Petaluma homelessness nonprofit's David Tausheck wins 2019 North Bay CFO award

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David Tausheck


Committee on the Shelterless (COTS)

900 Hopper Street, Petaluma, 94952

707-765-6530 x107


David Tausheck, chief financial officer of Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) in Petaluma is one of North Bay Business Journal's CFO Recognition Awards winners for 2019.

Number of company employees: 47

Professional background: Hayward Glass Company – Controller; Monterey Bay Aquarium – Accountant; The Bay Institute – Finance Director Genstar Capital; VP Compliance & Risk Management; Avery Lane – Chief Financial Officer; Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) - Chief Financial Officer

Education: Bachelor of Arts, political science (1991), Loyola University of Chicago

Master of Arts, international economics (1993), Dominican University of California

MBA, Sustainable Management (2010), Presidio Graduate School

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

When economic times are good, it’s easy to assume that revenues and cash flows will be easy to manage. At a nonprofit, however, I have to be extra vigilant so that I can meet day-to-day cash needs while recharging our reserve balances.

What are the two key challenges your industry faces?

1) Finding available & affordable housing inventory in Sonoma County.

2) Educating the public about people experiencing homelessness.

Tell us about a recent success your company has had.

The budget process for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019 started in February, and was approved by our Board prior to the start of the new year. Managers and directors were directly engaged and consulted; their feedback being taken into consideration throughout the process. The final budget estimates enough of a net surplus to meet and/or expand our current service offerings while setting aside a small portion to recharge our reserves.

What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?

Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. With the ever-increasing pace of change, the relationships you build with colleagues and business associates are going to be a precious resource of specific knowledge that might make the difference between success or failure in achieving both personal and professional goals.

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

Honestly, I would be thrilled if my job didn’t exist in five years. It would mean that there were zero people experiencing homelessness in Sonoma County.

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

I lived in Costa Rica back in 2016, teaching English and seeing what life is like Central America. I wish that I had not made the decision to move from the coast to the capital so that I could teach more classes.

The lesson I learned is that without a clear plan it’s unwise to uproot and move to a

different location solely based upon employment opportunities. Do the research beforehand.

What is your most memorable business experience?

My most memorable business experience would be developing and implementing an ESG Policy for a private equity fund. I was able to combine my passion for

sustainability with my firm belief in the “triple bottom line” of people, planet and profit.

What is your greatest business success?

Bringing a four-generation family business into the 21st century with regard to financial and operating systems and processes.

What was your toughest business decision?

It involved having to terminate an employee. For me, that is always one of the toughest business decisions to make.

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

Most of my friends and family would be surprised to discover that I’ve developed a real appreciation for classical music.

Tell us about your community involvement activities.

I recently moved to an apartment next to the Petaluma River, and it has inspired me to participate in riverside clean-up events as well as campaigns to dredge the downtown stretch of the river.

David Tausheck


Committee on the Shelterless (COTS)

900 Hopper Street, Petaluma, 94952

707-765-6530 x107


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