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BTS Behind the Scenes: Meet Fred & Susan Shaw from BTS Finance

BTS Behind the Scenes is a chance to showcase the people who are making things happen at BTS and give you a “behind the scenes” look into their worlds. In this month’s feature we’ll talk to BTS’ only husband-and-wife finance team and get a glimpse into their world of strategy, fitness, and finances.

It’s not often that we interview a husband and wife team as part of a blog feature! How did each of you get to BTS?

Susan: I came to BTS as a consultant in May 2017. As a matter of fact, I was referred to BTS through Shelley Lombardo at Fred’s company, Evergreen Advisors. I won the hearts of David and Dan to become a full-time employee in October 2018.

Fred: Dan approached me to be the BTS CFO (I have extensive GovCon compliance experience) and I presented him with an offer he could not refuse.

How often do people refer to you as a “Power Couple”? Which part of the finance universe do each of you own?

Susan: I never knew we were a “Power Couple!” I will say we do complement each other very well in the working arena. Where I cover the day-to-day getting an overall feel and flavor for the workings of the business, Fred then has a better understanding through our communication for forecasting and budgeting.

Fred: I agree, a Power Couple we are not – we are Accountants that know our respective areas of expertise.

So, you’re covering the Micro and the Macro… How does that approach help keep operations smooth?

We do handle the Micro and the Macro areas of finance. While we can only give our financial factual answers, management needs to make their decisions with not only the financial facts but also strategic business objectives- even if that doesn’t follow the financial recommendations entirely. It is management’s decision to make operations run smoothly.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about what it takes to make things financially work at a government contracting organization?

Susan: I honestly believe one of the biggest misconceptions people have is that having government contracts creates a kind of financial windfall. That is not the case. Losing a contract throws finance into a “now we need to get creative” mode.

Fred: Whether you are a Government Contractor or in the Commercial sector, you need to manage the cash flow very carefully. Some business leaders sometimes miss the fact that business needs to change strategy. If they don’t, current operations eventually create cash flow problems – and that is not a good position to be in. This happens whether company is a Government Contractor or Commercial business.

When you’re not making numbers work at BTS, what are you doing? Weekends?

Susan: I love to macrame, work on my energy healing, just read a book, or shower my grands with LOVE!

Fred: I love playing Tennis and am a die-hard Baseball fan (Love my Dodgers). Also, we enjoy having a cocktail either by the fire pit or floating in the pool (in the summer). Getting away from work.

What’s your fitness routine? Do you pick up things from each other’s fitness regimen?

Susan: I go to ForeverStrong® three days a week and use our treadmill in “Fred’s Gym” three times a week. In all honesty, Fred was my inspiration to really take my physical health seriously.  This man faithfully works our EVERY morning and I had to do something if I wanted to keep up with him.

Fred: I enjoy working out every day. It’s something I have done for the past 20 years very consistently. If I don’t work out my body knows it is missing something.

What’s the most rewarding part of your role?

Susan: Knowing everyone got paid!! No seriously, I like to think I make the lives of our CEO and COO a little lighter.

Fred: Helping make all my clients a growing successful business. And so far, I have been lucky. Most of my clients have been with me for over 12 to 15 years.

Fred, rumor is you can do stand-up as well… comedy that is. Tell us about it.

I just enjoy trying to take the normal business pressures away and add some light-hearted humor to make people comfortable. I hate to be considered a typical “Accountant” but rather be considered a person that understands people and makes them feel comfortable dealing with me. As a Public Accountant you deal with all types of personalities, and I try and read their threshold of comfort.

Lightning round!

  • Fred, favorite movie: My Cousin Vinney
  • Susan, favorite movie: Rocky 1 and Creed 1  
  • Fred, snack you love: Mounds Bar
  • Susan: top vacation spot: The beautiful island of Kauai
  • Fred: Phrase Susan says all the time: Just a simple word – “F—“
  • Susan: Phrase Fred says all the time: “Hey Sue”

Addendum from David and Dan: Fred and Susan, we will always consider you a BTS power couple!

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