I have over 25 years of hands on experience in the financial and business management of entrepreneurial companies.
As founder and CEO of Straight Line Management™ I specialize in providing financial expertise and mentoring to high-potential early stage companies. I help them to increase profitability, secure funding, evaluate and capitalize on opportunities, streamline financial operations, and get the financial side of the business under control.
Since launching my Straight Line Management consulting company in 1991, I have served as a trusted advisor to more than 60 early-stage companies, both traditional and web based, across a variety of industries including software and game companies, high and low tech manufacturing companies, wholesale distribution companies, product and services companies and non-profit organizations.
Prior to starting Straight Line Management I served as Chief Financial Officer for three high technology companies, served in senior financial and operational management positions (including VP of Finance and VP of Operations) in several other high growth companies, and established, ran and sold my own successful consumer products company.
I have extensive experience in strategic planning, capital raising strategies, financial management and forecasting, business plan preparation, and development and streamlining of management reporting systems and controls. I received my MBA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1976 and became a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California is 1978. I am also a Fellow of the Larta Institute, where I conduct workshops and mentoring sessions for entrepreneurs.
As CEO and founder of Straight Line Management I work at the senior level, as a trusted advisor to CEOs, CFOs, Boards and investors. In high-potential companies I counsel senior management and guide existing staff towards the identification of profitable business opportunities, the solution of complex financial problems, and the development of improved management systems. I help your company create a strong and credible financial foundation that will attract investors. I also work with investors to assess and develop the financial strength of their potential investments and portfolio companies.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about family, religion and baseball. I’m really passionate about the game of baseball. Baseball teaches you that little things can make a huge difference. No baseball player has complete control over where the ball is going to hit the bat or where it’s going to go. All he can do is increase his probabilities and give it his best shot by learning the proper technique. The same principal applies to entrepreneurship.
What one piece of advice would you give to an early stage startup regarding your area of expertise?
I’m going to give two. Don’t count on your business to support you and your family. You need to lower your personal overhead and if you’re married or living with a significant other, you need to do this together and be on the same page about financial expectations. If these things don’t align, this greatly increases your chance of failure. Don’t spend anything on your business that doesn’t bring value to the business itself.
You need to understand that the real purpose of a financial model is not to predict the future, but to demonstrate that you know how to execute and that you understand the ins and outs of your business. This mindset will assist you when having investor conversations.
What do you like best about mentoring at the Preccelerator?
I love sharing knowledge. I love teaching. I’m a natural-born teacher, and if I wasn’t a CFO consultant, my choice would be to be a college professor at a business school. I also enjoy the sense of community.
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