Case Study: Executive Search for CFO at Wausau Supply | Top CFO Recruiters

      Case Study: Executive Search for Chief Financial Officer at Wausau Supply

      Client: Wausau Supply
      Industry: Manufacturing / Distribution
      Objective: Recruit a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with extensive experience in Fortune 100 manufacturing environments.


      Wausau Supply, an employee-owned company known for its innovative manufacturing and distribution solutions, faced the challenge of managing its continued growth while maintaining its commitment to employee ownership values. The company sought a CFO with significant experience in large-scale manufacturing settings to guide their financial strategy and support robust growth.


      The primary challenge was to find a candidate who not only had the requisite financial expertise in a large, complex manufacturing environment but also was a cultural fit for an employee-owned company. The candidate needed to demonstrate a track record of transparent financial management and possess the ability to engage effectively with employee stakeholders.


      1. Requirement Gathering: Extensive discussions with Wausau Supply’s executive team helped clarify the specific qualifications and experience desired in the CFO candidate, including prior experience in Fortune 100 manufacturing companies and a strong alignment with employee ownership principles.
      2. Industry-Specific Search: Leveraged our extensive network within the manufacturing industry to identify candidates who met the specific criteria. This included outreach to professionals in similar roles and tapping into our proprietary database of qualified executives.
      3. In-depth Evaluation Process: Candidates underwent a rigorous selection process, which included competency interviews, leadership assessments, and in-depth discussions on their approach to financial strategy in large manufacturing contexts.
      4. Cultural Fit Assessment: To ensure alignment with the company’s values, candidates participated in workshops and meetings with key stakeholders within the company to gauge their understanding and commitment to employee ownership.
      5. Reference Checks and Verification: Conducted detailed reference checks and verified past employment to ensure the accuracy of the candidates’ experiences and achievements.


      The search culminated in the appointment of Amy Janke as the new CFO of Wausau Supply. Janke brought over 20 years of financial management experience within Fortune 100 manufacturing companies, where he had successfully led financial strategies that significantly improved operational efficiencies and profitability.

      His initial priorities included:

      • Financial Systems Overhaul: Implementing advanced financial systems and processes to support scalable growth.
      • Operational Efficiency: Working closely with the operations team to drive efficiencies and cost reductions across the supply chain.
      • Employee Engagement: Enhancing financial transparency and involvement in financial decision-making processes to bolster employee ownership culture.


      Amy Janke’s appointment as CFO has brought strategic leadership to Wausau Supply that aligns with both their operational goals and employee ownership values. His experience in managing complex financial landscapes in large manufacturing settings has equipped Wausau Supply to navigate its next phase of growth while continuing to enhance its commitment to its employee-owners.

      This case study exemplifies the successful execution of a targeted executive search that balances industry-specific expertise with a deep understanding of company culture, ensuring the placement of a CFO capable of leading in a complex and dynamic environment.

      About Wausau Supply

      Wausau Supply Co. was established in 1947 and has seen decades of growth both in geography and product distribution. Our business is based on a diverse and progressive mix of two-step building material distribution along with innovative manufactured brands. Our geographical footprint extends from the Pacific West coast to the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains. Our partnerships with building material manufacturers allow us to distribute quality products to retail centers throughout the United States.

      About Cowen Partners Executive Search

      Cowen Partners is the nation’s premier human resources executive search firm, enabling companies to harness the power of human capital to fuel their success. At Cowen Partners, our HR recruiters gives our clients access to the top 1% of human capital to create opportunities that accelerate their growth and market share. With Cowen Partners, clients can grow at scale, create value, and drive results with world class talent. Our clients are both small and large, publicly traded, pre-IPO, private, and non-profit organizations.

      Clients are typically $50 million to multi-billion dollar revenue Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite and include VP and director level leadership roles.

      With our proven processes and guaranteed results, our HR headhunters and recruiters have successfully placed hundreds of candidates in industries including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, financial services, and private equity.

      Contact us if you would like help recruiting world class talent.

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