Our Team

Brian J. Knez

Brian J. Knez / Managing Partner


Brian J. Knez is a Founding Partner of Castanea Partners with over 20 years of senior executive management and operating experience in the branded consumer products, retail, professional publishing, and education sectors.

Formerly, Brian was Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Neiman Marcus Group Inc. where he was also co-CEO from 1999 to 2001 and was a member of the Board of Directors from1998 until the sale of the company in 2005. Prior to co-founding Castanea Partners in 2001, Brian was co-CEO of Harcourt General from 1999 until its sale in 2001 and was a director of the company from 1995 to 2001. At Harcourt, Brian held a number of additional management roles, including President and co-Chief Operating Officer and President and CEO of Harcourt, Inc., the publishing subsidiary of Harcourt General. Before joining General Cinema Corporation (predecessor to Harcourt General) in 1986 as Assistant to the President of General Cinema Beverages, Brian was an associate at the law firm of Choate, Hall and Stewart where he specialized in corporate law.

Brian received a J.D., cum laude, from Boston College Law School, where he was editor of Law Review, and a B.S. with highest distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Arizona.

Brian currently serves as a director and a member of the executive committee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, and is a director and Treasurer of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

For Potential
Portfolio Companies

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Press Releases

  • Castanea Partners announces investment in Brew Dr. Kombucha

    FEBRUARY 2018 - Castanea Partners announced today that it has made a minority investment in The Townshend Group, the parent company of Brew Dr. Kombucha.

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Media Coverage

  • Janet Gurwitch's Interview on MouthMedia Network Beauty Is Your Business Podcast

    MAR 2018 - Download the podcast now on Beauty is Your Business or iTunes.

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Other News

  • Q&A with Partner at Castanea Partners, Tim Burke

    NOV 2017

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  • Janet Gurwitch speaks at 2014 Texas ACG Capital Connection

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