Hello, I’m Clifton.
Welcome to my corner of the world.


Gold letter From a very early age, I was known as a problem solver with “wisdom beyond my years.” Even as a kid I was candid, highly attuned, and analytical yet creative.

Sitting on library stepsNaturally curious, I questioned everything. When the teacher would say, “If you need to go to the restroom, just raise your hand,” I was the kind of kid who would ask, “How will that help?” Oh boy! Kudos to my patient parents and teachers.

After graduating from college, I was quickly put on the corporate fast track, determined to become the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a big company one day.

In 2008 I achieved that goal when I was named CFO and Senior Vice President of The Wonderful Company, a multibillion-dollar company headquartered in Los Angeles. The company owns FIJI Water, POM Wonderful, Teleflora, and Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds, among other brands. (If you’re looking for my full bio, you’ll find it here.)

I reached this position 17 years faster than the typical CFO of a major corporation.

Everything was perfect, right? Wrong.



Even though I was at the pinnacle of professional success, my personal life was in shambles.



Everyone thought I had it made just because I had all the trappings of success. But there’s a great expression: “Don’t believe everything you see. Even salt looks like sugar.” How true!

Likewise, there was a huge gap between how great things appeared to the outside world and the reality of what was going on behind the scenes. Believe me, this inconsistency eats away at you.

Until one day, I just got tired of pretending everything was okay. I decided to bring every facet of my life into alignment. It was a decision that would change the course of my life.



Sitting on library stepsToday, the smile you see in my pictures is genuine. It’s not me putting on an act for the camera.

This comes from an overwhelming sense of fulfillment, peace, and joy. I cannot remember that last time I had a bad night’s sleep.

I want you to know that all this is possible for you. More about that in a bit.

You might be asking what does all this have to do with leadership. In a word: everything.

As much we may try to keep them separate, what happens in your personal life affects your professional life and vice versa.

Even though I had a great track record, the leader I was then cannot even compare to the leader I am today because of what I’ve learned and applied.

While we’re making a living, we should also make a life. I teach highly accomplished leaders how to be truly successful–at work and in life. That’s real success.


Why this matters

People are yearning for a new kind of leader. Employees want to follow someone who is transparent, with values they respect. Clients want to do business with people they know, like, and trust.

Don’t think for a second that these intangible traits don’t impact the bottom line. The leader who attracts and keeps the best people and connects with his clients, while executing a solid strategy wins every single time.


Why this matters

People are yearning for a new kind of leader. Employees want to follow someone who is transparent, with values they respect. Clients want to do business with people they know, like, and trust.

The leader who attracts and keeps the best people and connects with his clients, while executing a solid strategy wins every single time.



One of the questions I’m often asked is how did a former CFO become a leadership expert?



Throughout my career, my coworkers routinely came to me for advice. Over coffee or lunch, they looked to me for guidance through their most difficult challenges.

Instinctively, they knew I could be trusted with sensitive information. They counted on me to ask the right (and tough) questions and to provide sound advice.

Apparently, I had established a reputation for being a strong developer of people and teams. So much so that I was tasked with creating and leading a Fortune 500 company’s leadership development organization for high-potential employees.

Before long, I was asked to train executives in specific areas of leadership. Keep in mind, I was a finance guy!

Even though I was skilled in analyzing balance sheets, I realized that employees are a company’s most valuable assets. (See what I did there?)

As I thought about it, the best part of any job I held was coaching and developing people.

So my work today really wasn’t a transition into a new field. It’s simply doing on a full-time basis what I had been doing informally most of my life.



  • Microsoft Logo
  • GE Logo
  • HP Logo
  • Dell Logo
  • First Solar
  • Broadcom
  • COR Logo
  • Amgen Logo
  • City of Commerce Logo
  • Samson Logo

My services have been retained by many well-respected companies and organizations that you’ve heard of, as well as some you may not have heard of–yet. I also work with current and up-and-coming leaders throughout the world.



In short, during my journey I discovered another path–helping leaders lead boldly, live fully, and build a legacy.


Which brings me to you…


As a former senior executive, I have walked in your shoes. So I’m keenly aware of the challenges you face.

I founded Treasure Holders International to teach leaders–just like you–how to match your business mind with a leader’s heart. Believe me, if this numbers-driven CFO can do it, so can you.

In doing so, you’re able to tap into an essential advantage and achieve unprecedented results both in business and in life. You’ll also discover deeper meaning in your work and align every area of your life with your core values.


Which brings me to you…


As a former senior executive, I have walked in your shoes. So I’m keenly aware of the challenges you face.

I founded Treasure Holders International to teach leaders just like you how to match your business mind with a leader’s heart.

In doing so, you’re able to tap into an essential advantage and achieve unprecedented results both in business and in life.



Though I serve as the “face” of Treasure Holders (feel free to insert your favorite face-for-radio joke here), this is a team effort. I learned a very long time ago that we can accomplish more with the support of others than we ever can alone.

I encourage you to check out the deliberate culture we’re creating at our company (see How We Do Business). It will also give you a sense of what to expect should we decide to work together.

Until then, feel free to visit our Ideas & Insights blog where I share timely advice for leadership and life.



All the best,


But enough about me. I want to learn about you…


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