Employee Growth Blake Vaughan
Blake Vaughan, Vice President of Commercial Finance
Protos is dedicated to supporting and encouraging our employees to grow both personally and professionally. We strive to offer our employees ongoing training and development opportunities to ensure they are the best they can be. Whether it’s someone’s first week or ten-year anniversary, we do everything we can to help our employees succeed.
Blake Vaughan is just one example of the many inspiring success stories within our organization.
Blake started working with Protos almost six years ago in May 2017 while he was finishing college at Virginia Tech. He was hired full-time during his final year before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Corporate Finance. Over the past six years, Blake has enjoyed working with a fast-growing company and the amazing teams that have helped him grow to his current position as Vice President of Commercial Finance.
When Blake first joined Protos, the founders sought to improve their finance and accounting function. A smart, driven individual who was willing to learn and work hard was exactly the type of person they were looking for in this role. Initially Blake was hired as a Financial Analyst, wearing multiple hats as he was involved in operational and data-focused projects as well. Shortly after, he began analyzing financial metrics, working with the accounting and billing teams, and began to aid in overseeing various departments across the company. He was quickly advancing in his career and knew the next natural progression would be to take on additional responsibilities, and that’s exactly what he did.
“There has been a lot of change during my time with Protos, and it’s been an amazing experience to be to be part of. We’ve had drastic improvements to make in the finance and accounting functions across every company we’ve welcomed into the Protos family. I’ve had the opportunity to learn how to form new relationships and work with business leaders, which has been an incredible learning experience for me.”
Chris Copenhaver and Patrick Henderson, co-founders of Protos, saw the dedication and hard-working individual they brought on which earned Blake a promotion to Director of Finance. At this time, Protos had recently partnered with private equity firm Southfield Capital to better serve clients and vendors. Blake worked very closely with both Chris and Patrick as well as Tony Escamilla, Protos’ CFO, to overhaul the finance and accounting systems and processes. Blake and Tony led the project while overseeing the Protos accounting group. They also welcomed Angela Flood, Protos’ SVP and Corporate Controller to the team in late 2019 who Blake has continuously partnered with along the way.
While Blake was excelling in his role, needs were arising across other functions of the organization. In May 2021, he was promoted to the temporary position of Vice President of Operations and Finance where he would oversee the managed service operation alongside Adam Sammons. Once that role was permanently filled by Gail Funk, Blake transitioned into the role of Vice President of Finance.
“The biggest area of growth I’ve experienced personally is leadership and understanding how to lead teams and groups of people while driving strategy and change. I’m very appreciative and humbled by the learning opportunities Protos has afforded me as part of the finance team.”
Currently, he is focusing on financial metrics as well as the strategy and partnership with the Protos family of brands. Blake is responsible for managing relationships with leadership teams across our multiple service lines including financial reporting, metrics, KPIs, commercial insurance and budgeting/forecasting.
He has recently been promoted to the Vice President of Commercial Finance working with Protos’ VP of Finance, Ryan Wessendorf, where he will be focused on leading business partnership activities across the enterprise. Blake will work to partner with functional leaders and business service lines by helping them make key decisions with appropriate financial analysis and thought leadership through a financial lens. He is excelling in his new role and continues to enjoy the company culture and environment.
“The best things about our culture are the people, teams and groups. We might be a larger company, but we’re still in a very entrepreneurial environment. I like that we can partner together to work cross-functionally even as we grow. It’s about getting work done and enjoying the time we spend together as a group. I’m grateful to have grown professionally through working with amazing colleagues and mentors along the way.”
Over the course of his career with Protos, Blake has earned three promotions and has made a huge impact on Protos’ success. Blake is just one example of an employee who has experienced tremendous growth during his time with Protos. Stay tuned as we continue sharing stories about the success of our employees over the next few months.
If you are interested in learning more about Protos and want to work with us, view our current job opportunities.