Steven Raft
Award-winning Operations and Finance Executive

By gaining a deep understanding of the organization, its customers, products, and processes, I deliver exceptional results.

About Me

I am a strategic and award-winning C-level operations and finance executive (CFO and COO).  I immediately deliver exceptional results by quickly gaining a deep understanding the organization, its customers, products, and processes. I am known for my ability to evaluate, organize and direct the day-to-day operations of a company, always focused on profitability. As a pacesetter and coach, my direct reports have excelled and grown; improving the areas they manage. I have achieved documented success in management, operational and financial turnarounds, M&A, divestitures, risk management, strategic planning, finance and accounting, budgeting, financial analysis, information technology, and raising in excess of $300 million in debt financing.   

My core competencies include: 

• Executive Leadership 

• Business Operations 

• Financial Management

• Strategic Planning and Analysis 

• Banking Relations 

• Employee Relations

• Risk Management and Internal Controls 

• Budget Forecasting and Modeling 

• Agent for Change

• Project Management 

• Expense Control 

• Problem Resolution 

• Real Estate 

• Customer Service 

• Corporate Governance 

• Software Technology

I have consistently improved the bottom-line through expertise in business operations, finance, and strong leadership.  Pleasae read on for more detail about my career.

My Career



From October 2014 through January 2017 I was the Chief Operating Officer  of ALFRED PUBLISHING, a 95-year old printed music publisher that is the second largest in the industry.

I lead an organizational restructuring including a 20% reduction in force, divestiture of unprofitable subsidiaries and lines of business that resulted in a 3.2X increase in EBITDA in 12 months on 5% less revenue.   

I also lead the successful financial restructuring with a strategic partner, eliminating all external debt and providing technological opportunities that the company’s prior debt and equity structure would not support.   

I successfully negotiated with joint venture and other partners on the divestiture of subsidiaries and lines of business.   

I was responsible for day-to-day operating activities of 6 direct reports with 79 staff covering Sales and Marketing Operations, IT, Purchasing, Business Affairs including legal and licensing, Upstate NY distribution center, responsible for risk management and insurance and strategic planning.   

I was the main point of contact with ESOP Trustee and its counsel while navigating the complex dealings of the restructuring described above.    

I managed all external legal activity as well as relationships with lenders, investment bankers, valuation firms and others related to the restructuring.   

From November 2012 to October 2014 I was the Chief Financial Officer of ALFRED PUBLISHING.

I lead a successful but tenuous and difficult debt restructuring effort resulting in the refinancing of more than $35 million in first lien, mezzanine, and seller-financed debt that was all in default with impatient lenders. 

I created and successfully executed the reorganization of middle management removing operational silos and creating a level of  accountability and responsibility that did not previously exist. 

I was responsible for finance and accounting and all reporting, risk management and insurance, IT, Purchasing, Upstate NY distribution center as well as foreign subsidiaries’ financial operations. 

I partnered with the CEO to lead strategic planning efforts to reposition company to deal with the impact of digital changes to the printed sheet music industry.                       

From March 2007 to November 2012 I was the Chief Operating Officer of MONTAGE DEVELOPMENT, INC.,  a real estate developer that specializes in developing land and constructing homes for first-time homebuyers.

As the real estate market collapsed, I successfully renegotiated construction loans and accounting for capital accounts in partnership agreements that resulted in multi-million-dollar benefits to owner.  

I worked with the CEO/owner to restructure business operations and staffing to pivot from builder/developer to providing highly profitable fee-based construction/development/sales services to banks and other financial institutions on projects in California, Colorado, North Carolina, and Utah.    

This was a high-profile leadership position as #2 executive in closely held corporation with 42 property development and holding company entities.    

I was responsible for all accounting and financial reporting, budgets, personnel, accounting controls, policies, procedures, corporate governance, IT systems, and corporate communications matters. Supervised 3 accounting and finance staff members as well as 3 other team members.  

From June 2004 to March 2007 I was the Chief Operating Officer of MWH DEVELOPMENT CORP., a real estate development and construction company that developed land and constructed homes for first-time and luxury homebuyers.

I lead the expansion of business operations from a small in-fill residential developer to acquiring, financing and constructing land for approximately 1,500 home-sites and 165 condo/apartment units.   

I successfully packaged and placed approximately $275 million of acquisition, development and construction loans.   

As COO, I managed full range of corporate and construction operations, supervised a 42-person team; entrusted with full profit and loss responsibility for company and 38 property development entities.    

I was also responsible for all accounting and financial reporting as well as all equity and debt financing for acquisition and construction loans, as well as deal structure and entity formation.

From June 1998 to June 2004 I was the Chief Financial Officer of CERWIN-VEGA, INC., a world-renown loudspeaker designer and manufacturer for home, car and professional use.

In partnership with the company’s turnaround management consultants and investment bankers, I ensured the seamless transition of company ownership to purchaser Stanton Group in late 2002.   

I lead all financial and administrative operations including finance, accounting, planning, budgeting, tax, cash management, and administrative functions.    

I was a key contributor to development of national programs with Sears, Best Buy, Guitar Center, Rex Stores, and regional and international distributors.    

I lead product development teams for consumer and professional products in determining pricing and marketing strategy for all new products. 

I also served as co-administrator of $4 million 401(k) and profit-sharing plan. 

From April 1997 to June 1998 I was the Chief Financial Officer of  TOMORROW’S MORNING, INC., a publicly-traded children's media company who produced an award winning weekly newspaper for children 10 to 15 years old. 

I managed all functions in finance, accounting, planning, treasury and investor relations for this NASDAQ SmallCap listed public company. I worked  directly with outside auditors and securities attorney on all SEC filings. I strengthened the company’s financial position through termination of floating price stock option plans.    

From November 1985 through April 1997 I was a CPA at ENTOUS & ENTOUS, INC., a CPA firm based in Encino, CA. 

My career at Entous & Entous progressed as follows - Staff   accountant from 1985-1988, Manager from 1989-1992, and  Shareholder from July 1992 until April 1997. As a firm we provided superior audit, consulting, and sophisticated tax planning/preparation for clients in a diverse array of industries such as music, consumer electronics, manufacturing, direct  marketing/infomercials, real estate and professional services such as physicians and attorneys.



Recognition and Awards

Recipient: 2015 San Fernando Valley Business Journal “Top CFO” Award 

Finalist: San Fernando Valley Business Journal “Top CFO” Award in 2014 

Finalist: San Fernando Valley Business Journal “Top CFO” Award in 2013 

Finalist: San Fernando Valley Business Journal “Top CFO” Award in 2009

Finalist: Los Angeles Business Journal "CFO of the Year" Award, 2013  


Certificates and Education

Certified by General Electric - "Change Acceleration Process" and "Workout" Dispute Resolution Process

Certified Public Accountant, State of California 50934E (inactive) 

Bachelor of Science-Business Administration-Accounting, California State University-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA – 1984 


Selected Recommendations

Ron Manus, former owner of Alfred Music wrote:  I met Steven in 2014 and immediately hired him as CFO for Alfred Music. He hit the ground running and quickly made our impatient lenders comfortable with the stability of the business while we went to market and refinanced our debt. Steven also successfully renegotiated our lease with our landlord that both lowered our rent by almost 25% and got the landlord to pay for some major improvements. Steven gained such a deep understanding of the entirety of the business through the debt restructuring process that I promoted him to COO to leverage his ability to manage people and processes which translated to tremendous increases in productivity and profitability throughout our business, increasing our EBITDA by 3.2x. Steven was my “right hand man” and my confidant and will quickly become a huge asset to anyone who works with him as closely as I did.  

Rich Lackowski worked with me at Alfred Publishing, he recently said:  "Steven is an exceptionally talented, experienced, and respected executive. He is extremely knowledgeable, incredibly driven, and an absolute pleasure to work with. I have the great fortune of working with Steven at Alfred Music and have witnessed his passion for achieving excellence in everything he does, day after day, month after month, year after year. I admire his ability to constantly and consistently add value to the company, and also his relentless pursuit to grow his skills and evolve. Steven is an incredible leader who is always learning, advancing, and driving those around him to do their best work." 

Robert Adler, ESQ, attorney for MWH Development wrote: " I worked with Steven when he was C.O.O. at MWH Development. Steven is a very fast learner and has exceptional administrative and organizational skills. His CPA background naturally makes him a valuable asset to the construction business." 

Todd August, COO at George Smith Partners said: "Steven and I have worked together over the years. When it comes to thinking about a business minded ethical man that is driven by providing success for others, Seven is the first one that comes to mind. His work ethic, matched with integrity, has made him one of the best in his industry. I would recommend Steven without hesitation." 

Michael Froch, ESQ, General Counsel for Montage Development, commented: "Steven is the top notch professional at Montage. Outside his present duties, he really understands the operations of big business from experience and is an expert on tracking and impacting the bottom-line. He brings a wealth of knowledge across a wide range of industries. Steven gets reporting, and is an excellent COO and CFO."

Gerard Cohen, former CEO at Stanton Group wrote: "I met Steven when I took over Cerwin-Vega, and I knew that he was the right professional to help the turnaround. As CFO and operation guru he delivered. He clearly understands the art of business and built strong relationships with the new management and employees. He had the right attitude during a very difficult time, leadership, focus, calm and attention to detail. I highly recommend Steven.”

Rick Rossignol, former Director of Human Resources at Cerwin-Vega, wrote:  "Steven is a driven and determined executive that always strives for excellence in everything that he does. He's great to work with because of his positive attitude. He is very smart and constantly offers creative solutions to various problems that come up in the day-to-day business environment."