WESTMORELAND — When the investment firm she worked for was acquired by an out-of-state company, Catherine (Cathy) Cucharale says it was the perfect opportunity for her to branch out on her own.
Cucharale Consulting Group, LLC, launched in June, puts the 35 years of experience of its founder, Cucharale, in regulatory, financial, and corporate management at the disposal of all sorts of businesses.
She operates the business from her home in Westmoreland.
Cucharale served as chief operating officer (COO) and chief compliance officer (CCO) at M. Griffith Investment Services in New Hartford for more than 20 years. When that company merged with Milwaukee–based Baird in late 2018, Cucharale says it was a great chance for her to strike out on her own.
“My family has really been pushing me for a long time,” she recalls. “Mom, why don’t you do this on your own?”
She decided to take the plunge. Cucharale stayed with M. Griffith through April to complete the transition with Baird and left the company on friendly terms. Then she moved forward with launching her own business. The first step was figuring out exactly what she wanted to do. She evaluated her prior duties and figured out which of those she most enjoyed and wanted to keep doing.
As both COO and CCO at M. Griffith, Cucharale did a little bit of everything from compliance to human resources for the investment firm. However, she knew she wanted to work with a wider variety of industries when it came to her own clients.
“Because I wore both of those hats, there are different things that I saw organizations struggle with that aren’t just part of the investment world,” she says.
At Cucharale Consulting Group, which she calls CCG for short, Cucharale says her niche market is companies with under 50 employees — in all sorts of industries.
She can assist companies with all facets of business development, organizational management, and regulatory compliance. This includes everything from establishing training programs for new employees to walking a company through all the steps of a merger or acquisition.
Cucharale spent the summer finalizing that list of services her new business offers, as well as developing her logo and other marketing and branding tasks. Now she’s ready to start lining up the clients.
She has launched the firm’s page at linkedin.com, joined the Greater Utica and Albany chambers of commerce, and has been attending various industry and networking events to spread the word about CCG (www.cucharalegroup.com). Cucharale is relying on word of mouth and networking events for now to reach potential clients, with plans for more intense marketing efforts starting in late September and October.
The number of clients she can manage will vary, Cucharale says. It will depend on what level and depth of services a client needs. “I customize everything based on what the client’s needs are,” she says. A client could be just a one-time customer that needs assistance with one thing or a long-term client that outsources a particular job to her. Cucharale can also provide interim support for companies.
Prior to joining M. Griffith, Cucharale ran the in-house advertising department at the old Tehan’s Catalog Showrooms Inc. location in New Hartford, so she also brings a marketing and advertising background to her clients.
Cucharale holds an associate degree in graphic design from Mohawk Valley Community College.