That’s Someone I’d Want to Work With

Blog #10 Maccari-CiceroThis article was originally posted on LinkedIn.

Last month I was able to attend the ASU GSV Summit. While I was there, I had dozens of meetings and was able to attend a few sessions and the closing dinner. The overall Summit was productive, informative, and a great way for me to keep abreast of innovations in education and meet or see leaders of all types present their visions, organizations, and product and services.

Though I do know a lot about the education space, and I have and am currently working with many private equity firms investing in education companies, and directly with leaders within education companies and institutions, my core strengths are with recruiting and executive search. So, when I attended the closing dinner, I couldn’t help but think that of all events during the Summit that was the excellent opportunity for any company leader to represent an organization and attract top-notch talent.

For company leaders invited to speak to a large captive audience of your peers, potential investors and partners, and experienced attendees who may be looking for a job change, here’s some advice:

  • If you are the leader of an organization you are also part of its brand, and you are not only trying to sell something or have a service adopted, you are recruiting. You are also competing for talent and investment against every other leader an audience is presented.
  • You want your audience to be compelled to want to think they would want to work for you.
  • You want every person in the room to go home and think, “That’s someone I’d want to work with.”
  • If you meet someone on the elevator, and you have a chance to introduce yourself and speak about what you do, you want that person to walk away thinking, “That’s someone I’d want to work with.”
  • You want everyone to meet to leave the presentation and to go look up more information about your organization and your personal work experience.
  • You want everyone you meet to leave the encounter and sign into LinkedIn and ask to connect with you.

This advice applies whether you’re on a 50-minute panel, and three minutes to accept an award and present your achievements, or the 15 seconds it takes going from the lobby to the 20th floor. You do what you do because you love it, you have a vision for it, so share it with others in a way that will make them walk away and think, “That’s someone I’d want to work with.” Because as CEO, you are always recruiting.

New EVP Sales Search for Growing Software-powered Healthcare Insights Company

istock image, org chart drawing woman



Harnessing the Power of Real Time Market Research

InCrowd enables market researchers across the life sciences industry  to get physician insights faster, easier and more accurately with real time market research. The ability to get immediate answers from key target audiences gives the life sciences industry the opportunity to respond with confidence.

Through micro methodology, which is brief but impactful research, InCrowd is changing the healthcare research landscape.

InCrowd, Inc. achieves this via an online platform that provides life sciences companies with real time answers to product development questions from their target audiences. Its solutions include MicroEval that allows users to evaluate their target product perceived benefits and barriers, as well as provides the current market and product launch impact on the treatment landscape. The company also provides MicroTracker, a solution that allows users to track their brands performance against competitors with primary market indicators, such as unaided brand awareness, primary brand performance metrics, longitudinal brand tracking, and dominant brand descriptors. In addition, it offers MicroTest, a solution that provides preference ranking by determining the concepts, images, videos, and messages that are most appealing or most likely to influence prescribing behavior among the target audience, as well as provides key performance indicator ratings and open-ended impressions. The company’s platform provides feedback from physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, hospital administrators, psychologists, optometrists, pharmacists, and other licensed healthcare professionals. InCrowd, Inc. was incorporated in 2011 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Products & Technology

InCrowd’s technology enables what they have termed Microsurveys— these are built as an integrated market research system that connects life science companies directly with prescribers, and other healthcare stakeholders, in real time using 2-5 minute microsurveys.

Microsurveys offer:

  • An easy self-service or professional service application with 11 question types
  • Access to a Crowd of national and international respondents that are targeted, verified and can answer from any device, anytime, anywhere
  • Responses available in real time and delivered directly. Advanced reporting and analytics are available upon request.

MicroEval allows the marketer to evaluate the target product profile (TPP) using five questions with results in as little as 48 hours.

MicroTracker makes the tracking of a brand’s key performance metrics easy, intuitive yet delivering quick and deep insight in a pervasive fashion.

With MicroTest, test concepts, advertisements, or other stimuli before and throughout the product lifecycle.

The Position

Reporting to the CEO, the EVP Sales for InCrowd is responsible for playing the leadership role in the sales function of the company, planning and directing all aspects of the sales organization including sales strategy, new customer acquisition and existing key account management and growth.


This position serves as a key member of InCrowd’s Executive Team providing vision, strategy and direction to all functions regarding sales.  The EVP Sales will be accountable for overall sales organization performance, the profitable achievement of the sales organizations goals, aligning sales objectives with InCrowd’s business strategy, and developing a plan for a technology approach to selling. The EVP Sales must develop comprehensive product knowledge essential to this role and build confidence with customers by demonstrating a thorough understanding of InCrowd’s  business and overall market.

Extensive experience required in setting strategy and managing teams to develop go-to-market approaches, negotiating agreements and contracts with a goal of becoming a trusted advisor to the InCrowd customer base.

Direct reporting staff members include SVP Sales, Director of Sales Operations, and Inside Sales Manager.  In addition, there are several existing and to-be-hired individual sales executives responsible for direct sales into the enterprise.


Book Keeper (PT Remote)

Bookkeeper (PT Remote)

Part Time Bookkeeper with QuickBooks and Payroll experience wanted to help a growing, boutique professional services firm in Back Bay.  Need to be very organized, detail-oriented, and tech-savvy. Principal duties include maintenance of A/P, A/R, P/R, monthly close, G/L, etc. In addition, general HR benefit support, through web based applications is highly desired.  Hours and specific duties are flexible for the right candidate.

Must be proficient in the following areas:

  • Substantial knowledge and experience with QuickBooks Online
  • Familiarity with is a plus
  • AR/AP and commissions calculation responsibilities
  • Filing of registration in various states in which we do business
  • Payroll vendor management: healthcare and benefits administration withholding, etc. (401K and profit sharing)
  • Business dashboard management and updating via Excel spreadsheet and graphing
  • Cash management (moving between business account, money market, and credit line)
  • Prepare (bi-monthly) payroll and commission reports
  • Comply with relevant reporting requirements
  • Maintain filing system to support financial records
  • Interface with outside CPA


Associate’s Degree and/or Bachelor’s Degree preferred in Accounting, Finance or Business

3-5 years recent experience as a staff accountant or full-charge bookkeeper

Good Working Knowledge of: QuickBooks, MS Outlook, Word, Excel,

Highly organized and extremely detailed oriented

Great multi-tasker

Strong project management skills

Computer and tech-savvy

Self-starter with strong written and verbal communication skills

Ability to use good judgement and good decision-making abilities

Keeps calm under pressure and deadlines

This is a Part-Time, mostly remote position of approximately 20-25 hours a week.  1-2 visits to Back Bay office per month are ideal but not mandatory.  Please submit resume, cover letter and salary requirements by applying at:

Executive Search | Director, Strategy and Business Development| Infrastructure Management Solutions Company

Org Chart


Position: Director, Strategy and Business Development

Smart Solutions for Distributed Networks
Remote monitoring, access and control from anywhere anytime


The Company
Opengear ( is a profitable, double-digit annual growth technology provider that enables technical staff to provision, maintain and repair infrastructure from anywhere at any time, as if they were physically present, drastically reducing both operational costs and the risk of downtime.

Opengear solutions deliver true out-of-band management, always-available wired and wireless secure remote access, proactive monitoring and automated response capabilities.


Opengear designs, manufactures, and delivers remote infrastructure management solutions. It offers data center infrastructure management solutions, such as console server solutions that provide secure in-band and out-of-band access to manage data centers and colocation sites; manage serial, OG_customersUSB, and network console ports; monitor environment; control UPS systems and PDUs; and alert and auto respond. The company also provides remote site management solutions that allow users to monitor, access, and control various infrastructure, such as applications and computers at the local or remote site; networking equipment, security cameras, and power supplies; and down to door sensors, and temperature and digital I/O. In addition, it offers environmental monitoring and alerting solutions for managing changes in environmental conditions in computer rooms and remote sites; and central management solutions, including virtual and physical appliances to securely manage distributed infrastructure, and access locations without public IP. The company sells its products through its online stores in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and internationally; and distributors worldwide. Opengear, Inc. was founded in 2004 in Brisbane, Australia and has operations in Sandy, Utah, and sales offices in Slough, United Kingdom. Currently, R&D operations remain based primarily in Brisbane, Australia.

The Position

The Director, Strategy and Business Development will spearhead business development initiatives which identify market, technology and partnership opportunities in infrastructure management that match Opengear’s strengths, work internally with the executive, product and marketing teams to refine the company’s strategic direction, and translate this direction into growth actions that create long-term value.

Highlights of the new Director, Strategy and Business Development’s track record and experience will include the following:


Summer Marketing & Research Intern








Summer Marketing & Research Intern

  • WHAT WE DO: We build executive teams. Common slang? Headhunter. Lofty term? Executive search consultants.
  • WHAT WE NEED: A creative, self-directed, curious, marketing and market research focused intern. Our goal for this role?  To map how we can best market into what we call the “gray space” with prospective clients.
  • WHERE WE ARE: We’re located in Back Bay, at the corner of Newbury and Clarendon. If you’re T-accessible, so are we (Green line Arlington or Copley stop, Orange, Back Bay stop).
  • WHO YOU ARE: Here is what you’re probably interested in, like thinking about, and are wired as—
    • You like to figure out how things work.  Or why things are the way they are.  Think investigative reporter.
    • OK, if you’re the right type of person, you’ve looked this up and dropped  it into casual conversation within the next 48 hours
    • Self-directed. This is a role that will be given direction, but broad latitude to accomplish on one’s own.
    • Thirst for learning.
    • A budding pundit. Not only do you like words, but you like to write.  Not long tomes or deep research abstracts, but pithy, meaningful, insights-driven stuff.  Think short stories.  Something between haiku and novella.  You’ve written at least one tweet in iambic pentameter just for fun.  You’ve blogged on life observations or your synthesis of current events.
    • You love the intersection of marketing, and market research. Finding a theme or insight, and then crystalizing, prepping, and disseminating it across the appropriate spectrum of social media tools
    • This is a paid internship
    • This could be as few as 2 days a week, as many as 4 or 5
    • The internship will run June-August, with the opportunity to continue in a part time role, if desired by both parties, throughout the school year
    • You do not need to do all work in our office. However, you will need to spend at least half your time in the office, therefore you should be accessible to Back Bay to spend between 1 and 2 days a week there
    • This role is conceptualized as a summer sojourn for college or graduate school students, not a full time role. Therefore, if full time work is what you seek, please respect the spirit of the need and pass up the urge to apply.

In your response, please include:

Social media coordinates for your work (blog URL, twitter handle), and any market research samples you wish us to review.

Please direct all responses to our online portal at Click on the link labeled “BSG Marketing Summer Intern”, and attach your resume, cover note, and contact information there.

BSG Team Ventures successfully completes CCO search for semiconductor laser technology leader in the automotive industry


We’re pleased to announce that BSG Team Ventures has completed the search and secured Luke Smithwick for the Chief Commercial Officer position. The addition of Luke to the TriLumina team further develops the breadth and strength of the senior leadership team and adds automotive bench strength, ensuring the success of current and future product offerings in the rapidly expanding automotive ADAS semiconductor market.

During the past 10 years, Luke has focused on automotive technologies and markets including semiconductors, hardware and software, and brings his automotive expertise to TriLumina’s senior leadership team. Luke’s experience spans from core R&D at Bell Laboratories; product management, marketing and sales at GlobeSpan; VP of Licensing at Aware; multiple automotive roles at Freescale including operations manager of the driver information and infotainment business, where he owned the P&L, drove automotive product line management, quality and customer engagements; director of automotive infotainment product management at Qualcomm, focusing on adding automotive capabilities and quality to their NPI process; and VP of Business Development, Marketing and Partnerships at CloudCar, adding deep automotive industry know-how. Luke’s ability to manage complex business engagements is matched by his deep understanding of multiple technologies and its application to solving complex system-level customer challenges in the automotive market.

Luke Smithwick has over 25 years of experience in business and technical leadership spanning semiconductors, software, hardware and core R&D with the past 10 years focused on the automotive industry. He joins us from Silicon Valley start-up CloudCar where he was VP of Marketing, Partnerships and Business Development. Prior to that, he was director of Automotive Infotainment Products at Qualcomm driving automotive product management and focusing engineering on achieving automotive qualification of high-complexity application processors. Luke started his automotive career at Freescale as Director of Software and Solution Technologies where he started an automotive professional services P&L and automotive software solutions team and later as Global Operations and Business Manager driving the P&L, product line management, solutions, strategy and vision for Freescale’s Automotive Driver Information and Infotainment semiconductor business. Earlier in his career, Luke was focused on complex IP licensing at Aware as VP of Licensing, held a number of senior marketing and sales positions at GlobeSpan Semiconductor and was an advanced technology researcher at Bell Laboratories. Luke did post graduate work at Princeton University and Columbia University and holds a BSEE and MS in electrical engineering from the University of Florida. He holds 14 technology patents and has published multiple industry and technical papers.

About TriLumina

TriLumina is a venture-backed pioneer in solid state modules used in LiDAR and ADAS systems for the automotive industry and its push toward autonomous vehicle safety. For more on TriLumina, see

More on Mr. Smithwick’s background below.

INTERNAL SEARCH | BSG Team Ventures | Office Manager


Executive search opportunity


Office Manager

Small professional services firm located in Back Bay is seeking a creative and dependable individual to help manage our office. We are looking for a smart generalist rather than a skilled administrator, with some tech savvy and can-do attitude who can excel at performing the following tasks:

  • General office management and maintenance
  • Client greeting both in person and by telephone
  • Plan and organize events for the firm, both on and offsite
  • New hire onboarding
  • Work with Finance on invoicing, deposits and reconciling monthly corporate expenses
  • Manage and maintain relationships with vendors including hosted email and VOIP phone system
  • Experience with search engines and other online research methodologies.
  • Project management (client project assistance/management)
  • Website/blog management
  • A high degree of comfort with technology, including but not limited to proficiency in the Microsoft office suite, experience in widely used web applications, remote access software, CRM systems and basic troubleshooting abilities
  • Light computer “help desk” assistance for other local and remote employees (~20) with proprietary industry-specific database software

Other requirements:
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Ability to prioritize multiple projects/requests and deadlines
Organized and detail-oriented
Aptitude for creative problem solving and critical thinking

BA or BS Degree


Ability to adjust working hours when needed would be highly valuable

There is not a lot of “water cooler” culture in our firm.  Often, this person is there with only 1 other person in the office.  Therefore, if someone is looking for office relationships as a deep part of their social fabric, this role will likely not deliver on that vector.

This is a PT position.  Perfect for a college or grad student or someone seeking mother’s hours.  Some hours can be remote but the position will require 2-3 days a week in our Back Bay office.

Please submit resume and cover letter including your minimum compensation requirements (in either an hourly wage or annual salary) at:


Hiring dilemma—Local, relo or “commuting” executive… Which is best for you?

flight map BOS to SFOThis is a question with which clients often struggle.  There is almost always a trade-offs analysis required when hiring executive talent into growing businesses. 



In the olden days, only 2 options existed—(1) Hire a local candidate who already lived “in situ” or, (2) relocate a candidate, lock-stock-and-barrel.  Now in the 21st century, there is yet a 3rd “commuting executive option” that’s crept into the calculus.

Why?  Executives can be in touch with their customers, teams and board directors wherever and whenever needed, with zero “downtime.”  This has been powered by ubiquity of technology–wifi in air and voice-activated mobile access on the roads.  In addition, long-distance transportation has changed a great deal.  The advent of “air taxis,” and all-you-can-eat flat monthly commuter services mean you can have an executive that lives in Boston and commutes to NY, or in LA and commutes to San Francisco via Surf Air, Beacon or Rise  (

Traffic on a street at night, long exposure.

In the olden days…

It used to be that executives were usually of an age that they were married and had children, house, cars, and a more complicated (and expensive) lifestyle.   Relocating an executive with all this in tow came at a pretty penny.  Depending upon the distance an executive needs to relocate, $25,000 was probably the bare minimum, and 50K or 75K was more the norm with circumstances sometimes pushing relo costs to more than $100,000 for an executive who earned 150-300K as a salary.  Large corporations were used to these price tags, and built it into “cost of ownership” calculations when executives used to stay for 10 or 20 years and often worked at a single company until it was time for the gold watch.  However, smaller companies looking to top-grade their executive ranks to fortify for additional growth and expansion are often shocked at these costs.  How could it cost that much?  How much can a U-Haul cost, anyway they often ask?  The reality is that in our modern age of larger houses with bigger square-footage, relocating a typical 3,000 square foot home’s contents, plus car(s), and the optional cost of professional packers to safely bundle all these goods into a large moving van will often run $10,000 or more, and that’s before the mileage costs then charged to haul those goods however far the relocating executive has to go.  [Example: 300+ mile move from San Francisco to Los Angeles for 3 bedrooms home with no cars included and partial packing assistance is $5,000]

Other relo costs to consider include:

  • House hunting trips with spouse and/or family (2K to 5K per trip, often 2 or 3 trips to find the right house)
  • Interim housing for the executive while children finish up a school year, $1,000 to $3,000 a month depending upon cost of living in a given metro or regional area (Major metro areas at higher end, shoulder cities and secondary markets on the lower end)
  • Buying/selling costs of a residence. This likely has the largest range from zero to huge. What is often negotiated in relo packages  on a bespoke basis includes cost of real estate commission on the  house being sold, other seller closing costs incurred, mortgage points on the new mortgage for new house, etc.  On a 500K house, a 5% commission paid by seller is 25K.  5 points on a 500K new purchase (1% of mortgage amount to buy down the interest rate) can be another 10K.  And closing costs on the new house will likely run another 1% of amount being borrowed (4-5K in our example).
  • Increase/decrease in cost of living. Often, when relocating a candidate from one place to another, “cost of living” becomes a critical consideration for the candidate.  If they were earning 250K in a shoulder city (no major metro area in the US) and are moving into region with higher cost of living, grossing up their compensation to allow for same buying power is often essential to make the relocation math work.  See  to run these to/from calculations.


If all of these relocation costs seem too expensive, and you can’t find the talent you need local to the business being built, what to do? Revisit  paragraph 1 and seriously consider Option #3, what is fast becoming the “new normal” in today’s virtual, Slack-powered, Skype video viewed, Google hang-out fueled economy where the beat never stops, no matter WHERE you are or what time zone you’re in.

Top 15 CEO Lessons Learned from Private Equity-backed Exits in 2015

Time to sell clock image

Each spring, we at BSG assemble an august panel of private equity-backed CEOs who have exited their businesses in the last 12 months.  The goal? To “share it forward” with other current and future CEOs as they buy, build, and exit their own companies.

Below is this year’s 2015 vintage of wisdom.  This year we had the privilege of having 3 CEOs on the panel, including Peter Segall, recently CEO of HealthcareSource (, and Gordon Raskin, former CEO of Archive Systems (   Amy Margolis of Riverside Company ( also joined the panel to offer the macro view from the PE perspective, framing 2015 and the prevailing head- and tailwinds private-equity-backed CEOs faced in exiting their companies in this time window.

PE CEO Exits Panel 2016

A note about BSG: We generate and curate collective wisdom like the below as we believe our role as executive search consultants isn’t just finding the next star executive talent to round out a team or board, but to serve as information connector and conduit between all executives who power top quartile performance.

For our 2014 vintage, see

The Top 15 of 2015:

  1. The minute you take institutional money, you are for sale

    Think and act like a grocery store – “best if sold by…” Have a clear alignment with investors about timing and expectations.

  2. Develop a “sounding board”

    This board is comprised of a diverse network of confidantes – other CEO’s with exit experience, bankers, investors, etc.. You need to nurture an objective and up-to-date viewpoint on market conditions, industry specific buyer hot buttons and trends in M&A.

  3. Get to know potential buyers

    Date before you try to get married. Carve out a little time in the years before the process to informally get to know the potential buyers, so they are not meeting you for the first time during the process.  You will need a rapport with the buying CEO in order to get the deal done.

  4. Don’t let the business tank during the process  

    Good news keeps the momentum going; bad news opens the door to re-trading.

  5. Put your house in order ASAP 

    Audits, legal, tax, tech, etc.

    • Get an awesome CFO as early as possible
    • Always be preparing for the exit – start a data room and keep it up to date
    • The CEO becomes irrelevant at some point during the sale, so you have to be able to trust and rely on your CFO. If you can’t, see (a) above
  6. Make sure your key financial, customer and business metrics are tight

    Clearly defined, supportable by the detail – if anything is squishy, fix it.  Confront reality and make sure your board/investors are all on the same page

    • You are what your record says you are – Bill Parcels
    • Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be – Jack Welch
  7. Hire a banker…  

    …who knows your industry and has good chemistry with you.

  8. Never look like you have to sell 

    Be willing to walk away from any deal that isn’t good.

  9. Be the lead advocate for sweating down the transaction timeline 

    Time usually doesn’t help processes, valuations, or, most importantly, ongoing mission focus.

  10. Question “rules-of-thumb”

    Investment bankers and potential investors will arrive with plenty of them: Valuation comps, average revenue multiples, EBITDA multiples, management ownership shares, return thresholds for performance shares, rollover percentages, vesting time frames, etc.. All of these are ripe for investigation and scrutiny. Understand the full spectrum of possibilities, your unique story and place in the world, and where you can push and where you can’t.

  11. The transaction is a point in time event

    You have fiduciary responsibilities to ownership/investors (and likely are included in one or both), but you also represent management and the ongoing entity. Being true and highly focused on your mission (business) rather than a transaction will paradoxically serve you well in maximizing value in a transaction.

  12. Investors aren’t paying for what you’ve done, they’re paying for what you’ll do

    Constantly work on your story telling and make sure your story is cohesive and compelling and reflects the “connectedness” between the things you’ve built (team, infrastructure, organization, products, client relationships, etc..) and the future opportunity. This should appear seamless. A never-ending story.

  13. Think about keeping everyone in the loop instead of in the dark as you approach a transition 

    If you remain focused on “thinking forward” about what the future growth of the business will be, often a transaction isn’t cause for concern. It’s business as usual and everyone knows that mission focus is key, not a potential transaction. Employees are pretty smart anyway. They’ll find out on their own and create their own narrative if you don’t. Keep the deal team as small as possible to tell your story in a compelling way, and keep everyone else “informed, but mission focused.”

  14. Employees deserve answers to 4 questions the minute they hear about the deal

    • What is my job?
    • Who do I work for?
    • What am I paid?
    • What do I need to do to succeed?
  15. Manage your stress

    Take care of yourself during the process. Take up yoga (for insights), boxing (for “negotiation skills” and outlet for frustration) and triathlons (for endurance). You’ll likely need all 3 sports to make it over the exit finish line.

Top Takeaways – Buyouts East 2016, April 4-6, 2016, BOSTON

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

Here are some of the themes that resonated….

  • High Purchase Price Multiples Suggest Concerns
    Historically high acquisition prices being paid for companies are putting pressure on multiple expansion. Despite some softening in the energy sector, there was little consensus that high EBITA multiple prices are likely to decrease over the short term. Models were presented that showed how conditions were eerily similar to 2007 the last market peak. Some firms were looking at deals outside the US for value buys and also considering “counter-cyclical” companies.
  • Pressure on Value Creation is Unprecedented
    Given high exit prices, PE firms are taking a laser-like focus to value creation within their portfolios. One strategy is to grow their portfolio companies through add-on acquisitions that lead to greater synergies and revenue growth. Another option suggested considering smaller companies below $100 million in revenue where there was more opportunity to grow EBITA than in larger entities.
  • Talent Matters…
    Diligence is extremely critical in vetting talent- best practices included detailed and comprehensive background checks in addition to multiple meetings with the management team before close. Red flags include a pattern of lawsuits and any “material non-disclosure”. Other best practices included in-depth reviewing all Tier One managers as well as their subordinates. Some PE firms court management teams over a long time horizon enabling them to build trust and credibility. The position must likely to be replaced upon acquisition? The CFO. PE Firms that contributed to panels looked to collaborative cultures as a predictor for success. Most reported that highly entrepreneurial owners could be the most challenging to manage.
  • Operating Excellence is Key to Success
    PE firms presenting at the conference had robust 100 Day Plans. Some  some had done considerable spadework before a close, demonstrating to management teams how they could scale their businesses through marketing and distribution strategies that had been successful with previous portfolio companies.
  • Complexity continues
    Institutions ranging from political structures to corporations are struggling to address globalization, technological innovation and the increasingly interconnected world we do business in. There are no easy answers but it is important to recognize these trends as informing the overall context that we live and work in.
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