Our Approach

The Board Group (TBG) builds sustainable value in companies by creating strong advisory boards that provide enhanced strategic and operational guidance. Clients are typically small to mid-sized,  privately-held companies planning for a liquidity event, preparing for a leadership transition, facing a crisis, or simply looking to maximize value.  Using a series of proprietary tools and processes, including the Sustainable Value Wheel, we optimize the advisory board's performance and creates alignment between all of the stakeholders.

We also help qualified top executives secure placement on select advisory boards. The Board Group draws on an extensive network of CEOs and other C-level executives who collectively have created and served on more than 100 advisory, fiduciary, and public boards.

Our Story

The Board Group was founded in 2000.  Based on the principles in the top-selling book Game Changing Advisory Boards by William Hawfield and John Zaepfel, the company has utilized their expertise to deliver over $3 billion to owners who have sold.

Bill Hawfield

Bill Hawfield is a professional manager, international speaker, business owner, and a recognized, board process authority. After thirteen years at General Mills, where he was a division president, he left and started the Penguin’s Frozen Yogurt franchise company. The retail chain grew rapidly to 130 stores before it was sold to a French company.

Hawfield has served on more than forty-one boards, both fiduciary and advisory in a wide variety of industries, including distribution, construction, manufacturing, aerospace, financial services, consulting, insurance, and food service. He has served as non-executive chairman, lead director, and a member of audit and compensation committees.

He is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and has completed the NACD director certification program. He has presented Family Business Boards workshops for the NACD and is a faculty member in their Family Business Leadership Forum in Los Angeles.

He is an international speaker for Vistage, an organization comprising 23,000 CEOs worldwide. His topics are “Personal and Business Success” and “Getting to Your End Game.” He is the co-founder of The Board Group, which creates and manages advisory boards for privately-owned companies. He is also CEO of Hillcrest Associates.

His education includes a degree in Physics from Virginia Military Institute, an MBA in management from the University of Virginia, and he is a long-standing member of Vistage International.

John Zaepfel

John Zaepfel has had a varied and successful business career as a CEO, board chairman, and CEO coach. During the fifteen years he spent as a President/CEO, he founded CPG International as part of an LBO in the fine art, graphic art, engineering, drafting, and media supplies field with thirteen domestic and international facilities. CPG was sold to financial buyers.

He has served on fifty-two public and private company boards and currently serves on numerous public, private statutory and advisory boards, chairing several as a non-executive chairman. He has served as a public company director for Ideal School Supply, Varitronics, The Troy Group, Hi-Shear Technology, and RemedyTemp, Inc. He served as chairman of the board of Accordia of Southern California. He has assisted as a board member in four public offerings, several change-of-control transactions, and has chaired two public audit committees that installed Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

John is a past member of the Young Presidents Organization and is currently a member of the Chief Executives Organization. He has worked with the members of Vistage International for over twenty years as a group chairman and as a speaker.

He is the co-founder of The Board Group, which creates boards and manages advisory boards for privately-owned companies. He is also CEO of The Zaepfel Group.

Zaepfel is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.