Our goal is to make companies stronger.

Our Consultants Work As Key Advisors

Our teams work as trusted advisors to your team to solve the most complex business and operational issues through our integrated, complementary suite of services, proven methodologies and industry best practices. vcfo has supported more than 5,000 clients nationwide with finance, human resources and recruiting needs, through our offices in Austin, Dallas, Denver and Houston.

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Our Core Values

When vcfo was founded in 1996, we modeled our business to offer fractional CFO services to clients who required financial advisors they could trust to guide them through major changes. We built a business based on integrity, honest communication, accountability and a dedication to taking exceptional care of our clients. Our service offerings have expanded significantly over the years, but our commitment to the values that shaped our success has never wavered.

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Corporate Philanthropy

vcfo makes giving back to our communities a priority. Many of our team members contribute their time and expertise by serving on committees and boards, and we support several organizations through financial donations and volunteer opportunities throughout the year, such as Heifer International, Ronald McDonald House, Junior Achievement, Entrepreneur’s Foundation Service Day, the Austin Children’s Shelter, The Miracle Foundation, Boy Scouts of America and the Companion Connection.

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vcfo’s executive team understands the needs of companies large and small and is committed to addressing clients’ needs at every stage of development and growth.

Ellen Wood

Chief Executive Officer

Ellen is the CEO of the financial consulting firm, vcfo. 2021 marks the 25th anniversary for the firm which has supported more than 5,000 client teams over the years.

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Headquartered in Austin, with offices in Denver, Dallas and Houston, vcfo provides an integrated suite of finance, HR and recruiting solutions, bringing the wisdom of senior executive to bear for clients in an affordable fractional way. Ellen is also active in the community having served as the Chairman of the Board for UFCU, and the Austin Chamber of Commerce in recent years. Currently she is the Vice Chair of Global Technology and Innovation for the Chamber, charged with expanding international capital relationships as well as enhancing local support of the vibrant technology community. She also serves on the board or in a committee position for the Capital Area Boy Scouts, Entrepreneurs Foundation, Austin Area Research Organization, Women@Austin, and E3 Alliance.

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Darrell Tesmer

Chief Compliance Officer and Executive Vice President

Darrell joined vcfo in 1997 and serves as Chief Compliance Officer and Executive Vice President. Responsible for overseeing vcfo’s corporate HR and IT departments, Darrell is a member of vcfo’s Board of Directors and previously served both as VP of Finance and Administration and as a Consulting CFO.

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Presently, Darrell is responsible for new corporate opportunities and strategic partnerships; management and negotiation of company contracts and agreements; corporate financial planning and reporting; cash, investment and treasury management; tax planning, administration and compliance; and corporate IT and Human Resources.

Darrell is a member of vcfo’s Board of Directors and previously served as VP of Finance and Administration and as a Consulting CFO to a wide variety of vcfo clients, including those in the following industries and sectors: software, computer and device hardware, CAPCO, biotechnology, not-for profit entities such as family foundations, private schools and community foundations, fabless semi-conductor and technology and life science licensing businesses. Darrell also serves as Fund Manager for vcfo’s private equity fund and has consulted with several vcfo venture capital clients.

As a function of his COO duties, Darrell designed the company’s current back-office data processing and reporting systems. He is the system administrator of the company’s ERP systems and manager of the company’s intranet and employee portal technology. Darrell is an expert Excel user and has designed for clients numerous multi-period and multi-dimensional financial models, many successfully used to raise capital.

Prior to vcfo, Darrell was the Finance Manager of Amnex, Inc. where he assisted in the integration and transition of an acquired company, Capital Network System, Inc. Earlier in his career, Darrell was a Financial Analyst and Staff Accountant for The Clorox Company in Oakland, California.

Darrell received a BBA Degree in Finance and Honors Business and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. He currently serves as Texas State Treasurer of TeXchange and is a member of the Central Texas Regional Center for Innovation & Commercialization (RCIC).

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Mike Wilfley

Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President

Mike Wilfley serves as the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President. With more than 25 years of proven executive success and experience, Mike has expertise in building strong teams designed to execute complex strategic and operational plans in a variety of fast-paced industries.

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Mike has worked with executives and managed teams in a multitude of environments, including rapid growth, M&A and turnaround. He has extensive experience with evaluating capital structure alternatives to transition companies. Through helping officers develop success-based variable compensation structures, his clients have experienced an increase in employee retention. Working closely with outside partners, he has developed strong relationships with professionals, such as attorneys, accountants and risk managers, who help support executive teams across all industries.

Prior to joining vcfo, Mike held CFO positions with Durcon Incorporated, Dorsan Biofuels, Inc., Grande Communications/Thrifty Call and Littlefield Real Estate Company, among others.

Mike received his BBA in Accounting degree from the University of Texas in Austin. He is a CPA and CGMA.

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Cristina Silingardi

Vice President

Cristina is Vice President of vcfo. Based in Austin, she is responsible for managing a team of Consulting CFOs and CHROs, and driving strategic growth. Cristina joined vcfo initially as a Consulting CFO working with a number of growing companies, and then progressed to Managing Director. She is focused on sustainability, process efficiencies and enabling growth. Her passion for sustainability and social impact blended with her data and metric-oriented approach using EOS, led to her track record of driving multiple teams to success.

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Throughout her career, Cristina has had the opportunity to work with companies in various industries and lifecycles–from start-ups to high-growth and mature businesses. Cristina’s work ethic has earned the respect of both her clients and her peers, and her mentorship and leadership capabilities are a great asset to vcfo.

Prior to joining vcfo, Cristina worked as an independent consultant as well as a CFO and Treasurer for HamaTech USA, Inc., and as a Corporate Controller for STEAG AG in Essen, Germany. Cristina’s diverse experience has enabled vcfo to serve clients both stateside and globally abd she provides flawless service to her long-term clients while helping clients from start-ups to mid-growth. Cristina has worked closely with many international investors setting up companies in the U.S. and also with domestic companies expanding abroad through acquisitions or subsidiaries, acting as a close partner and contact point for shareholders, boards of directors, and other CEOs.

Cristina’s clients at vcfo have ranged from HomeAway, SchooX, Phunware, Wind Energy, Transmission of Texas, Iccenlux Corp., T-Solar, Wastewater Solutions, Isolux Ingenieria LLC, Macheen, US Telehealth, and Portella and Magellan International School.

Cristina, who is fluent in English, German, conversational Spanish and Native Portuguese enjoys traveling throughout the U.S. and abroad for work and fun. She is also a board member of the Easter Seals of Central Texas.

Cristina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil and a Master’s degree in Accounting and Financial Management from DeVry University in Austin, Texas.

Cristina is a certified Texas CPA.

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Carter Freeman

Vice President, Western Region

Carter is the Vice President for vcfo’s Western Region. An accomplished professional with over 25 years of senior-level financial and accounting experience, Carter has demonstrated an ability to embrace new situations, establish trust and develop a workable game plan. To produce results, Carter navigates his clients through their challenges by assessing a set of circumstances and “cutting to the chase.”

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An accomplished professional with over 25 years of senior-level financial and accounting experience, Carter’s capabilities encompass negotiating ownership transition, leading and supporting capital raising efforts totaling over $100 million, participating in multiple acquisitions from both the buy- and sell-side, in addition to merging operations as acquirer and acquiree. Carter is also adept at establishing financial and operational accounting systems, managing finance and customer service personnel and leading technological conversions, such as computer software.

Having served as CFO, VP of Finance, Controller and Treasurer in his career, Carter has experience with venture capital-backed start-ups, internet-related firms, distribution and manufacturing and publicly traded multi-bank holding companies. Prior to vcfo, Carter held finance and accounting positions with Brain Matters, Bid4Vacations, Powerworx Online, TEC Direct and Integration Alliance Corporation. He began his career in public accounting with Coopers & Lybrand, a predecessor firm to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Carter has a BS in Accounting from Montana State University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Colorado.

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Ashford Chancelor

Practice Manager, Dallas

Ashford is the Practice Manager for vcfo Dallas. He serves as financial leader for a number of our largest clients. His ability to offer sound financial advice, while embracing modern software solutions to help drive organizational development allows him to connect with cutting-edge businesses and organizations who look to technology to help them gain a better foothold on their financial strategies.

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A highly experienced Consulting CFO with a strong background in accounting and strategic planning, Ashford has provided sound counsel in the areas of fixed asset management, multi-currency accounting, treasury management, equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, audit preparation, revenue recognition, organizational development, process improvement, team management, software implementation, budgeting and forecasting, business plan development, project management, and risk management. In addition, he is constantly striving to learn and immerse himself in the latest advances in STEM, medicine, technology, biology, and quantum research.

Prior to joining vcfo, Ashford worked as a financial leader and within various executive-level positions for businesses and organizations spanning both the public and private sector. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Texas Association of Business Broker as the State Treasurer.

Ashford holds a BBA in Accounting from Texas Tech University, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

He is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas.

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Donna Zinsmeyer

Operations Director

Donna serves as vcfo’s Operations Director. With strong analytical and problem-solving skills, her attention to detail, efficiency, and organization is the reason she successfully leads the Austin field team and oversees all clients.

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Donna brings more than 20 years of experience working with both small and medium-sized businesses and organizations in both the public and private sector. With professional experience in oil and gas, technology, restaurants, professional services, construction, engineering, energy, and non-profits, Donna is well-versed in modern financial best practices and is always prepared to assist consultants and clients in fostering more effective and efficient financial management.

Prior to joining vcfo, Donna held various finance and accounting positions with Innovo Resources Group, Cinatra Clean Technologies, Energy Engineering Associates, Computer Moms International Corporation, Doyle Wilson Homebuilder, Schlotzsky’s Inc., and KPMG Peat Marwick. Throughout her career, she has helped to develop cash flow analysis and weekly cash management reporting and forecasting, assisted in the preparation of tax returns for more than 50 entities, as well as W-9s, 1099s, and other governmental reporting requirements, developed and analyzed performance metrics by manipulating large sets of data through Excel and Access, and served as an instrumental team member in an IPO process, which included daily interactions with investment bankers, analysts, and lawyers.

Donna earned both a BBA in Accounting and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin.

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