CEO Series Ep.3: Daniel Reese – Ep.161

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Daniel Reese is my final guest on the CEO series with early career CEOs. Daniel acquired IntellaTriage in November 2019 after a military career and searching with a distinct thesis. IntellaTriage handles after-hours calls for providers, senior living businesses, and others with a remote nursing team.

Daniel and I talk about growing a business that felt very much like a startup early on, advice for new CEOs, scaling teams, and finding a balance in his life as CEO. We also talk about working on submarines, which could be an entire podcast in its own right.

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Daniel on LinkedIn


Traction by Gino Wickman

Scaling Up by Verne Harnish

Carl Streck on Think Like an Owner


(4:09) – Daniel’s Military career

(6:57) – What was the thesis behind your Search?

(8:49) – What was the state of the business when you took over and what did your first 6 months look like?

(10:47) – How was management structured upon acquisition and how did you adjust it?

(12:01) – How did you prioritize hiring for management positions?

(13:19) – What do you feel went well in the first 2 years of ownership and what went poorly?

(15:08) – What did you need to do to enable revenue growth?

(16:34) – What decisions were made in the first 2 years to set up this growth you’re having now?

(18:07) – Has client communication improved your customer churn?

(21:18) – Do you have any feedback mechanisms with customer communication?

(23:28) – How has your ability to focus on long-term projects changed?

(25:22) – How do you go about setting goals?

(26:45) – Has the business changed dramatically since your acquisition?

(28:04) – What needs to happen to scale the company?

(29:22) – How has your life changed since becoming CEO?

(31:31) – How do you approach the way you phrase things to your team as the CEO?

(36:35) – What advice do you offer early-career CEOs?

(38:36) – What do you consider when putting together a board?

(40:11) – What strongly held belief have you changed your mind on?

(41:38) – What’s the best business you’ve ever seen?

Think Like an Owner Sponsors:

Live Oak Bank — Live Oak Bank is a seasoned SMB lender providing SBA and conventional financing for search funds, independent sponsors, private equity firms, and individuals looking to acquire lower middle-market companies. Live Oak has closed billions of dollars in SBA financing and is actively looking to help more small company investors across the country. If you are in the process of acquiring a company or thinking about starting a search, contact Lisa Forrest or Heather Endresen directly to start a conversation or go to

Hood & Strong, LLP — Hood & Strong is a CPA firm with a long history of working with search funds and private equity firms on diligence, assurance, tax services, and more. Hood & Strong is highly skilled in working with search funds, providing quality of earnings and due diligence services during the search, along with assurance and tax services post-acquisition. They offer a unique way to approach acquisition diligence and manage costs effectively. To learn more about how Hood & Strong can help your search, acquisition, and beyond, please email one of their partners Jerry Zhou at [email protected] 

Oberle Risk Strategies– Oberle is the leading specialty insurance brokerage catering to search funds and the broader ETA community, providing complimentary due diligence assessments of the target company’s commercial insurance and employee benefits programs. Over the past decade, August Felker and his team have engaged with hundreds of searchers to provide due diligence and ultimately place the most competitive insurance program at closing. Given August’s experience as a searcher himself, he and his team understand all that goes into buying a business and pride themselves on making the insurance portion of closing seamless and hassle-free.

If you are under LOI, please reach out to August to learn more about how Oberle can help with insurance due diligence at Or reach out to August directly at [email protected].

Oakbourne Advisors– Oakbourne is an independent retirement plan consulting firm that helps small companies design and implement great retirement plans for their teams.  Whether you already have a 401(k) in place or are looking to start one for your team, please reach out to learn more about how Oakbourne can set your people up for success in retirement at

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