Investment Team
Wayne Callahan

Senior Advisor

Wayne Callahan is Senior Advisor, Vestar Capital Partners, with focus on the consumer sector.  He was most recently President Global Walmart Business of H. J. Heinz where he led high-performing teams serving Walmart worldwide. Wayne’s focus was organizational design, business planning, team development, and overall growth.  As a member of Heinz President Council and Heinz Global Sales Council he lead customer business planning and best practice sharing for the largest global retail customers.  Additionally, he was a Director of Heinz joint venture board in South Africa.

Wayne is a customer-centered champion and owns the “Student of the Customer” trademark.

He now serves as Director on the Woodstream board.  Wayne is also Director for Arvest Bank and Delta Dental Insurance of Arkansas.  (Previous boards include Big Heart Pet and Del Monte Food)

On a personal basis, Wayne is past President of the Arkansas State Golf Association, current USGA Junior Amateur National Championship Committee member and Board Chairman of Mercy Medical System, Northwest Arkansas.

Wayne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business communication from Concordia University, Mequon, Wisconsin, and, a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Board Leadership Fellow.

The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and the recent hate crimes and incidents against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, including the attack on Vilma Kari are only the latest examples of centuries of racism, brutality, and discrimination against BIPOC people in our country. These events cannot be tolerated. Nor can they be observed in silence. They go against everything we stand for as individuals and as a firm, and they demand a response.

Vestar stands with those who fight against social injustice and condemns the prejudice and inhumanity so brutally demonstrated and clearly witnessed. We have always strived to do the right thing in our everyday business activities, but we realize now that isn’t enough, and we are committed to listening, learning, and doing more.

All of us at Vestar are recommitting to taking steps to effect permanent change. Beyond our longer-term commitments, Vestar has taken immediate steps to make changes within our own operations, including:

i.) Establishing the Equity, Inclusion and Community (“EIC”) Committee, which seeks to promote and provide ongoing educational resources and regular events on topics of anti-racism, equality, and social justice for all employees

ii.) Providing all employees with unconscious bias training

iii.) Conducting anonymous internal surveys to assess employee perceptions of the inclusivity of our culture

iv.) Improving our recruitment and retention initiatives by expanding our pipeline of candidates, conducting off-cycle hiring, and partnering with groups like SEO, a non-profit that provides educational and career programs to underserved and/or under-represented young people, to connect us with talented undergraduates for internships at our firm