John Helderman is an accomplished business professional with significant experience in the gaming, finance, and tax industries, as well as strong experience in the nonprofit world. In addition to strong business management skills and financial acumen, John’s powerful ethical approach helps him drive integrity and accountability wherever he goes. He is adept at asking the right questions to uncover issues and identify the proper path forward, and he has the tenacity to see the solution through once he finds it.
During his 8 years with Caesars Entertainment John held a variety of leadership roles in corporate finance, corporate tax, and property-level finance, conquering myriad issues and delivering enormous value. John was on the Board of Goodwill Industries of Southern Nevada, Inc. when it encountered difficulties in Q2 2017. He left Caesars to step into the CEO role at Goodwill and drove an incredible turnaround, accomplishing the following during his 2 years as CEO:
- Revitalized Goodwill’s culture to focus on honesty, integrity, and accountability
- Refocused the organization on its mission of job placement and workforce development
- Strategically restructured the executive team, cut corporate overhead, closed unprofitable stores, and refined store operations to improve productivity and cash flow
- Improved annual cash flow from $500,000 to $5.2m (10x improvement) and improved operating margins from 1.2% to 14.4%
- Renegotiated Goodwill’s $22m bond debt to achieve a reasonable payment schedule, more manageable bond covenants, and significant forgiveness of accrued interest
- Renegotiated store leases to create more than $8m of savings over the remaining lease terms
- Led Goodwill through a successful Chapter 11 reorganization, which required John to work closely with bankruptcy counsel and other professionals, develop a multiyear business plan and cash flow forecast, communicate extensively with Goodwill’s creditors, and maintain calm within the company throughout the process
- Met with key elected officials to apprise them of Goodwill’s progress through the turnaround and educate them about the company’s nonprofit mission and importance to the Southern Nevada community.
With the turnaround complete, John hired his replacement as CEO of Goodwill in June 2019. He plans to rejoin Goodwill’s Board of Directors following a brief transition to the new CEO.
Prior to his time with Caesars and Goodwill, John spent 11 years with “Big 4” accounting firms Deloitte & Touche and KPMG. During that time he consulted with clients in a wide variety of industries and delivered value in a straightforward, honest style that built trust rapidly and resulted in strong relationships.
John is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law and holds undergraduate degrees in Business Management and Economics from North Carolina State University. He is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and the Georgia Bar.