Amalgamated Sugar

The Sweet Spot: CFO with Experience and Vision

CLIENT:
Amalgamated Sugar Company (headquartered in Boise, Idaho), is the second largest processor of sugar from sugar beets in the United States. The company operates three sugar processing facilities, owns and operates numerous distribution and storage sites nationally, and produces approximately 1.8 billion to 2.0 billion pounds of sugar annually.

Amalgamated Sugar has a stable senior management group with long average tenures.  When the Chief Financial Officer announced his retirement after 33 years with the company, Morrison & Company was asked to find a candidate who could fill those large shoes.

THE CHALLENGE:
Amalgamated had specific needs it hoped to meet.  The company was considering a number of key initiatives and the new CFO had to be able to step into the position, not grow into it.  He or she had to be a team player while being able to work with the strong and able personalities on the rest of the team.  The company also sought someone with a demonstrated record of visionary, strategic thinking, as well as the ability to work across functions to help craft and implement new strategies. Further, it was hoped the new CFO could mentor talented members of the finance team to help them grow into future leaders in the company.

"Morrison & Company’s unique and personalized recruitment process provided a number of candidates from which we were able to select a highly qualified and experienced CFO that has already become an active and contributing member of our management team. Morrison & Company was highly recommended to us through one of our corporate banking relationships; the delivered results did not disappoint and exceeded our high expectations. Thank you to the Morrison team." –
Vic Jaro, President/CEO, Amalgamated Sugar Company

THE PROCESS:
Along with developing the technical and experience requirements for qualified candidates, Morrison interviewed key members of the executive team to get a feel for the company’s culture and working environment.  Criteria were developed to help envision appropriate candidates and interview questions were designed to identify that person.

We made contacts from our database of hundreds of personal contacts, both for possible candidates and referral sources.  Unlike traditional search firms, our contacts are known to us professionally or personally and do not depend on databases acquired from other sources, internet employee lists, or cold calls.  We identified, interviewed, and pre-screened several potential candidates, three of whom were chosen to meet with the executive team in Boise.  All three finalists were either known to the Morrison team personally or referred by professionals who are well known to us. 

THE RESULTS:
After a series of interviews and tours, the company chose an experienced CFO with a long history in the food industry and a strong record of directing and managing strategy, as well as with solid experience in other key areas important to the company.  Based on our contacts we were able to conduct a thorough background check; the new CFO hit the ground running and has settled in as a key member of the Amalgamated executive team.

"I had the ‘opportunity’ to participate as a candidate in a number of searches over the 8 months I was in the search process.  Morrison was relatively unique in that they were able to accomplish all of the following:
1) Ask reasonable meaningful questions that demonstrated good knowledge of the company, the industry and the role;
2) Give sufficient insight as to the key issues in the interview process to allow for adequate preparation to reasonably address those issues;
3) Give detailed timelines and stick to them;
4) Give meaningful feedback and solid candor regarding next steps.

The search process is never an easy time for a candidate.  Morrison kept the process professional and made the experience as painless as possible." –

John Landis, CFO, Amalgamated Sugar Company