Ron Kaiser: A CFO Legend

Today, The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) holds its annual CFO Awards.  The event recognizes CFOs for outstanding achievement and excellence in promoting the Greater Washington Region’s technology community.  Receiving the Hall of Fame Award, in recognition of a lifetime of achievements and contributions to the technology business community, is Ron Kaiser.


Ron’s bio is filled with names of technology companies he’s supported as CFO, CEO and Board Member over his 30+ years experience in public and private finance, accounting and operations management in sectors such as information technology, life sciences and high tech manufacturing.  During his career, his roles included leading six IPOs which raised over $400 million on initial valuations totaling over $1.7 billion, and serving as an executive officer during the sales of 5 companies totaling over $1 billion.


While being incredibly accomplished, Ron is quite humble. He self-identifies as an “entrepreneur enabler”.  Ron writes that he “enjoys having meaningful and real conversations about strategic direction and goals”.  When he has those conversations with you, he has them as if your business is important, and so are you.  For years, he has led the financial section of the NVTC’s Fast Trac training for entrepreneurs.  I had the privilege of being there when he spoke at the most recent one.  He personally engaged each CEO, shared some great wisdom, and encouraged everyone there.


But somehow, Ron is far more than the sum of all his experiences and his engaging personality.  Anyone who knows him or has worked with him knows there is something really special about him.  It’s more than his integrity, for which he’s been fired for on at least one well known occasion.  It’s more than his technical accounting knowledge.  I was searching for ways to describe what makes Ron special, when I heard an interesting talk on physics theory.  We live in a three dimensional world.  But physics theory tells us what happens when we add another dimension.  When we can add another dimension to our environment, everything changes.  The added dimension gives more freedom of movement, elements act differently, and relationships are changed.  Knots, tied perfectly and tightly in the third dimension, unravel when there is a fourth dimension.  Why? Because friction no longer exists.


I’m convinced that what makes Ron so special, is his ability to add another dimension when problem solving.   Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”  We need another perspective, another dimension.  Ron publicly talks about his faith.  It’s this faith, I believe, that allows Ron to consider problems and challenges with an added dimension.  Knots untie; friction can’t exist.  The extra dimension Ron brings with him changes order to chaos, success to the faltering, and happy endings to business stories.


It’s been my privilege to have Ron as an advisor and opportunities to work with him.  Thank you Ron, for what you have done for the technology community and for us at Hoffman CFO Consulting.  Know that there will be many people you have helped watching and cheering as you are honored tonight.