Meet the Partners
Veteran financial leadership
Combined, the principals of Kaplan CFO Solutions bring more than 160 years of management experience. Individually, our careers have taken us into virtually every area of business imaginable including but not limited to:
Retail, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Professional Services, Distribution, High-Tech, Energy, Construction, Environmental Services, Medical Testing, Agribusiness and more.
Collectively, we have amassed a wealth of resources that are available to our clients and transferrable to any industry.
CEO & Managing Partner
At 29 he became one of the youngest General Managers of a Fortune 500 subsidiary. In 1998, as VP/CFO of a national medical supply manufacturer, he led a successful ownership transition by raising $16.5 million in debt and equity, negotiating the successful sale of the company three years later. Since then, Ken has engineered successful turnarounds at two multi-generation, family-owned companies and managed exponential growth as the CFO of a solar design & installation company, which was ranked as Inc. Magazine's 46th fastest growing company for 2011.
CEO & Managing Partner
Vaughn’s 32-year career includes serving as COO and CFO for a variety of small and mid-sized companies in the manufacturing, service and government sectors. His expertise in developing financial and organizational strategies has enabled many regional companies to expand to a national focus. He develops costing systems that enable his clients to understand how to price for profit. Vaughn also specializes in business plan development for startups and valuations for mature businesses.
Jeff's first assignment was to realign the finances at a 10-member specialty physician practice. He executed a plan to adapt the organization to the changing health care environment and generate net revenues for the equity partners. Before joining Kaplan, Jeff served as COO/CFO for Plasticard-Locktech International (PLI). While at PLI he led an extended period of growth that saw sales increase 550% while the number of employees grew from 44 to 201.
Daryl Crouse joined Kaplan CFO Solutions in August, 2013 after a very successful career with Taylor & Murphy Construction Co., Inc & Affiliates. He joined Taylor & Murphy in 1983 as the company’s first Controller. Most recently, Daryl served as Treasurer and CFO, helping to grow revenues from $4.9 million in 1988 to $88 million in 2013. Daryl brings a wealth of construction industry experience to Kaplan CFO with expertise in executive decision support, tax strategies, risk and resource management, budgeting and banking oversight, policy development and strategic wealth transfer.
Jan has spent the last 33 years creating and cultivating productive business relationships across Western North Carolina. She brings with her a strong financial and business leadership background in tourism, recreation and education. Her experience within these customer-facing markets enables her to move easily between B2B and B2C. As a both a small business owner and a member of numerous executive teams, Jan understands the unique challenges faced by today’s small and mid-sized businesses owners.
With 40 years of business experience including over 20 years at the CFO level, Alan Minker is a leader with outstanding experience in consumer goods, retail, manufacturing, services and other industries. Since 2017, Alan has been CFO of Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company (a pioneer of the local craft brewing movement for over 25 years). He also co-owns/operates a retreat center called Bend of Ivy Lodge with his wife Susan and is actively involved with a non-profit organization called Conscious Capitalism. Prior to joining Kaplan CFO, Alan held multiple CFO positions. In 2010, he received the 2010 “Turnaround of the Year’ award from the Global M&A network for his work with Crabtree & Evelyn.
Lisa brings more than two decades of financial management experience to the Kaplan CFO team. Prior joining the firm, she served as CFO for AllCare Clinical Associates (formerly Asheville Anesthesia Associates), one of the largest private physician-owned practices in North Carolina. Under her financial leadership, revenues of the practice grew 20%, while the facilities and portfolio of office-based services expanded as well. A native of Western North Carolina, she also worked as CFO for S.B. Coleman Construction, helping to launch Pack’s Tavern in April 2010.
In 1996—six years out of graduate school—Jill Jones was named Treasurer at Queens University in Charlotte where she managed $102 million in budget and endowment, and oversaw the school’s Business Office and Human Resource Department. When she moved to Asheville in 2002, Jill had already established a reputation for her business management and leadership skills. She was working as the US Finance Manager for Braiform Enterprises, a $250 million global retail supplier, when she joined Kaplan CFO. No wanting to lose her, Braiform followed, becoming a Kaplan CFO client.
Since 1977, Mike has spent his career in the Tri-Cities business community and continues those relationships as a Kaplan CFO partner. He joined the firm after 16 years as CFO at Cha Technology Inc. (CTI), a global textile conglomerate. A financial strategist and strong business leader, his expertise includes financial operations, budget development and management, business expansion and startup, M&A negotiations, financial and strategic planning and more. He is also a licensed CPA and member of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts.
Mark’s career has spanned more than 30 years, and his C-level experience goes well beyond the duties of a CFO. Working primarily in the food business, he has held leadership positions in general management, sales and marketing, finance and supply chain. Highly regarded as a turn-around expert, Mark has spent the last 17 years guiding mature but stagnant companies such as Liguria Foods and Mizkan Americas, Inc., back to profitability.
Etson’s career has spanned more than 44 years, 20 of which have been spent at C-level positions. In his various roles as CEO, CFO and COO, he has always taken a holistic approach to management, taking the time to educate himself in all areas that affect the company’s success. His industry experience ranges from industrial manufacturing and processes to herbal supplements and nutraceuticals.