As Rave’s Chief Financial Officer, Bill is responsible for leading the company’s finance and human resources organization and implementing financial and operational plans to drive growth and extend business decisions across the company. Bill’s career spans several successful start-ups serving as CFO at MineralTree, a leader in Accounts Payable and payment automation solutions, ZoomInfo (acq’d by Great Hill Partners), a business information SaaS company, MarketSoft (acq’d by Unica/IBM) a lead management SaaS solution, NextPoint Networks (acq’d by NetScout) an IT management software application, and MediQual (acq’d by Cardinal Health) a medical software company. Before start-ups, Bill serviced a wide range of clients as a Sr. Manager in Arthur Andersen’s audit and small business high tech practice.
1. Where did you grow up and how did you end up at Rave Mobile Safety?
I grew up in Sharon, Massachusetts, a quiet bedroom community south of Boston. I didn’t go far when I went to college at Northeastern University, commuting by train five days a week for five years (co-op program). Following college, I joined Arthur Andersen, one of the elite Big 8 (at the time) CPA firms working with large multinational clients such as Sheraton, Timberland, Nortek, and MBTA, as well as start-up and early-stage software clients. After eight years, I jumped the fence and joined one of my software clients as their CFO as part of their transition from Venture Capital to Private Equity with a new round led by Bain Capital. My CFO career has since spanned seven early-stage software companies resulting in $100M in fundraising, 1 IPO and seven sales to private equity firms and/or strategic buyers. In life, timing is everything and my joining Rave was definitely one of the times that was right (vs. the Price is Right). Todd Piett, Rave’s CEO, reached out to me during one of my start-up experiences where I was spending 2 ½ hours a day commuting to and from Cambridge. He recruited me to become Rave’s financial leader and I’ve never looked back. In hindsight, it was one of my better moves.
2. Where do you see opportunities for growth and advancement within Rave?
No one and no company is perfect. There is always room for improvement. With unprecedented crises happening in North America over the past 3 years including school shootings, natural disasters, and the recent pandemic, our products have experienced a record usage by our customers which is great to see that our customers are getting huge value out of our products. We have a handful of financial and operating metrics that we track and manage to such as customer retention, sales & marketing efficiency, number of customers with multiple products, average sales price to name a few. We need to do a better job constantly improving all measures.
3. What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
I guess it depends on who you ask but I think of myself as confident, curious and engaging.
4. What one word would best describe your leadership style?
Not a one word answer, I believe in hiring really smart people, giving them direction and then getting out of their way so they can do their job.
5. How do you keep yourself up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry?
Staying close to customers is the best way to know if you are doing a good job serving them and meeting and hopefully anticipating their needs. As it should be, every conversation at Rave puts the customer in the middle of the table.
6. What is your favorite part about working at Rave?
While we run a financially sound operation, I love being where the action is, in Sales, helping the team to achieve their objectives. Having both growth and profits is what allows us to be innovative, make investments and take risks. Companies burning cash don’t have that luxury.
7. If you could travel anywhere right now, where would it be?
Given the pandemic has forced us all to work remotely and eliminated travel, I’d be open to traveling just about anywhere!
8. What is your favorite sports team?
I grew up playing hockey in leagues and on ponds with friends, so I’d have to say the Bruins, but the Patriots are a close 2nd.
9. Outside of work, what are your favorite things to do?
There’s not much I don’t like to do. I spend my leisure time playing golf, boating, traveling, gardening, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
10. Do you have anything else you’d like to share with our blog readers?
To restate an earlier answer, no one is perfect. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I try to learn something new every day. Being courageous to ask open ended and what might seem like stupid questions at the time allows you to gain insights you may not otherwise achieve. It not only makes me a smarter person, it allows others to shine.