This week, ACG National Capital will be celebrating 25 years of middle market growth at the 25th Anniversary Celebration and Networking Event. Corporate Growth, Capital Style will be posting insightful interviews with past ACG presidents leading up to the big event.
In our last post in the series, we featured an interview with former president Rick Knop. Our next conversation was with former chapter president Clark Childers, who served from 1991 until 1993.
Mr. Childers is a senior consultant at Cherry Bekaert LLP, where he guides clients in various industries concerning matters such as government contracts, compensation and benefits, and transaction and entrepreneurial services.
Prior to joining Cherry Bekaert, Mr. Childers served as controller for a Government Contractor, and was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He also founded a CPA firm that was then acquired by Cherry Bekaert. Mr. Childers is an expert in government contracting issues, due diligence, equity-based compensation, and strategic planning.
Here is what Mr. Childers had to say about his time with the ACG, as well as how corporate growth activity and the business market have changed in the National Capital region since he was president:
CGCS: Can you describe a significant occurrence that happened in the deal community during your tenure as ACG National Capital president?
Mr. Childers: At one of our early lunch meetings, Dan Bannister, the CEO of DynCorp, and a CEO of a government contracting company sat together, which began discussions for the purchase of his business by DynCorp a year later. I find it fascinating that a deal of this magnitude took place because of lunch.
CGCS: Can you describe something significant that happened during your time as chapter president?
Mr. Childers: We changed the venue for the meetings from lunch meetings at the University Club in DC to breakfast meetings at the Tower Club in Tysons Corner.
CGCS: What changes have you seen in the DC business community in the last 25 years? How has the business climate changed? Any new industries to take note of?
Mr. Childers: The technology industry has expanded as this area has attracted more funding sources, and the government contracting industry has utilized public offerings of stock to expand and buy other companies.
CGCS: Can you describe some of the major trends shaping and influencing the business environment in DC today? How has that shaped corporate growth activity?
Mr. Childers: Private equity firms have become a major player in M&A transactions, particularly in the GovCon industry, which has influenced valuations and the way smaller companies are rolled up into platform companies to create much larger entities with higher valuations.