GreatCall was founded in 2006 to provide aging adults with accessible technology and services so that they could live independently longer. As a pioneer in the burgeoning active aging segment, it quickly became the market leader. However, in 2015, with the original venture investors ready for a liquidity event, an unsuccessful sales process took place. In response, the company’s board of directors recruited Brian Berning into the role of Chief Financial Officer. Berning—who brought significant expertise in raising capital, successful M&A, and achievements of operational efficiencies at prior companies—had a straightforward mandate: Evaluate the reasons for the failed exit, develop a new strategy, and execute a plan for a successful liquidity event.
After a thorough review, Berning partnered with the leadership to develop and execute a growth and recovery strategy: Ensure appropriate corporate governance, risk management, compliance, and controls were established and properly monitored; Establish an M&A function to fully support a successful process; and pursue acquisitions to further advance the company’s position in connected health.