Game-Changing Advisory Boards

William Hawfield

Game-Changing Advisory Boards offers a proven process for creating and maintaining sustainable value in your business. William Hawfield and John Zaepfel leverage their experience from serving on over 100 boards to provide step-by-step board processes for building exceptional, long-term value in privately- owned companies.

Inside are stories from 21 owners who used advisory boards to help them build the companies they wanted. Some still operate independently. The owners who sold received over $1.8 billion in combined value. Learn how to use the Value WheelTM System as the foundation for driving strategic vision and guiding an advisory board process to achieve your business goals.

About What Outcomes Do Advisory Boards Deliver?

Most owners of middle-market companies are hands-on, action-oriented people. They want tangible business results from a board process. Here are several outcomes that owners want from their Advisory Board:

  • – Survive. Get the professional guidance and resources needed from outside that will lead to making the right changes, quickly.
  • – Grow sales and profitability. Generate innovative ideas for sales and instill financial discipline to build sustainable value.
  • – Prepare their company for sale. Identify potential buyers and ensure the company is positioned to be an attractive acquisition target.
  • – Provide wise counsel to the CEO. Help him or her confront difficult ethical, personnel, or customer issues.
  • – Strengthen the organizational structure. Assist the CEO in selecting game breakers for key positions and designing a meaningful succession plan.
  • – Raise equity capital. Work with management to prepare the plans, design the measurement processes and deliver the performance that will attract outside investors. Make introductions to the right investment partners.
  • – Support the CEO. Mentor the CEO by helping him focus on what is important, coach him on his decision-making process, and enhance his leadership skills. Hold him accountable for doing what he says he will do.
  • – Mitigate shareholder issues. Provide unbiased counsel and coaching to the owners, family members, and the CEO.
  • – Define a sustainable growth strategy. Identify alliances and acquisitions that will augment the growth targets.
  • – Bring in breakthrough strategic thinking. Devise an innovation strategy to grow the business.
  • – Build a strong culture. Move from a lifestyle to a professionally managed environment.
  • – Increase accountability. Provide a reporting atmosphere for management to improve tactical and strategic execution.
  • – Results. Show positive, reproducible and predictable outcomes.

Advisory boards have had a significant impact in all of these areas. An owner should choose the areas of greatest value impact for his or her company. Then the owner and the board will know where to focus its time and resources.

About the Authors

About the Authors

Bill Hawfield is a professional manager, international speaker, business owner and a recognized, board process authority. After thirteen years at General Mills, where he was a division president, he left and started the Penguin’s Frozen Yogurt franchise company. The retail chain grew rapidly to 130 stores before it was sold to a French company.

Hawfield has served on more than thirty five boards, both fiduciary and advisory in a wide variety of industries including distribution, construction, manufacturing, aerospace, financial services, consulting, insurance, and food service. He is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and is a faculty member in NACD Family Business Leadership forum in Los Angeles.

He is an international speaker for Vistage, an organization comprising 18,000 CEOs worldwide. Also, he is the cofounder of The Board Group, which creates and manages advisory boards for privately-owned companies.


John Zaepfel has had a varied and successful business career as a CEO, board chairman, and CEO coach. He has served on fifty-two public and private company boards and currently serves on numerous public, private statutory and advisory boards, chairing several as a non-executive chairman. He has assisted as a board member in four public offerings, several change-of-control transactions, and has chaired two public audit committees that installed Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

He has served as a public company director for Ideal School Supply, Varitronics, The Troy Group, Hi-Shear Technology, and RemedyTemp, Inc. John is a past member of the Young Presidents Organization and is currently a member of the Chief Executives Organization. He worked with the members of Vistage International for over twenty years as a group chairman and as a speaker.

He is the Chairman Emeritus of The Board Group, which creates boards and manages advisory boards for privately-owned companies. He is also CEO of The Zaepfel Group.

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