Lou currently serves as the Chairman of the Navy Safe Harbor Foundation, an organization that supports wounded and seriously ill Sailors and Coast Guardsmen. The Foundation works with the Navy to ensure the needs of Sailors and Coast Guardsmen and their family are met when there are gaps in their support. Safe Harbor steps in to help with living expenses during transition from active to medically retired status, providing adaptive athletic gear, supporting travel to various wounded warrior athletic events including family members and caregivers and help with travel expenses associated with health care.
Lou also serves as the President of the Fund for Charitable Giving, an affiliate of the National Presbyterian Church. This organization provides a variety of services related to retirement planning and the financial instruments associated with retirement.
Lou can provide a unique presence on your corporate board either as a sitting member or as an advisor. Here is Lou’s vision of how he can help your board:
My passion is helping people, organizations and companies succeed.
I am the founder of Crenshaw Consulting Associates, LLC, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that provides high-end consulting and advisory services to companies in the Aerospace and Defense markets. I want to bring my Navy flag officer and international accounting firm partnership skills to the corporate boardroom with a focus on aerospace and defense companies as well as the related trade association world. I have spent a good portion of my thirty-plus years in the Navy and seven years in the commercial sector sharing and growing that passion. As a result of my experiences in both the public and private sectors, I have developed a set of unique skills that can make an extraordinary contribution to the boardroom.
During my time in the U.S. Navy I had the privilege to command at every level. I understand the concept of accountability, stewardship and responsibility to not only care for those people and assets entrusted to me, but to ensure they excel at every endeavor they undertake. As Commanding Office of Attack Squadron 85 during Operation DESERT STORM, I developed and executed a strategic training and maintenance plan that ensured every aircraft and every crewmember were ready for combat. This experience served me well when I was in command of all Naval Activities in Europe and was responsible for developing a plan to streamline operations by combining two separate staffs into a single, integrated unit while cutting the manpower by 50% with no loss in productivity. As a result, I understand how to plan and execute complex restructurings of organizations to ensure they are efficient, effective and profitable. My years in command also shaped my views on the need to be absolutely ethical and fiercely loyal to those who work for me and those for whom I work.
My command experience served me well when I joined the private sector as a partner in the global advisory and accounting firm of Grant Thornton LLP. Many of the challenges I faced in command were virtually identical to those faced in my commercial life. I developed and executed a national campaign plan to coordinate the efforts of tax, audit and consulting professionals across the country that resulted in tripling revenue in the firm’s Aerospace and Defense Industry segment in only two years.
As a Certified Defense Financial Manager, I understand all aspects of financial operations within the Department of Defense and in the Federal government. Overseeing a budget of over $130 Billion in the Navy set the stage to allow me to excel in the highly competitive environment of running a business unit in the private sector and being accountable for delivering promised results and profits. As the partner in charge of the firm’s Defense and Intelligence sector, I led a team that delivered consistent profitability and growth.
Because of my experiences on the battlefield and in the marketplace, I have a unique ability to combine strategic planning, operational execution and financial management into a powerful and highly effective “three-pronged approach” which allows long-term performance at extraordinary levels. Key to this approach is the need to ensure that an environment of collaboration and trust is established so that the talents of all team members can be realized to their full potential. Because of my experiences public and private leadership, I know how to create a highly collaborative environment that ultimately enables an organization to focus its energy on solving problems using all the tools and talents available.
Leaders need to be able to clearly convey their vision, expectations and direction to their people. I have had the opportunity to speak at numerous events to large audiences, testify before Congress and lead panels at various professional forums. As the Chairman of the Board of a non-profit, charitable organization, I frequently speak to prospective donors and sponsors and am very effective at getting my message across.
One of my greatest strengths is having the tenacity to work a problem to a successful outcome. In working to a solution, I strive to ensure I have the benefit of all sides of an issue and everyone on the team is comfortable in providing advice and counsel, even when that advice may not be popular. In doing so I foster an environment of trust and collegiality that is necessary in making tough decisions.
In performing my duties as a board member, I will rely on the values and ethics that served me well throughout my 40 years in the United States Navy, Grant Thornton, and my consulting practice. My combat experiences have taught me to expect the unexpected and get the job done. The values of collaboration, collegiality and irreproachable ethical behavior have served me well and will continue to guide my professional life as I now focus on both my consulting practice and board of directors service.
Contact Lou if you would like to discuss how he can help your boardroom.