What Clients Say

‘Active Board Member – Pivotal Role’

With the untimely death of my business partner, I turned to Jim McHugh to serve as an active board member who could help me make immediate and substantial strategic decisions in the redirection of my NH-based contract manufacturing firm. Beckwood had customer awards from Fortune 1000 customers to prove it was a world-class performer, but it needed an internal management update to achieve its full potential. In a matter of months, Jim helped me advance Beckwood’s unmet operating and personnel needs to world-class standards. Having thus strengthened Beckwood’s governance and capabilities, we were able to complete a sale to Sparton Corp., a NYSE-traded electronics contract manufacturer, to the great satisfaction of all shareholders. Jim McHugh played a pivotal role in that success.  — Peter Alcock, Former Owner, Chairman, CEO of Beckwood Services, Inc.

‘Invaluable Advisor’

Jim McHugh has been an invaluable advisor to me for more than two decades.  His thoughtful insight and intellectual discipline are truly unique.  I can’t imagine doing a start-up without Jim on my team. — Andy Palmer, Founder of KOA Labs, former CEO of Vertica, Inc., serial entrepreneur, angel investor

‘Arsenal of Experiences’

Jim McHugh approaches corporate assessments in a manner similar to the old television detective Columbo or the modern day CSI shows…first impressions, obvious conclusions or shared initial opinions are heard but only later used as diagnostic tools to assist with the probe. Actual facts, data and research are the only basis of his work. Jim is not a consultant to hire if you are only looking for someone to confirm what you think…regardless of the truth.  He is great listener…he is a patient coach…he approaches all levels of an organization comfortably…he has an arsenal of experiences with a great variety of companies…he can benchmark situations based on experience or provide fresh analysis as appropriate. — Brian McNamara, CEO of Southworth International Group, Inc.

‘Opens Up the Thinking and Perceptions’

I have been fortunate to work closely with Jim as a facilitator for The Board Forum peer groups for years and can’t say enough about his impact as a facilitator and CEO coach.  As a creative problem solver, Jim makes sure all sides are carefully considered before decisions are made. The CEOs in his group have had the huge benefit of his rare combination of intelligence, ability to think creatively around barriers, and an astute attention to detail.  He is one of those people who asks the right questions and opens up the thinking and perceptions of others.  In addition to this, Jim has worked as an advisor to my own clients. He has one of the best strategic and operational analysis and planning minds around. Coupled with his broad professional background, Jim has the skill, knowledge and experience to effectively lead in multiple areas, including strategic direction, day-to-day operations, financial controls, and major projects and transactions.  He is a focused, organized, “big-picture” thinker, who can also dive into the details. I have huge respect for Jim’s ability to successfully facilitate and involve peer groups or management teams. He has made a difference for my company and everyone he works with. — Laurie Kirk, Founder and CEO of The Board Forum

‘Loop Back Methodology’

There are thousands of consultants, but we needed one that took a holistic view of our business and found that in McHugh & Company.  Initially engaged in a realignment of the Shareholders, Board and Management group, Jim’s work grew to encompass senior team coaching and strategic planning. Jim made the time investment to learn about our company and the different decision making groups.  He moved effortlessly through all levels of the company. His loop back methodology of discussion, data analysis, and discussion proved very effective. Since engaging Jim our firm’s growth and profitability have much improved and we became a more consistent performer in disruptive economic times.  — CFO, privately-held manufacturing company

‘An All Too Honest Broker’

Jim McHugh has helped us hone our plans. He is constructive, intuitive and he doesn’t pull any punches. I think the biggest risk for most small business is becoming complacent and not putting enough time in preparing for the future.  Jim has seen it all; he helps his clients understand the real issues in their business and then develop plans to deal with them. We are a stronger more aware company as a result of his involvement. As the owner I find him a peer, a partner and an all too honest broker. — Charles ‘Wick’ Johnson, CEO of Kennebec Technologies, Inc.

‘Tremendous Broad Based Experience’

Jim has been a tremendous help to me as CEO of a family owned business.  He has a unique, innate ability to cut through the fluff, quickly and easily problem solve, and compartmentalize issues to be addressed.  Jim has tremendous broad-based experience.  As a coach, he has successfully pushed me into areas that I would not have been comfortable doing on my own.  His diplomatic, personal style allows him to make his pointed recommendations for improvements without offending me or my team.  I have a high level of trust and confidence in Jim. — David Gordon, CEO, Katahdin Cedar Log Homes

‘Company Successfully Sold’

Over the past four years, I retained Jim to serve as a strategic advisor to me and the senior management team on several occasions. On one project he acted as the facilitator for our strategic planning process. Also during this period, Jim worked on successive projects to conduct strategic evaluations of the company and to recommend organization, management and operational changes necessary to improve the operations and profitability with the ultimate goal of positioning the company for a liquidity event.  Jim’s advice was extremely helpful in successfully improving the company’s management structure and operations. The company was successfully sold in 2011. — William A. Morton, President and Founder, Medical Device Consultants, Inc (MDCI)

‘Nearly Doubled EBITDA’

Based on the strength of diverse referrals, Jim was brought in to complete a strategic/operational/financial assessment of our mature, $40MM family owned manufacturing business. Through a bottoms up and top down assessment, engagement with employees at all levels of the organization, and market focused interviews, Jim put together a three year plan that was understandable, actionable, and motivational for the company.  He did so through an engaging, consensual, critical, and quietly provocative manner that earned the respect of both the board and management team. Following his assessment, Jim stayed connected with the company, moving to a board position, to help ensure that the longer term changes were followed through on.  During this time, the company has nearly doubled EBITDA, carried out significant changes to achieve higher manufacturing efficiency, and opened up new opportunity space to grow into. — Tim Cabot, Director, Privately-held Manufacturing Company

‘Meaningfully Increase Profitability’

With Jim’s insightful analysis, we were able to simplify a complicated business and meaningfully increase its profitability…and his easy-going style fostered the implementation of his recommendations throughout the company. — Schuyler (“Sky”) Lance, Co-Founder, Windjammer Capital Investors and Founder, SustainVC, LLC, Manager of Patient Capital Collaborative Series of Funds

‘Evaluate Sensitive Situations’

Jim McHugh was a great help and asset during a critical “stuck” phase for our business. Acting as an outside “pair of eyes”, he helped us evaluate sensitive situations involving external markets and internal personnel.  His approach and advice were all very constructive and helped us move on in a smooth and positive fashion. — Co-Founder and Principal, privately-held technology company

‘Stand Outside the Box’

As CEO of a family-owned manufacturing company, we retained Jim McHugh to conduct a broad strategic and operational analysis of our organization and its strategic direction.  This initial contact led to a nearly two decade relationship during which he became a Director of the Corporation and also separately conducted a number of consulting engagements. Jim’s value to our success came from his absolute objectivity and his ability to stand outside the box and see what was not so obvious to tradition-bound insiders. He has a non-threatening style in communicating with managers.  His contribution ultimately enabled the owners to successfully sell the business.  The company continues to prosper in a difficult environment.  — Lee Hirschey, former Chairman and CEO,  Climax Manufacturing Company

‘Senior Business Advisor’

Dynavac retained Jim McHugh to help navigate some of the challenges of a growing company.  His broad base of experience allowed him to identify strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in the organization and helped me prioritize my efforts and set reasonable, yet effective objectives for the company.  He dug in deep, got to know our key employees, and developed a solid understanding of our business.  He then compiled his findings into a series of well organized concise reports that have served as a cornerstone for strategic and tactical business planning.  Jim was a great help to me and to Dynavac.  It is my intent to maintain an ongoing relationship with him as a senior business advisor.  I would strongly recommend him for any organization that might benefit from a competent and objective outside perspective. — Tom Foley, President/CEO of Dynavac, Inc.

‘Company’s First Strategic Plan’

As the former CEO of Proteus Industries, an early-stage food ingredient company from 2007-2009, I had the pleasure of working with Jim to develop our company’s first strategic plan. During this invaluable process, Jim was able to move the company, the senior management and the Board through strategic decisions that had to be made.  This process provided me a path forward given the patent and manufacturing process the company was trying to develop and successfully market. Everyone provided input and bought into his strategic planning process. The “plan” is still in place today. — Tim Driscoll, former CEO of Proteus Industries, Inc.

‘Earnest, Non-Threatening Demeanor’

I have tremendous respect for Jim McHugh’s professional skills and approach based on the valuable strategic analysis and insight he provided to our business.  He took the time to thoroughly understand our business from top to bottom, garnering important details and insight from all levels of the organization.  He has a very earnest, non-threatening demeanor that quickly put our team at ease in working with him and sharing information.  Jim then did a fabulous job of analyzing our customer base, including a detailed by-customer profitability analysis, and segmenting the information and presenting his analysis to influence our strategy and customer-focused operating plans.  His contributions as an important “second set of eyes” on our business provided our management team with the confidence to more aggressively develop and pursue customer-focused operating plans that were carefully aligned to our overall strategy.  Ultimately, these steps led to improved profitability and margins as we more strategically focused on our most profitable customers and business segments. — Robert Moore, President, privately-owned manufacturing company

‘Thorough, Diligent, Diplomatic’

Duncan Galvanizing Corp. contracted Jim to perform a management evaluation of our company’s overall operations.  Jim was able to coordinate the management, operational and sales staff to achieve a singular goal.  He was thorough, diligent and diplomatic while driving the project.  Jim was a pleasure to work with; his demeanor, business acumen and varied experience was invaluable in completing the project on time and within budget.  We certainly will work with Jim on future projects. —  Daniel J. Bever, General Manager/Senior Vice President/CFO

‘Redirected the Business’

Having worked with Jim for many years, I invited him to join our Board of Directors at Questech Metals when I was President. At the time, Questech had received financing from a number of experienced angel investors. Jim was instrumental in providing strategic advice and guidance that ultimately redirected the business away from one-of-a kind custom products to a consumer product offering that generated a real annuity and growth opportunity for the company.  Jim’s very sincere and intelligent manner is extremely effective in optimizing strategy discussions among senior management teams. Jim’s broad range of experience is a very valuable frame of reference to companies looking to grow. I highly recommend Jim. — Pat Wheeler, former CEO of Questech Metals, Inc.

‘Prioritize Time & Resources’

Jim has the ability to sort through the challenges a business or management team is facing, construct an analytical framework to help prioritize where best to focus time and resources, and work with management in a collaborative and constructive way to achieve measurable resultsPrincipal, large private equity fund