Clover Sonoma's Ken Gott wins North Bay CFO award

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Ken Gott

1800 S. McDowell Blvd Ext, Suite 100

Petaluma, 94954


Employees: 250

Ken Gott, newly promoted to president of Clover Sonoma in Petaluma, wins one of North Bay Business Journal's CFO awards.

Education: CSU Stanislaus, bachelor of business administration, accounting and finance

What do you see as the essential role of a financial leader in the current environment?

To ensure an organization has the necessary financial information and perspective to make timely decisions about the current business and future opportunities. This role crosses all levels and disciplines within the organization.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your industry?

As with many industries, the level of competition and innovation within the dairy industry continues to accelerate.

Tell us about the particular challenges and opportunities your organization has met in the recent past.

The organic dairy industry has run through a couple cycles over the past 20+ years as it has grown. Most recently, we have seen significant fluctuations in the organic supply, pricing and new competition entering the market. Navigating these times has required us to make some difficult decisions to protect and grow our business and to set us up for future success.

What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?

Strong financial leadership is a critical element of a company’s success. Spend the time to understand every aspect or discipline of the company and how you can help with that department or teams’ needs.

What’s the best advice for weathering today’s economic environment?

Expect change and ensure your organization is positioned to defend against or capitalize on that change.

How do you think your business will change in the next five years?

As productivity increases there will be inevitable consolidation within the traditional dairy industry, but the level of innovation into new products and capabilities is also increasing creating opportunity.

What is a decision you wish you hadn’t made? What did you learn from it?

There have been product launches that I wish I had pushed harder for or against. In looking back, I’ve learned to trust my gut instinct a bit more.

What is your most memorable business experience?

It’s difficult to choose just one, but my most memorable experiences involve working on cross functional teams to solve a business need.

What is your greatest business success?

I’ve been fortunate to work on many business development opportunities. My greatest business successes involve helping to navigate a business opportunity with multiple organizations and achieving a positive outcome for all.

What was your toughest business decision?

The toughest decisions for me involve people decisions. They typically end up better for all, but it can be tough in the moment.

What would your friends be surprised to find out about you?

I’m pretty transparent so there aren’t many surprises — possibly that I really enjoy flying small planes. However, family and work requirements have kept me from getting out in the past few years.

Ken Gott

1800 S. McDowell Blvd Ext, Suite 100

Petaluma, 94954


Employees: 250

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