2020 Virtual Financial Forum Highlights

The Unified Group held their first ever Virtual Financial Forum October 4th – 8th.  The meeting began with a virtual trivia cocktail hour on Sunday evening, October 4th.  It was a huge hit and a lot of fun especially since we could not be together in person.  The meeting was a great success especially with being the first meeting hosted virtually.  There was a lot of discussion, sharing of information and small breakouts to help each other learn and grow, which is what the group is all about.

Our first day started off with Ted Janusz, who presented “Like Herding Cats on ZOOM?” Leading a Virtual Team.  Due to COVID, many are struggling with having their employees at home and keeping their people connected and company culture intact.  The group learned about different personalities and how to manage each, setting goals and one of the biggest takeaways was E+R=O (Event + Reaction = Outcome).  We then had a ZOOM breakout to discuss takeaways and ideas to implement some of what we learned right away.

On day two, Shane & Melissa Dick from Atlas Accounting and Consulting were with us to cover The Unified Group’s Financial Benchmark review to see where the group and individual members compare year-over-year.  “I loved hearing how you take the numbers and the story they tell, then look at our numbers in comparison. The KPI breakout was great to share ideas and struggles. I don't feel like I am on a desert island trying to reinvent the wheel! I'm excited to look at the spreadsheets that are shared and develop more KPI's for our company.” Cheri Lurvey, VHV Company.  We moved on to members sharing their screens and showing the KPI’s they are currently measuring and why it is impactful for them and then had a KPI breakout session in smaller groups.  “Always great to collaborate and see where others are within the group, to hear the different software being used and to identify the latest KPI's. I use them all to keep my finger on the pulse of our company.” Scott Krum, Legacy Mechanical

On the third day, we covered Cashflow Models and Forecasting.  Shane Dick walked us through their Forecasting Model and many members shared what they were using to monitor workload, revenue, margin, income and cashflow.  We had small group breakouts and came back together to share any “Ah-HA” moments.  “If I didn't attend this meeting, I would have missed the camaraderie that develops when we realize that we are all struggling with the same thing! I love that so many companies were able to send different participants to the meeting this way. It is always good for me to hear how other departments are using information.” Gretchen Riddle, A&G Services

On the final day, we had a large-group Software Discussion as many are struggling with software issues.  “There is no where you can go to get such valuable information and experiences from people you trust. Outside of the meeting in person to foster relationships, I felt the Zoom meeting was a good alternative, especially with the group breakouts. The group was great at helping me off the ledge, following the software acquisition session.” Paul Gosserand, CMC Corporate Solutions.  The meeting wrapped with everyone getting help on their biggest challenge from others in the group and some large-group discussion to get any final questions answered.  “The information shared in the software session was encouraging. I have learned that others are struggling with some things in their software like I am with mine. It is good to have a "backup group" to share both problems and successes with. We all face challenges, but it makes you feel good inside when you can help someone solve their problems.” John Garvert, Glassman Corporation

A huge thank you to our task force: Gretchen Riddle, A&G Services, Brian Kelly, B&I Contractors, Inc., Stacy Shiflet, Blauch Brothers, Inc., Patrick Meier, Midstate Energy, and Sherri Noble, Standard Plumbing & Heating for planning a great agenda and event for the group!