October 14, 2022 – Joe Olson of ON Partners assisted in the recruitment of Kevin Donalds as the new CFO of Bushel, an independently-owned software technology company focused on developing solutions for the grain supply chain. “Kevin’s experience will help us build upon our financial operations to best serve our customers for the long-term.,” said Jake Joraanstad, CEO of Bushel. “He’s someone with high-level skills that match our growth, while aligning well with the Bushel culture and values. ”
Most recently, Mr. Donalds served as VP of finance at Granular, leading the team in company financial decisions and operations. Throughout his career, he held finance leadership roles at several emerging companies including Priceline and Tutor.com and has led successful shareholder exits at multiple companies. Mr. Donalds started his career in public accounting at Deloitte.
“Throughout the interview process, it was apparent Bushel has invested in their leadership and created a warm, upbeat team culture,” Mr. Donalds said. “It’s an exciting opportunity to join this finance team and add on to the work already being done.”
Bushel is an independently owned software company and leading provider of software technology solutions for growers, grain buyers, ag retailers, protein producers and food companies, headquartered in Fargo, ND. Since launching in 2017, Bushel’s platform has grown rapidly, now powering nearly 2,000 grain facilities across the U.S. and Canada with real-time business information for their producers. Bushel’s platform now reaches more than 40 percent of grain origination in the U.S. and Canada, resulting in inarguably the largest technology network effect among growers and grain buyers in the U.S. today.
Leading Search Consultants
With a primary focus on technology, consumer, industrial, and the life science sectors, ON Partners recruits C-level and board talent for public and private companies, as well as venture capital and private equity firms. Founded in 2006, the firm’s consultants work from offices in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Cleveland; Dallas; Menlo Park, CA; Minneapolis. MN; San Francisco; and New York. ON Partners was named one of the fastest growing search firms this year by Hunt Scanlon Media. The firm is now ranked as one of the 20 largest search firms in the nation.
Mr. Olsen has over 10 years of executive search experience. The functions he serves include CFO, CIO, and their direct reports. Among his recent assignments, Mr. Olsen placed the CFO for Advance Auto Parts and chief accounting officer for Nvidia. He focuses on the consumer products and services, retail, and technology sectors.
Evolving CFO Roles
Since COVID-19 struck, CFOs are being asked to play an ever-broader role. “The tumultuous environment companies are operating within demand a different skill-set in the CFO chair,” said Tim Conti, managing partners at ON Partners. “CFOs are playing a critical strategic role in companies, not only to pull levers necessary to secure a company’s financial platform, but also to position the company to emerge in a strong competitive positioning in a marketplace where not all will survive. This requires the CFO to lead from the front, be strategic and savvy, to navigate a company through choppy waters. When boards and CEOs do not have confidence that they have this strategic CFO, then they have no choice but to seek out an alternative.”
For all the hardship that the pandemic has created for companies everywhere, there are valuable lessons to be learned, especially for chief financial offers, says a new report from Tatum. Brad Bauer, vice president with the firm, recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss how CFOs are meeting perhaps the greatest challenge of their careers.
“In times like these, where businesses demand hyper-agility, being a functional specialist isn’t good enough,” said Bryan Buck, partner at ON Partners. “It’s required now that CFOs can see around corners and understand the physical (and digital) trends that are reshaping their world – and then act quickly. They need to think like P&L owners – not like accountants. Regardless of the product or service their company offers, customer expectations have changed. And the CFOs in highest demand right now are the ones who have proven to be nimble and business-focused enough to drive organization’s to where the puck is moving (both organically and inorganically).”
This business environment is also putting more pressure on CFOs. “There’s definitely more need for CFOs to operate with transparency around the realities of the market conditions, how those conditions are impacting the business in the short and long term, and what strategic steps are being taken to address the challenges faced,” said Mr. Conti. “Shareholders understand that market conditions are challenging, and they’ll be more patient in these unique times, but only if they have confidence in the CFO’s leadership and strategy.”
“Yes – and it’s industry-agnostic,” Mr. Buck added. “For public companies specifically, those in negatively impacted sectors are trying to survive the rapid slow down, and maintain various levels of ongoing business operations, while planning and positioning for a potential recovery that could happen within the next few quarters…or the next few years,” he said. “Public finance leaders on the other end of that spectrum are seeing tremendous growth and demand, but they’re also cognizant that current share price reflects Wall Street’s expectation of perfection – leaving no room for quarterly missteps.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media