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Clearfield, Inc.

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 American Business Awards

Company: Clearfield, Inc., Plymouth, MN
Entry Submitted By: Gary Young Ink
Company Description: Clearfield, Inc. designs and manufactures the FieldSmart fiber management platform, which includes its latest generation Fiber Distribution System (FDS), the Fiber Scalability Center (FSC) and the Fiber Wallbox. Clearfield is a public company, traded on Nasdaq:CLFD.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year – Business Products –11 to 2,500 Employees

Nomination Title: Cheri Beranek, CEO

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Contending with the prioritization of total cost of ownership (TCO) that reduces fiber deployment and operating costs, Clearfield has been able to compete with business 100 times its size and win spec position in more than 500 of the country's FTTH deployments.

Leading the way for Clearfield is Cheri Beranek - a pioneer, a visionary and a transformative business leader in the telecommunications networking and high-tech growth industries. She is CEO of Clearfield, Inc., a member of Nasdaq’s Russell 2000, which was named by Forbes as one of the top 100 small cap public companies.

Under Cheri’s leadership, Clearfield continues to grow year after year – recording a 17% Compound Annual Growth Rate since its inception in 2008. The company’s strong financial performance and continued growth reflect the strong reputation that Cheri and her team have cultivated within the industry. Through a series of carefully calculated and strategic steps, Clearfield is now viewed as a strong company with intuitive and cost-efficient product solutions, unparalleled technical, sales and management teams, and an established international presence.

Clearfield’s most recent fiscal quarter was record-breaking across several key metrics. Revenue increased 22% to $54.2 million for the nine-month period ending June 30, 2016 from $44.6 million during the same period in fiscal 2015. Gross profit was $23.3 million, 43.0% of revenue, for the nine-month period ending June 30, 2016, an increase of 27% from $18.3 million, 41.1% of revenue, during the same period in fiscal 2015.

Revenue for fiscal Q3 grew by 19% year-over-year, reaching its highest quarterly level in the company’s history. Clearfield also experienced record gross profit and near record gross margins.

Before Cheri took over as CEO in 2007, however, it was a different story. The company had capped off years of perpetual losses. Once she was appointed CEO, Cheri discontinued inefficient legacy operations and re-positioned Clearfield for dramatic growth.

Clearfield has set out to change the way the telecommunications industry views optical fiber management. Taking an unconventional approach of actually sitting across the table and listening to customers, Cheri and her team have established Clearfield as not only a viable competitor in the market, but a standout leader. Beyond building a reputation for unrivaled product innovations and nimble service, Clearfield’s success is based on defining and adhering to its true values. Under Cheri’s leadership, every Clearfield decision is made by listening to clients; understanding their needs; recognizing the skills and talents Clearfield brings to bear; and collaborating with clients to deliver the best fiber networking solution.

Today, Clearfield’s products are used in some of the largest fiber to the home networks in the country. From its new high tech headquarters in Minneapolis, and facility in Tijuana, Mexico, Clearfield designs, manufactures and distributes fiber optic management, protection and delivery products for the communications networks of leading ILECS, CLECs, MSO/cable TV companies and mobile broadband providers. The company deploys millions of fiber ports each year throughout North America and beyond.

Cheri has proven expertise in:

• Turnaround Leadership
• Strategic Planning and Business Development
• Global Sales and Marketing
• P&L Management
• Competitive Positioning
• Contract Management
• Budget and Resource Management
• Organizational Restructuring
• Product Development
• Employee Motivation and Retention

Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):

Cheri Beranek is an international leader in transformational business development, strategic planning, P&L management and finance in turnaround environments and high-growth markets.

Cheri has been recognized by Forbes, Ernest & Young, and various industry organizations as a high-integrity leader with a proven track record for delivering strong financial results. Under her leadership, Clearfield has recorded a 17% Compound Annual Growth Rate since its inception in 2008.

Credited for distinctive management fusing global marketing acumen with collaborative leadership, Cheri converted a R&D-based corporation with limited revenue into a leading provider of optical fiber management and connectivity platforms – reversing 20 years of previous losses.

Cheri has an unyielding sense of fairness and loyalty, balanced with drive for growth and success.