Martin Hanaka

An Experienced Business Development Leader

About Martin Hanaka

Martin (Marty) E. Hanaka leverages more than 30 years of business development and leadership experience to serve as an operating partner at Highland Consumer Fund in Massachusetts. An accomplished executive across many categories and business situations, he brings to the company his exceptional skills in strategic assessment and revenue building. In addition to his responsibilities with Highland, Martin E. Hanaka also acts as a managing partner of Riverside Ventures, LLC, a real estate development company in Fort Lauderdale.

Prior to his current ventures, Marty Hanaka was CEO and chairman of Golfsmith in Austin, Texas. He effectively implemented numerous changes, like climactic marketing tactics and a tiered competitive market policy, to reposition the company during a substantial industry downturn. Over the course of five years, he also increased the company’s web commerce, launched innovative retail format concepts, and introduced a worldwide licensing scheme.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Hanaka enjoyed significant success as an executive with Sears. He held a number of upper-level management positions before becoming the head of the strategic business unit for the company’s Brand Central division. While in this role, he yielded a $50 million profit gain in just his first year.

Entrepreneurship at Cornell University

Martin E. Hanaka brings four decades of executive experience to his current position as an operating partner at the Massachusetts Private equity firm Highland Consumer Partners. Prior to joining the firm in August 2014, he held such positions as chairman and CEO of both Golfsmith International Holdings, Inc., and Sports Authority, Inc. Outside of the office, Martin “Marty” Hanaka supports his alma mater, Cornell University, and has served on the Cornell Football Association, it's University Council, as well as its Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise Program, currently known as Entrepreneurship@Cornell (E@C).

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, places a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship. Its Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management sponsors the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute, which encourages undergraduate and graduate students alike to innovate and learn to identify entrepreneurial opportunities and evaluate their risk. However, entrepreneurship isn’t restricted to business majors and MBA candidates only, which is why Cornell created its university-wide E@C program.

E@C provides 100 entrepreneurship courses to eight of Cornell’s 14 schools and colleges, and some of these classes offer students the opportunity to work with local businesses. One of the more popular courses, the one-credit Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise Speaker Series, consists of lectures given by successful entrepreneurs, many of them Cornell alumni. A companion course teaches basic business concepts and focuses on generating ideas that can be developed into entries for a campus-wide competition.

E@C sponsors an annual celebration that features a broad range of symposia on various topics, such as social entrepreneurship, family businesses, and health administration. The 2015 celebration, to be held on the Ithaca campus on April 16 and 17, is expected to host more than 700 participants, including Cornell graduates who have successfully started new enterprises.

Boys and Girls Clubs of America Earns Volunteer Service Award

With expertise in strategic planning and business development, Martin (Marty) E. Hanaka currently serves as an operating partner with the Highland Consumer Fund and as the managing partner of Riverside Ventures. Martin Hanaka has also held numerous advisory positions with corporations and charitable organizations, including a role as national governor and trustee for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).

In a recent press release, BGCA announced that Junior Achievement USA (JA) awarded BGCA with a 2013-2014 US President's Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes organizations that perform volunteer hours with local JA chapters. BGCA received a bronze award for its contribution of volunteer resources over the course of the 2013-14 academic year. According to the press release, BGCA is one of only 50 organizations that earned a US President's Volunteer Service Award in the most recent award cycle.

The President's Volunteer Service Award program was introduced by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, a group established in 2003 to honor the impact of volunteer work in communities and encourage additional volunteerism. Three years after the initiative was founded, Junior Achievement joined the program as an official certifying organization for the President's Volunteer Service Award.

Boys and Girls Clubs of America Program Fosters Fitness and Nutrition

Martin (Marty) E. Hanaka uses his extensive business development and marketing expertise to serve as the managing partner of Riverside Ventures and as an operating partner with the Highland Consumer Fund. Earlier in his career, Martin Hanaka also helped Sports Authority establish the Fitness Authority program at the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to assist kids with nutrition and physical fitness. Marty served as a National Governor and Trustee of the BGCA for over ten years.

BGCA maintains a wide range of other fitness and recreation programs for club members, including the Triple Play initiative. Created in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services, Triple Play is BGCA’s comprehensive wellness program designed to improve the health of youth between the ages of 6 and 18. The program encourages club members to increase their participation in physical fitness, shows them how to develop healthy relationships, and educates them on good nutrition habits.

To foster overall wellness, Triple Play incorporates Mind, Body, and Soul components. The Mind program promotes healthy eating habits by exploring the power of choice, while the Soul component cultivates youth cooperation. In the Body program, club members of all ages can engage in challenging physical activities, such as Daily Fitness Challenges and Triple Play Games Tournaments.