MEET THE SVA TEAM
Sean Hutchinson, CEPA, CMAA
Over my 25+ years in business, the best lessons I’ve learned have been from business owners who have generously shared their stories of success and struggle, and allowed me to offer insights and guidance based on my experiences.
We share a bond. I’ve founded five companies, all of them with partners, some more successful than others. I’ve led a fast-growing global company as a very green, but hard-working and quick-learning, 34-year-old who everyday had to make big decisions with big implications. It became the largest firm of its kind in the world. And, maybe most importantly in this case, I’m the 3rd Generation heir to my family’s 62-year-old custom millwork manufacturing business. I’ve sat in your chair many times and I love being an entrepreneur.
As one of the three founders of SVA, my role is once again to fulfill the responsibilities of the Chief Executive Officer. I focus on strategy and growth – in other words, our Company of the Future. And that’s where I help our clients too – working with owners and their leadership teams to imagine what could be, can be, and will be their Company of the Future. I see my work as transformational, not just transactional. It’s all about getting you “Ready for Next.”
Over the years, in order to serve our clients better, I’ve invested heavily in education. In addition to my Masters degree from Miami University of Ohio, I am a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA), Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor (CMAA), and I hold the FINRA Series 79 and 63 securities licenses. I serve on the Board of Directors for three private companies, including my family’s business. I speak frequently to owners and professional advisors across the USA.
I invite you to call me for any reason related to Value Acceleration and Transition-Readiness, but especially if it’s time for you to think big. I learn something valuable from every conversation with owners.
Barry Goodman, CPA
I grew up in a business owning family. My father was a distributor of electrical supplies and lighting fixtures in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Through the experience of working in my father’s business, at a very young age, the challenges of being a family in business are engrained in my soul.
Having chosen not to go into my family’s business, I became a Certified Public Accountant and owned my own CPA firm for over 20 years and then did my own transition to be a founding partner in a firm that grew to become one of the most successful middle-market firms in Chicago. The lessons I learned from the business owning families I served, enabled me to gain a reputation for recognizing a business’ strengths and challenges and identifying what could hold it back or push it to the next level. Seeing business owners make good and poor business and transition choices made me realize I had a passion for families-in-business, and I decided to focus my expertise and hands-on experience on a disciplined approach and process tailored to families and non-family stakeholders.
As an Advocate for the Outcome™ I have successfully worked with families and closely-held businesses to:
- Transition the ownership of a distribution company to the second generation.
- Facilitate of the sale of a closely held technology services company to a publicly held company.
- Facilitate the purchase/sale of the shares to a third-generation married-in family member.
- Assessment of a second-generation health care business to determine viability and development of a Roadmap for future generations.
- Assessment of a healthcare research firm to meet the needs of retiring owner and to shift away from a lifestyle business.
- Assessment of a first-generation metal services company where there were working and non-working heirs in the business, and facilitation of a solution to be fair and equal for all parties.
I invite you to call me for any reason related to the Value Acceleration and Transition-Readiness, but especially
- Creative and methodical solutions to issues in your family or closely held business.
- Transition issues between generations
- Governance in your family or closely-held business
- You are considering a transition or sale, due to family issues or a sudden unexpected event
- Need information or education to become better acquainted with transitioning or value acceleration
- To get you “Ready for Next.”
To better service my clients, I have invested heavily in education. In addition to my degree from Northern Illinois University and being a Certified Public Accountant in Illinois. I became a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) in 2010 and Certified Merger Acquisition Advisor (CMAA) in 2014 and currently a candidate for an Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising bestowed from the Family Firm Institute. I speak regularly to several organizations and business groups on Value Acceleration and Transition-Readiness. I have written an eBook, several articles and published in Family Firm Institute Publication the Practitioner.
My experience in the private business world has spanned over more than 35 years as an owner and entrepreneur in three different industries, including business wealth and value acceleration, personal financial planning, and executive search.
As founder and CEO of a financial planning firm, I developed programs and accumulated in-depth experience in personal wealth accumulation, risk reduction, estate planning, and tax advantaged income replacement strategies to harvest wealth for retirement. Earlier in my career, I established and ran one of the most successful executive search firms serving the hiring needs of fortune 500 companies. In my role as President, I worked closely with company executives gaining invaluable exposure to a wide spectrum of business related disciplines, including manufacturing and distribution, sales and marketing, finance, human resources, and organizational leadership.
As one of the founding partners of Strategic Value Advisors, I work with owners to guide them through our unique and proprietary process to transform their business into one of the most valuable and competitive “transition ready” companies in their industry.
At SVA, “transition ready” means you and your team understand and are always focused on managing the key metrics that will create optimal value and financial performance, regardless of your intended timeframe for a transfer of ownership. Achieving this requires a disciplined approach to mitigate the risks that are driving down the value of your business, and implementing a disciplined roadmap of action steps to strengthen it and create extraordinary, predictable performance, and transferrable value in a best-in-class business.
If accelerating the value and transition readiness of your business is something that interests you, give me a call. In addition to our on-site support, we also offer interactive educational classroom programs designed to increase your knowledge and expertise on this subject.
Continuous education is my passion. In addition to my BBA from the University of Miami, I am a graduate of FAU’s College for Financial Planning. I also have earned several professional designations, including Certified Financial Planner, Certified Exit Planner, and Certified Business Exit Consultant.
David Kallen, CEPA
I GET IT… it’s difficult to predict when will be the right time to transition your business, and it’s even harder to be confident that you can maximize value when you do.
My business career started at my family’s private label cookie company, which we sold to Keebler in 1993. After helping to successfully integrate the business, it was time to go back to my entrepreneurial roots. In 1999, I bought a specialty food company with thousands of customers including Cracker Barrel, Amazon, Hallmark, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kroger, and Publix, to name a few. Fast forward through the Great Recession, cancer, and a bone marrow transplant – it was time for a shift in priorities.
I discovered during the sale of my business that I enjoyed the process, and soon after the transaction, I became Managing Director of a boutique M&A firm focused on lower middle market companies. During my tenure, I was exposed to many owners who wanted to transition, but would not be able to generate enough value from a sale, and were not personally prepared for “what’s next.” Seeing this significant need in the market, I earned an exit planning certification, and now enjoy helping fellow business owners prepare for a successful outcome for their company. Working with SVA allows me to leverage my 30 plus years of management, ownership, and M&A roles in the food and consumer industries, with SVA’s Best-In-Class transition planning and value creation services.
Given my background, I help clients in the development of:
• Efficient and effective marketing and sales processes
• Growth strategies for multi-channel customer markets
• The (sometimes hidden) intangible assets which significantly affect the valuation of a business
• Key differentiators which are attractive to strategic and financial buyers.
Please contact me if you have an interest in exploring any of these areas affecting value creation and the ability to have a successful transition. I would be happy to start a confidential discussion with you regarding the future of your business!
Samuel Sax, MBA
With more than 30-years of combined business experience in the corporate world, independent business strategy consulting, and as an entrepreneur in a family-owned business, I’ve gained valuable hands-on knowledge and experience that I am happy to share with our SVA clientele.
In my roles as Vice-President of Corporate Logistics and Chief Information Officer (CIO) in the Commercial Aviation heavy maintenance industry, I set the company’s long-range I.T. vision and lead teams in the design, development and implementation of state-of-the-art, fully integrated corporate-wide information systems. This increased our company’s competitiveness, reduced operational costs and risk, and improved the bottom line while ensuring a successful and cooperative adoption of the new systems through innovative Change Management Programs.
As V.P of Corporate Logistics, in addition to working with the industry’s major supply chain players, I developed strong working relationships with many family-owned businesses supporting the company’s materiel and logistical needs. I developed a deep understanding of their concerns and how to meet the challenges of running their enterprises in a constantly changing business environment.
As an entrepreneur in a family business myself, I am very familiar with the unique challenges (and benefits), and the tremendous value of streamlining all aspects of operations to create and maintain Best-in-Class performance. Such discipline and commitment creates a consistent focus on maximizing value and constant state of Transition-Readiness.
I received my Bachelor of Art (BA) Degree in Management Information Systems with a Minor in Computer Sciences and my Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree from Florida International University in Miami.
Get in touch with me! I would welcome the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience to help you accelerate your business value and make it Transition Ready at any point. I can help you re-visit and further develop your business Vision as well as create the conditions and processes that lead to operational excellence and greater shareholder value.