One of the great things about Chairmen’s RoundTable is the opportunity to sit next to world-class talent in every discipline. From marketing to finance, HR to operations, dozens of CRT mentors and supporters stand ready to help bring your business to a higher level of effectiveness and profitability.

The newest face on the block is John Riley, who spent the past two decades developing strategies, financial plans, and mergers & acquisitions for PepsiCo. Coming from a Naval career and operating from offices in both New York and Chicago, John was focused on making operations and numbers work for divisions with household names like Pepsi, Tropicana, Quaker Oats, and Gatorade.

John’s impact went much further than that, though, as he helped strategize and implement alliances with Lipton, Starbucks, and smaller players in categories such as yogurt, kombucha and coconut waters. His guiding influence extended to the US, Canada, Mexico, Ireland…and beyond.

Layered atop his MBA/Finance (Wharton) and street smarts is a guy who’s engaging, insightful, honest, and as comfortable applying his hard-won knowledge to a start-up as he is to an $8 billion division of a global corporation.

And though John is primarily a CFO, his comprehensive experience working with customers, operations, personnel, and distribution channels became so diverse that he was frequently mistaken for the COO.

Having moved to San Diego to be closer to family, John is anxious to share his depth and breadth of organizational wisdom with business owners seeking an edge. “The number of zeroes in your top line are less important than knowing your customer inside and out,” he advises, adding “Know your customer, know your competition, and know how to create a product and business system that’s capable of remaining sustainable as you scale. If you do that from the beginning, your success is guaranteed.”