Keeping Small Businesses Competitive through Sharing Best Practices of Global Leaders

CHARLES FARON’S BIO

Charles Faron

Charles E. Faron is a founding member & Managing Director of Ewing Hill Advisors, Inc. (EHA) Providers of corporate business development & rainmaking, M&A intermediary services and fund sourcing assistance. The firm helps executive decision makers mitigate their company’s unforeseen risk. Clients gain peace of mind knowing they have direct access to a network of highly specialized companies with a proven track record for achieving immediate results.

Charles is a former President & Chief Executive Officer of venture-backed portfolio companies and operating divisions of US multi-nationals. He has served on private boards, worked with numerous investment banks in pursuit of acquisitions, provided sourcing services and now performs strategic Business Development activities supported by a consortium of affiliates that provide Restructuring & Turnarounds, myriad Financial Services, Risk Management, interim Executive & Fundless Sponsors, Asset Management, I-Banking & IT Consulting to organizations throughout the greater northeast & Canada.

EHA provided strategic business development, origination & technology consulting services for:

  • Duff & Phelps – an international Financial Advisory & Investment Banking firm.
  • WTAS – (former Arthur Andersen) a global provider of Tax & Valuation services
  • The Pinnacle Financial Group – a boutique, personalized benefits, insurance consulting & brokerage firm.
  • Patina Solutions – a provider of Executive Services & Fundless Sponsors for the M&A community.

Previously, Charles held progressively responsible senior executive positions in organizations of various size and commercial emphasis. These range from the President & CEO of Navitas Technologies Inc., a clean-tech, R&D and manufacturing company located in Toronto, ON, the President of ServiceConnection, a subsidiary of PC Connection, a $1.5B public company located in New England as well as the Vice-President of US Operations for a global IT Outsourcing, Consulting & enterprise software company. There, he directed the efforts of large, geographically-dispersed executive teams, managed a network of 65 + clients, and successfully managed a $140m P&L and a staff of more than 1,100 professional services and business executives. He also held leadership positions for Canopy Int’l, an early-stage, middleware integration company, BNP-Paribas, Merrill Lynch and the Manufacturers Trust Co. of NY.

Charles attended Northeastern University where he majored in English & Journalism & Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, studying Management. He is an annual Mentor for the Ignite Clean Energy (ICE) program at MIT, Cambridge MA & an EIR with the Richard Ivey School of Business, London, ON.

Board of Directors (former) – Navitas Technologies & Magnacom Technologies, Inc.
Member – Detroit Economic Club (former), CEO’s Club of Boston, Assoc. for Corporate Growth (Committee member),
Boston College Club (Membership Committee), Tech Capital Network & ATA.

Founded in 2008, The HOT SHOTS Executive Networking Group is dedicated to helping senior executives in transition through peer networking, counseling, the free sharing of ideas and referrals, and warm introductions to aid members in their job search.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

1. Please share with us how you created The Hot Shots Network.

Charles: Well, it started out as trying to help some friends of mine who were affected by the down-turn after 2008. I also looked at it as a way to “give back.” I’ve found that usually, when you help others, they’re willing to help you in return. So there was an under-current in my thinking that I would get some help from the membership that I wasn’t getting from those less altruistic in the Boston community.

 

2. There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.

Charles That’s not an easy one. I’ve found that the more responsibility you assume, the more hours it takes to get your job done ‘effectively.’ That, when combined with the current economic slow-down and the overall hostility of the Boston community in terms of those less fortunate professionally or needing assistance, translates to “working whenever you have to.”

Most days are between 3 and 7 meetings per day, peppered between phone calls from those you’re contacting to further other activities, endless e-mails required to support those meetings, phone calls and conference calls. All of this is pretty much non-stop throughout the day. In cars, at lunch, in the men’s room, while walking, etc. I’m usually up at 6:30 a.m., responding to emails and Linkedin by 7:30, in Boston (while talking on the phone) behind traffic by 9:30 and home by 7:30 pm. Then tying-up loose ends and preparing for the next day while sitting on the couch til 11:00 pm. That’s all pretty standard.

 

3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?

Charles: I’m a BlackBerry guy at the moment. I would say the entire MS/Outlook suite, Linkedin for sure, google search and SalesForce.com (as I’m actively engrossed in Business Development at the moment). These are all integrated, wireless, backed-up and addictive.

 

4. What are your tricks for time management?

Charles:

  • Constantly prioritize, review & re-view tasks as some will drop-off the list.
  • Weigh what “needs” to be done vs. would “like” to get done.
  • Get help from all factions and advice from friends and associates. You’ll do more things effectively as the advice you garner helps reduce the priorities you’re constantly reviewing.

 

5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?

Charles: Waaaay, back in the day I was riding the train home from NYC and happened to be sitting with a VP from the Bank I was with (BNP (before Parrabis was added)). He and I have actually reconnected via linkedIn after almost 30 years. He would later become my boss. I was a young manager, looking to make my mark and generally seeking lots of advice (an activity which has never really ceased). He knew I had been having trouble (performance, attitude, lack of results, etc.) with an employee on my staff – we’ll call him Raymond. He asked me how it was going and asked “is he hurting you?” I said yes. He then said what are you doing about it? I said nothing at the moment. He said “then I’d fire you!”

What I learned from that is, as a manger if you’re not adding value, thoughtfully planning and endeavoring to be one step ahead, your value is diminished. Never have forgotten that.

 

6. Given the current economic climate, what has been your strategy for building awareness of Boston Rising Ewing Hill Advisors for short term and long term growth?

Charles: By accepting today – you must work twice as hard for the same results as in years past. Securing incrementally more help and guidance from the friends and associates I mentioned previously, embracing and helping promote (another part of giving back) the newest tools and technologies. Not to be confused with ‘trends’, which are yet to be proven beneficial.

 

7. What is your proudest achievement as an accomplished entrepreneur?

Charles: I’d say there are two.  The first is helping other entrepreneurs. The second is that in my first role as an investor / CEO / entrepreneur, I grew the company I was with 400%, its profitability almost 50%, built a new team (whom I am still in touch with) and then sold the firm to a new slate of investors.

8. How do you achieve balance in your life?

Charles: I don’t. I’m a border-line workaholic and love it.

 

9. Your top 3 book recommendations?

Charles:

  • Anything by Peter Drucker
  • Endless Presidential Bio’s (both Roosevelt’s, LBJ, Nixon, Jefferson, Washington, Adams, etc.)
  • [amazon_link id=”0786864370″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]How to Become a CEO[/amazon_link] by Jeffrey Fox

 

10. What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?

Charles: No one specific thing. I guess it would be realizing the importance of “giving back” and carrying oneself accordingly throughout their day and career.

 

11. Who has influenced your career the most?

Charles: No one person really. Professionally, it would be the mentors I’ve found at almost each job really. They span a 30 year career so some are no longer with us – Dave MaCay, Dan Maglio, Hy Waxman, Cathy Welsh, Frank Finlayson. Personally, it would be my maternal grandfather.

 

12. What is your advice for someone interested in entrepreneurship?

Charles: Know and acknowledge what you don’t know.

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR HOT SHOTS EXECUTIVE NETWORKING GROUP

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