Leadership Characteristics in Successful CFO’s

Business person

In this environment of tightening liquidity, increasing leverage, and high-risk performance, is your CFO up to the challenge? Weak operations in finance can pose legal and financial risks to your company while also undermining the credibility of your finance department itself. As a business owner or CEO, getting your financial house in order is one of your first and most important responsibilities.

As a side note, if you are not sure if your business should have a CFO or Controller at the helm of your finance team, we suggest you read DWH’s blog article, “Does Your Company Need a Chief Financial Officer?”.  We believe that these two positions are very different and require different skill sets.

Below are five skills your current CFO should possess to ensure they are maximizing cash flow and minimizing risk for your business.

  1. Anticipation

A strong CFO focuses on creating and increasing the value of the business for the benefit of shareholders and all stakeholders. This is done through intimately understanding the activities which impact operations and, ultimately, the performance of the business. In addition, they identify “game-changing” information and global trends which impact your industry and are able to assist in the development and execution of strategies to successfully address what is happening in order to protect and take advantage of opportunities.

While finance doesn’t own the business’s strategy, they are responsible for being the institutional memory of the company and should be offering a framework against which the company can present strategic choices of how they are going to develop and grow.

2. Critical Thinking

Developing a comprehensive financial strategy requires a CFO to balance the current needs of the company with the long term financial health of the company. He/She should be able to develop different cohesive long term strategy options using a deep knowledge of the company’s cost structure, and ability to analyze current and potential core business vs. non-core business opportunities and an ability to integrate input from sales, operations, and leadership.

In addition, your finance department should have solid procedures and internal controls in place to protect company assets, reduce risks, and allow key functions to grow and achieve the company’s business strategy. These controls also allow the CFO to evaluate the risks associated with the opportunities your business is facing. An example is the utilization of a capital acquisition template to calculate the payback time of a company’s investment.

KPI’s should be in place and regularly used to manage business value and performance, including Debt to Equity, Current Liquidity Ratio, Debt Service Coverage, EBITDA, Return on Net Assets, Return on Invested Capital.

3. Interpretation

A strong CFO seeks multiple data points before developing a viewpoint. While respecting the boundaries of other department leadership, he/she then provides unbiased analytics to promote a structured fact-based approach to decision making. This information is shared using communication methods best understood by other departments and leadership, which may include the utilization of pictures and analogies, not just purely analytical numbers.

The CFO must be able to work well with other leaders within the company to gather the relevant information and synthesize it for decision making and analysis.

4. Decision Making

A capable CFO balances speed, quality, and agility to avoid ‘analysis paralysis’ during the decision making to arrive and execute on ‘good enough’ positions. Effective CFO’s develop and utilize a variety of tools to assist them in making and communicating decisions.

As an example, a conservative twelve to twenty-four-month forecast, rolled monthly, allows a CFO to evaluate current and future liquidity needs, available capital, and understanding future risks and opportunities.

Timely and accurate financial and operational reporting, which measures actual results against budgets and long term plans, should be received by appropriate stakeholders. This should include income statement(s), balance sheet(s), cash flow and schedules, monthly budget versus actual performance with an explanation of variances by the 5th business day following the end of the month.

Additionally, and especially relevant in the current economic crisis, a CFO should have a detailed 13-week cash flow forecast that can be used to manage liquidity (make decisions on cash in and cash out) and communicate with key stakeholders.  For more information on effective cash flow forecasting, please see DWH’s article “Preserving and Improving Liquidity During a Crisis.”

5. Alignment

Lastly, your CFO/Controller should be engaging key stakeholders in ongoing professional dialogue so as to build trust and instill a deep focus on value creation throughout the organization. They should be sharing the business strategy and the necessary framework to support it through all written, verbal, and face to face (or virtual) forms of communication.

External communications with lenders and other important external stakeholders regarding the current state and future plans of the business are just as important as internal communication. This consistent and accurate communication will build trust and credibility with these stakeholders, which is the key to successful collaboration.

Leadership is a series of behaviors that determine outcomes. If your current outcomes are unacceptable or are inadequate, then the underlying thinking and expectations need to change so that fundamental changes in behavior can occur. Having competency in the five categories above will help drive the outcomes your company establishes in its strategic plan.

You are not alone. At DWH, we’re here for you, even remotely. A lot of our clients have questions about how to mitigate business value erosion and how to manage communications with banks/creditors/ vendors/customers, etc.  We are here to help you.  Please feel free to contact us.



This post was written by Heather Gardner
hgardner@dwhcorp.com | LinkedIn

All companies experience change.
Plan for it with us.


Effective Leadership
In a Crisis

Leading in a crisis can make you question everything you know about leadership. You will need to think and act in ways that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable to you. You are not alone, and even the most successful and confident leader will be challenged during this time. Remaining calm and having a sense of perspective while focusing on moving from surviving to thriving is vitally important. To accomplish this, a leader must provide clear vision, effective communication with stakeholders, and a laser focus on the execution of tactical plans.

Clear Vision

In a crisis, a leader needs to develop a clear vision and comprehensive strategy to ensure the business will thrive on the other side of the crisis. The strategy should start with the values of the business as the foundation and then include tactical plans to actively manage and mitigate current and anticipated risks while sustaining current and future cash flows. This is done by identifying game-changing information in and on the periphery of your industry, processing the information quickly, rapidly determining what matters most, and making decisions. You need to ensure your business does not grind to a halt due to paralysis analysis but focuses on business continuity. Successful leaders maintain this focus even in a crisis.

Effective leaders also take personal ownership of what is happening around them. They understand relationships matter even more during a crisis, and they face their own emotions, show respect for others, and make sure they and their leadership team are grounded, visible, and available. You need to model the behavior you want others to do within your organization. During this time, reach out to your customers, suppliers, and team members to make sure they are doing okay in this time of crisis.

As the situation stabilizes, look to how your team responded in the crisis. Which team members rose to the occasion? Which team members could see what was needed to get things done quickly and efficiently? These reactions will tell you a great deal about your team and help you to develop a succession plan as you revise your strategic plan to address your new normal.

Communication with Stakeholders

The need for ongoing communication with key stakeholders cannot be stressed enough.  Stakeholders include employees, customers, vendors, owners, lenders, and the community.  Successful organizations identify all key stakeholders, take the time to understand their needs and expectations, and then clearly articulate how the company’s plan meets those needs and expectations.  Leaders also need to communicate what the company needs from those stakeholders to execute the plan.

Be sure to communicate frequently with these internal and external stakeholders while bringing and maintaining perspective about the crisis. Being transparent about what solutions your company is pursuing rather than just communicating the issues will allow you to get ahead of the crisis.

During this time, it is your job to address all stakeholders with honesty, a clear accounting of the challenges your business is facing, an invitation for feedback as well as credible hope that your business has the resources needed to overcome the challenges.

Execution of the Plan

Execution includes planning, organizing, directing, and controlling activities to ensure you realize the vision of the organization and achieve the desired outcome. You should make smart trade-offs, name your decision-makers, embrace action, and do not punish mistakes.  The use of a daily dashboard of metrics created to monitor your company performance against your priorities will allow you the ability to make transparent and proactive decisions. This will also develop a culture of accountability and alignment.

A successful leader will engage with their team, empathizing with their circumstances and distractions, and motivating and engaging them while focusing on health and safety. Daily pulse checks with individual people in your organization, collecting and sharing positive messages, acknowledging their fears, and encouraging resolve can assist you with this engagement.

Do not forget to reach out to your customers and ask how you can help them. And while having empathy for your team is important, it is just as important to have empathy for yourself. Keep your mind and body in fighting shape to maintain your focus.

And lastly, adapt boldly to your new normal. Circumstances will continue to change as the crisis abates, so seek input and information from many sources, admit what you do not know, bring in outside expertise when needed. Encourage team members to experiment and learn without fear of repercussions due to failure. Throw out yesterday’s “playbook” and work with your team to continue to reassess what your new vision will look like after the crisis abates.

Remember, everyone is going through the same situation at the same time right now – how you handle it will be what defines you as a leader.

You are not alone. At DWH, we’re here for you, even remotely. Let us know what we can do to help. A lot of our clients have questions about what this all means for them, what options and conditions for support or exemptions apply, what implications are for team members, how to mitigate business value erosion, how to manage communications with banks/creditors/vendors/customers, etc.  Although we don’t have all the answers, we are here to help you.  Please feel free to reach out.


This post was written by Heather Gardner
hgardner@dwhcorp.com | LinkedIn

All companies experience change.
Plan for it with us.


PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculator – SBA Lending

A close up photo of a DWH employee.

Please provide your name and email below to download the DWH PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculator. The excel spreadsheet was built to help businesses manage through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This document is to be shared with anyone who needs a simple tool, and walk-through instructions, for calculating loan forgiveness. DWH staff is available for further support.

The rules around forgiveness of PPP loans are changing. We will continue to update the tool as needed to address changes in legislation. Please check back for updates. (Last File Update Rev 4.0 on 8/7/20 at 1pm).

The download will begin automatically once you click submit. If you have any questions on the spreadsheet or the program, please feel free to contact Jeremy Cosby, Senior Director.

Check out our webinar for extra discussion on navigating the PPP program as a small business owner, and read the federal PPP guidelines on the SBA website.

The Importance of Strong Due Diligence in Tribal Acquisitions

As more Tribal Nations use Economic Development Corporations (“EDC’s”) to take on larger and more sophisticated investments, it is necessary to develop an equally sophisticated due diligence process.  This process must go beyond simply investigating the transaction and expand to seek a thorough understanding of the operations and infrastructure of the Company as well as the impact of any transition with ownership and/or leadership.

A company’s value is based on its ability to sustain and improve cash flows while managing business risks.  Ownership and leadership transitions create risk to the company and its cash flow.  Crafting a due diligence process that helps the Tribe understand the factors in the business that impact cash flow, stability and growth opportunities (and how a transaction would affect these) will help protect the Tribe and increase the likelihood of a successful acquisition.

Why is due diligence so important?

Due diligence is a process for doing a thorough investigation to better understand the investment and identify potential risks and opportunities while validating that the purchase price will allow the new entity to meet the required returns.  For the most part, due diligence seeks to accomplish three things:

1. Validate

First and foremost, due diligence is there to verify that the information provided by the seller is truthful and correct.  This includes the financial statements (or any adjustments thereto), contracts, legal documents, operations of the company, or the legal standing of the company.  This part of the due diligence process verifies the basis for the purchase price.

2. Understand Risks

Second, due diligence should be used to understand, assess and qualify the risks associated with the investment opportunity.  Some examples of potential risks to examine are:

  • Will an ownership change have an impact on the ability of the company to perform as it has in the past?
  • Who are the key personnel who understand and can manage the operations on a day to day basis?
  • What is the risk of losing key staff with a change in ownership?
  • Does the remaining management and/or ownership share the EDC’s vision for the company moving forward?
  • How vital is the company to its customer base?  How strong is the supply base?
  • What will be the capitalization requirements for the company at closing and into the foreseeable future?

3. Prepare for Transition

Third, due diligence helps develop a plan for the transition, or post-merger integration, of the company into the Tribal EDC’s portfolio.  Some key things to consider include:

  • Is it possible to mitigate or eliminate any of the risks identified during due diligence with the transaction closing and transition?
  • What legal jurisdiction and UCC code will the new entity operate in?
  • What are the tax implications of these decisions?
  • How will key strategic decisions be made for the new entity once they are under the management of the EDC’s holding company?
  • What changes will need to be made to the new entity’s operating agreement, HR policies and financial systems in order to keep it in compliance with the EDC’s requirements?  This is especially important for Federal 8(a) contracting companies.

The importance of a strategic plan:

While the steps mentioned above are extremely important, they become nearly meaningless if the EDC does not have a thorough strategic plan to guide the acquisition process.  A strategic plan provides direction and structure to the complicated task of performing due diligence by:

  • Outlining the investment criteria (i.e. – controlling interest requirements, industry or sectors to be sought out or avoided, minimum expected  returns, etc).
  • Alignment of key stakeholders and set the expectations of any investment (does the due diligence show that the projected future performance meets the expectations set by the strategic plan?).
  • Define the priorities of the due diligence investigation (emphasis on financial, operational, leadership, future opportunities, historical results, etc).
  • Define how due diligence will be coordinated and who is involved in the approval process.

Any investment, especially a direct investment in an operating company, is an exciting but complicated process.  Due diligence is a key factor to provide an investment the best chance of succeeding and providing positive returns.  Having a strong due diligence process, transition plan, strategic plan and qualified advisors in place before an acquisition will help ensure an EDC obtains all necessary information to make a well-informed decision.

The Importance of Transition Before Transaction in a Family Business

Business colleagues discussing work

A transition is defined by Dictionary.com as “the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.” When most family business owners and their advisors think about succession planning or the sale of a business, the focus often becomes how to structure or transact “the deal”. The structure of any transfer of ownership in a business is very important and owners should have qualified advisors to help them consider the valuation, legal, tax, and financial implications of any deal. However, the value of a business is derived from its ability to generate and sustain positive cash flow. Therefore, before a business can have a successful transaction (sale or partial sale), it is important to have a successful transition. A business must focus on transitioning leadership, knowledge, and relationships and establish strong financial controls prior to the transaction taking place in order to maintain and increase the value (cash flow) of the business.


In their book Built to Last, authors Jim Collins and Jerry Porras identified management development and succession planning as a key differentiator between visionary companies and their peers. These visionary companies often began planning for leadership transitions as soon as a new leader would start! For family businesses looking to sell or transition to the next generation, leadership transition is critical. Businesses must have a plan in place to gradually transition leadership responsibilities from the current generation (or leaders) to the next generation (or leaders) prior to a transaction. This will allow the business time to evaluate the new leaders and ensure a smooth hand off of responsibilities prior to the existing owners exiting the business.


Many family business owners have grown up in their business and know elements of the business better than their employees. Owners have critical knowledge that must be passed on to the next group of owners and leaders. This knowledge might include the history of the business, strategic planning, new product development, critical processes or systems, or understanding of the competition. These are pieces of information the next group of leaders or owners will need in order to continue the success of the business. Therefore, it is critical the knowledge is transferred from the current owner to the next group. This process will take time and should be planned out.


Owners often have long established relationships with key stakeholders in their business. These relationships include customers, vendors, investors, lenders, and employees. However, these relationships could also be with key advisors, such as CPAs, lawyers, and consultants, or key community stakeholders. All of these relationships took time to develop and are important to the continued success of the business. Understanding that relationships take time to build, it is important the business develop a plan and timeline for transitioning these key relationships to the next group of leaders to ensure continuity and establish a process for educating the new leaders on the history of these relationships.

Financial Controls

Transactions are usually a leveraging event for a company. The company or new ownership takes on debt in order to buy some or all of the company from the previous owners. This increase in debt requires the company to have a strong balance sheet and sustainable cash flows in order to service the debt and the ongoing business. How can you ensure a transaction will be successful? Make sure the business has strong financial controls in place. These controls include regular, accurate, timely and relevant financial reporting, a 13-week cash flow forecast, separation of duties, and an effective finance and accounting team. These controls will help protect a business’ balance sheet and cash flow during and after the transaction.

The sale of a family business, to an external party or the next generation, is a significant event. The more a business focuses on transitioning leadership, knowledge, and relationships, and establishing strong financial controls prior to the transaction taking place, the better the chances of a successful transaction.

If you would like to discuss transitions related to family businesses, please contact us.

If you found this topic interesting, our strategic partner, JACO Advisory Group published content you may find relevant as well: Family Business Planning – Preparing the Next Generation to Lead and Who Should be Next in Line to Lead the Family Business?

Recognizing the Need for a Chief Financial Officer

Knowing the role of a Controller vs. a CFO

Controllers primarily focus on reporting and compliance in the finance and accounting areas. They manage and maintain accounting controls and related systems (the debits and the credits).  Controllers also manage and/or produce monthly financial reports, year-end reports, and other financial reporting. Their responsibilities often extend to handling tax compliance for federal, state, and local income taxes, as well as payroll, state sales, and property taxes. These are essential components to strong financial controls, which are critical for the growth and success of a business.

A Chief Financial Officer, on the other hand, is primarily focused on the future of the company. They’ll use financial, operational, and sales information to plan and forecast, allowing them to provide the company leadership with the information necessary to make decisions around direction and strategy. Additionally, the CFO should be spending a lot of time ensuring that the business has excellent financial controls in place so the information that is created is timely, relevant, and accurate. Because of this focus on the business at a high level, the CFO becomes a powerful strategic partner to the owner and other business leaders.

Another important role for a CFO is to spend significant time on external relationships in an effort to provide the business with the best information and resources available. These can be relationships with professional service providers like the company’s Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm, banks, legal advisors, and risk/insurance providers. These could also be relationships with specialty providers like outsourced IT firms, software programmers, HR management firms, or consultants. CFOs are also often asked to develop relationships with key community partners.

Knowing when to bring on a CFO

“When should we consider a Chief Financial Officer for our business?” is a question we are frequently asked by clients. For every company, it can be different, and our firm does a very thorough analysis of a company before making a recommendation, but here are some scenarios where adding a CFO can be incredibly advantageous.

Scenario #1 – When leverage is increasing
Having just a controller makes sense when a company has a strong balance sheet and low leverage.  As the leverage increases, more care needs to be given to the balance sheet, forecasting, cash management, and external relationship management. This is where a CFO can help.

Scenario #2 – When business complexity or risk is growing
Perhaps your company is looking to acquire a business, implement a new ERP system, take on an equity partner.  All of these events create complexity and risk for the business and require someone with strong financial and analytical skills to properly plan for the events, forecast the impact of the event, solicit the appropriate outside advice, and support the business. This is the role of a CFO.

Scenario #3 – When financial information is lacking
Often, as a business grows, the financial information does not keep up. Larger businesses often need very specific information or forecasts in order to make strategic decisions. Sometimes the business doesn’t even know what information it needs! Having a qualified CFO to anticipate and create timely, accurate, and relevant information to support decision-making is critical for businesses to grow.


If you still have questions and would like to talk, please feel free to contact us.

Committing to Community

Over the past few weeks, DWH Director Jeremy Cosby completed “Committing to Community: Nonprofit Board Training.” This program was put on by the Association for Corporate Growth of West Michigan (ACGWM) and geared toward helping business professionals identify and evaluate opportunities to serve on nonprofit boards.

During three interactive sessions, participants were exposed to a variety of topics concerning the West Michigan nonprofit landscape, board membership and learned what it takes to serve successfully as a nonprofit board member. Several community members were brought in to share personal stories of successful and unsuccessful board memberships. Participants quickly realized that the first step to being a successful board member is to serve with organizations you are truly passionate about. One of the most common mistakes is to accept an invitation to join a board simply out of excitement for being asked. The third and final session provided attendees the chance to network with several local nonprofit leaders during a reception. It was the ideal way for participants to match up personal passions with community volunteer opportunities, and possibly even board-serving opportunities.

West Michigan is full of dedicated organizations, and even more dedicated people looking to make a difference in the community. This training was an exceptional way to showcase both while generating excitement for the dozens of participants who want to make a positive impact.  A huge thanks to Julie Metsker and the ACGWM for putting on this event, Varnum for hosting the sessions, and to everyone who stopped in to the session to share stories.

How to Not Fail at Conducting Interviews

Interviewing potential employees can be a long process, but it doesn’t need to be arduous. To ensure a successful outcome, establish a plan for the job search, assign an owner and stick to the process.

The first step, before the interviews even begin, is to define the need. This includes the specific job title and description, responsibilities, wages and benefits, reporting structure and the characteristics you are looking for in a candidate. This step may sound like a no-brainer, but many people do not define these details ahead of time which can cause confusion and tension later on and possibly cause a mis-hire.

Defining the characteristics of the desired candidate can take some time. They include four key items. It is extremely helpful to create a matrix/score card to use for rating and comparing candidates in each characteristic.

Four Characteristics:

  • Experience – What type of experience should the ideal candidate possess? Do you want a candidate that has worked in a start-up organization? Someone who is familiar with a company in a distress or turnaround situation?  Should they have experience managing a company that is larger than $10M in sales?  $100M? Hire a candidate who has the experience that correlates with the size of your company, stage of growth, and direction your company is headed.
  • Company Type – What types of companies has the ideal candidate worked for in the past? Family-owned? Private equity? Small business? These all require different skill sets and experience levels.
  • Skills – What skills should the candidate possess that are crucial for success in the role? Knowledge a specific ERP system?  Attention to detail?   Employee benefits management?  Lean manufacturing?  Listing the specific skills will assist you when you review resumes or conduct interviews.
  • Cultural Fit – What cultural skills should the person have in order to make the transition seamless? Do they need to be a team player?  Humble?  Possess strong leadership?  Knowing what it takes to thrive in your culture will improve the chances of a successful hire.

As an interviewer, a person needs to be just as prepared, if not more so, than the interviewee. Show up in the right state-of-mind to focus on the task at hand, don’t allow the first impression to influence your opinion and don’t talk too much. The interviewee should be doing most of the talking, not you.

Interview Matrix/Score Card

Three Step Interview Process

A three-step interview process is helpful to work through potential candidates.
1. Start with a 30-minute phone call or coffee meeting. This step doesn’t take much time out of your, or the candidate’s, day and allows you to determine if the candidate should continue in the process.
2. The next step is the first round of face-to-face interviews. These should be about 90-minutes and include two or three other team members in addition to the person leading the search. Once the interview is complete, the group should fill out the matrix/score card together.
3. Finally, the third step is another round of face-to-face interviews as a chance for candidates to meet peers, direct reports and get a tour. Be sure to set expectations with the team ahead of time and educate them about the matrix/score card, its importance and how to use it. The interview lead also needs to educate team members on the appropriate questions to ask and which questions are not allowed.

Don’t Forget Background Checks!

Background and reference checks are often overlooked as a part of the interview process. They are critical to knowing and understanding a candidate’s background. Have a background check firm lined up and ask the candidate to provide at least two professional references and one personal. The majority of former employers will provide only the basic information on a candidate. Because of this, look to LinkedIn and other places for mutual connections you can connect with to understand more of a candidate’s background and history. And, of course, be sure to conduct a social media audit as well.

Communication is key throughout the entire interview process. The job market is booming right now so it is highly likely your candidates are applying elsewhere. If you take too long with the interview process, or don’t keep the candidates up-to-date, you will lose them.

Finally, if there is any doubt on whether or not a candidate is the right person for the job, interview them again.

Evaluating Economic Development Opportunities in Indian Country

Indian Country

Last week, DWH traveled to Portland, Oregon to attend the 37th Annual Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) Conference. The NAFOA conference provides attendees with opportunities to “engage directly with tribal leaders, professionals, and influential federal agencies about economic and financial issues facing Indian Country.” (nafoa.org). Attendance at this conference is crucial for DWH because our majority shareholder is Waséyabek Development Company, LLC (WDC), the economic development arm of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potowatomi. The conference is a chance to not only connect with members of our Tribe, but to also meet other Tribal members throughout the nation and share our experiences working in economic development.

Clayton Vanderpool speaking at NAFOA. Photo courtesy of James TenBrink, WDC.

The two-day event was packed with sessions, panel presentations and cultural activities for attendees. DWH Managing Director (and former WDC Board Vice Chair) Clayton Vanderpool participated in a panel that focused on how to create a foundation for a Tribal Economic Development Company (EDC) that would set it up for future success.

WDC and DWH are proponents of following the Harvard model as a best practice when it comes to creating stability for a Tribal EDC. This structure coupled with a consistent and open communication schedule will help create stability for the EDC and ensure the Tribe’s mission, vision and values are being maintained.

Key Points in Creating a Tribal EDC:

1) Before making any investments, a Tribal EDC needs to define what it IS and what it is NOT. Examples would be deciding if it wants to invest in startups, act as venture capital firm, make passive or private equity investments, or pursue an SBA 8(a) certification and provide products and services to the federal government. It must also determine funding sources and resources it is comfortable using.

2) Tribes need to define a decision-making process and the various levels of authority for the EDC’s subsidiaries, CEO, and Board of Directors. Ultimately it will need to decide at what point the Tribal Council’s and/or Board’s approval will be required on transactions or strategic decisions.

3) The EDC needs to take the investment parameters and funding resources and generate a financial model showing return and risk scenarios. The purpose of this model will be to ensure the investment philosophy and resources available will create a return that meets the Board and Tribal Council’s expectations. If the model and the results do not meet expectations, then one (or even all three) of the inputs (investment criteria, funding/resources and expectations), will need to change to ultimately create strategic alignment throughout the organization.

Interested in learning more? Connect with us.

DWH Celebrates Growth and Expansion

With our first-ever female CEO at the helm, DWH has a lot to celebrate. After nearly 13 years of advisory and support to local businesses and the community, our firm is proud to introduce a new look to reflect our continued evolution in Grand Rapids, along with the expansion of our Detroit office. This last year alone, we grew staff by 60% and achieved over a 65% increase in revenue.

Launching today is our new identity, complete with logo, tagline and website, that encompasses our company philosophy of focusing on people.

“Our new tagline – For the life of your business – truly captures the relationships we have with our clients,” stated Monica King, CEO. “We get engaged for a variety of reasons and the ‘how’ in what we do really does make a difference, often leading to long-term relationships where we support many needs throughout all stages of business.”

The new logo takes a clean and uncomplicated approach to the DWH brand. The mark is accompanied by three small dots representing an ellipsis. Ellipses are softened shapes, informally gesturing towards the continuation of something – similar to the journey DWH clients take. The circular container acts as a modern take on a business seal, which by definition is “a device or substance that is used to join two things together…” a perfect representation of DWH’s commitment to the businesses we help.