Preserve. Promote. Revitalize.

Executive Director

In October 2016, LeJuano Varnell began serving as the Executive Director of Sweet Auburn Works, Inc., the preservation-based economic development organization created to protect and enhance the commercial and cultural legacy of the Sweet Auburn Historic District.

With over 18 years of diverse private sector operating and finance experience, Varnell has drawn on those skills to create a career of using private capital to solve complex market problems.

He developed an expertise in business finance while at Fleet Development Ventures (FDV), LLC, a $100M private equity fund wholly owned by FleetBoston Financial, Inc., now Bank of America. At FDV, Varnell invested over $20M in private capital to entrepreneurs in the communications and IT industries, which included fund of funds investments that targeted those industries.

Before joining FDV, Varnell was the Founding Principal of Financial and Strategic Consultancy (FSC), a financial advisory firm. FSC provided business and financial consulting advice to start-up and pre-existing entities, included; business strategy development, process planning, financial modeling, fairness opinions, merger and acquisition advisory, and capital raising strategies.

His success at FSC led him to Dubai with Orient Global, now the Chandler Corporation, a Singapore-based family-office investment institution. Varnell co-led and executed comprehensive emerging markets strategies for investments in small and medium-sized businesses through direct and indirect principal investments. In this capacity, he developed the Africa investment strategy and was solely responsible for deal sourcing in East and Southern Africa.

Most recently, Varnell pursued acquisition opportunities for his search fund, Three Blind Mice. He served as interim CEO and COO for privately-held middle-market companies, including petroleum distribution companies, solid waste, and transport companies located in South Africa, Nigeria, and the US. Each acquisition required hidden value discovery. He developed financial models, business development opportunities, start-up activities, turnaround management, and go-to-market strategies, all on boot-strapped budgets.

Varnell received a BA in Economics from Morehouse College and an MS in Finance from the Carroll School of Management, Boston College. He is an avid outdoorsman, and when not hiking or biking, enjoys cooking with friends and family.