Chief Financial Officer in the U.S. Biomass Industry

The nation’s largest provider of comprehensive agricultural biomass supply chain solutions.  Kincannon & Reed has been retained to recruit a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who will work closely with the CEO and the Executive Team to transform, integrate and build a strong, efficient commercial organization plus continue to grow by capturing new markets and increasing market share.

The Company

This Company serves two primary customers: individual growers whose crop residue they remove after harvest, and the end-users who demand that residue to supply their own feed or manufacturing production requirements.

Since 1998, they have grown significantly, yet they conduct their business the same way – working one-on-one with customers, whether on the grower side or the market side and focusing on long term relationships over short term deals.

They are the first company of its kind to move equipment around the country for crop residue removal. They currently work with growers in the High Plains, the Columbia Basin, and Southeastern U.S, and are actively developing new grower networks across the U.S. They have a systematic approach to ensure the right amount of residue is removed from land on a field-by-field, year-by-year basis and are currently supplying the forage and bioenergy markets with 12 different biomass crops.

The Company is also the nation’s largest supplier of biomass to a diverse set of markets that include:

  • Export and domestic forage for animal protein
  • Cellulosic feedstock for the creation of biofuels and biochemicals, including digesters producing methane 
  • Mushroom compost production
  • Erosion control products
  • Tree-free pulp and paper

The Company has developed and implemented a dedicated supply chain model providing consistent cost, quality, and volume that are critical to the commercial viability and success of these markets. To that end, they:

  • Work with the largest grower network in the U.S.
  • Operate the largest fleet of biomass harvesting equipment.
  • Perform feasibility and Supply ShedTM assessments for large scale commercial projects.
  • Conduct demonstration harvests to solidify cost and risk assessments.
  • Develop their own integrated supply chain management system.

From their early operations, they have expanded nationally to meet the harvest and supply chain development needs of their customers and partners, leveraging deployment of equipment and expertise at an industry-best asset utilization rate that drives down operating costs. Recent capital investments will allow them to grow beyond traditional borders, expand strategically, and make targeted acquisitions to further the supply chain, develop new products, and service new customers

Position Overview

The CFO position has been created to partner with the CEO and his leadership team to support and accommodate the strong growth in customer demand being experienced throughout the US, especially in the newer market of digesters for natural gas. With revenue over $55M and growing steadily, the Company’s objective is to stay in front of the demand and capture markets and market share before others. They are considering several strategic acquisitions with the very real potential to support growth to $100M.  

Position Responsibilities:

  • Focus on disciplined process logistics to obtain optimum internal efficiency and reduced costs resulting in a major step forward in profitability.  Examples of opportunities include asset/fleet management and utilization, financing structure of assets/fleet, and harvesting personnel productivity and utilization.
  • Leverage IT to deliver unique technical solutions to complex logistics for a competitive industry edge. 
  • Develops financial projections of, analyzes, and prioritizes future acquisitions, vertical integration, expansions, and downstream opportunities for the CEO and board of directors to evaluate. 
  • Leads investment relationships, including banking.  Promotes organization to assure sources of capital.
  • Maintain a high level of ethical performance across the entire company. Identify and develop key business strategies that will advance the Company’s vision, mission, and values. 
  • Attract and develop the necessary talent to ensure the Finance department is prepared for the future.
  • Oversee preparation of all financial reports including financial statements, tax returns, and audits.
  • Act as an advisor from the financial and legal perspective on any contracts into which the Company may enter.

Other Position Parameters:

  • The role reports to the Chief Executive Officer 
  • The position is supported by a team of 3 direct reports and total staff of 10.
  • The post is located in Oregon
  • Travel is estimated to be 10% or less.  
  • Language – Spanish would be a plus but is not required. 

Candidate Profile

We seek an accomplished company financial executive with a blend of operational, growth, leadership, and teamwork skills who understands human and equipment capital expansions, partnerships, and contracts plus mergers and acquisitions. An entrepreneurial finance leader with a track record of success in guiding and implementing strategies for business growth is required. The CFO must “roll up their sleeves”, understand and appreciate the hands-on nature of the business and be ready to take on new challenges as the Company grows.

The successful candidate will have most or all of the following skills, knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics:

  • At least 15 years’ experience with 10 years at a senior financial level, including control functions.
  • Substantial operational and process improvement focus. Experience at a privately-owned company is a plus.
  • Experience in finance, accounting, tax, financial reporting and analysis, budgeting, IT, cash management, and forecasting and preparation of related monthly, quarterly, and annual reports and statements.
  • Experience managing establishing and monitoring KPIs and the components of finance, accounting, IT, and customer service is essential.
  • A successful developer of people’s talents; ability to assemble and develop a strong financial organization.
  • Proven track record in managing grower relationships and customer accounts.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment while also providing leadership to their own team and to the company as a whole.
  • Ability to gain the trust of all farmers and operators plus have the “street credibility” to work well with smaller, regional operations that may be acquired. 
  • An organized problem solver who seeks information and dives deep. 
  • A collaborative team player who is personable and empathetic yet assertive.
  • Optimistic, self-motivated, and results-driven. Wants a challenge. 
  • Agribusiness, renewables, or logistics related experience is preferred.
  • Effectively communicate and command the respect of owners/investors. 
  • A business builder mentality and record, while simultaneously watching cash.

Education Level:

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or relevant discipline. CPA, MBA, or relevant graduate degree desirable

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