I’m pretty much retired these days, but in my former life I was a business and corporate finance executive. I liked to focus on small to medium sized businesses – especially startups, turnarounds, and high-growth companies.
I am no stranger to finance and accounting, and I’m pretty decent at understanding operating results and creating strategies to grow revenue, accelerate cash flow, minimize non-core operating expenses, and navigate lender and investor relationships. I quickly learn what drives results, then focus on execution. This also means deciding what to put on the back burner. I like to identify competitive differentiators, then exploit those differentiators to create sustainable and transferable value.
I started my career with Price Waterhouse (now PwC). After public accounting, I held several C-level positions with both operations and finance oversight: executive leadership, strategy formulation, org structure, sales and marketing strategy, capital structure, transaction negotiations, even “armchair legal counsel.”
More recently, and prior to semi-retirement, I was an early stage investor and CxO consultant to several small, family-owned companies. In each situation, these companies had extraordinary growth potential, but needed growth capital and experienced executive leadership.
Alpine Advisory Group (2014 to Present)
Managing director of a boutique consulting practice that specializes in growth management, turnarounds, and the sale or recapitalization of small to middle market companies.
- Strategy development
- Leadership and organizational development
- Sales and marketing, brand development
- Growth management – prioritization and execution, profitability, capital investment, working capital management
- Strategic alliances, negotiations, business agreements
- Corporate finance – internal and external reporting, lender/investor relationships, capital structure, exit planning
Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. – CxO Advisor (TSX: CWEB; OTCQX: CWBHF) (2014 to October 2018)
Assisted in building Charlotte’s Web from an early stage family start-up to a publicly-traded middle market CPG company. Involvement touched all aspects of the business:
- Business strategy
- Assembling leadership team
- Sales and marketing, distribution strategy, brand identity
- Capital structure, resource allocation, growth management
- Family business transition management
Westone Laboratories (CEO from 2006-2013; CFO/COO from 2001-2004)
Prepared second generation family business for sale. Led company through a successful private equity transaction that met the goals of the family ownership group.
- Established key customer relationships with sustainable revenue streams.
- Spearheaded a successful reinvention of a nascent product segment into a new product category that delivered substantial growth from a new customer base. Without this, the company would not have been attractive to potential buyers.
- Developed monthly KPIs that demonstrated deep understanding and fiscal control of the business.
- Worked with investment bank to prepare Information Memorandum, led presentations to prospective buyers, closed transaction after a difficult marketing, negotiation and closing process. This was a complicated transaction involving multiple second generation family members.
Various Real Estate Project Development Entities – 2005
This was a one-year “leave” from Westone to help a local developer with a variety of residential and mixed use development projects.
- Assisted in divestiture of joint venture interests due to strong real estate market conditions and partner philosophy differences.
- Recognized early signs of a local real estate market top, and embarked on a strategy to “bulk sell” a 2,000 acre undeveloped land parcel in late 2005. This strategy proved to be timely – we all know what happened in 2008 – 2009. Admittedly, this was part sound business judgement and part good timing on our part.
Schuck Corporation – CFO – 1998 – 2001
Assisted regional real estate development company in financial and operations responsibilities. Company had a substantial investment in raw and partially-developed real estate.
- Prepared “hold and develop” vs. “sell now” forecasts, and encouraged ownership to embark on an orderly divestiture program. This resulted in several successful project exits prior to the dot-com crash.
- Structured an $11.4M bond financing for a major freeway interchange. This involved two adjacent landowners with competing interests.
- Significant involvement in sale of a high profile project in Northern Colorado Springs.
Sugarland Properties – VP-Finance
Full financial responsibilities for this developer of First Colony, a 10,000 acre master planned community in Southwest Houston.
- Enterprise and project-specific development financing.
- Navigated through a difficult market cycle (1980s energy crisis, S&L meltdown) with no foreclosures.
- Financial oversight over exclusive developer owned country club, 36 hole golf course and extensive sports and food/beverage operations.
- Active financial leadership of three major retail developments. Direct involvement in two investment sales that generated $80M proceeds.
Price Waterhouse – Houston
Audit client mix included small business, oil and gas, construction and health care products.