After 25 years plus serving as a Chief Financial Officer and as Secretary/Treasurer on the board of directors of several companies, Johnny Bass became a self-employed, project based, interim CEO/CFO. Working with startups, he has worked with entrepreneurs in preparing their business plans and budgets and in obtaining financing and/or finding investors for their new venture. Working with existing companies, Bass has assisted the owners and senior management in reaching their goals, including purchasing existing companies and resolving internal problems. He has assisted numerous companies reorganize under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code.
Bass was born and raised on a family farm in eastern North Carolina. After a tour in the Navy, he attended Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) and earned a BS degree in Accounting. Along the way he learned the value of real friendship and trust, to focus on problems and sharing those problems with others, setting goals and sharing those goals with others, and teamwork work to get the job done.
What benefits have you experienced as a result of your NCER membership?
NCER is a group of individuals who have a vast amount of knowledge and varied experiences. Working together within NCER we have the opportunity to learn from other’s experiences, to spend time in groups and sometimes one-on-one to get advice on matters of which I had no experience. As a group we can have leaders from various industries and political leaders to give us the benefit of their years of experience. The questions asked by our members and guests of our speakers give us insight into some of the details of their lives, which we as individuals would never have the opportunity to ask.
What is the most important leadership lesson you have learned over the years?
- The value of TRUST: To learn to TRUST others and to EARN the TRUST of others.
- Never compromise your PRINCIPLES.
What have been some of the greatest influences on you throughout your career?
- My Father, Tony Bass who taught me to hard work then to enjoy the fruits of that work. We fished together thousands of days on the coast of North Carolina over a 48 year period.
- Senior Chief Petty Officer Adam Letourneau, who taught me to be a man while I served directly under him in the Navy.
- Tommy Cliett and A. V. Grantham, who trusted me enough to give me my first senior leadership position as Chief Financial Officer in a multi-state restaurant management company.
- Doug Daniel, who trusted me enough to ask me to leave Hatteras and come to Rocky Mount to assist him, his family and other business partners, when his son, Gerald was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
- Wayne McLeskey, who after 10 years of marlin fishing together offshore of Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, asked me to be his personal Chief Financial Officer in Virginia Beach. Mr. McLeskey gave me the opportunity to learn how large real estate companies work together to develop, finance and manage numerous large commercial and retail properties.