Home Press Release – Lawrence Chester Wins Encore Entrepreneur of the Year

Press Release – Lawrence Chester Wins Encore Entrepreneur of the Year

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-Award Recognizes Achievements in Business Operations and Mentorship-

Sept. 18, 2020 – Highland Park, IL – CFO Simplified, the industry leader for fractional chief financial officers for small- and mid-sized businesses, is proud to announce President Lawrence Chester has been named winner of the Encore Entrepreneur of the Year category as part of the National Small Business Week presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Illinois District. Larry will receive his award on Monday, Sept. 21 at 10:30 a.m. CDT at the SBA’s Illinois District office.

As part of the National Small Business Week celebration, Larry will also join other Illinois winners on an online panel discussion about their journeys as small business owners. This event will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 29. To learn more and to register for this event, please click here.

“I’m grateful to the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC) for nominating me, and humbled that the SBA chose me for this award,” says Larry. “Careers take many turns.  I never thought that I would start my own company at the age of 62, much less be recognized by the SBA and the ICNC for the success we’ve achieved.  It’s a long road, but a very satisfying one.”

The Encore Entrepreneur of the Year category recognizes a business owner who has operated a business for at least three years and who started his or her company after the age of 50.

“Larry exemplifies the persistence, grit and resiliency it takes to be a successful small business owner. From his early days as a one-man shop to a now thriving business with several employees, he is contributing to our economy and living the American dream,” said SBA Illinois District Director Robert ‘Bo’ Steiner. “I’m honored to present him with the SBA Illinois Encore Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2020.”

CFO Simplified’s employees are unique CFOs because they are operationally based executives with more than 100 years of combined experience managing the financial health of companies. The firm provides the same high-quality financial and operational expertise to small- to mid-sized businesses that much larger companies enjoy, at a more reasonable cost. CFO Simplified focuses on the three components that are critical for every business owner: cash flow management and improvement, profitability improvement, and financial statement visibility.

Larry started CFO Simplified 10 years ago as a solopreneur. Since then, he has built the company to seven employees, including an administrative assistant. Furthermore, Larry has been generous with his time, volunteering at a handful of organizations and coaching many young business owners on operational and financial best practices.

“Larry serves as a strong example of someone who did not allow the challenges associated with ageism be a reason for stopping him from doing what he is passionate about,” says Merly Thomas, the director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at ICNC. “Larry has provided countless hours of advice to his various communities, including business, religious, and social, and is seen as a trusted mentor.”

Larry is a member of several incubators in Chicagoland, including Make City at ICNC, where he serves on the small business advisory council and volunteers his time to connect with blossoming owners and founders facing challenges. He has also served on the boards of Fill a Heart for Kids, a charity serving homeless and exploited children in Chicago, and he sits on the board of his synagogue.


CFO Simplified was founded in 2009 with the mission of providing financial and operational expertise to small- to mid-sized business owners. The firm’s unique business proposition includes fractional CFOs with veteran experience to improve cash flow, profitability and strengthen internal controls.. To learn more, please visit  CFO Simplified: Make changes today that affect profitability tomorrow.


The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit



Media Contacts:

For CFO Simplified:

Marc Raybin

Cardinal Communications Strategies



For U.S. Small Business Administration-Illinois District:

Andrea Roebker




For Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago:

Michelle Collett



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