“I’ve learned a lot as the CFO for growing entrepreneurial companies. These firms face both common and unique challenges, and while there is value in bringing what I’ve learned from a previous situation to a new one, the best solutions are rarely cookie-cutter. The entrepreneur, the circumstances and the available technologies are different. Each entrepreneur and situation deserves a solution that works for that company and CEO, and I excel at finding solutions.”
–Larry Levy, President
CFO Options, Inc.
Larry Levy, Founder, President & Consulting CFO
From an early start working for a family that owned two radio stations in Stamford, CT, Larry Levy has spent his entire career helping to grow entrepreneurial companies. For over 30 years, he has served in such leadership roles as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), VP of Finance, Controller and Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Along the way, he has:
- Built accounting systems, procedures and departments from scratch
- Overseen accounts payable, payroll, cash flow management and expense control
- Prepared budgets and financial statements
- Performed due diligence for acquisitions
- Raised capital and closed acquisitions
- Designed and implemented incentive plans for salespeople, middle management and executives.
Today, as Founder and President of CFO Options, Larry brings tremendous insight to fast-growing entrepreneurial companies that require his expertise in managing cash flow, building systems and analyzing information to make critical business decisions.
Larry earned his B.A. in Economics from Vassar College and his M.S. in Accounting from Pace University’s Lubin Graduate School of Business. He is a CPA.
Steven Sandstrom, Consulting CFO
Steve has served in financial and operating executive positions for small and lower middle-market companies supported by private equity, venture capital and family wealth. His accomplishments have included successful startups, reorganizations and turnarounds, as well as more than 30 merger and acquisition transactions. His efforts have often resulted in significant changes to compounded annual growth rate (CAGR), EBITDA and cash flow.
His broad industry experience emphasizes manufacturing and distribution, media and marketing services, business services, construction, software development, chemicals formulation and distribution.
Steve completed purchase of a small metal fabrication manufacturer with another partner in Morris, Illinois in November, 2015. That business quickly entered rapid growth, achieving 60% increase in 2016 revenues and has already increased more than 50% again in 2017.
He graduated from Bradley University with a BS in Accounting and is a CPA (Inactive).
James F. Brace, CPA, MBA, Consulting CFO
For 32 years, he served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or VP Finance & Treasurer of six companies in manufacturing, distribution, or health care services. Three of the companies were closely held, four were private equity sponsored and three were public. He has also provided Part Time CFO/Consulting services to seven companies in the last six years.
Jim frequently assists clients on projects to improve customer and product/service sales and profitability reporting, banking and insurance issues, strategic and capital project planning, ERP systems and operations improvements, and M&A deal preparation and structuring.
Examples of specific project activities he has done include the following:
- Developed sales and profitability reporting for $10 million food distribution warehouse using limited data on product line sales dollars, volume, and labor costs. Was able to identify poorly performing product line and customers.
- Assisted $15 million multi line transportation company in structuring and negotiating the disposition of two of its three businesses – leasing and managed cartage.
- Assisted $1 billion automotive parts manufacturer choose, perform user training, and implement an Oracle ERP system to be used by multiple division operations.
Brace earned his A.B. degree in philosophy from Princeton University and his M.B.A. in accounting and finance from the University of Chicago. He also is registered C.P.A. by the state of Illinois.
John Y. Lafferty, CPA, MBA, Consulting CFO
John is a privately held business specialist with a concentration in delivering part-time CFO services to the small business community. He has a comprehensive background in dealing with seasoned entrepreneurs, start-up ventures, and emerging and mature businesses in a variety of industries. The specialized services he provides include: accounting and financial management services, development of revenue and operating expense models, preparing financing packages, advisory board services, implementing revisions to financial reporting systems, financial and operational analyses of proposed acquisition targets, and training in accounting and finance.
Lafferty has extensive experience in accounting, financial management and cash flow management. Clients keep returning to him to have their financial models tweaked, as needed, or reviewed to portray current economic conditions. He is known for removing the fear factor in business financial planning, and has been described as “having a very special gift when it comes to taking complex financial principles and helping non-financial people understand them.” His forward financial planning models can be used year after year by clients simply changing color-coded cell assumptions. The results ripple through the model. No other help is needed.
Lafferty earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Bradley University and an MBA degree from Northeastern University in Boston.
Jennifer Wenthen, Consulting Controller
Jennifer has been a VP Accounting and Controller for small-to-mid sized entrepreneurial firms for 15 years specializing in start-up IT, Investment Management, Professional Services, and Private Equity. She offers significant experience transitioning organizations through all phases of operations –rapid growth, downsizing, expansion into off-shore consulting, spinning off a start-up, fundraising, and acquisition due diligence. Her contributions led to the successful acquisition by a Fortune 500 Company. Highlights include:
- Works well with management at all levels and in all functional areas
- Oversight of all of accounting and fiscal responsibilities
- Hands-on managerial experience in all areas of financial reporting, cash flow analysis and budgeting
- Primary liaison to outside auditors and tax professionals
- Extensive knowledge of Quickbooks, spreadsheets and managerial reporting software
- Oversight of compliance and regulatory procedures and guidelines
- Experience in payroll administration, benefits and human resources
- Facility and asset management, including spearheading office expansion
- Maintain positive relationships and negotiate terms with banking and financial institutions and vendors
- Interpersonal skills essential for leadership and mentoring
Jennifer earned her MBA in Finance from DePaul University, and she has a BS in Accounting from Miami University, Oxford Ohio.
Patrick Lynch, CPA, MBA, Consulting Controller
Patrick has been working in accounting for over 20 years in the capacity of Controller, Director of Cash Management and as an Auditor – both internal and public accounting with a Big 4 firm. He brings to our clients a measurable record of improving operational and financial systems, improved cash flow and solid financial reporting. He is adept at identifying imperfect cost factors and processes and modifying or removing them.
Patrick believes that strong management of a financial team requires clarity of goals and proper planning with an emphasis on cash management. He believes in fostering an environment of excellence that helps an organization thrive. He is a mentor in his work, considered a talented business person and communicator in addition to being an astute and knowledgeable Controller.
Patrick is a finance and accounting maximizer who will help increase an organization’s operating efficiency and profitability while also enhancing employee, customer and vendor satisfaction. Strengths include analyzing, planning, negotiating and executing improvements in operational and financial systems significantly improving cash flow, creating richer and timelier financial reporting and enhancing a wide range of cost control efforts.
He is a CPA with an MBA from Arizona State and a BBA in Accounting from Iowa State.