Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Business professional goes local

By Olivia Cahill

Imagine a large vat open vat being filled and mixed with cheese in a factory. Then

imagine that a light bulb explodes overhead and shards of glass scatter into the vat,

unnoticed by the employees below. Then that cheese is processed, packaged, and shipped

off into the stream of commerce – right on to your kitchen table. This is an issue that the

women at Cahill Consultants Inc. address on a daily basis.

Cahill Consultants Inc. is a female owned and operated consulting firm that that provides

product safety and regulatory compliance assistance to companies that design,

manufacture, distribute, retail, and import/export products into the global stream of

commerce. Founder and CEO, Katherine Cahill, previously worked as the Global

Managing Director at Marsh & McLennan- the largest insurance broker in the world.

However when the recession hit and Marsh downsized, Cahill decided go into business

for herself. “I came up with the idea in 2011. I had recently learned that my youngest

daughter needed me home because she was diagnosed with autism. Starting CCI allowed

me to have a flexible work schedule and be there for my family.” she said.

The CCI consulting firm was established to assist woman who chose an alternative work

style that would allows them to use their education and fit their work life into their family

life. While working with projects involving the automobile, pharmaceutical and

agricultural industries, these women have the taxing job of consulting companies on how

to avoid as well as how to recover from product recalls while also being a liaison with the

FDA and other governmental organizations.

Senior Vice President, Kathy Hill, has worked with Cahill for over a decade and still

continues to enjoy the variety of clients they assist on a daily basis. “One of the most

interesting projects that I have had the opportunity work on is in the dairy industry.” Hill

said. “Katherine and I toured various dairy facilities and we had the opportunity to see

butter, cheese and milk production in process.  Additionally, we have toured various

dairy farms from small capacity to larger capacity that utilized techniques inspired by

Temple Grandin”

Putting things out into the stream of commerce can be a difficult task, especially when a

companies working area is not in tip top shape when the FDA walks in. That is why these

specialists take the time to examine every angle from the creation to the end product and

see if there are any liabilities that may have been overlooked by the companies.

“We are a client driven firm and our main challenge is to service our clients in a

profession manner and provide them with high quality work product.” Hill said.

One aspect of their company that has become a worldwide phenomenon is

telecommuting. With offices in Oklahoma, California and New York, there is plenty of

room for traveling all over the U.S. Any time a company needs a facility review, the

women from CCI will be all the way to Chicago and back home within the day. Director

of Finance, Allison Foltmann, has not previously had to travel so much for work. “Before

working at Cahill I was self employed at Modern Accounting Solutions. I set up

accounting systems for companies as well as maintained them.” In addition to doing that

for Cahill Consultants, she also has had to get used to the large amount of traveling that

occurs throughout the company. Any time a company needs a facility review, the women

from CCI will travel all the way to Chicago and back home within the day.  On the non-

traveling days, you can find Cahill sitting in her fathers old blue recliner right in the

middle of the home office.

Intern Sarah Sheehan has just started working at the firm and already has learned a great

amount about the industry. “I love the ability to constantly be learning about something

new with every new client that Katherine acquires comes research on that product/market

and learning the regulations surrounding that. it never gets boring. the most challenging

part is keeping up with Katherine - she's always 20 steps ahead of the rest of the world.”

Sheehan said.

In terms of the future “I believe Cahill Consultants, Inc. will be the premier consulting

firm in the areas of product recall, liability and risk management issues that companies

face on a day to day basis.” said Hill. All the employees agreed that no matter where they

go, the next step is global. With offices in England and Canada, these women plan to help

not only companies in need of their consulting expertise, but they also plan to inspire the

next generations of women to show that they can be equally if not more successful in a

“mans world”.

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