John has over 35 years of financial, strategic planning, M&A, sales, business development, and Board of Director advisory experience involving companies ranging in size from $5 million to $1.2 billion, He has served as CFO for two public companies - one in Australia and one domestic. His focus is on strategic growth, putting in place the building blocks to achieve that growth, and solving business issues that get in the way. He brings a unique perspective to the role supporting owners of privately held companies... SEE MORE
Over the course of his career, John has led/participated in over 30 M&A deals comprising over $2 billion in transaction values; managed a $1 billion Australian foreign exchange hedging program, raised $2 billion in financing for various projects and deals, served on corporate boards of publicly listed companies, has lived overseas and managed corporate relationships on 6 continents. His CFO experience has included functional responsibility for finance, treasury, controller, budgeting, planning, tax, public relations, legal, human resources, and information systems.
Born in St. Louis, he graduated from the University of Missouri with a BSBA degree in accounting. Working his way through college he joined the Missouri State Auditors Office, where John Ashcroft served as the State Auditor. He passed the CPA exam, enrolled at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business (ranked 2nd globally by the Economist magazine), and completed his MBA. He then joined Amoco Corporation in Chicago, IL. That led to a 22 year run in the chemical, oil and gas, and mining industries.
Highlights of his roles include leading Cyprus Coal's acquisition of Oakbridge Pty Limited. Based in Sydney, Australia, Oakbridge was Australia's fourth largest coal producer, serving domestic and export markets in Japan, Korea, Thailand, and the Middle East. This publicly listed Australian company also had interests in port operating facilities in Singapore and Australia; inland container trucking operations; sapphire mining; gem processing facilities in Sri Lanka, and ship management services for supertankers and cape sized cargo vessels. During his three years in Sydney, serving as the company's CFO and Deputy Chairman, he financed and completed a major expansion program, sold off non-core assets, increased sales 50 percent to $700 million annually, took a breakeven company to $100 million of annual income, and eventually took the public company private. In 1995 he left Cyprus following its merger with Amax Coal and returned to the U.S.
John then joined AEI Resources, a family owned coal mining company based in Ashland, KY as its CFO. Over 14 months AEI acquired 12 companies, including Zeigler Coal Holding (a NYSE listed company) and increased its production volume 10 fold taking it from number 20 to number 4 in the US coal mining industry. Sales increased from $200 million to over $1.2 billion annually while cash flow went from minus $60 million annually to a positive $250 million.
In 2000, John transitioned out of his corporate role, providing certain retained consulting services AEI. Following the death of his mother and step father in 2002, John became involved in certain family owned businesses which he disposed of in 2009 and turned his focus on providing management consulting services. John re-committed his life to Christ in 2007 after a 40 year absence and served as a Deacon and Chair of various committees at his church. He and his wife Kitty have 5 children and six grandchildren. They both enjoy fly fishing, and you may find them along the Frying Pan River in the spring or at the headwaters of the Elk River in the fall.
Industries Served - Primary: Coal, copper, gold, lead/zinc, sapphire, molybdenum, talc, clay, industrial minerals, oil and gas, chemicals, polymers and plastics, tool and appliance manufacturing, government entities - city/state, financial and business consulting. Industries Served - Secondary: Utilities, steel mills, trucking and container operations, port facilities - both dry bulk and container, ship management, tug operations, inland river barge operations, railroads, wire and cable extrusion processing, smelting facilities, cement operations, resin processing for ink manufacturing, large machinery equipment manufacturing, construction, airports, restaurants, consumer financial services, convenience stores, paper products, environmental projects involving water management, waste management, particulate and trace metals management, along with service industry. Financial Skills Audit, accounting, budgeting, planning and analysis, strategic planning, economics, public relations, capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, company valuations, deal structuring, information systems, treasury operations, currency hedging, turnarounds, change management. Computer System Experience - Oracle, Mincom, PeopleSoft, Great Plains, IBM OS, Quick Books, Microsoft Excel and Office products.
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