Etson Brandenburg Joins Kaplan CFO Solutions
Kaplan CFO Solutions, the region’s largest provider of interim CFO services, has announced that Etson Brandenburg has joined the firm. Etson comes to Kaplan CFO from Enzymedica Inc. (Venice, FL) where he had served as Chief Operating Officer since 2016.
Etson’s career has spanned more than 44 years, 20 of which have been spent at C-level positions. Since 1999, he has been focused on managing companies in the growing consumer healthcare supplement market. At Enzymedica, he began as a consulting COO in September 2016 and transitioned to the company’s full-time COO three months later. The company is a national manufacturer and distributor of targeted enzyme products that address digestion issues, food allergies and intolerances, cardiovascular issues, immune function and inflammation.
As COO, Etson supervised the company’s packaging, shipping, purchasing, and information technology departments while assisting and mentoring the part-time CFO, helping to supervise the accounting and finance operations. His efforts to spearhead a “Vendor Shootout” between FedEx and UPS resulted in an annual shipping cost savings of $440,000. In 2018, he successfully opened a new distribution center in Kansas City, MO., that enabled the company to reach 70% of the country with 3-day ground, accelerating the average delivery time by a full day.
Before joining Enzymedica, Etson spent 17 years with Gaia Herbs, based in Brevard, NC. Initially hired as Controller to assist and guide the company through a corporate turnaround, he was quickly promoted to CFO and COO. He handled both positions for ten years before deciding to focus solely on his CFO duties in 2010. During the turnaround, he focused on cost-cutting, working with vendors to extend terms, working internally to eliminate slow-moving products and improving AR collections.
Throughout his career, Etson has taken a holistic approach to corporate management, getting involved in areas beyond finance. “The company is a living, breathing organism; to help it grow, you have to understand every aspect, not just the financial one,” he said. When he was with Gaia, for example, he spent a lot of time on the production floor, helping to improve manufacturing efficiencies. Toward the end of his tenure, he co-patented a process for fractionation and extraction of herbal plant material to isolate extractives for pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals.
“Etson brings a unique skillset to Kaplan CFO as well as the WNC region. His experience with industrial manufacturing and processing, and the nutraceutical market is especially applicable to the area,” noted Ken Kaplan, Managing Partner for Kaplan CFO.
Etson is equally positive about the future. “Kaplan CFO Solutions has a great reputation and presence in the WNC business community and I offer a strong and diverse background in C-level management. Given the dynamic business growth in Western North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, I’m looking forward to getting to work,” he said.
Etson and wife, Candy, have been together for 47 years. Both grew up in Wadesboro, North Carolina and relocated to Greer, South Carolina in 1988. They have three children and four grandkids.
His location in Greer, SC will enable Kaplan CFO to continue growing its presence in the Upstate, As well as the growing business corridor along US 25. When he is not working, he’s either in the garden or cheering on one of the grandkids at a soccer, basketball or baseball game.
ABOUT KAPLAN CFO: Established in 2008, Kaplan CFO Solutions is a team of veteran independent CFOs working on-site with fast-growing small to mid-sized businesses and those in transition. Kaplan CFOs work on-site as part of the client’s management team, helping to create the financial processes and stability needed to move forward. Working with clients across western North Carolina, east Tennessee and the Upstate of South Carolina, Kaplan CFO has built an impressive roster of diverse clients, including Aeroflow Healthcare, Van Wingerden Nursery, Moog Music, Parameter Control Group, Asheville Radiology, Carolina ColorTones, Hickory Nut Gap Farms, Noble Cider, French Broad Chocolate, Sugar Hollow Solar and Carolina Spine and Neurosurgery.