Jonathan Peters: My Journey to Empirical

A strategic change management executive, Jonathan has deep experience working in public, private, and private equity-backed companies. Learn about his journey that led him to Empirical!

I’m Jonathan Peters, a Senior Partner at Empirical Consulting Solutions where my focus is on guiding companies through successful business transformation. I’d like to share a bit of my background and highlight the events and milestones that have shaped me both personally and professionally.

My journey begins in southcentral Pennsylvania, York County (not far from the Maryland border), where I was born and raised. I first attended St. John Lutheran School and then transitioned to Dallastown High School. Upon my high school graduation, I headed south and pursued an undergraduate business degree at Florida Atlantic University which set the stage for my entry into the corporate world.

After college, I joined GE Capital and was based in South Florida, the first of many stops in my career. At GE, I was immersed in the world of sales and served in roles that included Sales Executive, General Manager, and Region Sales Manager. My promotions and upward movement through the company brought me to vibrant cities including Las Vegas, Denver, and Dallas.

Seeking new horizons and opportunities to grow both professionally and personally, I embarked on a career change and joined the team at Aramark Corporation. I worked through some interesting times of change at Aramark, as during my tenure the company was privately held, publicly traded, and private equity-backed.

I ascended through several positions of increasing responsibility, and truly my career at Aramark was a masterclass in leadership and strategic decision-making.  My accomplishments included creating and leading a national account team, serving as regional general manager, and leading the Refreshment Services business while living in both Philadelphia and Chicago.

Completing my MBA at the Drexel LeBow College of Business while working full-time at Aramark was undoubtedly a defining moment in my journey. The rigorous Executive MBA program, which included an enriching international trip to China as part of the program, broadened my perspective and equipped me with invaluable skills to tackle complex business challenges head-on that I would face later in my career.

After Aramark, I transitioned to lead a privately-held distribution business that is part of the interior specialty building materials market.  Stepping in to serve as both President and Chief Operating Officer for a company that had experienced multiple years of negative to flat revenue, I was presented with a new set of opportunities – and challenges – that leveraged my expertise in driving profitable growth.  Over a five-year period, I grew the business by more than 50% through a combination of organic initiatives and strategic acquisitions. My accomplishments at this company were immensely gratifying and further fueled my passion for creating tangible value.

Note: I’ve been asked what were the key changes that I implemented at this company that worked to reverse the trend of negative growth.  I’ll share some of the steps I took: transition sales team to focus on selling in recurring revenue programs with key customers versus soley being transactional focused; improving working capital by $4.5M through amended account receivable policy and optimized inventory management; negotiating a support agreement with a key supplier to replace a $9M line of credit; transitioning a lending relationship to a new lender which resulted in increased availability plus a lower cost of capital and less restrictive covenants; executing a delivery fee policy which created $2.5M of margin improvement; migrating an antiquated ERP platform to a modern system; focusing on improvement of co-worker engagement scores; implemented Net Promoter Score metric to track and improve customer experience; transitioned delivery logistics to a 3PL partner reducing expense and enhancing customer experience; and strategically closing acquisitions to expand the company’s contiguous geography and add sizeable revenue, among many other key actions.

Today I am based in the greater Philadelphia area as I embark on my newest chapter with Empirical. I am married to my wife and best friend, and together we have four children, ranging in age from 14 to 20. My oldest is in the Army, currently deployed to South Korea.  I enjoy spending time with family, whether traveling, boating, or fishing (both pelagic and spear!). And, here is a fun fact about me:  I am an Eagle Scout.

Professionally, in my role as Senior Partner at Empirical, I leverage my more than three decades of diverse business experience to empower executive teams, accelerate growth, and drive meaningful change within an organization. I’m excited to embark on this new adventure with the Empirical team and I look forward to the continued transformative journey ahead.

The Empirical team welcomes Jonathan and his long and successful record of leading organizations to profitability and strong results. He is known for working closely with teams to ensure an organization’s structure is aligned with customer insights to drive profitable growth and create sustainable value. 

Be sure to connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn!