References

Executive ReferencesDetailed references from the following twenty executives are presented below.  Nine of these individuals also provided audio recordings:

  • Denis Nally – Chairman & CEO, PricewaterhouseCoopers – US Firm
  • Joel Gordon – Chairman, HealthSouth Corp.
  • Jay Grinney – CEO & President, HealthSouth Corp.
  • Rev. Rob Morpeth – Director Finance, Episcopal Diocese of Alabama
  • Don Southwell – CEO & President, Unitrin Corp.
  • Tom Patterson – CEO, Daxco, Txen, SEAC
  • Lee Hillman – Audit Committee Chairman, HealthSouth Corp
  • John Markus – EVP & Chief Compliance Officer, HealthSouth Corp.
  • Ed Blechschmidt – Audit Committee Chairman, HealthSouth Corp
  • Gary McCausland – President, Dominoes Pizza
  • Philip Besch – CFO, Hagemeyer, Estee Lauder, J.M.Huber
  • Achim Knust – CFO/Director, Black & Decker, Lexmark, Emhart
  • Matt Budd – Managing Partner, Financial Executives Consulting Group
  • Tom Trimmer – Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Andy Trott – EVP J.M.Huber Corp
  • Ralph Thomas – Executive (retired) US Steel Corp
  • Jay Haberland – VP Audit & Acting CFO, United Technolgies, Black & Decker
  • Clay Edwards – VP Audit Interpool Corp.
  • Kevin Jackson – Director Audit, Sanmina-SCI Corp
  • Bob Dalton – Director Audit, Schering Plough
  • John Mcnamara – Director Audit, McGladrey & Pullen
Dennis Nally, Chairman & CEO – PricewaterhouseCoopers, US Firm   

Tom Damman and I started our careers together in the Detroit office of Price Waterhouse.  Tom eventually became the manager in charge of EDP Auditing, and I became a manager on the Burroughs (now Unisys) account.  Tom was helpful and informative as we worked together on the Burroughs audit.  Later Tom was transferred to the National office in New York and I followed him a couple of years later on a tour of duty.  I have a very positive recollection of the times Tom and I worked together and would be happy to speak to anyone as a reference for him.

Joel Gordon, Chairman – HealthSouth 

 I think Tom is definitely a team player.  He worked very long hours to help structure an internal audit department that could be relied on to provide oversight to HealthSouth’s operating facilities.  We found Tom brought expertise to the internal audit area and was very, very easy to work with.  With the improved audit function and our improved, more detailed internal audit, we were able to regain the confidence of the investment community and the banking community, and you can’t restructure a company and be successful without the confidence of the banking community.  Working with the other members of the financial department, Tom understood the problem to be solved and improved the department he was in.  His relationships with management were very good and he was well liked by the entire organization. 
 

Jay Grinney, CEO & President – HealthSouth  Tom Damman served as the Senior Vice president – Internal Audit of HealthSouth and provided invaluable assistance to the company during his tenure.  He was responsible for, among other things, rebuilding the internal audit department from the ground up, providing support for the restatement of HealthSouth’s financial records, implementing a comprehensive Levels of Authority policy and assisting with the installation of various internal control systems.  Tom was a member of the company’s senior officer group and interacted with other senior executives in a collegial and professional manner at all times.  A consummate professional, Tom would be an asset to any company’s management team.

Rev. Rob Morpeth, Director Finance and Administration – Episcopal Diocese of Alabama: “I cannot imagine parish audits going well without your work now.  You really have been a great help to the parishes.   You helped needed change occur without it being a matter of personalities.  Thank you for your service.  I know it is a great benefit to the parishes.”

Lee Hillman, Audit Commitee Chair – HealthSouth, CEO – Ballys; Partner – E&Y   We were working together in a crisis situation, a nearly $4Billion financial fraud …  It was a huge mess … Audit made tremendous contributions in my estimation.  The first thing was to establish an environment that controls counted, and that there was structure we could put on this organization to gain peoples understanding, cooperation and adherence to a controlled environment.  You and audit also acted as eyes and ears for not only the Board but for management … Your role there encompassed a great deal of input on new IT systems and controls, on cash controls, on systems of reporting throughout the company, establishment of a new accounting system, and the forensic work that it took to deal with the old accounting records and reestablish accounting records.  You and the team that you developed were very knowledgeable about risks and controls.  You were able to cope and calmly deal with the lack of controls and the high degree of risk that existed at the time that you stepped in.  You put things in perspective in terms of how to begin to develop the control environment, to control risks and to develop an environment that was well controlled and where risks were acknowledged and dealt with.  I think you did a fantastic job of dealing with relationships and you did a remarkable job of accomplishing what you needed to accomplish while keeping people together.  I have the greatest regard for you and the job you have done.  Our experience together was an excellent one.  I think you can contribute to many, many organizations.

 
John Markus, Chief Compliance Officer – HealthSouth,
I thought our relationship was excellent.  I thought you and your team were very professional and very productive.  Coming into the Company in early 2004 as we both did prior to the appointment of a permanent CEO was a time of great stress.  I thought that we worked well with the transition management team to begin the process of creating effective in-house regulatory and financial audit capabilities.  During that period, the most immediate objective was to understand the gaps in basic controls across all operational segments and to prioritize areas for remediation.  As such, one of the primary challenges was to re-build a corporate infrastructure to work with the many outside financial, audit, and legal consultants and eventually to reassert in-house control over many normal company processes and procedures.  The audit plans that you developed and the team that you assembled helped lay the necessary foundation for this to occur.  It was a true turn-around situation in the sense that new controls and systems had to be developed in a wide variety of areas while the Company continued to operate.  I felt that you and the internal audit group understood this and pitched in very effectively with management and the various teams of outside consultants to identify and address the big issues during this transition period. My observation was that internal audit maintained very good relationships with management and the Board.   I think that both appreciated your practical approach to the issues at hand.  I believe that the Audit Committee of the Board, in particular, appreciated an internal source of information and judgment against which to benchmark some of the information and views being received from external auditors and consultants.   
 
Ed Blechschmidt,  Audit Chair – HealthSouth, CFO Unysis
Tom Damman led the efforts of our Internal Audit function at HealthSouth in conjunction with the whole finance team to restate results after one of the largest accounting frauds in US history.  This effort included a complete change of auditors, almost 2 million journal entries and a complete overhaul of internal controls and governance functions.  Internal Audit was key to achieving the results needed to regain credibility and re-list HealthSouth on the NYSE. 
 
Philip Betsch, CFO – J.M. Huber, CFO Hagemeyer NV, CFO Estee Lauder,
Tom is the best auditor I have ever worked with in more ways than one.  He revolutionized the Huber corporate audit department.  He introduced a rigorous audit training program, modernized the professional audit standards of our staff, and hired additional experienced auditors to fulfill the audit mission.  With this new professional capability we were able to save Huber a lot of money by bringing its M&A due diligence in house. Tom’s audit experience brought enterprise risk management within Huber to a new and higher level.  As an experienced CPA, Tom brought an audit view to the company’s credit risk, operations risk, management risk, and business risk in each audit engagement.  Tom managed his relationship with management with a firm but fair hand and on many occasions management requested his assistance.  Experienced Chief Internal Auditors (CIAs) of Tom’s caliber have always led the way; but never more so than now that we have entered the Sarbanes-Oxley era.  Now more than ever before, CFOs are held personally liable for public company financial reporting.  They need an independent internal audit partner to edit and verify their understanding of the facts.  CFOs must guard the CIA independence as a matter of self interest. 
 
Andy Trott, EVP – J. M. Huber, CEO/ CFO Wood Products, Corp. Controller,
I think you led a very professional audit organization that had the right balance and perspective on controls.  I found the audit team at that time made good, genuine improvement recommendations.  They found the right things and helped us better our internal control systems as well as some business issues.  I think of a couple of things that happened during that time period.  We had a significant, more than a million dollar, fraud situation at one of our plants around wood procurement.  Those controls that were recommended are still in place today, still operating, and we have had no further issues.  Secondly, I go back to one of the acquisitions that we spent a lot of time on together over in Italy.  The acquisition never happened but for the right reasons.  We uncovered enough issues that Huber decided to walk away from that acquisition for all the right reasons.  You are a class act. 
 
Don Southwell, CEO & President – UnitrinSVP Prudential
I hired Tom as a Vice President of Audit at Prudential to, among other things, reorganize the investment audit division, which he did.  He reported to me and also participated in quarterly presentations to the audit committee.  I would be happy to talk to his prospective clients about his activities and accomplishments at Prudential. 
 
Achim Knust, CFO – Black & Decker, CFO Emhart, CFO Lexmark,
Tom undertook innovative audit and consulting initiatives that were ahead of their time.  He established a manufacturing consulting group (JIT, Total Quality Control and Kan Ban) that saved the company a considerable amount of money and he maintained a practical business perspective in all of his audit activities.  His team gained the confidence of financial, operational and executive management and he had the confidence of the Audit Committee.  His group became a key training ground for future management positions.  They were much in demand and several of the people he hired and trained went on to key management positions.  Tom left the company for an opportunity at Prudential about a year before we were acquired by Black and Decker.  The department he created and the people he trained remained the only Emhart corporate department to survive and thrive at Black and Decker.  His approach to auditing supplanted the Black and Decker approach and his hand picked successor, Jay Haberland, went on to run the Black and Decker audit department, transforming their approach with the techniques Tom initiated at Emhart.  I enjoyed working with Tom.  He was innovative and creative in his thinking and always maintained an appropriate business perspective.
Tom Trimmer, Partner – PricewaterhouseCoopers
You really helped the audit group in guiding them through how to audit large computer installations.  In those days the whole computer systems world was changing from large mainframe computers to minicomputers to microcomputers and we did a lot of pioneering in building business systems using some of the latest technology.  So we helped our clients quite often move into the new age of computing, and you were a leader in that Tom.  You were very creative and very innovative, leading the charge in that area.  You spearheaded a lot of that, and I think that is why you were promoted to manager within two years, because you showed your leadership and your innovation.  You broke a lot of records when you were with Price Waterhouse.  Our clients kept asking us back to do more things which to me is always a good sign.  They would refer us to other clients which was also a good sign.  And then we helped the audit function.   We really helped the other divisions within Price Waterhouse quite a bit.  All in all we had excellent working relationships with both our clients and other Price Waterhouse divisions.  If companies are looking for outside assistance and help, your background is certainly very, very good and right on the money for consulting and helping these companies.
  
Gary McCausland, President – Dominoes Pizza, Manager  PricewaterhouseCoopers
I worked with Tom Damman in the Detroit office of Price Waterhouse for about four years.  The last two of those he was an EDP audit manager and I was an audit manager. Tom was a pioneer in the EDP auditing group at PW in the 70’s.  I enjoyed working with Tom and his work on our clients was timely and helpful to the overall audit process.  Furthermore, Tom was always professional, diplomatic, and productive in his dealings with our clients.  He always made time to fully explain the process and benefits to all clients and staff. 
 
Tom Patterson, Chairman & CEO – Daxco, Txen & Seac Corporations,
The most important personal trait I have observed about Tom Damman is his ability to think clearly through a situation and to not only see the big picture but to zero in on the minutia to insure all bases are covered.  He has the personal demeanor thatputs people at ease and makes people feel like they can open up and be honest and truthful without risking anything personally.  I think that is an important trait in the business world to be able to do that.  In terms of client relationships, I guess the right word to describe it would be your team participation.  I think you approach problems and arrive at solutions by including everybody rather than excluding individuals or groups of people.  So your ability to put everybody at ease and to get to the heart of a matter without alienating adversarial forces, so to speak, is a huge plus in your favor, especially with the kind of work that you are engaged in relative to compliance. 
 
Ralph Thomas, Retired Executive – US Steel
I would like to share a few thoughts about a friend of mine – Tom Damman.  I have known Tom for about three years.  My principle association with him has been at Saint Thomas Episcopal Church on Acton Road, Jefferson County, Alabama.  In all of my contact with him, I have found him to be honest, forthright, sincere, highly intelligent, a true gentleman, a good listener, even tempered, helpful, willing to assist or help in any way he can, dependable, and courteous to a fault.  Tom has impeccable integrity.  He is a real pleasure to be with and a man that I would want on my team.  He loves his family and is just an all around unusually good man. 
 
Matt Bud, Managing Partner – Financial Executives Consulting Group, 
I have known Tom Damman for 6 years as a friend, candidate for one of my assignments and as a client.  As a candidate for the top Internal Audit job at HealthSouth Corporation through our firm, he was chosen to rebuild their audit department after the disastrous financial fraud.  He beat out a lengthy list of other top audit folks to win this sensitive and high profile assignment. In the months that followed his appointment, I was privileged to work with him in staffing 3 senior level positions in his department and got to know another very positive side of Tom.  It is my belief that he has the technical and the people skills to be an effective leader in this arena.  I would be delighted to provide a referral at any time. 
 
Jay Haberland, VP Audit – United Technologies and Black & Decker; CFO Sikorsky,
The audit department at Emhart was way ahead of its time and really contributed a lot to the company.  I learned a lot there.  The audits provided a lot of good consulting benefit.  Black & Decker was an endorsement of what we did at Emhart; we changed their approach to our approach. I think that what we did at Emhart was fun but it required the auditors to think a lot.  It was not a rote checklist approach.  Understand the business — you really had to understand what made it work and how it was controlled.  So it required the auditors to think an awful lot.  To a large degree what I did (at United Technologies) is blow up what they had and put in place something that looked very similar to what we had at Emhart.  I was hired because my boss said, Look, I have an internal audit department that is uniformly hated by the businesses.  They are perceived as a gotcha, ticket writer, police mentality audit function. And he said, They are not viewed as being value added.  I need you to change that and I need you to do something more like we had at Black and Decker — which is obviously what we had at Emhart.   And I used to say this to the auditors here at UTC, If you can not make a fairly strong link between what you are recommending and an improvement in earnings per share, I want you to go back and rethink things.   
 
We ended up doing some of the stuff we did at Emhart in terms of getting folks from the businesses as well, some operating folks who were not auditors.  We hired some folks from public accounting.  But we hired some interesting backgrounds.  We hired consultants, we hired others.  You know who does that still is GE and their audit department is held in very high regard. Because not only is it good for the businesses but also you really develop some talent that way.  At UTC it was spectacular.  We were the largest single source of talent for the corporation in finance.  Frankly, I had trouble hanging on to people in the audit department.  People tended to spend two years and then go into a business.  I would say probably 90+% did that.  But that also helps you attract more people.  Develop folks who really dug in, understood the business and 1) they had recommendations that were pretty good but 2) they learned a lot.  So they really had a good understanding of the business.   
   
Kevin Jackson, Audit Director – Sanmina-SCI Corp., HealthSouth,
One of the most challenging and fun opportunities I have had was my time at HealthSouth with you.  The opportunity to help put together an audit function after the company was devastated by a massive fraud, it was exciting.  There was always something new to do.  We were able to put many new controls and processes in place and I had the opportunity to work on several investigations related to fraud.  It was a huge challenge and I really enjoyed it.  Coming into HealthSouth and watching you put together the audit organization, I learned quite a bit.  One of the biggest challenges for me that really stretched my thinking was the way you put together a team of people with very good audit experience but also people with good business knowledge — the exchange of information and communication flow in that environment was absolutely phenomenal. 
Your door was always open.  You challenged us.  You stretched us to be better at how we presented our reports.  You stretched us to expand on, and go further than we had in the past on researching our information to make sure that all the Is were dotted and the Ts were crossed.  And also just watching you interact with the management team and the discussion of some of the very complicated (issues) we came across at HealthSouth was great.  You have always been very easy to talk to, very approachable, and it was a fantastic working relationship.  The biggest thing I would say is it definitely brought (forward) my thinking in terms of what is required to put together an effective audit department.  The discussions we used to have and the way that you analyzed controls has been very, very helpful, in stepping back and asking whether or not this is in fact a key control and the process of making sure we are adequately prioritizing controls.  One of the first things I did when I got here to Sanmina, was do exactly that.  When I came in the door we had a little over 90 key controls.  By going through that process, asking the questions as to whether it is a key control, something that you taught us all to do, we are down to just under 40 key controls.  We eliminated a lot of procedures that were masquerading as key controls, not only saving ourselves time but also focusing on the right things.  We have definitely cut the amount of time that it takes to perform a SOX review.  And the process owners have commented repeatedly that the things we are concentrating on are the right things, those are the things that are relevant. 
 
I think that hands down the audit function in the company (HealthSouth) was well thought of.  That was purely and completely because of the leadership that you brought.  There were numerous times when I would get a phone call and the person on the other end of the phone would ask for internal audits opinion on a process before it was implemented.  Or they would invite us to meetings to participate almost in a consulting role, for a new process that they were considering implementing or the implementation of a new system.  I think from a managerial standpoint we were viewed as a value added resource to the organization.  We had won the respect of the management and the leadership of the company.  Two directors were promoted out to vice president positions by senior management and in both these positions we interacted with senior management.  We were viewed as a very competent, capable and useful department by senior management.  If they (potential clients) bring you on board, they will definitely get value for their investment.  Tom, your approach is fantastic and your perspective is absolutely amazing.  Your insight and experience, I think, is absolutely wonderful. 
  
Bob Dalton, Audit Director – Schering-Plough, J.M.Huber
We learned a lot from you.  I look at an audit report a lot differently than I might have done six or seven years ago — shorter, direct and much punchier which, I think, is your style and is now my style.   I think we did do a good job of introducing Huber to a real audit department because I don not think they ever got a report out (prior to that).  I think what you can take credit for Tom, is you brought a real audit department to J.M. Huber where one never really existed before.  It proved to be a really good experience.  We learned a lot from you in terms of how we want to run audit departments.  Do you remember the Huber-Fellows?  Audit was definitely the best training ground in the company for Hubers best and brightest.  We had engineering people; we had a lot of people with very diverse backgrounds.  As you recall, Tom, we really were not trying to make career auditors out of them.  Usually (they moved on) to financial or management operations.  I think probably the two things we were trying to instill in them were critical thinking and leadership skills.   
 
Impacts to the bottom line absolutely!  This was probably in the last year that you were there, Clay and I spent a lot of time down on that freight audit in Huber Engineered minerals.  We are talking about savings in the millions of dollars.  Freight cars we were being charged for, we did not know we had, were sitting on a rail spur someplace.  I think the other place where we really saved them from getting themselves in a huge hole was in the hedging operations at oil and gas, because we ring-fenced that so that they did not get involved with Enron.  We also performed a number of follow-up audits in the hedging program.  We pointed out to them how overly hedged a position Huber found itself in.  That was a particularly sensitive area because, as you may recall, it was one of the CEOs pet areas that he paid a lot of attention to.  We really saved them from themselves, even though it was not an easy message to deliver.     
 
We set the right tone, focused on issues of significance and really kept the fluff out of our reports.  I think we focused on the big picture issues that were going to have a business impact.  I learned from you to find out what the key controls are and go after the areas that are really going to bring the greatest return for the amount of time, effort and resources you are going to put into it.  Here is the other thing I think was really important.  Think of all the different kinds of businesses Huber was involved in.  We were not subject matter experts in any of them, but I think we learned enough about all of those diverse Huber businesses that we could at least hold an intelligent conversation with anybody in management, that we at least understood what that business was about.  I think the fact that you put together a good team and you treated us right is the reason we stay in touch.
 
Clay Edwards, VP Audit – Interpool Corp., Manager – J.M.Huber
I really enjoyed working with you.  Even though you were my boss, I thought you were more of a colleague and a trusted source I could go to at any time.  You really helped me a lot.  You constantly said that I was a good auditor but that I needed to phrase things and word them in such a way that it could get through the many layers of management that reviewed them. It was an obstacle course, with legal and the audit committee and the CFO wanting to look at it first as well as the CEO, being able to convey the issues in such a way that you would not sacrifice any integrity on the audit but that it could get through all those layers – it was a real challenge.  That, as well as being able to focus on the key risks, because an auditor can always go out and find things, but what is going to really benefit the business?  You have got to really look, find and hone in on the control weaknesses that are going to have an impact if they are not fixed right away.   I constantly noticed that you took a lot of pressure and hits just to make sure that the correct audits were performed.  You took a keen interest in focusing where the risks were, not where we could get an easy audit report out of the door.  You were always willing to step in there and say no, we are going to go in there and we are going to have my guys do it.     
 
I also learned that a Chief Audit Executives job isn not merely just doing the audits but managing executive relationships.  You helped me quite a bit in my career that way.  I still had years to go, I thought, before I would assume this type of role but, often times, it comes a lot sooner than you think.  Before you took the helm, there were absolutely no audits that had been performed for about ten months.  In fact, there was no audit department to speak of.  You rebuilt a department from the ground up.  You recruited experienced auditors.  And the thing I learned from that experience is that you brought in people who you knew had the confidence to go out and do the job and thus would enable them to work well together.  We supported each other.  There wasn not any back biting or back stabbing among us.  We all worked to get things done.  We did call each other when we were out in the field and if we needed help we would go on the road and help each other.  And I think you really showed what a good, cohesive internal audit group can do to help the company.
 
A couple of things come to mind right away.  One of the biggest is our constant focus on hedging activity in oil and gas.  It was a high risk area.  You encouraged a couple of us to go out and become certified investments and derivatives auditors which would lend credibility to our reports.  The company started taking our suggestions much more seriously.  And a couple of other things that come to mind was a revenue cycle audit we did in the minerals division where we saved over $25 million finding lost revenues and product that wasn not billed correctly.  On the heels of that one we did a freight audit in the minerals division and we saved even more money because we uncovered a lot of double billings and ineffective use of freight and we saved the company over $30 million there.  So in two audits in one division we saved the company about $55 million.  I remember you were instrumental in putting in a lot of fraud controls in the wood division.  They had some really bad experience with fraud there.  It was hard to quantify, because the fraud we did find there was over $1 million and I have got to believe that countless other millions were saved with the controls you put in down there. 
 
You wanted to focus on the high risk areas.  We did a risk assessment.  It was not just a one time, once a year risk assessment.  It was an ongoing risk assessment.  As the business changed and the drivers changed and processes changed, we would re-evaluate where the control breakdowns could occur and then we might massage or change the annual audit plan to take that into account.  One thing that you brought to the department was that the presidents of the different divisions – they started asking for audit to come in and help them with special projects and things.  More than a compliment, it means that audit is successful if we are viewed as a resource.  The Huber fellow program that they instituted — they would take out some of the best and brightest every 18 months and put them in audit for us to train, their theory being that if people see the details they will make better managers.  It was a great success.  We enjoyed working with them and their time in audit was well spent.  We made sure that they got the experience that they needed.  I think you definitely would want to bring Tom Damman in and talk to him and see what he can do for your company.  He certainly trained several of us.  Every one of us is out here running our own audit shop now and we look back to what we learned with Tom as being instrumental in doing the job that we are doing now.
 
John McNamara Audit Director – McGladrey & Pullen, Manager – Reed Elsevier,
I enjoyed my time working with you.  I thought we had a very professional audit plan.  We got some very good people in and I thought we did a great job.  Reed Elsevier was kind of a difficult place to audit.  It really is not one company but two, Reed Publishing and Elsevier.  As a result there were some unusual agendas and also some difficult people.  But yet I think we navigated the waters quite well and it was a good experience.  One of the things that we did is get down to brass tacks.  I think you came up with an internal audit, internal control program that we used throughout the time we were there.  There was a tremendous learning about internal controls.  Audit methodologies have really changed over the last ten years, focusing on controls.  My experience with you certainly helped me be more focused on controls, and not just doing a substantive audit of the balance sheet.  It got me ready for where the profession is going today.   
 
For example, at Reed Elsevier, there were some people running the group who had built themselves kingdoms.  I know there was one incident where we found out one gentleman was paying himself bonus advances and not following policy.  I remember a few other instances where, at the end of the day, people really were not concerned about controls.  One thing is that Reed Elsevier had about $8 Billion in cash and had very few controls over ACH and wire transfers.  That was something that we had to tighten up.  Some other things were, as I mentioned, post acquisition work focused on controls.  It was an overall training to take internal audit and controls seriously within the organization.  It is not in the what you do, but how you do it category of selling the need and getting it implemented into management.  We can sit and write management letters all day, but if the recommendations are not implemented, what value is there in the end?  And I think we added a lot of value.  I think people listened to what we had to say.  I do not think they wanted to hear it at first.  But after a while, they realized that what we were saying is right.  
 
We worked on twenty acquisitions in four years from simple magazines all the way up to Lexis Nexis.  They spent so much time looking at acquisitions that they really did not spend enough time figuring out, Now that we have killed this thing, how are we going to eat it?  Our best practices reviews helped out.  Sometimes it was, lets make this thing consistent, or lets make sure there is enough controls in these smaller acquisitions so that nothing can go wrong.  It was a big company.  They were doing a lot of acquisitions, and there were plenty of things we would find in our internal audits that would help out.  The first thing you have to remember is that internal controls have to be cost beneficial.  You can not ask someone to do something that, while it will help, it will cost more or not provide the benefit over the expense.  I think everything we did we approached in a very realistic way.  We would find what we thought the key issues were.  We would sit down with management and discuss them.  We would put together a draft report, but at the same time the two of us would go back and talk about it and say, You know, are we splitting hairs here or are we looking at something that will really help the business run better?   I think when people call and say, OK, could we have some help from you?  It shows they respected us.  I saw John (Division Controller) and some of the folks down at Elsevier Travel worked well with us.  They hired some of our employees.  Dave was offered a job down there.  I know Jean M. was offered a job as an Assistant Controller.   I think management looked at us as a very professional organization.  Before we arrived I don not think it was looked upon that way.  We brought in a lot of good people and they were brought into the company, which recognizes the contribution we made.  That really made a difference.   
 
You saw the thing at Arthur Anderson happen.  One of the things that concerns me is internal controls within Arthur Anderson — they did not control the audit process.  The other issues out there were executives overriding controls.  People just do not take internal controls seriously.  As a result we have had some pretty big audit failures in the last few years.  I think what everyone needs to focus upon is, you look out at an organization like Arthur Anderson or an Enron and you just think that they are big bullet proof companies that are doing quite well.  And you say, You know, these things will be around for the next fifty years. Then all of a sudden, these companies are falling off the landscape.  All of these things are very preventable, by having someone come in and look for these types of enterprise risks to make sure that for the owner: Is there anything that I need to worry about?  Is there anything keeping me up at night?   Is there a way of improving processes that will make my company grow a little bit faster.  Those are very valuable services that can be provided.  Tom has certainly provided those, and I think that Tom is able to do that for most any company out there.     
 
 
Above are excerpts from the written and oral feedback of twenty executives who have had personal experience with Koexco and Tom Damman.  Nine of these are excerpted from recorded interviews that can be replayed by clicking on the associated audio controls.  The interviews range from 1 to 11 minutes in length. 
For more information about  Koexco also visit:     www.koexco.com/info   or  click here 
For more information about Mr. Damman visit: www.koexco.com/tomdamman