Juanita Schwartzkopf has over 25 years experience in commercial banking, business management, and financial and management consulting. During her career, she has handled projects involving financing strategies, strategic planning, forecasting, cash management, creditor relationships, information management, bankruptcy, crisis management and business plan development.
Juanita held key operating and management positions in many types of companies, from start-up to mature businesses. Throughout her career, she has worked on improving performance in severely troubled and stable, healthy companies. She has negotiated lending arrangements on behalf of both creditors and debtors.
Her most important strength is an ability to quickly analyze a company’s strengths and weaknesses, and communicate that analysis to the stakeholders.
Juanita’s experience displays her ability to translate key business management and financial management skills to multiple industries. The next sections of the biography show examples of the range of experience.
Agriculture & Food Processing
Juanita has worked with many agricultural entities including agricultural crop producers (grain, fruit, berries), dairy farmers, milk processing plants, dairy cooperatives, beef producers, calf raising operations, poultry and egg operations, grain mills and feed service providers, crop processing entities, and equipment manufacturers.
She has served as a lender, a board member and a consultant to entities throughout the agricultural sector and has played an instrumental role in improving performance in both severely troubled and also healthy agriculture related entities.
Previously, Juanita owned and operated a dairy, grain and beef farm in the Mid-West. Not only was she involved in the financial aspects of the business, but she also managed work crews, marketing and crop decisions for the enterprise. Previous clients have included entities transitioning to profitable crop operations, entities requiring feed cost management through hedging, entities requiring processing improvement, and entities in need of enhanced cash management and improved banking relationships. In these engagements, Juanita’s direct knowledge of the agricultural sector, based on her first hand experience, coupled with her accounting, finance and banking expertise, provide a unique insight for agricultural clients.
Juanita has specific expertise in food processing operations, including seafood, eggs, row crop, and milk processing plants, and the related financial and performance issues. She has experience in developing business plans and financing strategies, and implementing change, as well as in leading the shutdown and closure of plant operations, when deemed necessary.
In recent engagements, Juanita led a $85 million nursing home chain through a successful Chapter 11 reorganization, undertook an orderly shutdown and liquidation of a regional hospital, and helped facilitate the sale of a hospital that resulted in a successful loan recovery for a healthcare lender client. Juanita has also previously worked with a regional provider of mobile PET scans, where she developed weekly cash flow forecasts and a turnaround plan. Juanita has conducted engagements with a variety of imaging centers, including stand-alone sites and multi-chain facilities. She has developed and implemented turnaround plans for suppliers to the healthcare industry. Juanita’s experience also includes assessment of for profit/not for profit transitions of both large regional health care providers and smaller community based hospitals.
In addition, she has a comprehensive knowledge of the working capital requirements necessitated by the unique characteristics of healthcare accounts receivable, and has used that expertise to develop detailed cash flows and to structure performance based contracts and incentives for health care revenue cycle service providers.
Prior to joining Focus Management Group, Juanita served as the Chief Financial Officer to a variety of hardwood processing companies, including a start up high-speed sawmill, an established low speed specialty sawmill, a pallet company and a dimension plant. Her consulting clients have included sawmills, dimension plants, flooring manufacturers, and furniture manufacturers. In addition to lumber related enterprises, Juanita has worked with companies ranging from foundries to light bulb manufacturers to fabric and clothing manufacturers. She has assisted these companies as they undertook their performance improvement through improved cash management, balance sheet restructuring or court protected restructures.
In addition to the variety of businesses noted above, Juanita has worked with call centers, staffing agencies, restaurants, and many others. Her logical approach to staff management, human resource allocations, contracts, and cash flow make her an invaluable asset to a service industry client.
Juanita has worked with a variety of companies involved in insolvency proceedings ranging from Chapter 11 restructures and exit strategies, to liquidation. Her insolvency roles have included court protected situations, such as receiverships and bankruptcy, as well as out of court restructuring utilizing new equity and financing structures. In addition Juanita has worked with creditor groups during the reorganization process.
Juanita provides expert testimony from the perspective of the lender and the Company, specializing in the financial management of a company. Her expert testimony has included banking practices and procedures, commercial lending practices and procedures, cash management, financial reporting, and potential fraud. She has provided written testimony, deposition support and has testified at a variety of hearings, including grand juries.
Juanita holds both the professional certification of CFE, and the real world experience developed over a varied career dealing with systems and procedures to protect against fraud, uncovering fraud, and assisting in prosecuting fraudsters.
In Juanita’s bank management roles, she was responsible for the internal and external audit functions. While these audit functions provided review and protection of bank assets, Juanita was responsible for the implementation of the day-to-day systems and procedures that would uncover fraud and theft. During this period, several cases of theft were uncovered quickly and dealt with effectively utilizing local police and the FBI. These financial institutions always received the highest praise from bank examiners, and auditors.
As CFO, Juanita was brought in specifically to review accounting systems and procedures and to determine the processes used and dollar amount of a potential fraud situation. In this capacity, Juanita uncovered the system and process used, and was able to quantify the potential theft.
During Juanita’s 15 years as a consultant, she has been asked to uncover and quantify a variety of frauds ranging from borrowing base certificate falsification through manipulation of cash, accounts receivable and inventory reporting, to theft of product from loading dock areas, to creation of cash at year end.
- In one example, Juanita uncovered borrowing base certification falsifications, which resulted in the lender exercising its warrants to achieve ownership. Juanita served in an interim CFO role while training replacement staff.
- In another case, Juanita uncovered theft of inventory assets by an owner utilizing falsification of shipping documents. Juanita was able to track activity to a specific computer and determine people with access and clearance to the computer and shipping systems. In this example, the owner admitted his wrongdoing and utilized personal family cash to bring the loan advance rate into formula.
- In a recent case, Juanita uncovered a kiting scheme used by an owner to create additional cash over a year-end accounting period. By tracking wire transfers in and out of multiple accounts, Juanita was able to prove the owner had falsified his personal financial statement to create the cash balance required at year-end.
- Recently Juanita was asked to lead an analysis of an entity and the potential fraud involving cash practices and procedures. While uncovering the specific system weaknesses that allowed the fraud to occur, Juanita was also able to assist management in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the overall operation, and its management. The successful outcome of this case involved the prosecution of the criminal, the restructure of the Company’s balance sheet to better match performance and debt structure, and the improvement of the Company’s financial performance.
In addition to an established ability to examine and prove fraud, Juanita is also an accomplished financial accountant. Her understanding of accounting and financial reporting at both the high level, and the day-to-day workflow level, is exceptional. This skill serves her clients well – whether the issue is fraud, poor reporting systems, or poor operating performance.
Juanita has an extensive background in credit risk assessment and loan portfolio appraisal, and has reviewed asset-based lending and commercial lending loan portfolios of various financial institutions. Juanita has worked with nearly all major financial institutions in the evaluation of credit risk surrounding various borrowers.
Juanita has served as the Senior Credit Officer and Senior Vice President at a mid-size regional lender. In that role, she was responsible for credit administration, including financial analysis, risk management, documentation review and management, and loan file audits. Also in this capacity, Juanita reviewed loan portfolios during the acquisition of other financial institutions. Juanita was also responsible for drafting policies and implementing procedures to ensure compliance with those policies as well as banking regulations.
Juanita was instrumental in a charter bank application and start up, completing the FDIC applications, state charter applications, stock offering approvals and developing and implementing all bank operating strategies and purchases from teller line systems, to lending platforms, to retail banking platforms, to cash and risk forecasting. She prepared all bank financial statements and was responsible for all regulatory reporting.
Juanita has developed valuation strategies for a variety of business including those focused on intellectual property, real estate operations, and cash stream valuations. In this role, she has provided valuation opinions, as well as assisted in developing strategies to improve the Company’s value.
Education & Certifications
Juanita was awarded an M.B.A from the University of Wisconsin and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Carthage College. She is a Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) and Certified Fraud Examiner (“CFE”).