VirtualBoard – A Major Resource for Entrepreneurs
“We purchased Veterinary Referral Surgical Practice in 2003 and have grown to three locations and nearly 50 employees. Most small business owners have similar challenges that they often face alone. Since joining VirtualBoard in 2014, I have benefited from the experience and knowledge of a trusted group of experts and fellow entrepreneurs. If we ask ourselves the wrong questions, we can waste a lot of time and energy going in the wrong direction. Our Chair is a gifted facilitator who asks the right questions and empowers us to come up with our own solutions.”
David Filer, DVM, MS
Veterinary Referral Surgical Practice
I had the pleasure of serving on the San Diego chapter of VirtualBoard for two years before I moved out of the U.S. VirtualBoard provided me with several superb tools to help me think differently about my business both strategically and operationally. CEOs of private companies rarely have the chance to get the collective wisdom and experience of a room full of similar-level individuals who want to help. That was the great thing about VB – under the expert guidance of Lewis Haskell, the discussions were deep, valuable and everyone was there to help each other. It is like AA but for entrepreneurs. Although we were all in different businesses, the issues we faced were similar and the solutions that were proposed were based on experience. It was a quality afternoon and one which I looked forward to between meetings very much. And, of course, the networking was superb. I wish we had such a program where I live now!
Harry Lander Managing Partner - Dyo Bio Technologies
“I joined VirtualBoard in 2016 at the recommendation of a friend, a former COO of a prominent food manufacturer in Atlanta. I’m glad I listened to him. Being in this group is like getting an MBA. The wisdom I’ve gained from each member has allowed me to avoid countless mistakes and pitfalls. This was especially true when I merged my company. I got advice ranging from the actual deal (finances, legal and merger documents), to integrating cultures to working with legacy VC companies.
As a CEO, I do not have a daily forum where I can vent, so being a member allows me to share challenges that we are all facing in a very safe and confidential environment. Our chair is a big part of that. With equal parts directness and empathy, she has the ability to ask questions that get to the heart of whatever I’m working on. My wife always knows when I’ve been to a VirtualBoard meeting because I come home energized and pumped.”
Don Doster, CEO
I was a member of the VirtualBoard for several years as a principal / executive of GoPaperless Solutions. The group's expertise, skills and vast knowledge from various industries was very helpful and insightful for me as we dealt with challenges to grow our business. The VirtualBoard's peer-to-peer group consulting sessions included both larger groups as well as smaller, more-intimate sessions to discuss business initiatives and challenges. My goal was to exit at some point via an acquisition and having the opportunity to meet with M&A and legal contacts / sponsors on the board, our company was able to have a successful exit.
“Entrepreneurs are a unique breed, often focused on making their business a success but rarely taking the time to prepare it for an eventual sale. I co-founded VirtualBoard in 2014 because I saw a need for peer groups that could help members get the best payoff in the long run. I've been both a Chair and professional in the Atlanta group, and continue to derive as much benefit for my own business as my fellow members do for theirs. Each group is a mix of business owners and highly qualified professionals with vertical expertise, from estate planning to mergers and acquisitions. The group’s Chair facilitates meaningful discussions by asking deep, thought-provoking questions that go beyond the symptoms to the issues causing the pain. Since this is an invitation-only group, we also make sure each member has the right chemistry and is fully committed to give and receive value."
The Angel Advisors
“I was about to terminate a long-term key employee because of something they did. My VirtualBoard Members talked me out of it, and it was one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. As a Member, I can always depend on this group of smart, experienced folks for their valuable advice. As an Education Partner, I keep Members from leaving money on the table when they’re ready to sell and while they're running their business in the meantime. Our Chair is caring and dedicated to our success. If you’re considering VirtualBoard membership, believe me, the cost and time commitment is far outweighed by how much more profitable your business will be!”
Barry Klein, CPA
Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC
“We started our fire protection sales and service company in 1982. Although we have always been dedicated to our business, it wasn’t until we joined the Virtual Board in 2018 that we felt a clear vision of what we wanted long term. The professionals we met there, from our CPA to our strategic planner, are invested in our success. They’ve helped us automate our systems and grow about 10 percent each year. Our group’s Chair is smart, kind and very knowledgeable. Whether we decide to eventually sell our business or pass it on to family members, we will do it the right way. We realized that although we had visions and ideas for many years, the Virtual Board is helping us make those ideas a reality and we are now building a strong retirement plan.”
Cliff and Pam Bennett
Cliff's Fire Extinguisher Co. Inc.
“After 47 years in business, I decided to join a peer mentoring group in anticipation of easing out of my manufacturing firm. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I chose VirtualBoard over Vistage because I wanted both a more personal experience and access to transaction experts in the group. I now have a trusted team working on my behalf, including an M&A expert, accountant and attorney. We have gotten to know each other through our regular group meetings, which is different from only meeting with them individually. The more I learn from those experts and the business owners in my group, the more I realize what I didn’t know. I also value how our Chair asks questions I had never thought about, both in the meetings and our coaching sessions. In this group, we all hold each other’s feet to the fire to move forward. If we didn’t, what would be the point?”
Robert Berry, Owner
TPI Engineered Systems
“I barely made it out of high school and now run a $30 million frozen food manufacturing company. That’s because I surround myself with good people, ask them the right questions and listen. At VirtualBoard, the other members and education partners are invested in each other’s successes. Our goal is to each build a business that is always ready to be sold—from the way we operate to our bench strength to our succession plan. Suzanne Durbin is one of my top three favorite people. As our Chair, she listens, tells us what she hears and, more important, tells us what we don’t want to but need to hear. Her brutal honesty is priceless.”
Will Rece, CEO and Owner
"As a licensed psychologist, I help family business owners sort through and navigate the unique dynamics they face. Being an Education Partner with VirtualBoard has helped me expand my practice and support my clients better. I’ve learned a lot from the other members and speakers about what it takes to run a business—like financing growth and shareholders agreements. I share those strategies with my own clients. Our Chair, Suzanne Durbin, is gifted at grounding people and getting them to open up and move on. She is so authentic and that allows me to be vulnerable. At every meeting, I feel respected as a human and respectful of her.”
Dr. Tiffany Whitworth, Consultant
Family Business Council