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"A must-read for business owners who one day want to sell their business"

About The Author

Headshot of Ellen McIlhenny - Author

Ellen McIlhenny currently works as a strategic chief financial officer (CFO) consultant for small business owners where she advises on an array of financial issues including cash flow, budgeting, and transition planning. She has more than twenty years of experience as a CFO and controller with mid-sized and large privately held companies, gaining first-hand experience with small business acquisitions.  When not working with her business clients, she enjoys speaking to groups on various topics of interest to the small business owner. In 2010 and 2016, she was nominated for Virginia Business Magazine’s CFO of the Year Award. Ellen lives in Montpelier, Virginia with her husband and three sons.

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 “Ellen offers an insightful, behind-the-scenes peek into the things that can go wrong in a small business, especially when a leadership transition isn’t managed well. This book emphasizes that understanding what went wrong in the first place is key to being able to come up with viable options when making changes, whether you have people problems or process problems.”

Patricia Duggan

The Duggan Difference LLC

“McIlhenny has put her finger on the insidious dysfunctions that plague many businesses today.  Fear, ego and cronyism conspire to nearly bring Burgess Industries to its knees but, through the implementation of sound management practices and tough decision making, the company is able to rebound and thrive.  Unlike many business books, The Big Turnaround is chock full of practical, actionable insights that business executives should apply today to grow their companies and to create lasting value.”

Michael Metzger

Certified Business Intermediary
Murphy Business Sales


"This modern-day parable will ring true with senior leaders. Through Darcy, we see the signs and symptoms of the embedded issues that plague businesses across all industries. This compelling story will help you see your business in a new light. Ellen McIlhenny has delivered a gem!”

Robin Green 


Sandler Training, Richmond, VA 

"From the first chapter, the book gives you a real sense of the characters and factors at play. You quickly understand what motivates the team and are able to see from the inside the issues that the business is facing." 

Alison Conners 


Executive Forums of Virginia

“Thank you, Ellen McIlhenny, for sharing this story and its vivid characters. It's an instructive business book with the page-turning intrigue of a suspense novel.”

Todd Bradberry, MBA


Parallel Management Company

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