He is a Certified Value Builder and expert in getting companies “built to sell.” Steve was the past president of the Fort Worth Institute of Internal Auditors. He was a National Board Member and Dallas Advisory Council Chairman with the American Lung Association. He is an accomplished speaker, presenting several topics on business and entrepreneurship to business leaders and college students.

Steve is a native of Texas and attended nine different schools growing up. It’s why he embraces change and loves thinking out-of-the-box. He lives in Dallas with his college sweetheart and two children.

From 1993 to 2002, Steve worked at Ernst & Young in public accounting, business advisory services and technology auditing. At Whitman-Hart, Steve served as the COO of the Dallas office and Global Director of Business Operations across the 72-office, $2b management consulting firm.

From 2009 to early 2017, Steve was the Market President of a consulting firm that provided professional accountants to small businesses to complement their internal accounting staff. Most recently, he was the interim CFO for Rylex Capital in residential real estate. He lead the cash to accrual conversion and the year-one audit, earning an unqualified audit opinion from the 8th largest public accounting firm.

From 1993 to 2002, Steve worked at Ernst & Young in public accounting, business advisory services and technology auditing. At Whitman-Hart, Steve served as the COO of the Dallas office and Global Director of Business Operations across the 72-office, $2b management consulting firm.

From 2009 to early 2017, Steve was the Market President of a consulting firm that provided professional accountants to small businesses to complement their internal accounting staff. Most recently, he was the interim CFO for Rylex Capital in residential real estate. He lead the cash to accrual conversion and the year-one audit, earning an unqualified audit opinion from the 8th largest public accounting firm.

Success Gained Through guidance.

Contact Jude

Jude David, JD, DCL, MBA

Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions

Jude David is Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions with Final Ascent. As a Louisiana native turned corporate attorney and investment banker, he is a passionate about helping business owners achieve organic growth while also strategically planning for an exit. His specialty is the art of the acquisition, focusing on finding the right buyer, negotiating a deal that creates maximum value for everyone involved, and setting business owners up for a lifetime of success after the sale.

More About Jude.

Jude practiced as a corporate merger and acquisition attorney for nearly a decade and made the transition into acquisition advisory brokerage. Throughout his career, Jude has placed emphasis on bridging the gap between ambition and moral integrity—a sometimes difficult task in the practice of law.

With experience in M&A, business development, corporate development, consulting, management, and corporate law professionally, Jude’s career has centered around advising advisors, consulting for consultants, and providing strategic management advice to owners and managers. Because of the trust and confidence his clients have placed in him, Jude has acted as advisor in acquisitions amounting to more than $3 billion in the aggregate.  Additionally, Jude sits at the helm of Kin Capital Partners, a small private equity group that focusses on acquiring manufacturing and building material businesses.  Having bought and sold businesses himself, his understanding of what the parties to a transaction go through is not just academic. He realizes, in a way that many advisors cannot due to a lack of personal experience, that buying or selling a business is a turbulent collision of business sense and emotional distress.  Navigating that minefield requires precision, experience, and skill, but the difficult task is worth it in the end.

In his free time, Jude serves on numerous nonprofit boards, including the national Life Legal Defense Foundation, the Desormeaux Foundation / Women’s Center of Acadiana (Director and Treasurer), and the Jacob Crouch Foundation for Suicide-Awareness, Education, & Prevention. He sits as a director for each business in the Kin Capital Partners portfolio, and he additionally manages a private real estate network comprised of nine companies and more than 300 leased properties. When he has time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, college football, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Jude holds a Juris Doctorate (Magna Cum Laude), a Diploma of Comparative Law (Magna Cum Laude), a Master of Business Administration Degree (Summa Cum Laude), and a Finance Bachelor’s Degree from Louisiana State University. He was a Senior Editor of the LSU Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif. He received honors and distinctions at every level of his education, including the LSU law “Corporate and Business Law Excellence” Award (awarded to a single student), the “Outstanding First Year MBA Student” Award (awarded to a single student), both “New Member of the Year” and “Member of the Year” from Theta Xi Fraternity (each awarded to a single student), and he was the two time Louisiana state champion in speech and debate.

Jude has been married to Ashley David, his high school sweetheart, for 12 years, and they have five children.  They live in their family home in Lafayette, Louisiana. 

Goals Achieved through experience.

Contact Chase

Chase Kenner, CFP®

Vice President, Market Strategy

Chase is Vice President, Market Strategy at Final Ascent. When the time is right, Chase helps mid-market business owners find a buyer for their business. He does this by creating a confidential and competitive bid process made up of both strategic and financial buyers. Having 12 years of experience in the Wealth Management industry, Chase is passionate about understanding the goals of his clients so that the sales process is executed intentionally and the final deal terms align with the goals of his clients.

More About Chase.

After becoming Director of Financial Planning and head of research for a $1.3 billion wealth management firm, Chase found his passion for M&A when his prior firm began growing inorganically through acquisitions. This was a turning point in Chase’s career where he began noticing his fascination with private markets and the entire deal making landscape. By leading the post-merger integration process, Chase worked with individuals that were no longer business owners for the first time in decades. He saw prepared business owners take chips off the table and finally start living their life and he also witnessed seller’s remorse from individuals that didn’t have a plan for life beyond their business.

Through his experience, Chase recognized how difficult it can be for business owners to obtain quality financial planning when most of their net-worth is the illiquid value of their business. Due to this concentration issue, many business owners do not know if the value of their company will be enough to fund their future lifestyle. This conflict has inspired Chase to become a sell-side M&A advisor with a unique lens. Chase incorporates his wealth management experience to help create an intentional and tailored-made sales process for our clients. He works with our clients heavily on the front-end of the process to help them prepare for buyers and understand the market value of their company. Chase helps our clients think about life after the sale and to set realistic expectations when trying to determine the cost to fund their future lifestyle and the final sales price the market is willing to pay for their company.

Chase graduated from the University of Louisiana and currently resides in Lafayette with his wife Megan and their two children. Chase is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and a member of the Coastal Conservation Association and the Alliance of M&A Advisors (Dallas Chapter).

Advisement with Experience.

Contact Scott

Scott Shea

Mergers & Acquisitions Advisor

Scott Shea heads up Final Ascent's lower middle-market division, representing clients with revenues below $10M. Scott strives to bring creative ideas to historically boring and analytical processes and ultimately work with clients to maximize their potential. He hopes to utilize his experiences, both the good and the bad, to guide business owners towards successful exits.

More About Scott.

Scott graduated from Texas Christian University (TCU) in 2005 with a degree in Entrepreneurial Management. He grew up as a fourth-generation member of a family oilfield service business and joined the company in 2008 after a brief career as a professional poker player. During his time with the company, Scott primarily focused on operational efficiencies and software development. The company was acquired by a publicly traded entity in 2009, but the transaction sparked Scott’s interest in the world of M&A. Scott has served as an Investment Advisor since 2009 and has also participated in numerous startup businesses. Born and raised in New Iberia, LA, Scott currently resides in Lafayette, LA with his wife Amanda and his three boys – Edward, Matthew, and Thomas. In his spare time, Scott is likely to be on the golf course or surrounded by family and friends.

Support with Successful Outcomes.

Contact Chelsea

Chelsea Craig

Client Support Manager

Chelsea Craig is the Client Support Manager at Final Ascent, handling initial intake and supporting clients and their advisors on the expedition to each business owner's unique exit. Beginning her career in the U.S. Army, Chelsea seamlessly transitioned into the realm of Sales and Support Management following her service in the Armed Forces. For more than a decade, Chelsea has diligently dedicated herself to supporting business owners, deeply comprehending the immense dedication and sacrifices necessary for cultivating success.

More About Chelsea.

As an accomplished Support Manager, Chelsea excels in forging enduring and trustworthy relationships with her clients, providing unwavering support at every stage of their journey, propelling them through their Final Ascent.

Chelsea embarked on her professional journey as a Psychological Operations Specialist in the esteemed United States Armed Forces. Following the start of her family, she gracefully transitioned back into civilian life, embracing challenging Sales and Support Management roles. Throughout her diverse career, Chelsea exhibited unparalleled excellence, garnering a plethora of accolades for her unwavering dedication to the companies she served and the exceptional support she provided to her esteemed clientele.


Over the past decade, Chelsea has thrived in management positions, consistently propelling productivity, efficiency, and revenue to new heights. However, it was during the past five years that Chelsea discovered a profound passion for assisting business owners on their path to successful exits. Having been intimately involved in supporting business owners firsthand, Chelsea bore witness to the resolute strength required to build, nurture, and ultimately transition away from a business. She possesses a comprehensive understanding of the entire process, appreciating the significance of being a trusted confidant to business owners during this pivotal phase.


Chelsea’s educational background encompasses a dual focus on Psychological Operations and Business Management, lending her a unique perspective in her endeavors. When not immersed in her professional endeavors, Chelsea cherishes quality time with her three children in the serene setting of their hometown, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She also indulges in her love for reading, camping, and traveling the globe, avidly absorbing the rich tapestry of diverse cultures she encounters along the way.

Acquisitions Experience.

Contact Mark

Mark Halma

M&A Advisor

Mark Halma is a mergers and acquisitions advisor at Final Ascent where he passionately leverages his M&A experience across multiple industries to create successful outcomes for his clients. Treating his clients with care, attention to detail, and compassion, Mark is able to expertly guide business owners through the complex journey of selling their business. Mark is a third-generation entrepreneur who understands the emotional and physical energy that business owners endure and is relentless about ensuring clients get back what they put in during an exit.

More About Mark.

Mark Halma is a seasoned professional in the dynamic realm of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), bringing to the table a wealth of expertise in diverse set of industries. Holding a degree in economics from Loyola University Chicago, Mark’s educational foundation has been further fortified by his deep-rooted affinity for entrepreneurship, which stems from his grandfather’s ownership of an HVAC business, nurturing a generational connection to the world of business ownership. In addition to his scholastic achievements, Mark’s tenure as a collegiate athlete at Loyola University Chicago has endowed him with invaluable leadership skills that have seamlessly translated into his professional endeavors. As he navigates the intricacies of M&A transactions, Mark leads his clients toward optimal solutions, employing a delicate touch that puts them at ease even amidst the complexities and arduousness often encountered in the M&A


Mark is an advocate for community involvement. His volunteer experiences include work with organizations such as Denver Kids Inc, Volunteers of America, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Mark’s resides in Kansas City, Kansas, where he lives with his wife Sophie, their daughter Evelyn, and their dog companions, Dolly and Gnocchi. Embracing the importance of work-life balance, Mark finds joy in spending quality time with his family, golfing, traveling, and supporting Arsenal FC.

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Are you ready to begin Your Journey?

It is never too soon to begin the process of exiting your business. In fact, the best time was yesterday, and the next best time is right now. If your business fits into what we offer, we'd love to talk to you.

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