Tom Barker

Tom has spent his career managing complex processes and teams.  During his 21 years as a Navy SEAL, Tom managed complex operations within his team and coordinated large joint operations with other agencies and foreign countries.  During Tom’s tenure, he developed a reputation for driving efficiency, clear communications, and implementing best practices in increasingly large operations.    After leaving the military, Tom joined Booz Allen, leveraging his analytical and management skills as a consultant to drive operations process improvements. 

Given Tom’s background, he has built an extensive network throughout the firearms and defense industries. He adds great value to Ascendant’s clients because of his analytical skills and leadership credibility. 

Tom has a BS degree from the American Military University, which he obtained while still on active duty, and an MBA from the University of Montana.  He lives in Whitefish, Montana, with his wife, Louise, and 3 children.

Contact Tom:


Matt Ridenour

Before joining AAG in 2021, Matt spent 25 years in private equity as an investor and CEO of several high-growth PE-backed firms.   Most recently, Matt served as Chairman and CEO of ZEV Technologies, a firearms company that grew at an average annual rate of 40% per year for 6 years under his leadership.  

Before joining ZEV, Matt spent 20 years serving as CEO or lead investor in PE and venture capital firms.   Matt has served on over 20 Boards throughout his career, serving as Chairman of half of these.   Before these experiences, Matt was with the strategy consulting firm Bain & Company in its M&A / Private Equity Advisory Practice. 

Matt graduated with highest honors from Harvard Business School and has a degree in Economics from Dartmouth College.    He splits his time between Whitefish, Montana, and his home outside Los Angeles, California, with his wife, Simona, and their three children.


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Dev Warren

Before founding AAG, Dev had 20 years of experience as an operating executive, investor, and M&A advisor.    He has deep experience understanding the challenges of starting, funding, growing, and selling successful businesses. Dev is a dynamic speaker and coach, having worked extensively with the top 50 accounting firms in the world and delivering keynote addresses throughout multiple industries.

Before founding AAG, Dev worked with Anderson ZurMuehlen as a Director of M&A, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, directing process improvement, strategic planning, and visioning, and with M7/Imperium as CFO.   While in venture capital, Dev served as CFO, Director of Corporate Development, and Accenture Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Process Improvement Director.

Dev is active in fundraising and support for wounded veterans and their families. He has a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and lives in Whitefish, Montana, with his wife, Megan, and their three boys.

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Ryan Purdy is special counsel to Ascendant, and he works with our clients on corporate law, transactions, tax, and trust issues.   Before forming Frampton Purdy, Ryan worked in a private practice managing trust assets in Florida and Colorado; he also worked in Tokyo, Japan, as an affairs manager for a major trading firm on the Tokyo Stock and Foreign Currency Exchanges.   

Contact Ryan:


Tony Jonas engages with Ascendant when LEAN, supply chain, and manufacturing experience is needed.   Tony has been part of senior leadership teams of some of the largest plastics companies in the world, including over 25 years of leadership experience managing a multi-site $450 Million plastics consumer products business and developing a comprehensive continuous improvement strategy for a $16 Billion multi-national corporation.

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John Steinhoff engages with Ascendant clients on accounting and tax-related issues and during due diligence.    John has over 20 years of experience serving clients across many industries as a CPA.  John is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and serves on the Board of Directors of the Montana Society of CPAs.

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Wes Young:   Wes founded Wes Young and Associates, a premier wealth and estate management firm.   Wes engages with our clients to help them do tax, trust, and wealth management planning in general and particularly in the context of a business sale.  

Contact Wes: