Special thanks to the
2013 TMA Partner
Sponsors for their
of TMA programs.
very active in our local chapter. I was
president at one point (2004).
Q So TMA was tailor-made for you?
It works fantastic for me.
I’m a huge fan of the organization. Over
the years, I’ve met certain people who I
not only see at TMA events, but they’ve
also become my friends. I’ve gotten a
number of legitimate, “for sure wouldn’t
have got the deal but for TMA” deals over
the years. It’s a really strong organization
that brings various providers together
and provides excellent educational and
The networking is really essential in our
world because it’s such a niche market.
It’s a very narrow area of expertise.
Bringing that level of knowledge and
expertise and similar purpose into
one room is amazing and so efficient
for us who work in this business.
Q If you were to start your career over, knowing what you know
now, would you do anything differently?
When I got into the
business of lending to financially
challenged companies, I originally
thought, as a sales person, that I would
work this for awhile and then gravitate
toward one of the companies we were
lending to. I thought one of the
borrowers would need my kind of
expertise. But like the razor blade
commercial, I bought the razor blade
company because I liked the razor so
Over the years, I realized that my
skill set works really well from the
outside—helping with guidance
and discipline and aggregating
my knowledge of various types of
businesses that had something go
wrong and bringing that into a new
situation where a new business has an
issue that I’ve probably seen before.
I don’t think I would do it differently.
Some people wonder whether law
school was really necessary. I use it
all the time in my business. It fits into
what we do here, so I have no regrets.
My partner and I are both what I call
“recovering attorneys;” right or wrong,
it also gives us credibility, as well as
the practical day-to-day use when
you’re doing documents or when
you encounter other legal issues.
Q It seems to me that a lot of times, people start off OK and they may
even start off being pretty disciplined.
Then success breeds inattention to detail
because so much is going well that they
lose sight of things. A lot of what you do
is to bring them back to the basics, right?
You see a lot of people
who lost sight of the ball. They became
successful and then thought they had
the Midas touch, meaning that anything
they would do would be successful. They
lost focus. A lot of times, it’s second- or
third-generation owners who didn’t
experience the day-to-day grind that
their parents did and don’t realize that it
takes a ton of hard work and continued
focus to make a business successful.
When they come to us, we get back
to blocking and tackling. If you have
receivables you want to finance with
us, when they get 90 days past invoice
date, that’s it—they’re no longer eligible.
You can’t sit back and wait for those
receivables to pay. You need to be
calling your customers. For inventory,
if it’s something that’s not selling and
it gets to a certain age, we’re no longer
going to let that be eligible. So you
should only buy inventory that you’re
confident you can sell, and when it
gets to a certain age, you need to get
out there and push that inventory.
Q Do you find yourself mentoring younger people in the industry?
In our office, we’re always
adding people. Often, we hire bankers or
others not versed in our industry. We just
hired a younger gentleman, a 40-year-
old banker, to become our president
here—my partner and I are both co-
CEOs. He’s a very astute, very
knowledgeable banker, but to teach him
the nuances and the differences that we
utilize when we’re looking at a deal, it’s
been a continuous mentoring plan.
Q What about outside your company? What advice do you have for
someone who is either thinking about
getting into the industry or is new to it?
unfortunately, in some ways is very
much an on-the-job training type of
industry. There are so many different
scenarios you can encounter. Especially
through the recession, a lot of individuals