Nashville-based The Southwestern Family of Companies has promoted Cynthia Johnstone to executive vice president and treasurer.
A 26-year veteran of the entity and previously its VP and treasurer, Johnstone has assisted with the development and launches of Southwestern Investment Group, Southwestern Consulting, Southwestern Real Estate, Southwestern Travel, Southwestern Tax Services and Global Educational Concepts, according to a release. She also has been instrumental in the entity’s acquisitions of Tasty Selections, QSP and Wildtree.
As EVP and treasurer, Johnstone will lead the family of companies’ business incubator, which offers capital, guidance and resources to aspiring entrepreneurs, who build equity through stock in the consolidated company. In her expanded role, Johnstone will develop a new structure around the incubator, establishing it as its own business entity.
Johnstone has worked with Henry Bedford, company chairman, to oversee The Southwestern Family of Companies’ equity plan. In the expanded role, she will be responsible to assure that the plan’s design will continue to provide a legacy of ownership for future generations of employees since the death of ex-president Spencer Hays in 2017. Under her leadership and tenure, The Southwestern Family of Companies has grown from four to 16 companies, providing a 15 percent annual compounded return to the employees and owners through the company’s equity plan since 1982.
Johnstone serves on multiple boards (including the Southwestern and Great American Boards of Directors), previously held the position of assistant treasurer from 1996-2005 and was promoted to vice president, corporate secretary and treasurer in 2006.
“We hired Cindy 26 years ago, and the investment has paid off in spades, as we have gained one of the most talented additions to our team that I have had the pleasure to work with,” Bedford said in the release. “Cindy has partnered in the formation and oversight of all of our start-up businesses since then and has overseen our complex capital structure involving our unique equity plan, asset management and banking relations. She commands a tremendous knowledge in the arena of finance and corporate resources and is thorough in her research and insightful in her leadership.”
Founded in 1855, The Southwestern Family of Companies bills itself as one of Tennessee’s oldest and largest private corporations.