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All Hands 2021 Award Winners

2021 Award Winners

Congratulations to these Associates for their recent award at the FocusCFO All Hands meeting.

Client for Life Award

Gold Level

Don Cain

CFO, Central Ohio

Tom Flynn

Area President, Central Ohio

Dan Bloom

CFO, Central Ohio

Client for Life Award

Silver Level

Pat Lang

CFO, Central Ohio

Jeff Lacy

Area President, Central Ohio

Jim McKinney

CFO, Central Ohio

Client for Life Award

Bronze Level

Ric Butler

CFO, Central Ohio

Don Cain

CFO, Central Ohio

Darren Cherry

Area President, Central Ohio

Jim Collins

Area President, Southwest Ohio

Scott Davis

CFO, Southwest Ohio

Mike Derringer

Area President, Central Ohio

Jon Doerer

CFO, Michigan

Jeff Farrington

Area President, Michigan

Tom Flynn

Area President, Central Ohio

Peter Geise

CFO, Central Ohio

Greg Gens

Area President, Northern Ohio

Jim Gilbride

Area President, Northern Ohio

Jeff Lacy

Area President, Central Ohio

Pat Lang

CFO, Central Ohio

Jim McKinney

CFO, Central Ohio

Bob Palmerton

CFO, Michigan

Todd Peter

CFO, Northern Ohio

Kyle Rhodebeck

CFO, Central Ohio

Jeff Semple

Area President, Northern Ohio

Skip Vermilya

CFO, Northern Ohio

Mark Vernallis

Area President, Pennsylvania

Todd Whetstone

CFO, Northern Ohio

Lynette Zody

CFO, Central Ohio

CFO Hall of Fame

Gold Level

CURRENT MEMBERS

David Bourke

Director, CFO Services

Bruce Collen

CFO, Central Ohio

Pat Lang

CFO, Central Ohio

Lynnette Zody

CFO, Central Ohio

CFO Hall of Fame

Silver Level

NEW MEMBERS

Sherif Matar

CFO, Central Ohio

CURRENT MEMBERS

Dan Bloom

CFO, Central Ohio

Don Cain

CFO, Central Ohio

Jim McKinney

CFO, Central Ohio

Jim Zins

CFO, Central Ohio

Joe Dougherty

CFO, Central Ohio

CFO Hall of Fame

Bronze Level

NEW MEMBERS

Ed Chong

CFO, Central Ohio

Bob Palmerton

CFO, Michigan

CURRENT MEMBERS

Wendy Brugmann

CFO, Northern Ohio

Will Cooper

CFO, Central Ohio

Dean Cole

CFO, Central Ohio

Kathleen Ferry

CFO, Northern Ohio

David Gouttiere

CFO, Northern Ohio

David Green

CFO, Central Ohio

Todd Peter

CFO, Northern Ohio

Jim Rowlands

CFO, Northern Ohio

Bob Stecki

CFO, Central Ohio

Skip Vermilya

CFO, Northern Ohio

Scott Lee

CFO, Central Ohio

Walter Himmelman

CFO, Northern Ohio

Scott Davis

CFO, Southwest Ohio

Richard Murch

CFO, Central Ohio

Ric Butler

CFO, Central Ohio

Area President Awards

Rookie of the Year

Michael Stier

Area President, Carolinas

Area President Awards

Rising Star

Lesli Matukaitis

Area President, Michigan 

Mitch Willis

Area President, Pennsylvania

Area President Hall of Fame

Gold Level

NEW MEMBERS

Forest Bookman

Area President, Northern Ohio

CURRENT MEMBERS

Mike Derringer

Area President,
Central Ohio

Tom Flynn

Area President,
Central Ohio

Jeff Lacy

Area President,
Central Ohio

Jeff Semple

Area President,
Northern Ohio

Jim Gilbride

Area President, Central Ohio

Area President Hall of Fame

Silver Level

NEW MEMBERS

Jim Collins

Area President, Southwest Ohio

Bob McAdams

Area President, Central Ohio

CURRENT MEMBERS

Darren Cherry

Area President,
Central Ohio

Fred Dannhauser

Area President,
Northern Ohio

Peter Geise

Area President,
Northern Ohio

Bob Miller

Area President,
Central Ohio

Area President Hall of Fame

Bronze Level

NEW MEMBERS

Mark Vernallis

Area President, Pennsylvania

David Tramontana

Area President, Pennsylvania

CURRENT MEMBERS

Jeff Farrington

Area President,
Michigan

Bob Miller

Area President,
Central Ohio

Greg Gens

Area President,
Northern Ohio

2020 Continuous Learning Award

Exit Planning Institute – CEPA

NEW MEMBERS

Kim Cooper

CFO, Carolinas

Mark Clower

Area President, Southwest Ohio

Michael Stier

Area President, Carolinas

Randy Feger

CFO, Pennsylvania

Mike Derringer

Area President, Central Ohio

Greg Gens

Area President, Northern Ohio

David Green

CFO, Central Ohio

Lesli Matukaitis

Area President, Michigan

Jeff Farrington

Area President, Michigan

Tom Bartos

Area President, Pennsylvania

Forest Bookman

Area President, Northern Ohio

Bob Palmerton

CFO, Michigan

Mark Rust

CFO, Pennsylvania

Peter Geise

Area President, Northern Ohio

Rex Bevis

CFO, Southwest Ohio

Lynette Zody

CFO, Central Ohio

VETERANS

David Bourke

Director,
CFO Services

Darren Cherry

Area President,
Central Ohio

Mark Clower

Area President,
Southwest Ohio

Kathleen Ferry

Area President,
Northern Ohio

Tom Flynn

Area President,
Central Ohio

Jim Gilbride

Area President,
Northern Ohio

Brad Martyn

Visionary and Founder
FocusCFO

Jeff Semple

Area President,
Northern Ohio

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Consumer’s Bank Testimonial

Consumer’s Bank Testimonial

“FocusCFO helped guide one of my lending clients during a time of significant decline in their business due to unforeseen drop in the demand of the industry they operate in. The FocusCFO team of Jim Rowlands and Jeff Semple provided financial guidance and professional management to this company with their hands-on approach, helping improve internal processes and cost management, resulting in improved financial and operating results that ultimately helped retire debt quicker. FocusCFO also helped improve communication and improved the client’s relationship with the Bank. I would highly recommend the FocusCFO team of experienced professionals to any business looking to maximize efficiency and profitability, and increase transferable value.”

Scott Lawrence, Vice President, Consumers National Bank, East Canton, OH

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Don’t Go it Alone – Smart Business Magazine

Don’t Go it Alone – Smart Business Magazine

By Jeff Semple

Why it’s critical to establish transferable value in your business

INTERVIEWED BY ADAM BURROUGHS

The largest asset on a business owner’s personal financial statement is typically their company. At some point in time, however, they’re going to want to monetize the value of that asset — in a sale, succession or private-equity driven liquidity event. To do that, the business must have transferable value.

“Transferable value is not what the value is to you, the business owner,” says Vistage International Chair and Focus CFO Area President Jeff Semple. “It’s what it’s going to be worth to somebody else.”

Smart Business spoke with Semple about how business owners can create transferable value in their company.

Why Should an Owner be Concerned with Transferable Vaule?

Business owners typically build a business based on what it can do for them. But at some point, they’re going to want to be able to monetize all the hard work that they’ve done over the years. That requires transferable value, which is built through business processes that are repeatable and predictable. It requires a team capable of carrying on the company’s critical functions — sales, operations, etc. — without the founder. If those aren’t in place, few buyers are willing to write an owner a sizable check for what essentially is a job. A strategic buyer may be interested in acquiring a competitor’s gross margin and customer base, but they may close the place down and roll the valuable assets into their own facility, which likely compromises the jobs of anyone working in the company. 

How is Transferable Value Built

Transferable value is built through systems and processes that enable someone else to make the decisions that the owner had made without directly tapping the owner’s experience, knowledge and expertise. It means having proper reporting, cash flow improvements, weekly operating rhythms, management reports — a flow of information that’s considered foundational to the business. That gives the new owner the ability to make proactive decisions based on where they want to take the business. On top that foundational reporting, there are elements that contribute to the health of the business such as gross margin, budgeting, forecasting, cash flow analysis, metrics and KPI’s. Those combined are part of the equation that can provide a path to proactively increase company value.

Buyers are also looking for a team with the ability to make proactive decisions without relying on the business owner. The more dependent the business is on the owner-operator, the less value it has to the person buying it.

When Should the Process of Building Transferable Value Begin? 

In a perfect world, building transferable value starts from the day the business begins. However, owners commonly put off building transferable value because the day-to-day grind always seems stand in the way. But the day to day is never going to go away — owners will always have a fire to put out and there will never be a perfect time. Every business owner is busy dealing with challenges. By putting off the work of creating transferable value, business leaders introduce risk into the enterprise because the business is too dependent on them and they aren’t able to predict how or when they’ll exit the business. They could have a plan, but that plan could be disrupted by a disagreement with partners; a death, disability or an accident in the family; something that’s going to essentially force the transfer or sale of the business well before anticipated. If the biggest asset on an owner’s personal financial statement is unprotected because there’s no certainty of when and how an exit could occur, it’s a risk that should be mitigated. Further, not being deliberate about creating transferable value often means owners will likely stay where they are while others who make time for these activities achieve the success that everybody is trying to get to. 

Business owners don’t have to do it all by themselves. It’s about leadership development and building a team with relentless execution because transferable value isn’t an event, it is a journey. 

Jeff Semple is an Area President for FocusCFO based in North Canton, OH. 

Founded in 2001, FocusCFO is the leading onsite fractional CFO services provider in the Midwest and Southeast. FocusCFO works closely with small to medium sized businesses helping business owners gain control over three key financial and operational areas: increasing cash flow, reducing business risk, and creating a platform for scalable growth. This allows business owners to then realize full financial control and increased value in their businesses. For more information, follow us on LinkedIn.

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All Hands 2020 Award Winners

2020 Award Winners

Congratulations to these Associates for their recent award at the FocusCFO All Hands meeting.

Client for Life Award

Gold Level

David Bourke

Leadership and Support Team
Director, CFO Services

Tom Flynn

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

Client for Life Award

Silver Level

Don Cain

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Pat Lang

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Tom Flynn

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

Jim Zins

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Jeff Lacy

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Lynnette Zody

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Client for Life Award

Bronze Level

Dan Bloom

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Forest Bookman

Northern Ohio
Area President

Darren Cherry

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

Mike Derringer

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

Kathleen Ferry

Northern Ohio
CFO

Tom Flynn

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

David Green

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Jeff Lacy

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

Pat Lang

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Jim McKinney

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Lyle Rhodebeck

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Jim Rowlands

Northern Ohio
CFO

Jeff Semple

Northern Ohio
Area President

Bob Stecki

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Jim Zins

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

CFO Hall of Fame

Gold Level

CURRENT MEMBERS

Lynnette Zody

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Bruce Collen

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

NEW MEMBERS

Pat Lang

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

David Bourke

Leadership and Support Team
Director, CFO Services

CFO Hall of Fame

Silver Level

CURRENT MEMBERS

Jim Zins

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Dan Bloom

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

NEW MEMBERS

Jim McKinney

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Don Cain

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

CFO Hall of Fame

Bronze Level

CURRENT MEMBERS

Wendy Brugmann

Northern Ohio
CFO

Joe Dougherty

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Skip Vermilya

Northern Ohio
CFO

Sherif Matar

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Jim Rowlands

Northern Ohio
CFO

Kathleen Ferry

Northern Ohio
CFO

NEW MEMBERS

David Gouttiere

Northern Ohio
CFO

Will Cooper

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Dean Cole

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Todd Peter

Northern Ohio
CFO

David Green

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Bob Stecki

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

Area President Awards

Rookie of the Year

David Tramontana

Southwest Ohio
Area President

Area President Awards

Rising Star

Darren Cherry

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

Bob Miller

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

Area President Hall of Fame

Gold Level

CURRENT MEMBERS

Tom Flynn

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

Mike Derringer

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

Jeff Lacy

Central and Eastern Ohio
CFO

NEW MEMBERS

Jeff Semple

Northern Ohio
Area President

Area President Hall of Fame

Silver Level

CURRENT MEMBERS

Jim Gilbride

Northern Ohio
Area President

NEW MEMBERS

Forest Bookman

Northern Ohio
Area President


Fred Dannhauser

Northern Ohio
CFO


Peter Geise

Northern Ohio
CFO

Area President Hall of Fame

Bronze Level

CURRENT MEMBERS

NEW MEMBERS

Bob Miller

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

Darren Cherry

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

Jim Collins

Southwest Ohio
Area President

Greg Gens

Northern Ohio
Area President

2020 Continuous Learning Award Exit Planning Institute – CEPA

VETERANS

Kathleen Ferry

Northern Ohio
Area President

Tom Flynn

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

Darren Cherry

Central and Eastern Ohio
Area President

NEW MEMBERS

David Bourke

Leadership and Support Team
Director, CFO Services

Jim Gilbride

Northern Ohio
Area President

Jeff Semple

Northern Ohio
Area President

Brad Martyn

Leadership and Support Team
Visionary and Founder

Mark Clower

Southwest Ohio
Area President

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What’s Your Business Exit Plan

What’s Your Business Exit Plan

By Jeff Semple

Recently, I was introduced to a Business Owner of a manufacturing company who had decided it was time to sell. He was 67 years old and was tired of working 6 days a week. The company was profitable and he made a nice living, but he wanted to spend more time, in his words, smelling the roses. I asked a few questions that all had the same answer: I am or I do. Who is your best sales person? Who runs manufacturing? Who does purchasing? Then I asked what do you think the business is worth? And the Business Owner explained he had heard that other manufacturing businesses had sold for 5x, 6x or sometimes higher multiple of earnings.

After thinking about what he had just explained to me I said, “so if I understand correctly, you want someone to write a check for a significant amount of money so they can be the sales person, purchasing manager, plant manager and work 6 days a week? Or in other words write a big check for a job you don’t even want.”

I felt bad saying it but it was better to prepare him, than for him to find out the hard way when he tried to sell his company, expecting a big pay day. Now he could find a strategic buyer (i.e. a competitor, supplier or maybe a customer), who would be primarily interested in his gross margin, likely letting all his people go and folding the operation into their current business. However, the Business Owner said his employees were like family and had been with him a long time. He wanted to make sure they didn’t lose their job. Having no children that wanted to join the business, and no management team with the ability to buy the business, left us with the single option of selling to a 3rd party.

The conversation turned to if I were a buyer with the ability to write a check for a significant sum of money, I likely would not want a 6-days-a-week job. As the buyer I would then need to hire a salesperson, purchasing person, plant manager and expect a return on my investment. The problem is if I do that, there wouldn’t be any profit left.

Now the problem is becoming clearer and I can see the disappointment on the business owner’s face. He said, “I’ve devoted my adult life to building this business, provided a nice living and now want to enjoy the fruits of my labor but and you’re telling me it’s not worth enough for me to retire?” I explained that it may not be at this moment but that doesn’t mean it won’t be. We just need a plan!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a story like this when I speak with business owners. This is why I am passionate about helping business owners who end up in this same spot, with this same problem.

I know many of you will think that’s not you as your business is different. But, are you sure? You are gambling with your company and betting on a different outcome. I read a statistic that said 8 out of 10 businesses that go on the market will not sell, or will sell at a substantially reduced price, because of the lack of transferable value. For Business Owners having 80 or 90% of their personal wealth tied up in their business, this is a scary statistic. Which are you going to be? Will you be among the 20% that sell or the 80% that don’t? Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it’s better than having regret.

Jeff Semple is an Area President for FocusCFO, based in Canton, OH.

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