Industry Veterans Erik VanLaningham and CJ Kearney Join Company’s Board of Directors

CHICAGO – July 27, 2023 – HC Private Investments (“HCPI”), a Chicago-based family office private equity firm, today announced that it successfully acquired QEI, Inc. (“QEI”) in partnership with the Company’s former owner and CEO, Normand Lavoie.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

As part of the transaction, seasoned executives Erik VanLaningham and CJ Kearney of Eagle Marsh Holdings will join the Company’s Board of Directors.  Mr. VanLaningham, former Vice President of Emerson’s Automation Solutions Business Unit, will join QEI as Executive Chairman.  Mr. Lavoie, who originally acquired the Company in 1992 and later sold in 2011, will continue to serve as CEO and board member with a significant investment in the Company.

Headquartered in Springfield, NJ, QEI offers automation products, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (“SCADA”) software solution, distribution management systems and related services to its customers in the mass transit, utility and water/wastewater industries.  QEI designs, implements and services turnkey automation systems that serve as a core component in their customer’s ability to operate, monitor and react.  

“I am excited to reacquire QEI in partnership with HCPI and Erik VanLaningham to execute the next chapter of our Company’s growth,” said Normand Lavoie, Chief Executive Officer of QEI. “I enjoyed getting to know the HCPI team and seeing their partnership approach in action.  Together with Erik, I look forward to leading QEI’s journey as we navigate the rapid growth ahead and implement our strategic plans to enhance our service offering and provide new solutions to our customers.”

HCPI executive advisor Erik VanLaningham said, “QEI allows for everyday management of business systems that have become more demanding and complex with the ever-increasing volume of data to interpret and integrate.  Under Normand’s leadership and with additional strategic investments, QEI is well positioned to continue to support its customer required investments in aging transit infrastructure and smart grid modernization.”

HCPI Managing Partners, John Kelly and Matt Moran added, “We are excited to partner with Erik and Norm to support QEI’s growth in its current capabilities and further end-market diversification.”

Winston & Strawn LLP served as legal counsel to HCPI while Signature Bank of Chicago provided debt financing for the transaction.  England & Co. acted as financial advisors to QEI.


QEI offers automation products, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (“SCADA”) software solution, distribution management systems and related services to its customers.  QEI plays a critical role in its customer’s electrical management systems improving productivity, reducing costs and ensuring safe and efficient operations.  QEI helps monitor and control power across various parts of its customer’s systems to allow for efficient management and trouble-shooting from a central point.  For more information, please visit https://www.qeiinc.com/.


HC Private Investments is a private equity investment firm focused on making investments in manufacturing businesses within the consumer and industrial markets.  The firm will also bring select family offices and individuals to participate in its transactions providing HCPI with a flexible and patient capital base.  With a focus of being the first institutional investor in a business, HCPI seeks to partner with business owners, executives and management teams to identify opportunities to remove impediments to growth enabling companies to maximize their full value potential. For more information, please visit www.hcprivateinvest.com.

For more information on QEI, please contact:

John Kelly at jpk@hcprivateinvest.com

Matt Moran at mjm@hcprivateinvest.com

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