Navy vet co-founded firm, keeps it debt-free
Stephen M. Goss
Vice president/ Chief financial officer
CFO Stephen Goss sees his greatest accomplishments at SimVentions Inc. as getting the company started and making sure all the “right corporate structures were in place.”
The Navy veteran co-founded the small defense contractor in 2000. He is very proud that he has been able to keep the company debt-free. “I make sure that our company is in a strong financial position, and that the banks are happy,” he says. “We have had zero debt 80 percent of our company life.”
The company’s 67 percent revenue growth last year presented a few challenges for Goss, who wanted to make sure that everything flowed smoothly. He worked closely with company President Lawrence Root and the leadership team, he says, to make sure that the company “didn’t grow too quickly.”
Goss is a strong supporter of employee ownership in the business and has been influential in establishing an employee stock purchase plan.
Recently, the company has had to deal with the defense industry’s sequestration and “brown-out periods” with no funding and no contract actions as well as a defense changeover in accounting systems.
While other corporate officers were meeting with the defense industry, Goss was “ensuring we were meeting with the bank, keeping them informed of the situation, what we thought the impacts would be to us and what we thought we would need from the bank in order to make it through the change,” Root says.
Goss also created a business tool that works with budget spreadsheets, helping company leaders and employees understand how different actions can affect the business. “We were able to put that out to all employees,” Root says. “It really made them feel comfortable and it prepared us for what was going on.”
This year the company was planning for 20 percent growth, but that number now seems too low, Root says. “It looks more like 30 to 40 percent growth, and the tool that Steve created was critical to making sure this year was successful for us.”
In his job, Goss draws from both his engineering and accounting backgrounds. “The role of CFO fell into my lap,” he says. “I love the numbers, and I love the administrative types of things that I do.”
Away from work, Goss is involved with the Christian Business Men’s Connection, an organization that provides business and biblical counsel. “These men have been my sounding board,” he says. “Seeking counsel is important.”
Root believes that Goss’ integrity is one of his most important attributes. “He has always been upfront in how he deals with things,” he says. “That discipline on his part has been very good for us. It has allowed us to manage our finances really well.”