Our Team

Robert M. Mitchell

Co-Founder, Managing Partner

As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Conestoga Capital Advisors, Bob oversees all aspects of the portfolio management and investment processes. In addition to his role as Chief Investment Officer of the firm, he also serves as Co-Portfolio Manager for the Small and SMid Cap Strategies.

Prior to founding Conestoga, Bob worked as Portfolio Manager/Analyst and Director of Equity Research at Martindale Andres & Company. While focusing his portfolio management and research expertise on a variety of companies, Bob was responsible for $100 Million in individual and institutional small cap accounts. Before joining Martindale Andres, Bob also worked with the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division where he analyzed the economic and financial aspects of various industries for evidence of antitrust violations.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Bob earned his M.B.A. from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business in 1995.

Joseph F. Monahan, CFA

Managing Partner, Portfolio Manager, Research Analyst

Joe is a Managing Partner and Co-Portfolio Manager for the Small Cap strategy. He also serves as an analyst for the firm's SMid and Mid Cap equity strategies.  Joe is Conestoga's Director of Research, where his responsibilities include coordinating the firm's fundamental research approach to selecting securities.

He joined Conestoga in December 2008 from McHugh Associates, where he was Senior Vice President/Portfolio Manager and a member of the firms Investment Committee. Prior to joining McHugh in 2001, Joe was a Vice President and Portfolio Manager at Pitcairn Trust Company. 

He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. He also earned a Masters of Business Administration from Temple University. He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Philadelphia.

Derek S. Johnston, CFA

Portfolio Manager, Equity Research Analyst

Derek joined Conestoga Capital Advisors in May 2015 and became Co-Portfolio Manager for the firms SMid Cap Growth strategy on February 1, 2016.  He also provides equity research across the Small- to Mid-Cap universe.  His has twenty years of experience in the financial investment industry.

Prior to joining Conestoga, Derek worked as a Co-Portfolio Manager for small and smid cap portfolios at 300 North Capital, LLC, located in Pasadena, CA (2007-2015). He also served as an Equity Research Analyst for small cap equities at Engemann Asset Management for two years, and as an Equity Research Associate at Banc of America Securities for three years. Earlier in his career, Derek worked at Thomson Financial, Caspian Securities, Inc. and Smith Barney, all based out of New York, NY.

Derek received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1995 from Boston College, and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. He has been a CFA Institute Charterholder since 2003.

Larry Carlin, CFA

Equity Research Analyst

Larry joined Conestoga Capital Advisors in May 2015 and is responsible for researching Small-to-Mid Capitalization companies. His experience spans over sixteen years in the investment management industry. Throughout his career, his focus has been primarily on Small and Mid Capitalization equity research.

Prior to joining Conestoga, Larry worked with Columbia Partners in suburban Philadelphia, providing fundamental research for long-only portfolios and a hedge fund for six years. From 2004 to 2008, he served as an Equity Analyst at Redstone Investment Management. Earlier in his career, he spent six years as a Portfolio Manager/Equity Analyst at Kalmar Investments, Inc.

He was also a Financial Analyst/Project Manager at Investment Counseling, Inc. Larry earned a Masters of Business Administration degree from Georgetown University, as well as a Masters of Arts in Economics from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Villanova University. He has been a CFA Institute Charterholder since 1997.

David R. Neiderer, CFA, CPA

Equity Research Analyst

David joined Conestoga Capital Advisors in July 2013 and is responsible for providing equity research for both the small and mid cap equity strategies.

Prior to Conestoga, David had similar responsibilities as a Research Analyst at both Penn Capital and Chartwell Investment Partners. While at Penn, David worked across the capital structure, making recommendations for both the equity and high yield credit portfolios. Earlier in his career, David was an Assistant Vice President with Deutsche Bank, where he worked with the Distressed Products trading group, and was an Audit Associate at Deloitte and Touche.

David earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Accounting from the University of Richmond. He also earned a Masters of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a CFA Chartholder and a member of the CFA Society of Philadelphia. David is also a Certified Public Accountant. 

John E. Schipper

Head Trader

John joined the firm in July 2013 and serves as Conestoga's Head Trader.  He also supports other areas of the firm's operations and technologies.

Prior to joining Conestoga, John graduated from Haverford College with a B.A. in Economics. While at Haverford, he wrote a thesis comparing bank profitability between Eastern European countries throughout the financial crisis. John also attended the London School of Economics and Political Science as part of his studies abroad and was a four-year member of the College's lacrosse team.

He currently holds the Series 65 License.

Duane R. D'Orazio

Co-Founder, Managing Partner, Chief Compliance Officer

Duane serves as Conestoga's Chief Compliance Officer, and also oversees the company's systems, technology, and daily operations. His experience spans over nineteen years in the financial investment industry, ranging from equity to fixed income securities.

Duane was employed by Martindale Andres & Company prior to Conestoga, as equity and fixed income trader. At Martindale, his responsibilities included trading for the Governor Funds, a complex of 11 mutual funds. Duane also worked as a trader for Keystone Financial and M&T Bank, trading equity and fixed income securities there as well. In 1998, Duane was a market maker on the equity desk at Hopper Soliday, where he made markets in more than 100 Pennsylvania banks and insurance companies. Prior to his position as a market maker, Duane was a mortgage-backed bond trader for Hopper Soliday for more than 2 1/2 years.

Duane graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dickinson College in 1996. He currently holds the Series 66 License.

Michelle L. Czerpak

Operations Manager and Client Service Coordinator

Michelle joined Conestoga Capital Advisors when the company was founded in 2001 and currently holds the position of Operations Manager and Client Service Coordinator. In these roles, she contributes to the account reconciliation process, trade settlement, account receivables, client reporting and also supports the company's client service and marketing needs.

Before coming aboard Conestoga, Michelle was employed by Martindale Andres & Company in 1999, where she worked in the administrative and operational departments.  She has eighteen years of experience in the investment management industry.

Michelle graduated from West Virginia University in 1998, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She currently holds the Series 63 License.

Alida Bakker-Castorano

Operations Manager and Performance Analyst

Alida joined Conestoga in June 2011, and is responsible for operations and performance analysis. In these roles, she contributes to the firms portfolio accounting and reconciliation processes, working closely with the various custodians of each of our clients. Additionally, she supports the trading desk and proxy voting process.

She joined Conestoga from Logan Capital Management, with prior experience at McHugh Associates, Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette, and Dean Witter Reynolds. She has over 30 years experience in investment operations and trading support. 

Mark S. Clewett, CFA

Managing Partner, Director of Institutional Sales and Client Service

Mark joined Conestoga Capital Advisors in January 2006 as Director of Institutional Sales and Client Service. In this role, he oversees the business development and client servicing functions of the firm. Mark also oversees the firms finances.

Prior to joining Conestoga, Mark was the Senior Vice President of Consultant Relations for Delaware Investments in Philadelphia, PA, overseeing institutional consultant relationships, as well as developing new business opportunities and servicing clients. During the years 1990 through 1996, Mark was an Investment Analyst at SEI Investments in Oaks, PA. He served in SEI's Investment Management Unit, selecting and overseeing sub-advisory managers for the firm's institutional mutual funds.

Mark received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1990 from the Pennsylvania State University. He has been a CFA Institute Charterholder since 1997, and currently holds the Series 6, 26 and 63 Licenses.

Jeffrey A. Riggs, CAIA, CIMA

Institutional Sales and Client Service Officer

Jeff joined Conestoga Capital Advisors in August 2016 as Institutional Sales & Client Service Officer. In this role, he is responsible for business development and client service.

Prior to joining Conestoga, Jeff held research positions with Lincoln Financial Group and Nationwide Fund Advisors. At Nationwide, he was Director of Manager Research with responsibility for manager selection and oversight for the firms U.S. and International Equity Funds. From 2006 to 2010 he was a Quantitative Analyst at Turner Investments providing research and analysis for the firms investment strategies. Earlier in his career Jeff served as a Product Specialist for Brandywine Global Investment Management and a Marketing Associate at Delaware Investments.

Jeff earned a B.A. in Finance from Western Michigan University and an M.B.A from La Salle University. He holds the Chartered Alternatives Investment Analyst (CAIA) and Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designations. He currently holds the Series 6, 63 and 65 Licenses.