North Bay Business Journal

Monday, August 11, 2014, 6:26 am

2014 CFO Awards: Robert Miller, Oculus Innovative Sciences, Inc.

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    Chief financial officer and chief operating officer

    1129 North McDowell Blvd., Petaluma 94954; 707-283-0550; oculusis.com

    Employees: 90

    Professional background: Investment banker; chief financial officer for GAF Corporation, Penwest and Bugle Boy; treasurer of Mead Corporation; CFO consultant to Evit Labs, Wildlife International Network, Endoscopic Technologies, Biolog and Webware; acting CFO, Scanis, 1998–June 2006; consultant, Oculus, March 2003–May 2004; CFO, Oculus, June 2004–present.

    Education: B.A., economics, Stanford University; MBA, finance, Columbia University

    Age: 71

    Robert Miller

    What do you see as the essential role of a financial leader in the current environment?: In combination with the team, leading the company to high revenue growth and diversification, with current technology becoming standard of care. My key role is raising money to facilitate this growth.

    What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your industry?: The ability to raise money for early-stage companies has become much more difficult since the economic problems in 2008.

    Tell us about the particular challenges and opportunities your organization has met in the recent past?: There is great opportunity with our superior technology in terms of treatment of patients. Microcyn should become a standard of care to replace antiseptics.

    Among the challenges are taking advantage of this technology as a small company.

    What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?: Always have plenty of cash on hand, and have a good plan to grow revenue profitably. Work with a great team.

    What’s the best advice for weathering today’s economic environment?: Always have plenty of cash on hand, and have a good plan with strong sales and marketing people. Work with a great team of people.

    How do you think your business will change in the next five years?: We will be moving to the direct-sales approach in our core markets vs. finding partners in our core markets.

    What is a decision you wish you hadn’t made? What did you learn from it?: We wish that we had pursued a direct-sales model approach earlier and obtained stronger Food & Drug Administration claims and reimbursement earlier.

    What is your most memorable business experience?: Fund-raising for many companies so that they can grow and prosper.

    What is your greatest business success?: Growth of Microcyn technology and its use on sick patients.

    What was your toughest business decision?: Limit business expenses for the growth of Microcyn technology.

    What would your friends be surprised to find out about you?: I like Zumba.

    Most admired businessperson outside the company: My dad

    Current reading: Brad Thor’s latest novel, Act of War

    Most want to meet: Wife, children and grandkids

    Stress relievers: Grandkid time, biking, Zumba, movies and reading

    Favorite activities outside work: Time with wife, children and grandchildren

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