Diedrich Industrial Solutions (DIS) was created over a decade ago when friends Alaina Tibshrany and Alex Paquin pooled their resources to start a business together in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to business school, Alex had worked for Eaton as a mechanical engineer. After getting his MBA he went into consulting, then switched to an operating role at Coeur Capital Partners (CCP), where he met Alaina. Alaina had taken quite a different career path than Alex, working as an analyst at MSGS Consulting on supply chain restructuring for six years prior to business school.1 After finishing her MBA, she pivoted into investing by joining CCP as an associate. Alaina spent almost a decade at CCP as an investment partner before launching DIS.
Both Alex and Alaina wanted to strike out on their own but appreciated the challenge of
starting an investment firm: raising the first fund, building a team, sourcing and executing deals,
and managing the portfolio companies. It is an enormous undertaking. The more they talked, the
more they realized that neither was enamored with the marketing required to raise a fund. What
they loved was fixing, building, and operating businesses. So instead of starting an investment
firm, they decided to purchase an operating business. They felt they could raise sufficient capital
by using personal connections in combination with the networks they had built at CCP and
business school. They looked for a business that was “boring” but essential to its customers, which
required a level of understanding of the customer and production expertise that was not easily
replicated, and one where a lack of scale would not doom them. After researching a dozen
industries, they focused on the industrial packaging space and then the rigid packaging space
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