Jeff Gustafson joined Propeller Industries with a wealth of prior experience in accounting and business capitalization, but also hands-on experience building and managing his own company. At Propeller, he finds that he’s most satisfied when he operates in all three of those roles at the same time.
Jeff appreciates that entrepreneurs know the day-to-day of running their own business, but he also understands there’s a big knowledge gap when it comes to events that may happen only once: reinvigorating a stagnant business, raising equity for expansion, and purchasing or selling a company. Jeff is at his best when he’s filling that gap as a mentor to maturing startups.
With almost every client engagement, Jeff’s first step is to establish accounting best-practices to help fully understand the business before addressing long-term strategic issues. For example, two partners with a wholesale food & beverage company came to Jeff with profitability issues and uncertain strategic direction. After listening to their objectives then digging into the financials, Jeff helped identify trouble spots and created a plan to increase profitability. Once the business modified its operating model and hit its stride, Jeff found an equity partner to help the company expand into retail. The business has increased nearly tenfold in value since Jeff’s involvement.
Before joining Propeller, Jeff was co-founder and CFO of Vetrazzo, where he successfully negotiated its sale. Prior to that, he spent a number of years with J.P. Morgan’s Equity Private Placement Group, Coopers & Lybrand’s Financial Advisory Services Group, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. He earned his MBA from Stanford University and his BA in economics and business from UCLA.
When Jeff has downtime, he can be found catching a sporting event, reading on a tropical beach, or exploring Marin with his wife Wendy and their Wheaten Terrier, Quincy.