When Debbie Schleicher tells us that a football game between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Clemson Tigers became her door-opener to the CFO office, we can’t help but want to listen.
Back in 2014, she and her family were invited by a former client and serial CEO to one of the rivalry’s most anticipated games of the season.Read More
“Unfortunately, Georgia Tech beat Clemson 28 to 6,” remembers Schleicher, whose husband is a proud Clemson alum.
As the game unfolded, Schleicher recalls, her one-time client asked her if she would consider joining his start-up company as finance leader.
“I was really surprised, and I remember taking a really long pause before saying anything,” comments Schleicher, who can still hear the question “Am I ready to be a CFO?” echoing through her head.
“He looked at me, and said: ‘Is there anything about this role that you don’t think you can do?,’” explains Schleicher, who says that she immediately replied, “No.”
To add more substance to her reply, Schleicher says, she subsequently began sharing some of the experiences from her past to add some luster to her CFO candidacy.
Reports Schleicher: “The reason that I thought I was ready was that I knew that I had the technical ability. I had a track record of building teams and I had built service lines from the ground up, so I was confident that I could build a company.”
Looking back, Schleicher notes that besides the Clemson loss and the CFO job offer on the infamous “game day,” the outing can also be credited with putting in motion one other unexpected development: It seems that Georgia Tech may have gained a second win when some time later Schleicher’s collegebound son opted to become a Yellow Jacket. –Jack Sweeney
Made Possible By
CFOTL: Tell us about EasyKnock … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Schleicher: We help customers to get money that they need to do things like undertake home renovations, fund education, or maybe even have money to make a move. A year ago, Zillow estimated that the U.S. homeowner property value was $43 trillion. Recently, a Bankrate survey told us that 63% of Americans’ wealth is in their homes, yet Experian also provided us with the insight that 56% of Americans can’t handle a $1,000 unexpected bill and 25% of Americans have a FICO score below 630. So, what we do is to help customers access the equity in their home and improve their financial footprint.Read More
Let me tell you a bit about our product. We have a sale–lease back solution for homeowners. In general, we buy their house and then lease it back to them. The seller of the home now becomes our tenant. Sell & Stay is one of our products. With Sell & Stay, the homeowner pays us rent and fees, which are our revenue streams. They can remain in the home as a tenant as long as they choose to renew their lease and as long as they remain in good standing.
We give them options—literally, options. They get something that we call Option Value. While they’re renting, at any point in time they have the option to ask us to sell the home. If we do, they receive the proceeds from that home, less amounts owed to us. This can give them the economic benefit of home ownership because they can participate in the appreciation of the home. Or, they can buy the house back from us at a price that was predetermined on the day that we purchased it from them. With about 30% of our homeowners, the dispositions have resulted in the customer purchasing the home back.
“Do not minimize the importance of trust. Trust paves the way for successful relationships and outcomes with investors and bankers for capital, with the board for support and helpful governance, with the executive team to open up critical communication and teaming, with the CEO to bring support to their leadership, and with the teams you build to encourage them to fully engage and bring all of their talents to the job. Protect trust.” –Debbie Schleicher, CFO, EasyKnock
EasyKnock | www.easyknock.com | New York, NY