Kevin McConnaghy

Kevin McConnaghy currently serves as the SBTDC’s State Program Director for Strategy and Growth Services. He brings a wealth of experience to client engagements involving strategy, leadership and transition. Prior to joining SBTDC in 2005, Kevin was the owner of a consultancy specializing in strategy development and support services to midsize clients across the United States and Canada. Earlier in his career as Vice President, Marketing and Sales, CompuChem Inc., he participated as a founding investor in a management team led leveraged buyout (LBO) of the CompuChem Division from the Mead Corporation; a Fortune 500 company. As both an owner and executive, he provided strategic and operational leadership to reposition the business in a manner that allowed for a subsequent initial public offering (IPO). In prior years, he worked in the Research and Development divisions of the Carborundum Company and Mead Corporation — both Fortune 500 companies – where he was responsible for commercialization of new products, creation of new business units and related M&A activities. Kevin earned his BA in biology from the University of Buffalo and MA in communication and leadership from Gonzaga University. Kevin has also served as adjunct faculty at Appalachian State University where he taught a graduate level course in Entrepreneurship to MBA and Professional Science Master’s students.


Posts by Kevin:


It is rare to hear the owner of a midsize business say, “things are comfortable.” That is because everyone has his or her own comfort level. It is also because, by its nature, there is always tension in a business system. The tension can arise from any number of factors: sales, competition, economic conditions, or

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On Target

When you have a good business model and a great strategy, you should win – right? As seasoned investors (i.e., business owners) know, there is one more thing you need and one more thing you need to be able to do. The thing you need is deep understanding of where you can affect value. The

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In The News: Steele Rubber Products

Column: Business resource can be a huge help An article from the Hickory Record by Lindsay Keisler, Catawba County Chamber of Commerce HICKORY – “Your business. Better.” This is the tagline for the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), a state and federally funded business resource through the university system in North Carolina. They

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Recharge Performance

Here are four avenues that your organization can travel to recharge performance. Externally, demonstrate to your customers and prospects how your organization adds value. Internally, focus on enhancing processes and systems that ensure value is routinely deliverable. Cut costs in areas that do not support your strategy. Reinvest savings in areas that do support the

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Confucius says… Pivot

What do you think success looks like for your business? I mean real success! Does your definition of success keep changing? If you honestly want to be successful, you need clear goals and everyone around you needs to know what they are, so they can support you. In effect, goal statements pose the question: what

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Like an airplane, the first task of a business is to get off the ground rapidly and at steep angle. Once in the air the job is to stay there; however, at this point the steep climbing angle begins to work against the business. As a midsize business, it is harder to grow revenue, hire

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A Recollection and Matthew

Years ago, as part of a keynote address, I heard a prominent business leader make the comment, “in my professional life; my first loyalty is to my industry.” When asked about this comment later, the speaker pointed to many justifications which boiled down to this fact:  when an industry is well thought of, all of its

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N.C. improves ranking in business climate report

The Winston-Salem Journal recently published an article on North Carolina’s business climate which states: “North Carolina’s ranking in an influential tax business climate report improved by four spots to 11th for 2017, the Tax Foundation said Wednesday. The 13th annual report is based on five tax categories: corporate, individual income, property, sales and unemployment insurance. North Carolina’s improvement has

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Forward Looking

Performance management shifts companies away from backward looking once-a-year reviews to a process that is real-time, continuous and focused on helping people meet goals. Focused on continuous improvement, performance management aims to build a workforce committed to personal and organizational growth. In practice, performance management represents a series of interventions designed to keep a workforce

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Translator Needed

Henry Chesbrough famously said, “Most innovations fail. And, companies that don’t innovate die.” In a recent Babson Insight article by Daniel Huber, he makes the case for rethinking what kind of human resources and organizational structures are needed — if innovation is to succeed. Key take aways include: Unintentional terminations of innovation projects occur primarily

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August Quarterly Newsletter

We recently distributed Accelerate’s quarterly newsletter, which included the following three blog posts that we’ve shared with you over the past few months: Develop a Local Contracting “Action Plan” by Noah Robins, SBTDC Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) BREXIT: What Does It Mean to U.S. Small and Mid-Size Enterprises by Alex Viva, SBTDC International Business

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Big View

Keeping up a competitive advantage based on innovation and change is an imperative, but increasingly difficult to do. Why? Well, it might be because a company’s view of the world is not as clear as it once was. To gain clarity around a company’s strategic options, we suggest revisiting the big picture first. One way

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