Profile: Martin Goldberg
By Rense, Kirk*
(As is the case with many members of the California Receivers
Forum, Martin Goldberg’s career path has zig-zagged between accounting,
forensic accounting, bankruptcy and receivership practice, as you will
discover in this fascinating profile, in Mr. Goldberg’s own words.)
My father held several jobs during his working life, all of which were physical labor-intensive, from working as a longshoremen on the docks of New York harbor to a presser in a “sweat shop” in the New York garment industry from the 1940’s through the 1960’s. As in many traditional households at the time, my mother ran the household raised the children, and cared for my father’s mother (my bubby) who came to live with us in her later years.
Though neither my father nor my mother had any formal education beyond grade school, the one thing that was repeatedly stressed in our household was that education is the key to a better life. So at 18 when I told my father that I was not going to go to college and that a life of physical labor seemed to work okay for him, I was “guided,” perhaps in a manner that these days might raise some eyebrows, to re-think my path. I was also “persuaded” to do well in school in order to honor my mother, though school was never my natural predilection. In short, I was graduated from New York University in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.
Like my father, anything having to do with numbers came naturally to me (my father could multiply 4 digit numbers together in his head faster than I could on an adding machine – the calculator of the time). In 1960 I became a staff accountant with the accounting firm of Horwath & Horwath in Manhattan, which later merged and became the national firm of Laventhal, Krekstein, Horwath & Horwath, where I spent 5 years learning the basics of my profession.
Although I loved my work at Horwath, I had a wife and two young children to support. In 1965 I took a higher-paying job as controller of Atomic Sportswear, a clothing manufacturer based in New York City. While there I was responsible for all financial aspects of the company, including negotiating and securing financing, negotiating wage and benefit contracts with the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union, negotiating government contracts with the U.S. Inspector General, and negotiating and obtaining merchandise placement with major retail stores.
My time spent at the company’s plants in Chattanooga, Tennessee was certainly a bit of a culture shock for a kid from the Bronx. After making some adjustments to account for the way business was conducted at the time in the South, within four years, my team and I had grown the company from $375,000 per year in sales to over $20 million per year, no small feat in the late sixties. I negotiated the sale of Atomic Sportswear to a large public concern after approximately six years with the company.
Welcome To San Diego
The liquidation of Milo brought new opportunities, however. After living the San Diego lifestyle for two years, it was clear to both my wife and I that whatever our options might be, we wished to stay in our adopted home town, where we have now lived in the same house for over 30 years. To accommodate this decision, I co-founded, managed and operated my own electronics parts distributor company based in San Diego, California under the name of Mock III Sales beginning in 1973. Starting with three desks, some telephones, a small rented office/warehouse space and only the hope of prospective sales, we took the company to over $2 million in annual sales in two years. I owned and managed the company, acting as both president and chairman of the board of directors, through 1989, when I sold my interest in Mock III to my one of my partners and a third-party buyer.
Today I direct and manage the forensic fraud accounting, receivership and bankruptcy areas of Goldberg Consulting. I have been appointed as a provisional director, as an equity receiver, as a rents and profits receiver, and as a post-judgment receiver in cases involving probate matters, divorce proceedings, and partnership and corporate disputes in both state and federal courts over the last 28 years. My receivership experience has covered a wide breadth of businesses. Perhaps this variety is what continues to drive my excitement after so many years — while there are common financial threads in all businesses, no two businesses are exactly alike.
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