Louis Kanganis of Sonoma County's New Barn wins 2019 North Bay CFO award

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Louis Kanganis

CFO/COO

New Barn, Inc.

1400 Valley House Drive, Suite 210, Rohnert Park 94928

833- 863-3663 x702

www.newbarnorganics.com

Louis Kanganis, chief financial and operations officer of New Barn Inc. in Rohnert Park, is one of North Bay Business Journal's CFO Recognition Awards winners for 2019.

Number of company employees: 15

Education: BA, Geophysics – Columbia College, NY; MBA, Finance – Columbia Business School, NY

Louis manages the finance, administration and operations functions for New Barn, Inc., a leading supplier of organic plant-based products for the natural channel. Louis most recently served as COO/CIO for Defy Ventures, a nonprofit in the incarceration re-entry field.

Previously, he held founder and C-level positions for a number of startups in the online media, e-commerce and systems/software industries, realizing two successful exits. Louis has more than ten years of experience in the securities industry as an analyst, portfolio manager, managing partner, and private investor for PaineWebber, Schroders PLC, and Steinhardt Partners, among others. During that time, he had direct P&L responsibility for assets in excess of $400 million.

Louis has an MBA in finance from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in geophysics from Columbia College. While in college and graduate school he worked as a software engineer for NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies on early-generation climate-research projects.

How has the current economic environment changed how you carry out your job at your current employer?

It has been much harder to attract talent to join the organization. We have relied more on personal referrals from our network than in the past.

What are the two key challenges your industry faces?

Managing trade (promotional) spend challenges given the disruptions that resulted from the acquisition of Whole Foods and the influx of Private Equity dollars into food companies.

Defining a better process for product innovation, which thrives in small batch cycles that are best suited for validating product/market fit, but are at odds with producing at scale with strong margins.

Tell us about a recent success your company has had.

We recently changed our entire packaging format from PET bottles to plant-based paper cartons, eliminating over 80% of the plastic used in our packaging supply chain. We also won a VegNews award at Expo West for our new line of plant-based dips, an important piece of our growth strategy.

What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?

I would suggest that they try to spend some part of their early career working in the supply chain / operations / sales parts of an organization. Finance needs to partner with these stakeholders and it helps quite a bit if the finance leader better understands the challenges that these groups face.

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

I think that the shift to DTC will accelerate as shipping solutions for perishable goods become more available – by this I mean direct from the producers and not through third party services like Amazon Fresh.

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

In the early days of the internet boom in New York, I acquired a company with a large user base assuming that it would not be difficult to convert their users into paying customers. This was not a good assumption.

7. What is your most memorable business experience?

There really isn’t one. I think the most memorable experiences are the joy and satisfaction that come from building high-performing and successful teams.

What is your greatest business success?

I suppose having two exits for companies that I was involved with at the founder level.

What was your toughest business decision?

Selling one of the companies that I founded. It was hard to let go even though it was the right thing to do.

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

That I am really happy in CA and would never move back to New York!

11. Tell us about your community involvement activities. Per my bio, I spent four years leading a nonprofit in the prison re-entry sector. As a recent transplant from New York, I am still searching for the right opportunities to engage here in the North Bay.

Louis Kanganis

CFO/COO

New Barn, Inc.

1400 Valley House Drive, Suite 210, Rohnert Park 94928

833- 863-3663 x702

www.newbarnorganics.com

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