NextLevel was founded in 2011 by Chuck Gottschalk and Bob Cranmer as an innovative way to better serve middle market businesses in transition. Under their leadership, NextLevel’s mission is to build enterprise value through a collaborative professional services firm that brings together exceptional talent and contributes to the success of its clients – helping them to the “next level.”
CEO & Founder
Chuck Gottschalk founded NextLevel with the clear intent of building a premier firm comprised of exceptional executives collectively committed to creating value in our clients; doing so through excellence in service, knowledge sharing to bring the best of our firm-wide capabilities, and a collaborative spirit always focused on our clients’ best interests. He established a mission statement on day-one focused on building enterprise value in our clients – which now serves as our tag line to reinforce and communicate that as our primary objective.
The NextLevel innovative model was inspired by the wealth of insights gained through his many years both in executive leadership roles and from building and managing an executive services regional practice that served a large, diverse set of private and public companies in a variety of industries and stages. Those insights applied to today’s dynamic and fluid business environment, where management teams operate with limited bandwidth and where “lean” is the order of the day, resulted in an uncommonly versatile approach to client engagement structure and access to exceptional talent that sets NextLevel apart.
Prior to founding NextLevel, Chuck launched, led the growth of, and managed the Pacific Northwest practice of Tatum, a national financial executive services firm, where he served as Managing Partner for seven years. In that role he launched and built one of the firm’s most successful practices, growing it to 50 professionals with offices in both Seattle and Portland.
Chuck’s background includes over 20 years of deep and varied executive leadership, including a mix of senior strategic, operational, and financial experience at the CEO, CFO and Board member levels with emerging-growth companies. As a CEO and CFO in three venture-backed emerging technology companies he successfully led equity and debt financings, strategic partnering initiatives, the spin-out of a corporate division, and the sale of two of the businesses to publicly-traded companies.
He spent the first several years of his career as a CPA at Price Waterhouse (now PwC) where, as a Director, he spearheaded the Seattle office’s new-media emerging company practice. He also held the position of VP, Financial Advisor at Bernstein Global Wealth Management where as a Series 7 and 66 securities license holder he worked closely with business owners and executives in evaluating liquidity strategies and related planning.
He currently serves on the board of the Northwest chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors as well as a board member, advisory board member and on committees of a number of nonprofits.
Vice President & Co-Founder
Bob co-founded NextLevel with a personal mission to be part of a firm that embodies the principles of Total Quality in all it does – not by training, but as the result of a fundamental belief by each of the firm’s members that comes from extensive, broad and deep experience in the real world of business. This commitment to quality, often quietly pursued, is the success foundation for those companies that have demonstrated a consistent long-term excellence in client satisfaction and investor returns.
Bob has extensive background serving in senior executive and leadership roles with companies ranging in size from early stage to multi-billion dollar global enterprises, including Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Eaton Corporation. He has served on three boards and is a former board member of the Seattle chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG). His co-founding of NextLevel follows 9 years as an engagement partner with Tatum and subsequent founding of the boutique firm Northwest Executive Services LLC.
Managing Partner, Portland Practice
Terry Tigner is a senior executive with more than 20 years of leadership in professional services firms, as well as senior management experience in operating roles with full P&L responsibility. He has earned a record of consistent success serving a range of companies from start-ups to Fortune 100 in technology, consumer products, contract manufacturing and nonprofits.
Terry heads the Portland practice of NextLevel, responsible for bringing on exceptional talent to better serve client needs throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Managing Partner, Seattle Practice
Scott Appel has over 30 years of professional experience providing public and private companies with accounting, auditing, financial reporting and business advisory services. He specializes in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting, regularly consulting with public companies on matters related to SOX 404 and GAAP compliance. He also has significant experience providing due diligence and other services to support major transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, public offerings and private placements. Scott’s hands-on experience as a CFO and COO enables him to relate to the challenges facing business leaders, and identify a solution that complements a client’s business objectives.
Scott heads the Seattle practice of NextLevel, responsible for business growth throughout the region, and vetting talent from executive finance, operational and technology disciplines.