Friday, December 6, 2019

BREAKING NEWS: VACEOs Executive Director Receives CEO Award of Excellence Honor

Pictured: Scot McRoberts, Executive Director, VA Council of CEOs with James (JJ) White, Franchise Owner at Dale Carnegie Training and current VACEOs Chair, at VSAE Excellence Awards event.


December 6, 2019

VA Council of CEOs Executive Director, Scot McRoberts, Receives CEO Award of Excellence Honor from VA Society of Association Executives

McRoberts honored for his leadership advocacy efforts.

Richmond, Virginia: The Virginia Council of CEOs (VACEOs), a nonprofit association serving more than 200 small and mid-sized business owners, announced today that its executive director, Scot McRoberts, has been awarded the 2019 CEO Award of Excellence Award as presented by the Virginia Society of Association Executives (VSAE).

McRoberts was honored on Friday, December 6, 2019, for his leadership and dedication to VSAE at the organization’s annual awards and silent auction event held at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa in Short Pump, Virginia.

The CEO Award of Excellence is the highest award VSAE bestows upon one of its executive members. This award is given to an outstanding chief staff executive who has been nominated by peers in recognition of his or her leadership and achievement.

“So much of what VSAE is today is because of Scot and his leadership during his tenure on the board,” wrote one VSAE member. Others stating: “He was instrumental in launching VSAE’s CEO & Senior Staff Retreat and continued to provide leadership each year on format and content for the event. Scot also led the task force charged with overseeing VSAE’s rebranding in 2015, and has been one of the key drivers of VSAE’s popular Shared Interest Group (SIG) program. He is always willing to volunteer, and continually provides counsel and makes connections for other members.”

It was the peer experience McRoberts received during those formative years at VSAE that helped him to build his own organization, the VA Council of CEOs. Next year the Council will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

“Almost twenty years ago I left a good job and 401K to work –  alone – in my home office – for very little money, ” said McRoberts during his acceptance speech. “One of the first things I did was join VSAE. I knew that I needed to surround myself with other association professionals and continually learn our craft. Well, I have had some success at creating a new association that makes a difference in peoples’ lives, and along the way created a few more jobs for other association pros who are with me today. I simply couldn’t have done it without VSAE. I am truly honored to receive this award.”

Joining McRoberts at the event were his wife, Teresa; current VA Council of CEO Board Members James (JJ) White, Franchise Owner at Dale Carnegie Training; Sam Stone, President, Stone Office Equipment; Connie Hom, President, Buckingham Greenery; and Todd Mawyer, CEO, TK Promotions, Inc. Also in attendance, VA Council of CEOs staff members Connie Bruce, Meredith Campbell, and Kathryn Hurst.

About the Virginia Society of Association Executives
Formed in 1949, VSAE is a 400-plus member association consisting of association executives, association management companies, and others who serve the association industry with products or services. VSAE’s vision is to be the best at making associations the best by providing opportunities for association professionals to connect, learn, and lead.Learn more at

About the Virginia Council of CEOs
The Virginia Council of CEOs is a nonprofit association that serves the CEOs of small and mid-sized businesses in Virginia. The Council was founded in 2000 to connect CEOs so that they can learn and grow together. Made up of more than 200 members from the Richmond and Charlottesville regions, the Council is poised for continued growth. Learn more at





Posted by Staff at 4:12 pm
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

(Video) Meet Ron Carey, CEO of Tilt Creative + Production

[Listen in as Ron Carey of Tilt C+P explains his business and the challenges he is currently facing.]

We meet Ron Carey in a warehouse building tucked just off of Arthur Ashe Boulevard near Bow Tie Cinemas in Richmond, Virginia. Once we’re inside, it becomes apparent that this space is enormous. In fact, it’s a 16,000-square-foot-studio and production facility, filled with costumes, sets, lights, furniture, a funky kitchen, and a few creative spaces to sit and relax.

“We do all types of work here,” says Carey, founder and CEO of Tilt Creative + Production (TiltC+P). “We build sets here. We’ve got camera equipment here. We’ve got multiple stages. And so, it’s just a fantastic facility for our business partners to come in and make great content.”

Ron, a closet introvert (and former UVA defensive lineman), prefers to lift others up to the light, using his business as his platform to make a difference. “The business, as well as my personal platform, is about making a difference,” he explains. “How do we make a positive impact in the lives of those we touch individually, as well as the business and nonprofit partners we come in contact with?”

At just two years old, his company might be the youngest 30-year-old business around. Read on as we explain. 


Tilt Creative + Production is a full-service advertising agency and video production company all in one, operating out of two locations in Richmond. TiltC+P’s fully equipped video and production studio is located near Scott’s Addition. Its downtown space is where TiltC+P’s creative team cranks out copy, artwork and post-production work for clients like Walmart, Audi, and Capital One to name a few. TiltC+P currently employs approximately 40 people. 

“We started with the belief that there was a better way to offer content development for brands,” says Carey. “But we really believe that because we’ve combined creative services – so that’s writing and art direction, with production and post production – that having all of that in house and having our own studio is something that’s really beneficial for the client. And so that’s the reason we put together Tilt Creative + Production.”

Carey had a clear vision of what his business would be from the get-go – what it would look like and how it would feel. “It should have a strong culture about doing the right thing,” he says. “And so the ability to kind of see all of that come to fruition was what led me to be an entrepreneur.” 

Carey says he gives his employees the freedom to make a lot of decisions and operate with quite a bit of autonomy. Everyone brings something of value to the table, regardless of their role. Witnessing company-wide collaboration at work is what excites him most. 

“I get excited just thinking about it – which is the notion of having everyone gather around an idea. It can be a creative idea. It can be the idea of what our company could be. It could be ‘What does our website need to look like?’” But gathering around an idea and having 40 [people] move in the same direction to accomplish that. And I love that I get to do it with people I like. To me, that’s really important.”



Carey’s career path to entrepreneurship included stints with iconic and locally well-known brands, including Mars, Inc.; Wyeth; the Richmond Times-Dispatch; and The Martin Agency. His background is varied, but it’s impossible not to recognize his extensive Human Resources background. 

“For me today, human resources has probably been one of the best jobs that one could ever have in terms of preparing you for being an entrepreneur. It got me in touch with what’s important to people, how to think about business processes, and how to make sure people have what they need so that they can go forward and be successful and do what the business needs for them to do,” says Carey.

Carey officially shifted away from HR when he became president of Studio Squared – at the time, a new digital content division of The Martin Agency. “Which ultimately led me into purchasing that company, which is now Tilt Creative + Production,” he explains.


Tilt Creative + Production is in a unique state. “The business is almost two years old, but the business was really a merger of two companies,” Carey explains. “One was 10 years old, and the other was 30 years old. So although we’re two years old, we still have some of the challenges that a 30-year-old business might face.”

He continues, “The biggest challenge I’m probably thinking about right now is just scale. We’re adding additional clients. We’re adding new people and resources. We’ve brought two companies together. What do those processes look like? Each week, each month, if you’ve been successful, you’ve added new revenue. And all of a sudden, that brings some complexity. So how do you pause to change your processes? What talent with new skills do you need in the business? So that’s probably the biggest challenge, is making sure we focus on how we continue to reinvent processes or what things we should stop doing. What things do we need to start to continue to be successful?”

For now, Carey is relying on his football experience at UVA to help him keep his eye on the ball: his core mission. 

“I think when I look at the business, I really think about growth,” he adds. “And the core mission of the business for me is about fulfilling the needs of our clients. And I think if we fulfill the needs of our clients and then separately provide our employees opportunities to grow and make a difference, I feel like we’ll be able to continue to grow and expand across North America. I’m really excited about the future.”

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Ron!



“Outside of the formal group, I feel like I can pick up the phone and call any of my group members and bounce an idea off of them, and also their expertise back. And so for that, it’s just been invaluable.” – Ron Carey, on his VACEOs forum. WATCH VIDEO.

Posted by Staff at 2:56 pm
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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Top 7 Posts of 2019

JJ White Profile

Each month we work hard to bring you content of interest to you and news you can use. From tactical takeaways to strategic planning to CEO profiles that intrigue, here are the most-read stories of the year. 

What kind of content would you like to see posted to More CEOs profiles? More business tips? Is there a specific topic you would like covered? Please, let us know! 


COLAB President Steps Away and Into Innovation (Video+)(#1)

For Eddie O’Leary, president of COLAB, one of the best business decisions he’s ever made was to step away from it.


Here’s how the other most-viewed posts faired.


 JJ White on His calling, His Podcast and His Plan to Shape VACEOs

JJ White opens up from his podcast studio about his business and his plans to shape the Council during his tenure as Chair.


number six storyHow to Best Leverage Your Managed Services Provider
by Warren Whitney (VACEOs Sponsor)(#6)

Here are the 6 key questions to ask when assessing your MSP relationships or when evaluating a new one.


#5 story3 Ways to Manage Stress as a CEO
by Partner MD (VACEOs Sponsor)(#5)

Running a business can be extremely stressful. Here are 3 steps to help you manage the unique stressors you face.


#4 storyVA Council of CEOs Names Arlene Lee Third Recipient
of Charles E. McCabe Leadership Award 

We are pleased to announce that Arlene Lee, President of R.E. Lee Companies (Charlottesville) has been awarded the Charles E. McCabe Leadership Award.


#3 story

How to Calculate the Value of Your Business
by Transact Capital (VACEOs Sponsor)(#3)

A company’s worth is impacted by any decisions that boost its EBITDA or reduces perceived risk to the buyer. Here’s how to calculate your earnings.


#2 story

Fueled for Success: Q&A with Tiger Fuel President Gordon Sutton

With an employee count topping 270, Tiger Fuel is a successful, large-scale operation. What fuels this company’s success? President Gordon Sutton shares all.


#1 post in 2019COLAB President Steps Away and Into Innovation (Video+)(#1)

For Eddie O’Leary, president of COLAB, one of the best business decisions he’s ever made was to step away from it.

Posted by Staff at 1:23 pm
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

VACEOs Members Land on 2019 Fastest-Growing Businesses Lists

This year, 45 Richmond and Charlottesville-area firms made the 2019 Inc. 5000 Most Successful Companies in America list. Of those, 12 (26% of the 45) are businesses led by Virginia Council of CEOs Members. Three VACEOs Members also made this year’s BizSense RVA 25 list.

Of note: 

  • Mark Morton (of Morton) is a five-time honoree;
  • Donny Wyatt, who leads Charlottesville-based CoConstruct, is a six-time honoree; 
  • Lee Hatcher of Mosquito Squad is a nine-time honoree; and
  • David Fratkin of Dominion Payroll is a 10-time honoree.

Congratulations to all of our members. Well done!

If you run a small to mid-sized business and wish you had a trusted tribe to help you navigate some of your toughest business challenges, consider joining the Virginia Council of CEOs! Our Members have “been there and done that.” Visit VACEOs membership to learn more.

VACEOs MEMBERS – 2019 INC. 5000*



BaskervillInc 5000448666%Engineering
Canal Capital Management
Inc 5000387786%
Financial Services
CoConstructInc 50002199183%Software
Dominion Payroll
Inc 50003279110%Human Resources
MortonInc 5000457564%
IT Management
Mosquito SquadInc 50003436103%
Consumer Products & Services
Old Dominion MechanicalRVA 2517112%
Commercial Mechanical Contractor
Old Dominion MechanicalInc 50001349306%
Commercial Mechanical Contractor
RCG Behavioral Health NetworkRVA 2520100%Health Services
Shockoe.comInc 50001051399%
SolvariaInc 5000430571%IT Management
SwigRVA 2511127%Consumer Products
Timmons GroupInc 5000488956%Engineering
TK PromotionsInc 5000420674%Advertising & Marketing
Triumph ServicesInc 50002882130%Human Resources



  • Richmond, The RVA 25, published October 2019
  •, “The Most Successful Companies in America,”(Richmond / Charlottesville), published August 2019
Posted by Staff at 4:09 pm
Monday, September 23, 2019

How to Know If a Fractional CFO Is Right for Your Business

You are the CEO of a growing business. Do you need to:

  • Spend more time in areas of the business where you add the most value?
  • Maximize cash?
  • Add an operational finance perspective to your team?
  • Update your strategic plan?
  • Raise capital to grow your business?
  • Add a trusted advisor to your executive team?
  • Develop an exit strategy for your business?
  • If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it could be time to get an experienced CFO on your team.

You may have thought about hiring a full-time CFO but held off given cost. Or perhaps you were concerned that you do not have enough work to keep a full-time CFO challenged. There is an alternative: You can engage an experienced CFO on a part-time or project basis.

By hiring a fractional CFO, you’re instantly gaining access to all the knowledge, experience and lessons learned by this CFO over a career.  All at a significant cost savings to you.

Jay Nathanson, COO of Image Group, found it to be “a very, efficient way to use expertise.” Adding, “It really became a great opportunity for me to be able to grow the business without making the investments of full-time people.”

Building on my 35 years of experience, including serving as a full-time CFO for six companies and as a fractional CFO for others, I share several scenarios which describe situations where a fractional CFO might be able to help you.


Scenario #1: You Need to Spend More Time in Areas Where You Add the Most Value
If you’re spending more time in planning and forecasting, contract negotiations and interactions with investors, and less time with customers, in strategy development and in other areas where you excel, it’s time to engage a seasoned CFO. This executive will free you up, enabling you to add greater value to the business.

Scenario #2: You Need to Maximize Cash
You understand that cash is king.  You need the ability to forecast future performance, staying on top of cash forecasts, debt covenants, receivables and payables.  You also need creativity in the use of bank and other kinds of debt. An experienced CFO can help you maximize cash at the lowest cost.

Scenario #3: You Need an Operational Finance Perspective
You are getting accurate historical financial information; however, you are not getting meaningful analysis and insights from such information to drive your business forward. The right CFO will bring significant operational finance experience to the business, enabling you to fully understand historical performance, get the right metrics in place and more.

Scenario #4: You Need to Update Your Strategic Plan
As your business grows, there are many places where you can invest limited resources:  sales and marketing, product development, customer success and more. To get the best return requires an understanding of customer issues, customer and product profitability, the competitive landscape and more.  An experienced CFO can link financials and strategy, helping develop a plan which will increase your odds of success.

Scenario #5: You Need Capital to Grow Your Business
To execute your plan, you need to invest more in sales and marketing, customer success and new product development. This requires additional capital. Engaging a CFO skilled in raising capital will help you negotiate the best deal, minimizing dilution.

Scenario #6: You Need a Trusted Advisor
As the business grows, you are encountering a range of issues and questions, from personnel (e.g., what incentive program is right?) to tax (e.g., do I have sales or use tax exposure?). You need someone on your team with significant experience across many businesses and circumstances, someone who understands and has been around different C-Suite roles. Engaging an experienced CFO will help you get to the right answer quickly.

Scenario #7: You Need an Exit Strategy
Positioning your business for sale is not cut and dry. If you’re considering a sale in the next few years, now is the time to prepare. To get the most value, you need the advice of a CFO skilled in buying and selling companies.

About the Author
Bobby Jenkins, Managing Director, Fahrenheit Advisors (Charlottesville), is an accomplished executive with 35 years’ experience and a demonstrated track record in diverse businesses and circumstances. Working with public and private companies, large and small, he has played a key role in increasing equity value for stakeholders. His experience and skills position him well now to add value to Fahrenheit clients, particularly in engagements related to business planning, capital raises, performance management and restructuring.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Image and content provided by Fahrenheit Advisors. This post article was originally posted here. Fahrenheit Advisors is a Sponsor of Virginia Council of CEOs.

Posted by Staff at 4:34 pm
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