Toby Hatfield

Founding Principal

In 1963, Toby entered the family’s coal mining and distribution business, started by his grandfather in 1882. Toby founded River Trading Company in 1986, leading its growth into one of the preeminent mid-stream asset and merchandising based businesses for dry bulk commodities on the inland river system.

Expertise: Inter-Modal Terminal Design & Construction, Material Handling, Operations Management, Deal Structuring, Organizational Leadership, Commodities Merchandising & Trading

Sectors: Energy, Solid Fuels, Bulk Material Handling, Terminal Operations, Land Management, Logistics

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Management – University of Cincinnati

R. Alan Johnston

Founding Principal

Alan began his career operating mining equipment for his family’s underground coal mine. In 1986, he joined River Trading Company as a founding partner and has been instrumental in its growth over 30 years. Notably, he acquired, developed, and managed River Trading’s terminal businesses in West Virginia and Kentucky.

Expertise: Inter-Modal Terminal Construction & Management, Coal Trading & Terminal Services Sales, Timber & Mineral Rights Management

Sectors: Energy, Solid Fuels, Bulk Material Handling, Terminal Operations, Land Management, Logistics

Education: Bachelor of Arts in General Studies – Hampden-Sydney College

Ed Hatfield

Principal & President

In 1992, Ed started with River Trading Company as the fourth generation to join the family business, whose origins date back to 1882. In 2009, Ed was named President of the River Trading family of companies and now oversees businesses that employ more than 400 people.

Expertise: Executive Management, Deal Origination, Contract Structuring, Organizational Leadership, Commodities Trading

Sectors: Energy, Solid Fuels, Financial Structuring, Logistics, Distribution

Education: Bachelor of Science in Economics – University of Colorado

Jack Weiss


Since 1992, Jack has served as President of Cincinnati Bulk Terminals and expanded the terminal from primarily coal merchandising to a diversified operation that handles fertilizer, coal, fly ash, salt, metals, pig iron, and steel products.

Expertise: Inter-Modal Terminal Management, Business Development, Commodity Sales Management, Coal Terminal Design & Construction, Operations Management

Sectors: Maritime Industries, Bulk Materials, Logistics, Distribution, Coal Terminal Operations, Heavy Equipment Operations

Education: Bachelor of Science in Marketing – Northern Kentucky University

John Grantham


Before coming to River Trading Company in 2009, John held a variety of management and executive positions in the industrial energy sector, from startups to large private and public companies. As Partner for River Trading, Managing Director of Precision Vehicle Logistics, and President of Indian Creek Quarries, he drives the continued growth of multiple businesses in the portfolio.

Expertise: Executive Management, Deal Origination, Business Development, Organizational Leadership

Sectors: Energy, Logistics, Solid Fuels, Industrial Services, Aggregates

Previous Experience: Koch Industries, DTE Coal Services

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business – Emporia State University

Mike Brett


Mike began as a scale operator at Hatfield Terminals in 1984. From there, Mike has grown with the company to be involved in all aspects of the organization over 35 years, including transportation, logistics, accounting, sales, marketing, purchasing, IT management, human resources, software development, and contract administration.

Expertise: Contract Administration, Logistics, Transportation, Inventory Management, IT Infrastructure, Human Resources, Government Sales, Business Development, Process Controls

Sectors: Energy, Coal & Natural Gas, Terminal Management, Metal & Alloys, Bulk Materials

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Xavier University

Mike Dunn

Chief Financial Officer

Prior to joining Liberty Hill Equity Partners, LLC, Mike worked in senior finance roles at Procter & Gamble for over 20 years, most recently as CFO of their global oleochemical division. He also held corporate roles in investor relations, supply chain management, corporate strategy, and customer business development

Expertise: Finance, Strategic Planning, Value Creation Approaches, Business Development, Supply Chain Management

Sectors: Consumer Products, Commodities, Logistics, Manufacturing, Food Service, Lodging

Previous Experience: Procter & Gamble

Education: Master of Business Administration in Finance – University of Notre Dame
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Engineering – University of Notre Dame

Todd Penrod

Vice President, Business Development

Todd offers almost 30 years of experience from startups to Fortune 500 public companies. He leads Liberty Hill’s front-end origination, market strategies, investment opportunity development, and external marketing initiatives.

Expertise: Deal Origination, Business Development, Market Strategies, Investment Opportunities, Sales Management, e-Commerce, International Development Projects

Sectors: Energy, Solid Fuels, Cement & Construction Materials, Animal Feed Products, Metals

Previous Experience: Koch Industries, Aquila Energy, H&R Block, DTE Energy, Foresight Energy

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business & Economics – University of Kansas

Scott James

Vice President, Business Development – Cincinnati Bulk Terminals & Port of Cincinnati

Scott has 28 years of experience marketing river terminal services and creating opportunities using the infrastructure advantages of a location.

Expertise: Deal Origination, Business Development, Market Strategies, Investment Opportunities, Sales Management, e-Commerce, River Commerce

Sectors: Maritime Industries, Bulk Fuel, Commodities

Education: Bachelor of Science in Economics – University of Cincinnati

Learn more about us and get in touch

“As a result of working with the Liberty Hill group as its outside counsel for more than two decades, I have witnessed firsthand how the company conducts business in both good times and bad. In all conditions, they have exhibited a professional demeanor and business character that make me proud to be associated with them. In 2014, when the opportunity arose to bring them in as a partner in a land venture, doing so was an easy decision for me to make. Since then, the land venture has continued to grow with new opportunities that would not have existed without the contacts and diverse backgrounds of the principals.”
Doug McElwee, Principal, Greenbrier Land Company & Raleigh Land
“We have enjoyed a longstanding partnership with Cincinnati Bulk Terminals. Our supply chain is very important to the success of our plant, and CBT has played a critical role in that supply chain for over 20 years. We appreciate that CBT goes the extra mile when the circumstances require doing so and the fact that CBT has always had our best interests in mind from almost 200 miles away.”
Kevin Towne, Raw Materials Procurement Manager, North Star Bluescope Steel
“Liberty Hill are active and aligned partners, providing critical strategic, financial, and administrative support to the Precision team. They give us whatever level of involvement we want and work with a sense of urgency, allowing us to focus on our customers and our people. They stand behind us and beside us without standing on our shoulders. They have been great business partners at each stage of our company’s growth.”
Darrin McElroy, Principal, Precision Vehicle Logistics