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). After spending 8 years working in China, I moved Denver in 2014. I 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 daughter.
Kathy McCarty, CPA
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.
I was a competitive athlete in college and look at business in much the same way: I want my team to win. My approach to the CFO role is growth-focused, not control-focused. I like to have an understanding of every facet of the business to understand the challenges each team member faces. I want to break down walls between departments. The accounting department should be “of service” to all other departments, providing the information and analysis the other departments need. Month-end-close should be fast, and the information should be delivered at the right level.
I have been involved with 4 home runs in my career, all in the food and beverage business, and 1 strike out. $1.4 Billion of equity value was created in these turnarounds. I always had the CFO title but each time I was asked to play multiple roles, such as sales, real estate site selection, and franchising. Because of that experience, I can help our clients in many ways. My goal is to help the Company to win as a whole.
I’ve been the CFO of Famous Amos Cookies, Red Robin Restaurants, Sunflower Farmers Market, and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market (co-founder). I was also on the Board of Stewarts Root Beer.
I graduated from George Washington University with honors and spent 7 years as an audit manager with Arthur Andersen & CO.
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.
Sylvia Johnston, CPA
Sylvia Johnston is a CPA with extensive experience as a senior level finance professional with companies ranging in size from start-ups to Fortune 500 multi-national organizations. Sylvia thrives in an environment where she can drive change to achieve operational efficiencies as well as strengthen financial internal controls. Possessing an outgoing and enthusiastic personality and armed with best practices from product manufacturers such as Pfizer, Sony, and Universal Music, Sylvia has managed cross-functional teams and successfully implemented accounting practices and business process improvements that are feasible and effective, tailored to each unique business.
Sylvia has lived and worked overseas and has a unique understanding of respecting other cultures and how to coordinate projects across geographic locations. Sylvia’s skills include financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, internal audit, tax, systems implementation and business process improvement.
Sylvia started her career with Arthur Andersen’s metro New York and holds a BA in Accounting and MBA from Michigan State University.
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.