Turnaround Specialist

I would say I am attracted to situations in which a product line(s) is undervalued with little marketing support, brand identity is lacking, the organization is in need of a brand awareness campaign, and there is an opportunity for increased sales revenue and profit.

Faced with extreme challenges, companies may hire someone like myself to help them get back on track. One of the biggest benefits of hiring someone like me is objectivity bringing a fresh set of eyes and perspective. With this objectivism, some recommendations may seem unpopular, but these future decisions that, while difficult, are in the best interest of the company.

In some of my situations the organizations have hit a temporary rough patch but in some cases the problems are deep. While industry experience is one factor when considering potential turnaround specialists, experts say it’s usually less important than the specialist’s experience in dealing with real-world crisis situations. Lots of hours are spent interviewing all levels of staff asking about big-picture strategy, goals, and overall direction.

Based on the feedback, I usually prepare a plan of action that details my recommendations and milestones for reaching performance benchmarks. There’s usually no time to waste and even though I am introducing a new sales and marketing plan I am usually responsible in my first year for growing sales and keeping the marketing costs down. The plan serves as the road map for the turnaround. We measure the organization’s progress toward reaching the benchmarks at predetermined intervals agreed to everyone.


Always ready to be held accountable for the performance of the business unit in some way. More specifically, this usually means that I meet the targets that have been set, within the budget that was identified and was needed to deliver on those targets.

Drilling down further, there’s usually an expectation that I will :

  • Model the business units expenditure and operational plan
  • Monitor expenditure and progress against the plan
  • Keep people informed on expenditure and delivery
  • Take appropriate measures to keep these on course

In managing P&L you learn to appreciate how an entire team contributes to your success. For every public star, there are often multiples of role players who actually do the work, keep the lights on, close leads, and generally comprise the business. Great teams make for sustainable businesses, not individual performers.

Experience in Business Planning and Analysis

  • Define and implement marketing and sales strategies
  • Performance metrics and tracking
  • Conduct ROI analysis
  • Research new marketing ventures
  • Use business planning techniques to develop sound business recommendations
  • Oversee data analysis and report generation to monitor performance and trends but also identify training opportunities

Corporate Culture

Having been at multiple organizations over 27 years has allowed me to experience and evaluate corporate culture.  You admire the good beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires. I have noticed that it can vary between departments and there can be inconsistency between managers.

Three organizations shaped my beliefs on corporate culture. During my early years at Shumsky they had company activities and consistent communications for the employees.  Brandvia developed culture between 200+ employees in 17 branch offices.  Cintas has 27,000 employees in 300 locations and each new employee receives a copy of a book written by Founder, Richard Farmer, titled The Spirit is the Difference, that documents the expectations of the Cintas corporate culture.

Working at the Desk

Although my title at American Thermal Instruments was Vice President of Sales & Marketing I uncovered an opportunity to create a new corporate culture program for the employees. The company had recently moved from a 10,000 square foot facility where the employees were on top of each other to a newer 78,000 square foot facility that separated individuals and entire departments. Culture Club was approved by management, a budget was created and a small committee from different departments looked to bridge the gap between the “carpet” (Sales, Marketing, Executive Management, Accounting and IT) and the “concrete” (Production, Quality, R&D, & Shipping) where most of the employees were located.