By Mike Fisher, Vice President and Director, Corporate Development at SRA International
We recently began a new column highlighting the members of ACG National Capital whose work for some of the most aggressively growing companies and brands in the Washington, D.C., business community is driving economic and corporate growth in the capital region. This week, we continue the series by taking an in-depth look at Gresford Gray, the CFO at Gladstone Capital Corporation.
After graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a BS in accounting, Gresford Gray began working with Pricewaterhousecoopers as an auditor.
After four years, he left the accounting firm for warmer climates and a new position as Internal Auditor for the Marketing & Refining – Controller’s Group at the Exxon Mobil Corporation in Fairfax, Va. The Marketing & Refining – Controller’s Group coordinates the company’s worldwide financial and operating plans, evaluates progress toward key goals, and manages internal financial processes.
Gresford then retuned to school, getting his MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. It was here that he began to focus on finance and interact with investment bankers and people in corporate finance. This led to a desire to better understand the capital markets and the creation of a large goal — becoming a CFO.
Gresford later joined the Allied Defense Group, Inc., a publicly traded, defense, and security firm that develops and produces ammunition, sophisticated security systems, and innovative training and simulation products, as a Director of Accounting, and later as a Corporate Controller & Corporate Secretary.
He entered the government contractor space after leaving Allied Defense Group to become the Director of Financial Reporting and Analysis at Alion Science and Technology, Inc., a defense company that provides technical expertise and operational support to federal and civilian government agencies.
After two years with Alion, a phone call brought Gresford face-to-face with his dream. He was offered the position as CFO at Gladstone Capital Corporation, which he of course accepted.
Gresford’s love of corporate finance and interest in the capital markets that was sparked at UVA makes him a perfect fit at Gladstone Capital Corporation, a specialty finance company that invests in debt securities consisting primarily of senior term loans, senior subordinated loans, and junior subordinated loans in small and medium sized companies.
This love of corporate finance, capital growth and his position at Gladstone make him a perfect fit for ACG National Capital, as well. Gresford joined ACG in 2005 because of the association’s educational value and ability to provide access and networking opportunities with the national capital region’s business leaders. The association’s capital connections and forums also allow him to learn different aspects of capital markets, including private equity and other niches of capital growth.
As a member of the membership committee and recently named member of the ACG National Capital Board of Directors, Gresford learns about the large cross-section of businesses and markets that call Washington, D.C., home. He also gets exposed to many different, high-caliber people that surprised him by not being stodgy or elitist, but rather encouraged him to come on board, learn and grow.