I’m pretty much retired these days, but in my former life I was a business and finance executive. I liked to focus on small to medium sized businesses, especially startups, turnarounds, and high-growth companies (i.e., no layers of management, committees, etc.). It’s always fun to help put the foundation in place for growth and market leadership – and a future sale or recapitalization.
I’m no stranger to finance and accounting, and I’m pretty decent at understanding operating results and implementing strategies to grow revenue, accelerate cash flow, minimize non-core operating costs, 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 finance and operations oversight – enterprise and project financing, sales and marketing strategy, product line diversification, 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. Broad-spectrum experience and expertise:
- Strategy development
- Leadership and organizational development
- Sales and marketing, brand development
- Growth management – prioritization, execution, capital allocation, working capital management
- Strategic alliances, negotiations, business agreements
- Corporate finance and recapitalization initiatives
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 formulation
- Organizational development
- Sales and marketing, distribution strategy, brand identity
- Family business transition management
- Capital structure and growth 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, and made the Company attractive to prospective 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 protracted 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 assist 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 (NPV analysis) 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.
- 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 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.