Name: Mkulima "M" Britt
Company: Clover Stornetta Farms, Inc.
Company address: 91 Lakeville St., Petaluma CA 94952
Family: Wife, Diana, daughters Francesca, 7, and Sophia, 4
Residence: San Anselmo
Professional background: Grew up working at the family business Clover. Spent four years in sales at Southern Wine & Spirits the came back to Clover 15 years ago ... started working on the night crew in distribution then moved to delivery routes for milk and ice cream. Then in sales for one year and back to distribution as the Route Manager. I continued to take on more responsibility as VP of Operations then moved to VP of Finance. I was VP of Finance & Operations for two years and then changed title to CFO at beginning of 2011.
Education: BA, Business (Marketing), Sonoma State University.
What do you see as the essential role of a financial leader in the current environment?
Navigate our companies through uncertain economic and market conditions ... while maximizing value for stakeholders.
What are the biggest changes you've seen in your industry?
Recently we have experienced some of the most dramatic supply cycles in history ... the cost of input (feed) to the dairy industry have never been higher and what was once a regional market is more and more effected by worldwide influences.
What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?
Try to learn as much as possible about emerging markets so you can anticipate their future needs. ... The changes and opportunities created will be tremendous.
What's the best advice for weathering today's economic environment?
I believe these challenging conditions have created unique opportunities for business that have a stable foundation and an appetite for growth. ... Place your business in the best position to take advantage of those opportunities by understanding your strengths and weaknesses and those of the competition.
How do you think your business will change in the next five years?
Dramatically. We will look to improve processes and use technology to our advantage while focusing on key growth initiatives.
What is a decision you wish you hadn't made? What did you learn from it?
Prior to the recent price drop I made a forward fixed purchase of our fuel needs. Fortunately, it was not a great amount, but it served as another reminder that we cannot anticipate (predict) the markets.
What is your most memorable business experience?
There's nothing like being 'Clo' for a day... and I've have the fortune to don the costume on more than a few occasions.
What is your greatest business success?
Working hard (and/or smart) enough to earn the respect of your peers at any and every level in the business.