A serial entrepreneur and business leader with a passion for helping business owners amplify their vision and impact, through belief, strategy, and team alignment.
I Am constantly evolving
I live by the belief that if someone smart has already figured something out, why not replicate the best of the best, and then expand and amply it for greater impact.
Some fun facts about me. As a high school graduate I worked for a large manufacturer of hearing aids from the age of 18 to 27 years old. When I decided to leave and start my own company, I was making six figures running the sales teams. Leaving was hard and scary but I knew I wanted to start a company, so that set the tone from my first transformation.
MY CORE VALUES
I founded my first company at age 28, Sonus, where I served as Founder and CEO for seven years. I learned a lot about raising money from high net worth individuals, private equity firms and strategic partnerships. Over five years, I made over 150 presentations to raise capital, completed over 100 acquisitions, and created distribution agreements with over one thousand independent business owners and dozens of suppliers. With four separate equity raises totaling 38 million dollars, and negotiating 20 million in strategic debt financing I learned a lot about the process, and different equity and debt structures, not to mention negotiation skills in purchasing businesses.
I have been the CEO and Chairman of both a Canadian listed and US listed public company. Another fun fact is that when I listed Sonus on the American Stock Exchange in 1998, I was one of the youngest people to do so. Being the CEO and Chairman of a public company, I learned a lot about the importance of governance, leadership, responsibility and positioning. Learning to run Board of Director meetings with Audit, compensation and legal committees I learned while doing, and fast. I also learned that you can never learn or know too much, or fast enough.
My journey starting and growing Sonus was invaluable. Raising capital, negotiating purchase agreements, closing on, integrating and operationalizing so many businesses while navigating the building of technology platforms, hiring and developing teams, creating new business concepts and on and on was so educational that it formed my thinking about what can be done. But more important than what I learned to do, were the painful lessons in what NOT to do. As I pivoted my business model into a new direction, I was untimely replaced by my private equity partner as they didn’t like my direction. So they opted to replace me and sell the company. This was a painful, yet powerfully transformative time for me.
From there, I took everything that I had learned, good and bad, and decided to start a new company, Audigy, with what I had left of my cash. I created a strategy and proprietary capital structure based on exemplifying what we did do well in my first company, and ensuring I didn’t repeat what I did not do well. My purpose and passion of supporting and preserving independent business owners who have the desire to become more profitable, grow their existing business, expand to new markets, and inspire and align their teams.
Without ever raising or borrowing money, we purely built Audigy through organically funded growth. Today, we are the leader in private practice Audiology with more than 300 of the leading independent hearing healthcare and medical businesses throughout North America. Audigy has grown from a startup in 2004 to managing more than 650 locations and in excess of 1800 employees with $300 million in aggregate revenue. Audigy Group itself has grown from $500,000 in revenue in 2005 to approximately $35 million in revenue in 2016 when I sold it, with 180 employees.
In 2016, I sold Audigy for purchase price of $151M, which was 77x EBITDA. I am proud that the equity structure I created allowed for everyone from our members to all of our employees share in the proceeds. What has been most astonishing in my career is that while Audigy had this growth in value, we transformed hundreds of lives as well. On average, our customers grew 3 times the value of their peer group who didn’t work with us. It was beyond gratifying to help so many business owners elevate their belief about what can be done, build dynamic teams, and dominate their markets. Since selling Audigy, my team and I have worked closely with the acquirer to grow their business. Since they purchased us, they have grown by three times in value, which is a testament to the strength of our network, our collective teams and our ability to execute.
All of this leads me to today. In many ways, I’m reinventing myself and the business yet again in order to meet the demands of our changing world. Ever since I lost my first company, it has been my mission to empower business owners to take control of their destiny and create substantive value for them personally, professionally, and financially. My commitment to this vision will never waver.
This is yet another transformative time in my evolution: as a business man, a father, a grandfather, and a partner to my loving wife. I have a clear vision of my future, the impact I still aspire to make, and I’ve never been more excited about the future than I am at this moment. There are limitless opportunities for people who put themselves in play and believe that they can be change makers. So let’s get going! We have work to do.
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
There has been a problem with your Instagram Feed.