University of Lethbridge alumna Shannon Kaustinen (BMgt ’91) works as the VP of Finance and Administration for Neurio Technology, a company that seeks to help homeowners monitor and optimize their energy use. Shannon’s leadership both within Neurio and during the company’s recent acquisition by Generac Holdings Inc. is helping to move the clean tech industry forward.
What is it about your work with Neurio Technology that excites you the most?
The nature of the industry is very rewarding. I have a long history of working with companies that have products that impact people’s lives. This is very different than simply selling a traditional product that has less meaning. Neurio is in the clean tech industry and watching the benefits of all the research and development is motivating. The great story about the acquisition of Neurio by Generac is that the efforts of Neurio can be magnified so much more with Generac’s distribution channels and resources. It’s “do more, faster” with the technology. A local success story for STEM.
You were recently involved in Generac Holdings Inc.’s acquisition of Neurio, which took place over the span of 38 days. How would you describe the process of managing that transition over such a short time period?
As with any acquisition, there are many people and professional service firms involved. In this case, there were four legal firms, two accounting firms, one financing firm and employees on both sides of the deal. At times, it felt like a David and Goliath environment. Closing a deal in that short of time frame is rare. In fact, I have yet to hear about a complicated acquisition closing in that time frame. Normally a simple financing is 60+ days; you can imagine what it was like closing a full acquisition in 38 days.
Thankfully everyone was incredibly responsive to the detailed tasks and worked very difficult hours to pull this off. For me, this was grueling. Not only did I have the acquisition, but I also had 3 other major activities at the same time – year end audit, a system conversion and my ICD.D. studies through the University of Toronto. I worked 15+ hour days, 7 days a week for months.
Where do you draw your personal and professional inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from leading by example. In my case, it’s important to show our three teenagers (ages 15, 14 and 13) the value of having a strong work ethic and keeping your integrity intact. I always take time to tell stories – good and bad – about human nature under pressure or around money. Some of my favorite business stories have all come under these criteria. I usually have extra stories for our 13-year-old daughter, giving her encouragement and support in a different way. Growing up, I didn’t have any of these types of stories from my parents or other adults. Hopefully some of the stories will stick and not be lost.
Learn more about Shannon and her work with Neurio Technology in this article, originally published on CPABC’s Industry Update.
Photo credit: Wink Photography