Dan DeGolier, CPA
Why did I decide to become a CFO for hire? Because I love entrepreneurship, working closely with teams who are building high-growth businesses, and helping new and established companies reach their potential. I’m passionate about working with entrepreneurs and startups to manage all aspects of their finance and accounting so they can focus on building and growing their business. My fractional CFO experience includes working with companies such as PivotDesk, Vertiba, Standing Cloud, Beneath The Ink, and BoulderBits to name a few. When not working with clients, I love riding my mountain bike, skiing, hiking and spending time with my wife and three daughters.
Prior to founding Ascent CFO Solutions in 2011 (formerly DeGolier CFO Consulting), I served as CFO for multiple early and mid-stage companies such as Gold Systems, Zayo Enterprise Networks and VP Finance for Integrated Research. My 25 years of experience began with an international CPA firm: BDO LLP, in Denver, CO. I have a degree in accounting from Colorado State University.
When it comes to work, I’m inspired by challenges and diversity. Over the past 15 years, I’ve worked in corporate finance, investment banking and venture capital. I enjoy working with small- and medium-size growth companies where I can make a difference by helping management define strategic objectives and successfully execute on their growth strategies. My diverse background enables me to wear many hats: from managing the day-to-day accounting and finance functions to providing strategic analysis and guidance on growth opportunities. My experience includes forecasting-planning, M&A advisory, fundraising, valuation, and international business development (China and elsewhere). Since moving to Denver in 2014 after spending 8 years working in China, I have consulted for a number of companies, including a private equity-backed cyber security firm, a medical devices company and SaaS startups.
I started my career as a CPA at Deloitte and have an MBA from Wharton Business School and a BA in international economics from UCLA. When I’m not working, I enjoy yoga, skiing, golfing, traveling and spending time with my husband and one-year-old daughter.
I joined Ascent CFO Solutions in 2016 because of my passion for working with entrepreneurs and startups in disruptive and emerging businesses. As a fractional CFO I love helping my clients grow their businesses by providing financial and accounting expertise.
I started my career in public accounting at KPMG, before spending the next15 years working as a CFO and operations leader for a number of financial services and technology companies. I helped grow these companies from inception or early revenue stages, through a variety of acquisitions including, venture and private equity fund raising, bridge and working capital financing, foreign joint ventures, and successful M&A exits, including post acquisition financial integration and ERP implementations. As an executive leader, I was also responsible for managing financial and accounting systems, streamlining processes and ensuring strong internal controls and reporting.
A Colorado native, I have a BS in Accounting from the University of Colorado, Boulder and am a CPA. In my free time, I love hiking and exercising, as well as spending time and traveling with my husband and two children.
The most rewarding moments in my career have always been working with individuals and teams to define objectives and implement strategies that drive desired outcomes. My role at Ascent provides the platform for me to carry on my passion of rolling up my sleeves and working with a wide variety of clients to successfully navigate their accounting, finance and business challenges. I have over 30 years of broad-based accounting and finance experience in both public and private companies. This includes almost 20 years in a CFO role at NewsGator/Sitrion (I was part of the team that grew revenue from less than $1M to over $30M) and SmartTalk. As CFO, I helped to drive strategic growth and change, build finance systems, teams and operations to maximize bottom line and support growth. I also participated in M&A activity and international expansion, and led administrative functions.
In addition to working with Ascent’s fantastic clients, I enjoy skiing and traveling with my wife and when there’s time, bicycling the roads and mountain bike trails of Boulder County. I have an MBA from the University of Texas and hold a Texas CPA license.
Why would anyone walk away from a stable corporate job with predictable hours and benefits to join the startup scene? We each have our own reasons, but for me it’s the contagious passion of entrepreneurs and it’s been a great adventure so far.
My past professional experiences give me a solid foundation in tactical finance and accounting skills. However, my real passion is taking a company a few steps further and driving strategic business decisions. Whether it’s building financial models, evaluating business cases, or just bouncing ideas around, I love working with entrepreneurs. I’ve immersed myself in the startup community by volunteering with Rockies Venture Club; attending numerous Meetups, pitch events, House of Genius gatherings, and NewCo Boulder and Boulder Startup weeks; networking; and having coffee with anyone in the industry who will say, “Yes.”
I thrive on trail running, training for triathlons, salsa dancing, spending time in the backcountry, and traveling extensively in developing countries. I’m a Colorado native and hold an MBA from the University of Colorado Denver.
Shauna Giddings Schmitz
I enjoy working with small to medium size businesses that are starting up or growing. With my 20 years of finance and accounting experience, both domestic and international, as well as a bachelor’s in finance (summa cum laude) and a Wharton MBA, I assist companies in achieving their growth goals with a solid financial and accounting base. My experience includes strategic planning, executive management, and day-to-day financial management activities, as well as managing the human resources and legal functions of startups.
My passions include travel - I have lived in Mongolia and Panama and have traveled to over 40 countries. My second passion is giving back through my work and volunteer activities: former CFO of Room to Read, an international nonprofit focused on literacy; former member of the Colorado-Wyoming Multiple Sclerosis Society Board of Directors, etc. My third passion is being outdoors and exercising and I love sharing these passions with my husband and two young daughters.
I thrive working on a variety of, complex projects with diverse teams. My portfolio experience spans finance, operations, and strategy roles. A few notable achievements include leading an organization’s $1 billion annual revenue financial planning process, redesigning business processes throughout several different organizations, and developing successful funding strategies and effective business practices in regulatory environments. Over the course of my career, I have worked as a management consultant with both international and local firms and as a finance executive in higher education.
I particularly enjoy working with small and mid-size companies that boast inspired leadership and motivated teams. I feel that my broad experience and big-picture perspective gained from working at large organizations allows me to help small businesses scale finance and operations through systems, technology, data, and process design.
I have an MBA from the University of Colorado Executive MBA program and a BA in Psychology from Grinnell College. I live in Boulder and am enjoying every minute raising my twin second-graders.
Katherine Ann Cantrell
I joined Ascent in 2013 and enjoy any type of work having to do with accounting! The team at Ascent truly understands the importance of integrating with the companies we support. I really love working with our clients and helping them get timely and accurate reporting. My past professional experiences include being Vice-President of Operations for Trinue, Inc. in Boulder, Marketing Manager at the Boulder City Club, and Finance Director at the Boulder Country Club. In addition, I’ve done bookkeeping and accounting for numerous businesses and individuals through the past 25 years.
I am passionate about my family, including (and especially) my five children, ages 12 to 19. I love cooking, biking, spirituality, yoga, and traveling in our amazing world. I have a bachelor’s of business administration in finance from the University of Georgia and studied international banking at the City University of London.