Get to Know Alex Calderone

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Alex Calderone is the Managing Director of Calderone Advisory Group (CAG), a boutique turnaround, restructuring and litigation support consultancy servicing the national middle market. Prior to founding CAG, he worked for KPMG and Conway MacKenzie, Inc.

Calderone has significant experience related to turnaround consulting, business valuation, forensic accounting (including Ponzi scheme disentanglement), and quantification of economic damages and frequently provides expert witness services in the context of both commercial and bankruptcy-litigation proceedings.

Calderone is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Turnaround Professional, Certified Fraud Examiner, Chartered Global Management Accountant, and Accredited in Business Valuation by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

He is a former visiting professor of accounting at Michigan State University and holds both a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in accounting, with high honor, from MSU.

By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News

What would surprise people about your job?
Because I’m classically trained in accounting, most people think my job entails bean counting. This job actually entails so much more. I’m a strategist and an investigator. If I’m digging into the numbers, it’s because I’m trying to diagnose a problem or provide a prognosis regarding a company’s future. I may also be trying to uncover fraud.

Why did you get involved in litigation support services? I got my first taste of litigation services during my technical internship with Conway MacKenzie, Inc. 17 years ago working directly for the team responsible for preparing Van Conway for trial as an expert witness. It was fun and exciting. It was unusual and gave me the chance to combine accounting knowledge with strategy and gamesmanship. I found working on litigation matters could be a lot of fun.

What is your proudest moment providing litigation support services?
In general, any time I am able to utilize my financial acumen and accounting knowledge to help bolster a client’s case – particularly in instances where a client has been wronged by a much larger company with deeper pockets. I love it when an opportunity arises that allows me to provide assistance to the underdog – particularly if that means my skillset and work ethic will be underestimated by the opposing side.

What’s your favorite law-related TV show, movie, and/or book? The Firm.

Who are your law role models – real and/or fictional? Abraham Lincoln.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?
John Rockefeller at the turn of the 20th century.
   
What advice do you have for someone considering an accounting career?
Study hard and learn the fundamentals of accounting, but also become a Microsoft Excel super-user. This skillset is almost as important as the accounting degree.

What do you do to relax?
Exercise and spend time with my wife Nikki and two boys, Vinnie and Calvin.

What other career path might you have chosen? Medicine, but that’s ok because I live vicariously through my sister, an emergency room physician at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
Take more risks. Don’t be afraid to fail. You won’t regret the things you have tried and failed as much as you will regret the things you didn’t do when you had the chance.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Founding a boutique turnaround and litigation support consultancy firm that has successfully served dozens of clients across metropolitan Detroit and beyond. While not always easy, it’s been an incredibly rewarding journey.

Favorite websites: Wikipedia – how did I ever live without it?

Favorite app: Mile IQ – it makes my expense reporting so much easier!

Favorite music: Anything 80s, 90s or Sinatra-related. 

What is your happiest childhood memory? Our first family trip to Walt Disney World. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Favorite place to spend money: Vacationing in Laguna Beach, Calif.

Which living person do you most admire? Ray Lewis, formerly with the Baltimore Ravens. I find his life story to be particularly inspiring.

What is your most treasured material possession? Pictures and handwritten notes from my grandfather to grandmother exchanged when they were pen pals during World War II. My grandfather was a dentist in the U.S. Army.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been?
Section 5, Row R, Seat 16 at the recent McGregor v. Mayweather super fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

What do you wish someone would invent? A flying, autonomous car that I could afford.

What has been your favorite year so far and why? 2014, the year I decided to pursue my entrepreneurial instincts and form my firm, Calderone Advisory Group, LLC.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? The ability to touch a book and absorb and comprehend all of its information inside of a nanosecond. 

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?
Scuba dive.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I love martial arts and hold a second-degree black belt in Choi Kwang Do. 

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?
Sylvester Stallone (in full character as Rocky), Fr. Solanus Casey and Walt Disney.

What’s the best advice you ever received? My father told me at a very young age that successful people make their own “luck.” He was right.

What is your motto?
Never, ever give up!

What is the most unusual thing you have done?
In 2009, I made a guest appearance on Man vs. Food when Adam Richman came to Detroit to determine which Coney Island was better – American or Lafayette.

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