Accomplished Chief Executive Officer with years of diversified CEO experience in creating significant shareholder value and liquidity in retail, manufacturing, Internet, and service intensive companies. Entrepreneurial, results-oriented leader effective in establishing strategic vision, impacting the bottom line at the basic level of corporate culture. Skilled at defining and executing growth opportunities by exploiting complex industry structure to the advantage of a company s business model. Cross-industry experience in implementing organizational transformation, high energy with excellent leadership skills, integrity, strong work ethic, and sound business judgment. Skilled at executive team building and growth strategies that produce sustained profitability. Strengths in: Strategic Partnerships and Alliances, Product Innovation, Organizational Change, Strategic Definition, Customer Satisfaction, Raising Capital, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Restructurings.
As a member of the Board of Directors (public and private companies),and CEO of five different companies, I am accustomed to stepping into stressful situations and restructuring with the duel purpose of solving current problems and creating a platform for consistent revenue and earnings growth to increase shareholder value.
Delivering a bottom-up approach to stabilization and growth efforts, I offer expertise in capital fund raising, M&A, operations, partnership building, and leadership with integrity to your senior executiveteam.My career is built on strategizing long-term tactics and seizing opportunities for innovation, service, positioning, and margin improvement to facilitate market share expansion whether through acquisition or organic growth.
My goal is to create a high growth company that is a leader in its industry, producing consistent and significant earnings growth, and to follow with a highly profitable liquidity event for shareholders.
I am looking for an opportunity to work with an exceptional group of investors, and to lead a company to its optimum growth performance that results in a very attractive ROI for all stakeholders.
Jan 2008 - Present
Consultant and Operating Advisor
Operating Advisor to various Private Equity and investment firms on growth strategies, turnaround & restructuring, CEO coaching and mentoring, internal and prospective talent evaluation, and business model assessment. Keynote speaker for and Consultant to the Josephson Institute of Ethics (the country’s leading non-academic institution whose mission is to improve the ethical quality of society by changing personal and organizational decision making and behavior), Los Angeles, for Fortune 500 and smaller companies on issues related to organizational and cultural transformation (www.jiethics.org). Advisor to several start-up companies in e-commerce and lifestyle.
Apr 2000 - Jan 2007
3 DAY BLINDS, INC.2000-2007
3 Day Blinds (www.3day.com) has become the largest vertically integrated retailer/manufacturer of custom window treatments in the United States, with 195 showrooms in 21 states coast to coast, and two large manufacturing facilities, one of which is in Mexico. Serving nearly 200,000 clients annually, the company was reinvented to become a high touch, high service leader in the home fashion space. With annual revenues approaching $150 million, the company became the leading innovator in its industry, generating organic growth of 50% over 5 years through numerous pioneering growth initiatives.
PRESIDENT/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER2000-2007
Responsible for all facets of company operations, reporting to the Board of Directors. When recruited by the private equity firm owning the company in April 2000, the company was suffering from a serious deterioration in profitability, 3 consecutive years of double-digit negative comps due to severe big box competition, an acute cash shortage, poor strategic execution, and an unusual $100 shareholder lawsuit stemming from its original sale in 1998.
· Redefined strategic positioning of the company’s brand, moving the company from a low-end provider to the premier upscale retailer of custom window treatments, resulting in average order size increases of 233% from $388 to $901 per transaction over five years.
· Negotiated favorable settlement of the $100 million litigation which threatened the survivability of the company.
· Completed two rounds of fund raising, the first a restructuring of debt and equity in late 2000, and the second a growth infusion of equity in early 2003, raising $50 million in new debt and equity capital. Completed the sale of the company in June 2006, managing the process from selection of investment bankers through closing.
· Produced five consecutive years of positive store comps and EBITDA growth; EBITDA improved from $3.9 million in 1999 to $11.1 million in 2006.
· Closed 40 marginally performing or unprofitable locations; opened more than 100 new or relocated showrooms; implemented disciplined store model economics in conjunction with detailed demographic/psychographic data from an outside data analysis firm.
· Reorganized the company, removing and replacing all senior officers except one within the first 12 months. Implemented strict income statement accountability. Established the core values of the company and its business mission. Improved personnel turnover from 180% annually to less than 40%.
· Developed a new showroom merchandising format, “Inspired Solutions”, which produced comp increase of 40% on average within the first year per location, and remodeled over 2/3 of the store system.
· Completely overhauled the company’s information systems and technology, putting key real-time data in the hands of front-line decision makers.
· Became the first company to introduce premium, celebrity-branded product line, the Christopher LowellCollection in 2002; followed with additional brands of Eddie Bauer, Laura Ashley, and Tommy Bahama. All brands were exclusive to 3 Day Blinds. New products introduced since 2000 represented 60% of all product sales in 2006.
· Introduced and patented the first absolutely child safe window covering approved by UL in the industry. Using this platform, the company created a new category of window treatment called window murals, and introduced the first collection for children with an exclusive license from Disney. Additional exclusive content licenses followed, including MLB, NBA, Star Wars, Smithsonian, Nickelodeon, NCAA, and numerous others.
· Introduced the first store-within-a store in the industry in partnership with The Great Indoors, followed with additional partnerships with Sears, Interior Specialists Inc., and Jo-Ann Stores.
· Introduced the first kiosk referral model with high data integrity in partnership with Costco Wholesale Corporation.
· Grew the in-home sales force of design consultants from 20 in 1999 to more than 200 in 2007.
· Introduced a new internally developed proprietary technology, iDesign, which enabled in-home design consultants to take a digital photograph of a room, download it into their laptops, color match using a PMS software program, and “drag and drop” various window treatment options to show the homeowner exactly what her purchase would be when installed, eliminating the problems of color coordination and visualization.
· Worked closely with the Consumer Products Safety Commission to establish child safety education guidelines patterned after the company’s own safety programs.
· Transitioned promotional medium from newspaper to television and online. Introduced e-commerce in 2002, and by 2006 nearly 1200 appointments per month were booked representing approximately $1 million in revenue per month.
· Relocated 55% of the company’s unit production to a maquiladora shelter operation in Ensenada, Mexico resulting in annual savings of approximately $3 million per year.
· Implemented a Lean reengineering initiative in manufacturing operations resulting in a substantial improvement in raw material inventory turns and labor productivity.
Mar 1997 - Dec 1998
Classroom Connect (www.classroom.com) was a private equity owned emerging high growth company in the rapidly expanding industry of Internet Education for K-12 teachers and students. First mover advantage in professional development and curriculum integration of the Internet, with divisions focusing on online expeditions, educator conferences, distance learning, and supplemental product development. Company valuation grew from $3 million to $50 million in 17 months.
PRESIDENT/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER1997-1999
Responsible for all aspects of company operations, reporting to the Board of Directors. Company was in turmoil in early 1997, suffering from legal difficulties involving copyright infringement, software piracy, illegal non-profit subsidiaries, and many breaches of contract representations severely affecting reputation.
· Removed incumbent management within 30 days of arriving; stabilized morale; initiated corrective processes for legal issues which resulted in complete resolution and restoration of company’s reputation by mid-1998; company’s valuation at its original acquisition date ofJanuary 1997 estimated by outside certified appraiser to be zero.
· Raised $23 million of equity through two private placement rounds, making numerous “road show” presentations, with the September 1998 round resulting in a post-money valuation of $50 million.
· Relocated company from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to California in late 1997; restarted employee base with 92 out of 100 employees hired since early 1997; expanded into three facilities.
· Installed completely new technology consisting of multiple partial T-3 connections, Windows NT operating environment; integrated new information and business systems throughout company operations; redesigned and implemented upgraded Web site and traffic analysis capability.
· Grew company 500% in three years, from $3 million in 1996 to a projected $15 million in 1999.
· Increased Web site traffic (www.classroom.com) by eightfold, from 12 million hits in 1996 to over 100 million in 1998; initiated Web site redesign project to include e-commerce.
· Negotiated and acquired EarthTreks, Inc., a Minneapolis based online expedition company, and expanded it into the leader in Internet expeditions for K-12 and the parental market.
· Recruited new senior management team, including a VP-Marketing, CFO, Controller, Technical Director, Director of Operations, and VP-Strategic Relationships.
· Initiated international distribution operations with local partners commencing with Japan in 1997.
· Supplemental curriculum product line doubled in 12 months; initiated distance learning project, the Connected University, for K-12 teachers CEU’s in Internet curriculum integration.
· Implemented new marketing direction, including the addition of a national sales force.
Oct 1990 - Mar 1996
Evans Rents Furniture, Inc.
EVANS RENTS FURNITURE, INC.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA1990-1996
$33 million upscale rent-to-rent company. Private equity owned, it became the largest and most profitable (1995 EBIT was $4 million) furniture rental company in California (fifth largest in nation) with 17 showrooms, 2 central distribution centers, manufacturing division, 250 employees , and over $28 million in assets.
PRESIDENT/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER1990-1996
Responsible for all aspects of company operations; reporting to the Board of Directors. Company was in severe financial distress in 1990, losing approximately $1 million per month , with declining revenues annualized at $12 million, about to default on $16 million in subordinated debt.
·Sold company in April, 1996, to strategic buyer for record valuation in industry (7.7 times EBIT).
·Completely restructured balance sheet of company, converted sub debt into non-voting equity, raised $5 million in new equity, and significantly increased senior debt capacity in a $47 million 1992 transaction. Negotiated and managed investor, investment banking and senior lender relationships, increasing the company’s access to debt capital by 400% after the recapitalization.
· Initiated Web site development effort in late 1993, resulting in first industry Web site on Internet by second quarter 1994; experimented with numerous e-commerce strategies commencing in late 1994, initially focusing on international transactions of relocating executives.
· Implemented customer driven strategy with innovative service offerings and internal customer culture which resulted in a 22% internal annual growth rate despite severe impact of recession on industry declining by 15% annually; improved salesperson and showroom productivity by 500%.
· Reorganized and rebuilt entire senior and middle management structure, focusing on promotion from within by developing and traininginternal candidates whenever possible.
· Significantly upgraded information systems, including all financial reporting and billing systems, order-entry, inventory management (OCR), service recovery, on-line scheduling and dispatching , purchasing, pricing, and field use of laptops.Nearly all software developed in-house by five person Knowledge ManagementGroup.Reengineered order fulfillment processes, automating and simplifying credit approval, inventory allocation, confirmation, scheduling, and contract completion, which reduced staffing requirement by 80%.
· Revamped merchandise mix, introducing numerous new products so that by 1996 75% of the product line was less than three years old.Achieved record industry asset utilization rate of 80%.
· Lead in-house preparation ofcompany’s application for the 1995 Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, which resulted in company being among40 national finalists out of 350,000 applications.
Apr 1987 - May 1990
Britannia Security Group USA, Inc.
BRITANNIA SECURITY GROUP USA, INC.
NEW YORK, NY1987-1990
$250 million London based multinational public (U.K.) corporation with operations in the security, protection, and records management industries throughout Europe and the United States.Strong acquisition orientation resulted in an average annual growth rate of 40%.
MANAGING DIRECTOR-U.S. OPERATIONS1987-1990
Senior U.S. Officer responsible for all operations in the United States, with special emphasis on management of the U.S. acquisition effort. Primary U.S. operations included Leahy Business Archives, a $35 million records management firm with operations throughout the Eastern Seaboard.
·Led a $52 million management buyout effort of the U.S. operations after the parent company had opted to focus exclusively on the Common Market , receiving financing commitments from debt and equity sponsors; lost at the final stage to an industry competitor. Competition resulted in company being sold for record industry valuation (19 times EBIT).
·Planned and directed acquisition and financing program designed to create a U.S. replica ofthe European operation with a view towards a U.S. public offering of domestic operations.
·Initiated contacts with over 50 target companiesand commenced negotiations with 12, reaching agreement with six firms representing combined revenues of over $50 million, in a twelve month period.
Aug 1975 - Sep 1976
California State University - Fullerton
·California State University, Fullerton, Graduate School of Business Administration.Masters of Business Administration, August 1976, majoring in Marketing.Recipient of the University’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Graduated first in class.
·California State University, Fullerton, School of Business Administration.Bachelor of Arts, June 1975, major in Marketing.Member Beta Gamma Sigma honor society.
·George Washington University, Peter F. Drucker Executive Management Course, 1988.
·California State University, Dominguez Hills, School of Business Administration. Instructor Lecturer, Consumer Behavior, 1978-1981.
·Ernst & Young IPO Transformation CEO Retreat, 2004.
·Piper Jaffrey IPO Prep seminar, 2004.