Our Values & History
Every|One: We believe, today more than ever, it is important to include and respect each one of us
Our values deliver on our mission: Building sellable businesses through trusted relationships, not transactions.
After two business experiences with mixed and hidden agendas, seeds are planted in Chris Crawford, giving him an idea to start a new business: The Fun Company. Chris had a vision going back to college that it would be so much fun to be a part of a group of talented people working collaboratively to deliver value for their clients. This would be a team who liked and respected each other. Work would be fun. Chris starts to think about how to integrate personal values and beliefs with his business experience.
Chris participates in his first MS Bike Ride to support his sister Bonnie and bring awareness to the disease. He thought he would do it just one time. 2021 marked 22 years straight.
After a series of business experiences spanning 17 years, Chris decides it is time to start the Fun Company. Chris launches “Crawford & Associates.” Despite the fact that there were no “associates”, Chris starts trying to help people using his experience as a strategic minded CFO and In-House Lawyer. Chris meets Patrick Bormann, his first client, who in 2004 would become his business partner, and still is to this day. Chris hires his first employee, Stacey Blanda, who worked with Chris at The North Face. Stacey worked for ClearPath for 8 years and is still a dear friend today.
Working with Patrick, Crawford & Associates taps into Chris’ M&A experience and conducts a successful private placement offering. CFO/Controller services are a core offering. The team is expanding.
Company has officially been operating for two years and our name changes to Bay Area Business Solutions.
We sign on our first reoccurring client for a CFO role, this expands our strategic financial leadership offerings.
ClearPath Business Advisors becomes our official business name. Patrick Bormann joins ClearPath full-time. ClearPath formally starts offering M&A Advisory Services. tapping into the significant M&A experience of Chris and Patrick.
ClearPath secures Access Information Management Systems as a 2008-2009 client, helping them conduct a roll-up acquisition strategy, leading to the acquisition of over 30 companies in 4 years. Today, Access is one of the largest record management companies in the world. M&A Advisory Services represents 2/3 of ClearPath’s business.
When the mortgage crisis hit, bank financing into M&A deals stops overnight. ClearPath’s M&A practice literally stops in its tracks in November 2008. Within 30 days, ClearPath has replaced all of that business and more by pivoting its service offerings to strategic financial assistance and expanding its recurring CFO/COO service – typically on-site. ClearPath is able to help its clients navigate through hard times. As the recession unfolds, all of ClearPath’s recurring clients retain its services.
ClearPath offers to help Joann pro bono, a recent widow whose husband’s passing left Joann owning 50% of a business that she did not know what to do with. Over the next 7 years, ClearPath would help Joann and the surviving business partner deal with the pain and confusion of loss and find peace and compromise to move forward.
ClearPath engages with its first AgriBusiness client, Sambrailo Packaging, whose biggest customer is Driscoll Berries. Sambrailo remained one of ClearPath’s largest client partners for over a decade.
M&A activity returns with a flourish, and ClearPath diversifies, retaining its core Strategic Financial Advisory Services, alongside a growing M&A Advisory practice. Mark Stailey joins ClearPath, assuming the role of M&A Practice Leader. Chris joins the Board of Teen Esteem, a ministry helping to empower kids in the Tri-Valley area. Chris takes his first trip to Kenya, seeking to help the Mully Children’s Family, a ministry whose mission is to save and adopt children who have been abandoned.
Kristianna Bormann joins ClearPath and would soon emerge as a dynamic leader of the firm. As lead banker, ClearPath negotiates the sale of All Systems Broadband to a multi-billion dollar public company, the conclusion of a dedicated 2 year focused effort to position the Company for sale at the highest value. The ClearPath Donor Advised Fund is formed, with 25% of its success fee as its initial funding. To date, ClearPath has donated over $1.5M to charity.
ClearPath’s Core Values are identified as Intergration, Service, and Convergence. ClearPath’s team starts to expand to include a group of talented and brilliant younger minds. ClearPath adopts a shadowing and mentoring philosophy.
ClearPath successfully closes the sale of Mann Packing to Del Monte Fresh, one of 3 M&A transactions to close in a 2 month period. ClearPath expands its practice, establishing two new divisions: Organizational Health & Recruiting, and Strategic Planning & Execution. ClearPath’s 4 pillars of service are now established, all part of its tag line: “We help business owners build a healthy sellable businesses whether they plan to sell or not.” ClearPath’s Leadership Team is established to drive strategic growth and vision within ClearPath.
ClearPath expands its core values to include a 4th value: Every|One, to acknowledge the importance of inclusion and respect, for all. Internally, this movement started with the concept that everyone should have a seat at the table, spawned by one of ClearPath’s growing team of young professionals.
ClearPath gets certified as an official Predictive Index and Talent Optimization supplier in the Bay Area. ClearPath introduces Scenario Planning to help its clients navigate through the pandemic. Virtually all of ClearPath’s clients end the year better than they started. All of ClearPath’s recurring clients retain its services. ClearPath establishes a focus on AgriBusiness, seeking to leverage its experience.
With an expanded team, ClearPath seeks to fulfill its vision: At ClearPath Business Advisors our vision is to continually build thriving relationships – inspiring, serving and empowering every client, employee, and individual we encounter. Internally, our goal is to have all employees say, “I see a future for myself at ClearPath. The work life and core values allow me to feel appreciated and trusted.”