Written by The Business Journal Staff
What is the Central Valley CEO Peer Review Board, Neil Paschall ?
The CEO Peer Review Board is a model developed by Vistage Worldwide bringing the power of peer review to a board of CEOs who help each other be more successful in business and in life. Think about it. We have been influenced by our peers for so long we have embedded the concept into our language. Great minds think alike. We are known by the company we keep. Birds of a feather flock together. We’re all in the same boat. Our peers matter. Perhaps a peer once made a casual and candid comment that helped you make an important business decision. That is what happens at the CEO Peer Review Board at every meeting. When you have 16 CEOs sitting around a table the potential is enormous.
Why should business executives join a CEO peer review board, Neil Paschall?
It’s about creating a future that’s different from the future that would have arrived by default if they lack the sense of creativity or commitment that can be fostered by a board of peers. Ideal members are high functioning people who want to go from good too extraordinary. A CEO peer review board gives members a secret weapon, a competitive edge that their non-peer reviewed competitors do not enjoy. CEO peer review is not for dysfunctional people. It is not here to heal the sick and wounded. It’s here to help people reach their higher callings, higher levels of excellence, and unlived potential lives. Our CEO board members hang their egos at the meeting room door. Being a member of a CEO peer review board expands your world!
What is your role as Chair of the Central Valley CEO Peer Review Board?
As a 68-year-old man with 40+ years of business experience, my role as facilitator enables me to pay forward benefits received during my career. My job is to ensure members are receiving value from their participation in the peer review board. Chairing the board meetings and meeting privately with members for coaching sessions is very fulfilling. The critical questions and suggestions come from the CEOs who are sitting at the table.
What advice would you give a business owner about selling the business?
Businesses are not sold, they are acquired! As the seller of a legitimate business, you are dealing with a process, not an event. A process that is complex, difficult, competitive, and emotionally challenging. The process is designed to attract pre-qualified buyers, who are interested in acquiring the target business, to the negotiating table in a competitive environment, for the purpose of conducting an auction. This is how a seller maximizes the value of the business. Negotiating one-on-one with a strategic buyer is how sellers get taken to the cleaners. We recently did a free one-hour webinar on maximizing the value of the sold business.
What are your roots in the Central Valley?
Growing up in a working class family with great values in the broad horizons of the small town of Lindsay set the stage for my life. At age 12, the Fresno Bee hired me as a carrier. My father declined to purchase a Schwinn bicycle made especially for paper routes and decided to give me my first lesson in business. He co-signed on a bank loan for $100 to purchase the bicycle which was paid off with my earnings from the paper route. The US Army asked me to join and sent me to Viet Nam in 1969. It was an honor and a privilege to serve in the US Military.
Tell us about your career path?
The art and science of currency trading appealed to me so a degree (magna cum laude) in international finance came next. A path to New York City and currency trading was not open to me and an international accounting and consulting firm was interested in me becoming a CPA. Big business financial management and seeking and evaluating strategic acquisition targets came next for a couple of Fortune 500 firms. That experience leads me to became a certified business valuation expert and my own professional practice. When a national middle market investment bank came calling, the appeal of doing deals could not be resisted. As a managing director, we grew the investment bank to 22 offices with 60 bankers and affiliations with 150 boutique investment banks located in 35 countries around the globe. My own deals included sell-side and buy-side M&A and capital formation. Paschall Capital, an independent investment banking practice, was launched in Fresno with a focus on mergers & acquisitions in the agricultural and food processing supply chains.
What about your family?
My two children both live in the Central Valley. My daughter, Kara, is a nutritional biologist, BA UC-Berkeley, Master’s & PhD UC-Davis. My son, Spencer, BA in economics at UC-Riverside where he played on the golf team, winning a NCAA Division I golf tournament his senior year.
What do you do in your spare time?
Banking and chairing the CEO Board help to thoroughly use me up during this life phase. Walking 20 miles a week at a pace of 15-minute miles helps me maintain. Day-hikes in the Sierras add variety. Avid reading helps me remain current and relevant. Technical market analysis of stocks, options and futures keeps my brain engaged and my bank account sufficient. Life is great!