Tony Natale Awarded Coveted Certified Turnaround Professional of the Year Award

Tony Natale Awarded Coveted Certified Turnaround Professional of the Year Award

Tony Natale, founder of Shepherd Partners, Inc., was presented the prestigious 2014 CTP of the Year award on November 24 during the Executive Speaker Forum in Chicago. The much-anticipated evening, which was hosted by the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, included Mitt Romney as the keynote speaker.

Shepherd provides turnaround and other services through the private equity and lending communities. Tony, who founded the company in 1997, has been a CTP since 1999, and was previously awarded “Most Effective Turnaround for 2000-2001” by the TMA Chicago/Midwest for his work on a multi-state technology firm. He was honored this winter for his long-time work as a turnaround professional, and for his work with Austin Packaging Company:

It was a struggling $47 million contract food manufacturer with nearly 370 workers. Order volumes, product pricing and mix changes had left the company with too much overhead, insufficient liquidity and negative cash flow, compounded by insufficient management action. Analysis showed that by exiting its pizza business, trimming the company down to $25 million in sales and selectively reducing overhead, the business could be profitable and attractive to investors. To get to this outcome, Shepherd took the company through a receivership whose success was enhanced by obtaining a stalking horse bid; a collateralized guarantee for the lender’s growing over-advance; plus the cooperation of vendors, employees and customers. The company’s assets were sold, which repaid the secured lenders and generated a meaningful dividend to the unsecureds. Two hundred employees kept their jobs; the community kept an important source of tax, lease and utility revenues; and many vendors kept or gained a customer.

“What’s especially rewarding is making a meaningful difference for my clients, their employees and others under very stressful circumstances,” Tony explains, recounting this and other memorable assignments, including two racehorse breeders in Lexington, KY; a healthy but generationally challenged national self-storage company; and an engineering and construction firm in Bahia and Sao Paulo, Brazil. “My Spanish and Portuguese skills definitely came in handy during that assignment,” he adds with a smile.

Tony has been published in The Secured Lender, The ABF Journal and The Journal of Corporate Renewal. He earned his MBA from Northwestern University and his undergraduate degree in Finance and Accounting from Southern Methodist University. When not helping struggling companies, Tony can be found diving at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium (ask him about putting his hand inside a whale’s mouth), tutoring at Adult Literacy Chicago, playing polo, or volunteering at hospitals and schools with Dante, his certified therapy dog.


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