When Keith Stauffer’s youngest son learned in grade school that his family would be moving to Singapore, he likely breathed a sigh of relief.
After all, his older brothers had already lived in Spain and the United Kingdom, and it would have been only natural for the youngest Stauffer to feel that he had some catching up to do.
“Although a lot of people hesitate on opportunities abroad because their kids are a certain age or are going into a certain grade, we have always taken sort of the opposite view,” comments dad Keith, whose finance resume is distinctive as much for its wealth of geographies as for its marquee brands.Read More
A quick glance down his resume reveals both: Singapore (Hershey); Spain, the United Kingdom (Dell); San Juan, Puerto Rico (Procter & Gamble).
Stauffer reports that it was back in the early to mid-1990s, when he was a treasury analyst at P&G, that his hand shot up for the first time.
“I was at the tail end of my first assignment out of college, and I had my eyes set at an opportunity in Puerto Rico,” recalls Stauffer, whose stint there would allow him to boost his Spanish language skills as well as add the title of Plant Finance Manager to his resume.
As the late 1990s arrived, Stauffer received a call from a former P&G colleague who had recently joined Dell who convinced him that the computer maker’s future growth path was rich with career opportunities both at home and abroad.
Stauffer would join Dell at its headquarters in Austin, Texas where he began as a finance manager inside the manufacturer’s enterprise customer organization before being named controller of the company’s fast-growing K–12 business.
Still, his offshore itch resurfaced.
“I was 3 to 4 years into my career at Dell when I heard that they were seeking a finance leader to run Spain and Portugal and shot up my hand,” comments Stauffer, who in short order became CFO of Dell’s Spain and Portugal operations.
Looking back, he marks his years abroad with as many family milestones as career ones.
Says Stauffer: ”My oldest son, who is now 21, was 1 year old when we moved to Spain, and my second son was later born in the UK.” –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about TerrAscend … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Stauffer: We’re what most people in the cannabis industry would call a multistate operator. We would be a Top 7 or so or certainly a Top 10 multistate operator. TerrAscend operates in five states—Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Michigan, California. We originally started the company in Canada, so we have the Canada business, as well. There are maybe a few more that are publicly traded, and there are more private companies that are multistate operators. What the term means is exactly what it says.
What differentiates TerrAscend—and we very much believe in this strategy, this path that we’re on—is that we’re deeper into fewer states, which means that we can really penetrate, run a vertically integrated operation, and not spread ourselves too thin in what is a very capital-intensive effort.Read More
This allows us to go deeper, to become more profitable over time, to gain a larger market share within each of the states in which we’re operating, and to build our brands. While this may not completely differentiate us, I believe that this is one of the key differentiators of TerrAscend relative to some of our peers.
This continues to be a consolidating industry, so M&A continues to play a prominent role. This is very squarely on our radar, and I play a key role in this process. Targeting our M&A strategy is a big priority for me. We also need to fully operationalize our SOX program because this will be the first year in which we are subject to that. This means focusing on more nuts and bolts on the core accounting side of things to really ensure that the company is on stable footing and that the teams across all of the businesses know what they need to do to maintain a safe controls environment. Another priority—which is the lifeblood of any company—is continuing to drive gross margin, so a major initiative for us will be to continue lots of the work already under way around reducing operating expenses and right-sizing the components of the company. Now that these processes are in place, the next frontier will be to really drive gross margin in order to be able to give ourselves the fuel to invest more fully. jb
TerrAscend | www.terrascend.com | Mississauga, Ontario