Facing the challenge Featured

8:01pm EDT June 30, 2011

[caption id="attachment_32491" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="John Priest, CEO, Equable Ascent Financial LLC"]

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John Priest and big challenges are old friends. They’ve become acquainted through corporate restructuring efforts that Priest has led around the world, whether he was creating the first direct marketing program in Argentina or reinventing credit products in South Africa.

When you add his experience as a naval officer, Priest has gained tons of experience and put his natural curiosity to great use solving problems.

He put all these traits to use when he was asked to review business operations at Equable Ascent Financial LLC in 2007. The firm that specializes in distressed accounts receivable had been focused on growth but was overexposed to an asset bubble and was struggling.

Priest needed to shift the culture and create a renewed sense of purpose. He took on the roles of CEO, CFO and several other key leadership positions to set a tone and of high energy to get things turned around.

He implemented analytics and created metrics to measure performance. Despite financial pressures and challenges, Priest got his team to work with him to develop a new vision that help Equable gain market share and improve cash flow. He made smart decisions about when to invest, pulling back in 2008 as the recession grabbed hold of the economy.

This cut management bonuses temporarily, but Priest saw the bigger picture and generated even more support with his determination.

He listened to his people and pushed innovation down to all levels, resulting in great success stories to assist customers and make his company that much better at doing their jobs.

Priest is a firm believer that innovation must bubble up to management rather than be supported from the top down. He has also seen that when a company emphasizes doing the right thing at all times, good things happen including long-term success and employee retention.

How to reach: Equable Ascent Financial LLC, (847) 504-3261 or www.eafllc.com