Tony Cord leads Cowan Emerging Growth Services, poised to assist privately-owned high-growth emerging businesses. Tony Cord is highly visible in the greater Washington, D.C. region, having served in leadership, BD, advisory and operating roles in a wide spectrum of small, middle-market and Fortune 500 enterprises - including bootstrapped startups, PE-backed mid-market emerging growth and publicly-traded global companies,
At home in the boardroom as well as in collaborative co-working spaces, and everything in between, he has earned unique access to and credibility with the region’s vibrant entrepreneurial community, as well as its established business, public sector and academic executives. He offers company boards insights based on deep experience, strong strategic and analytic skills, and the ability to proactively connect dots, accessing his expert network, driving productive introductions to key accounts, investors, decision makers and policy-setters.
Cord began his corporate career in management with D.C.’s electric energy company, exiting after 7 years to try entrepreneurship as a founding principal of Capitol Financial Consultants where, from `87 through `91 he advised growth-minded companies and was featured in the SBA’s SUCCESS Symposium and Video Library Series as an expert on business and financial planning. He then assisted two family-owned businesses consolidating their operations, building powerful JVs and executing M&A strategy as the non-family president. In 1997, he joined American Express Corporation as part of a small M&A team making an historic public company entry into professional services, consolidating CPA and consulting practices, growing the business unit from $5M to over $400M in less than 5 years before being sold to H&R Block.
Once in the CPA/accounting/consulting space, Cord took BD leadership roles with several small, innovative firms introducing new service and product offerings, including asset management and online B2B and B2C accounting, tax and business services. After non-competition covenants expired, he returned to larger firms in the CPA/accounting/consulting space, in regional business development roles at BDO, Clifton Gunderson and Navigant Consulting – all during periods of rapid growth and change.
Most recently he seeded the Mid-Atlantic expansion market for Texas-based and PE-backed M&A advisor Riveron, and since 2014 led a regional practice at Tatum, providing interim C-Suite executives to companies in transition. He is the co-founder of Washington Opportunity Institute, a DC-based workforce development company serving returning citizens, veterans and seniors in underrepresented communities.
Mr. Cord’s enthusiasm, ability to question, listen, analyze and explain solutions to problems or devise ways to capture opportunities is well regarded by leaders in emerging and middle market enterprises. He writes, speaks and advises on such matters as capital searches, business development systems, championing diversity and inclusion and strategies for transforming organizations.
Education and Certifications: M.B.A., Southern Illinois University; B.S., University of Maryland R.H. Smith School of Business; Davidson College (freshman scholarship student athlete); DeMatha Catholic High School; NASD Series 7 and 63 (1987-91); Oracle Small Business Certified (now NetSuite – 2001).
Board Affiliations: Fish & Richardson IP Review Board Member; Federal City Council of DC, Former Trustee; Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2007 Member; Washington SmartCEO/BDO Future 50 Awards, Former Co-Chairman; Metropolitan Police Department Foundation, Former Board Member; DC Innovates (Digital DC Tech Fund), Former Co-Chairman of the Board; Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health Foundation, Former Trustee; CommuniClique, LLC, Former Chairman of the Advisory Board; MD/BDO Tech Champions Awards, Creator; Various emerging private company Advisory Board memberships.
President, Cowan Emerging Growth Services