I am excited to announce the official launch of WhiteWater Consulting, and I want to personally invite you to join me on this journey! I would like to use this first blog post to tell the story of how this all came to be, where we are today, and where we are heading.
The journey began in central Illinois in a small, farming community as my family owned a country grain elevator and fertilizer business that stayed in our family for close to 50 years. I graduated from college and joined the family business in 1987 and worked there until we decided to sell two years later. At that time, I became an owner in a fertilizer manufacturing company in northern Illinois that made specialty products for corn, soybeans, vegetable farming, lawns and golf courses. I learned so much during my five years working at the company. I saw firsthand, how successful the business was, what it meant to be a part of a management team that worked together for a common goal and the success that came because of it, learned the difference between operating reactively versus being proactive when it came to HR and government compliance, and I learned how life changing it could be when a person lets greed cloud their decision-making and the impact that it can have individually, on the company, and on a family.
From 1990-1995, I experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. As difficult as it was to experience, I would not be the person I am today without this part of the journey and I am grateful for the love and support of my wife and for God’s love and grace to carry me through to the other side.
Since 1995, I have committed my work and passion to the helping and serving of others. I have spent most of this time investing in families and business owners. From 1995 through August 1999 I spent each day helping families located in central Illinois by preparing budgets and financial plans to get out of debt and then see their exhilaration after paying off more than $100,000 in consumer debt and becoming debt free. Preparing for unexpected events such as an accident that caused a client to become disabled but at peace knowing that they had prepared by putting a disability income policy in place to secure their financial needs. Sharing with an older couple the value of having a cancer insurance policy, putting it in place and then years later receiving a call from them to say thank you for taking the time to help them through the decision-making process as they both had been diagnosed with cancer. The time I invested during those years were rewarding because I knew the time I had spent with them made a difference.
In February 1999, our family took a vacation to Charlotte, NC. Being an avid race fan, we picked the perfect time of year to come as we had tickets to the NASCAR All-Star race and the Coca Cola 600 the following week. We enjoyed our vacation immensely. We loved the weather, the scenery was beautiful, the people were gracious and hospitable, and we enjoyed spending some quality time with our good friends. As we prepared to return to Illinois, just a couple of hours before departing, we decided to walk through some model homes in the neighborhood where we were staying as this was something that Debbie and I enjoyed doing together. It was our way of dreaming. As we concluded the walk-through, we began the thirteen hour drive back to Illinois. After being on the road for approximately three hours I commented to Debbie that I felt like we should buy the house we had walked through. To my surprise, she was in total agreement. We called the Broker immediately and bought the home. This was unfamiliar territory for us as we are both planners and never do anything spontaneous. We spent June through August preparing for the move, which included the closing of my Financial Services businesses, selling our home and other real estate we had in Illinois and loading everything we owned in a truck.
On August 20th, 1999, a day our family will never forget, my wife and youngest daughter were in a terrible car accident. Fortunately, our daughter was fine, but my wife was ejected from the car. She survived, but had multiple fractures. Again, this is just another marker on our journey.
Since 1999, I have devoted my work to helping my clients with their Human Resource strategies, internal practices and operational efficiencies. Much of my time has been spent working with HR teams identifying what their current priorities are, preparing strategies that stretch 2-5 years into the future, and working to make sure that the company and HR objectives are in alignment. We all know the frustration when this is not the case. During the last nineteen years, I have been given the opportunity to work with companies that represent all 50 states and there have been many mountain top moments. I am proud to say that many of my clients from almost twenty years ago today are still in business, thriving and have experienced significant growth. It gives me great joy to see companies that I worked with as a startup that are now 100, 500 and over 1000 employees.
As we launch WhiteWater Consulting, we are doing so knowing the following:
- Companies we can help — Small-mid size companies with a laser focus on those organizations that are 20-300 employees
- Our purpose is to serve as a resource to our clients by understanding the company objectives, their perceived challenges and then educating them on the solutions that are available and collaborating with them on which solution is best for them
- Areas we can help (not an exhaustive list) are HR structures (PEO, ASO, In House), HR policies, procedures, and processes. Talent Management and Recruiting, On-boarding, HRIS, Workforce Management, Payroll, Work Comp, Performance Management, Learning Management Systems, HR technology solutions, Compensation Management, Reporting, Data Analytics, Employee Financial Wellness, comprehensive employee benefits offering, Benefits Administration, Executive level business consulting
- Our approach is to be consultative from the onset meaning we will be asking questions to fully understand the organizational needs before formulating any possible recommendations.
- Our promise to our clients — We will always conduct ourselves with integrity and in a professional manner, engaging in collaborative discussions with a focus on what is best for you, our client. We will treat all conversations and ensure that all company data provided to us through each step of the process will be held in the highest level of confidence. In the end, our recommendations will always be focused on how we can best serve you.
WHERE WE’RE HEADED
We know that there is a long-term vision for the company as I want to continue to pursue this journey for as long as I have the passion to want to serve small businesses, their employees and their families. I encourage you to join me on this journey and let’s see where it takes us and how many we can help. If, after reading this blog, you know of someone that may benefit from speaking with us please share our contact information with them. We would be honored to speak with them. If we cannot help them, we will be happy to refer them to someone that can.
CONNECT WITH US
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Thank you so much for your time!