ArkMalibu Is Pleased to Announce that Terri Alpert Has Joined as a Senior Advisor
Terri Alpert has joined ArkMalibu as a Senior Advisor as an expert in direct-to-consumer business, and entrepreneurship. Terri began her career at Morgan Stanley, following her graduation from Brown University with a degree in Physics. At Morgan Stanley, she was responsible for the development of the front- and back-office software for the Interest Rate and Currency Swaps and Foreign Exchange business units.
At the age of 29, Terri left Morgan Stanley on maternity leave and used this time to sow her entrepreneurial oats. Her only goal for her first start-up was to learn, so she limited herself to an initial $10,000 investment and wanted to see if she could create a “real” company from sweat alone. This goal led her to create an early direct-to-consumer company, Professional Cutlery Direct, which she grew solely from internally generated cash flow to over $10 million in revenues, reaching # 131 on the Inc 500 list in 1999.
Terri describes the Professional Cutlery Direct period as excellence in execution with an entirely flawed business model. Her original criteria led her to create something that fundamentally wasn’t protectable. While her financial statements showed record revenue and profits, the underlying metrics made clear the company would be unsustainable in the long term. Yet, by this point, she had purchased a 30,000 sf headquarters, built a management team, and had 50 or so employees to protect. Starting again with a blank sheet of paper, she turned the attributes of the current business on its head, to create a criteria for a second direct-to-consumer brand with emotional rather than functional meaning, proprietary products with pricing power, infinite potential for freshness to maximize lifetime value, and a large but underserved market. From this criteria, Uno Alla Volta was born.
Dramatic changes in externalities, as well as self-created obstacles, led Terri to have to build, tear down, and rebuild multiple times. Along the way, she had to develop a dramatically different team and culture, and change herself into a very different CEO than the one she was in the early days. In 2019, Terri successfully monetized her “maternity leave project” just as her first daughter was getting married. In the time since, she has been serving as an advisor to numerous startups. She also spent two years as an executive partner with a private equity firm. She is deeply involved in the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Israel’s Negev region and Ben Gurion University, the region’s institutional anchor. She serves on both the Board of Governors of the institution, and as Vice Chairman of the US based non-profit, Americans for Ben Gurion University. Terri has considerable transaction experience, having run three processes (2000, 2008, 2019) for her own companies. She also served as an informal advisor and sounding board for her family’s business, which completed five transactions between the years of 1987 and 2008.
Terri has a vast range of sector interests. She loves nothing more than being a connector of both people and ideas, and taking lessons learned from one area or sector and applying them to another. With any business, she focuses first on understanding its economic engine, and assessing the quality of its flywheel.
Asked why she decided to join ArkMalibu as a Senior Advisor, Alpert replied, “When you’ve worked for years, perhaps for a lifetime, or perhaps for multiple generations to build a company, and it is time to sell it – it is so important to do it right.”