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Chuck-Friend

Charles "Chuck"
Friend

Principal, ExecHQ Alliance
Based in Lake Forest, Illinois
Experienced As:

Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer

Chief Restructuring Officer, Chief Turnaround Officer

President and Founder

Language(s):
English

Expertise Includes:

  • Business Consultant/Advisor
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief Restructuring Officer
  • Chief Turnaround Officer
  • Founder
  • President
    • Business Consultant/Advisor
    • Chief Financial Officer
    • Chief Operating Officer
    • Chief Restructuring Officer
    • Chief Turnaround Officer
    • Founder
    • President

Chuck is a highly accomplished financial and accounting leader experienced in solving complex problems. He uses his insights, knowledge, and experience in all areas of business operations to identify issues, formulate plans, get plans approved, and implement strategies successfully. Chuck has demonstrably improved companies’ profitability by working with employees, executives, lenders, directors, shareholders, customers, suppliers, and many other stakeholders.

Experience:

  • Owner, CF & Associates, Ltd. (1995-2020) A CPA firm that provides client advisory, contract, tax and accounting services to privately-owned clients.
  • Accounting and Business Consultant, Interfirst Mortgage Company (2020 – Present) This is a startup mortgage banking company that has grown from 10 to 330 employees since March. Chuck is engaged in the:
    • Implementation of the automation of the accounting data directly from third party sources into the accounting software
    • Establishment of accounting and Treasury procedures and policies, including preparing manuals
    • Establishment of standard workpapers for the Accounting personnel
    • Training of the Accounting and Treasury personnel
    • Participation in the interviewing and hiring of Accounting and Treasury personnel
    • Establishment of Dashboards, KPI’s and Metrics for use by the CEO, COO and CFO
    • Coordination and preparation relating to the first time audit
    • Establishment of a new banking relationship
  • CFO, Cartamundi Dallas, Inc. (2018 – 2020) The worldwide leader in printing board games, card games, packaging, and playing cards.
    • Restructured operations that turned annual losses of over $6.6M to an operating profit of $2M.
    • Led banking and audit relationships
    • Led corporate planning and budgeting process
    • Oversaw preparation and presented board reports
    • Fired large and highly unprofitable customers
    • Focused operations on highly profitable customers
    • Closed unprofitable line of business and eliminated associated support costs
    • Reduced inventory by 25 days sales
    • Re-implemented enterprise resource management (ERP) system including production management, warehouse management, purchasing and accounting
    • Improved accuracy of available-to-promise dates by developing process so that the right materials were available at the right times and in the right places
    • Converted financial reporting to SAP
    • Redesigned quoting system to reflect product profitability and to provide quick turnaround to salespeople.
  • CFO, Canel Companies (1995 – 2018) Led financial affairs for one of Chicago’s wealthiest families. Services provided:
    • Led banking and audit relationships
    • Led corporate planning and budgeting process
    • Oversaw preparation and presented board reports
    • Represented ownership interest to management
    • Led tax planning for owners and multiple family entities
    • Analyzed and recommended active investments
    • Negotiated pricing, financing, and other contract terms with sellers
    • Led due diligence
    • Restructured equity ownership within firms
    • Represented owners to government agencies including federal and state EPAs, county and municipal boards, HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, state housing authorities, state finance authorities
    • Ownership interests included:
      • Manufacturing including specialty machined parts, oil and gas pipelines
      • Professional service companies including law partnerships, commercial real estate appraisal firms
      • Commercial real estate: Over 500,000 sq. ft.
      • Residential real estate: Over 3,000 affordable housing units
      • Construction: Homes and apartment buildings
      • Property management: Residential and commercial
      • Land and home development: 200 lots Turned around a holding from losing $500k annually to generating $4m in annual cash flow by:
        • Increasing revenues through improved billing practices
        • Restructuring debt of real estate

Chuck has a Bachelors in Accountancy and a Masters in Accountancy from the University of Illinois. He also studied Economics and Finance, and is a CPA. His favorite hobby is Biblical Archaeology. he enjoys combining the physical labor of the dig as well as the connection with the past.

Professional accomplishments include:

  • In 18 months as interim CFO of a manufacturing company, Chuck completely restructured the executive management team, got rid of unprofitable lines of businesses and customers, redesigned the quoting process, increased efficiencies on the floor, and worked on the conversion of the Finance Department to SAP. Due to these efforts, the company went from losing money to generating 12% EBITDA.
  • Established policies, procedures and hired and trained the Treasury and Accounting personnel for a start-up mortgage banking company. The company went from 30 employees to 450, and completed another round of funding in six months.
  • As the CFO of a real estate company which invested primarily in residential rental properties, he led the effort to turnaround the company from losing money to generating $4M annual in net cash flow by enhancing revenues, implementing cost efficiencies and restructuring debt.
  • Instructor at Loyola University of Chicago for 10 years teaching Accounting and Auditing.
  • Transforming communities and the residents by successfully developing Affordable Housing. One property required seven different sources of capital, debt and grants both from governmental and private sources.

He is involved in Community Partners for Affordable Housing Community Foundation for Jewish Education, various Condominium Association Boards, Synagogue Boards and various private foundations.

Chuck is married with three grown children. Two live in Chicago and one lives in Washington, D.C.