CFO Of the Year

CFO Of The Year Awards 2009 Finalists

Michael T. Tobin
OneNeck IT Services Corporation
Chief Financial Officer

“Today, I’m still motivated and excited about the analysis involved in exploring and completing solid and well-thought out acquisitions.”

OneNeck IT Services Corporation in Scottsdale has been profitable since it opened for business 12 years ago — and Michael T. Tobin has been instrumental in that success.

A founding member of the company and chief financial officer since its inception, Tobin helped to set up the initial launch of the firm in 1997. Three years later, Tobin exerted his influence when OneNeck management purchased its parent company, SCB Computer Technology. He helped secure financing for the buyout, including equity funding, a term loan and a revolving line of credit.

Over the last six years, Tobin has laid the groundwork for three successful acquisitions by providing due diligence and financial-performance analysis, and then counseling the CEO and board of directors with his “go” or “no-go” recommendations.

OneNeck’s most recent acquisition, the managed hosting division of Ensynch in Tempe, is performing beyond expectations. In addition to nonstop profitability, OneNeck has a 13 percent compounded annual growth rate and is projecting a 16 percent increase in revenue for 2009. “With our projected 16 percent growth increase for 2009, that translates into more jobs within Arizona, an objective which is very near and dear to my heart since this is where I call ‘home,’” Tobin says.

Tobin is highly respected within the banking community for his honesty in reporting OneNeck’s financial performance. His monthly financial statements impressed one bank so much that it asked Tobin to teach its other clients how to report to the bank efficiently.

Matthew Wickesberg
Z’Tejas Inc.
Chief Financial Officer

“Seeing the dedication of our employees each day energizes me to work hard to ensure we can provide opportunities for their growth and advancement.”

Z’Tejas may mean Southwestern cuisine to most people, but to Matthew Wickesberg it’s a corporate world he is guiding through a treacherous economy.

Wickesberg has been chief financial officer at the Scottsdale-based restaurant chain for four years and he has faced down many challenges during that time. Anticipating the current recession, Wickesberg developed a strategic plan for expenditures that allows the company to deliver consistent profitability without sacrificing the quality of its products and services. Knowing that implementing such an initiative requires unsettling changes, he spent considerable time mentoring and coaching employees so they understood the necessity of the measures being taken.

“During times of turmoil, people need straight talk and something to hang onto, even if it’s just your word,” he says. “CFOs should be out in front of the organization and be willing to face the tough questions.”

Z’Tejas is emerging from the recession with a strong and stable balance sheet under which it can take advantage of lucrative real estate opportunities.

Wickesberg is committed to providing employees with the tools they need to carry out their responsibilities to the highest standards. His efforts have cultivated a company that functions with the same practices, disciplines and efficiencies of an organization much larger in scope and size.

Through Wickesberg’s social and business networks, Z’Tejas has tapped into the legal, real estate and media communities, helping the company advance its growth initiatives.

Eric Young
The Carioca Company
Chief Financial Officer

“Here is my secret to exerting influence: Make the goals clear, hire the right people, get out of their way and watch great things happen.”

The Carioca Company in Phoenix follows a philosophy that a chief financial officer should be a leader in employee relations in addition to heading up finance. Eric Young wears both hats and he has a large constituency.

Young is CFO not only for Carioca, an operator of gas stations and convenience stores in Arizona, but also for 29 other companies that own sandwich shops, pizza parlors, strip malls and other businesses. Three families own this group of companies and Young works closely with all of them.

“I find that because I have more of an entrepreneurial mindset than the typical ‘bean counter,’ I am able to adapt quickly and intimately know the operations of every one of these businesses,” Young says. In the human resources area, Young is credited with helping managers perform better to drive profits. He also delves into the hiring process, making sure the companies bring talented employees onboard. In addition, Young works with others in senior management so they understand the importance of strong employee relations.

In his dealings with staff members, Young seeks their advice on how to improve operations at all levels, folding that knowledge into his policy of adhering to best practices to enhance company operations.

As he carries out his duties in the financial arena, Young monitors company assets daily in order to maximize income from idle funds and to minimize bank charges.

He also assists with inventory management, scrutinizing product pricing and ordering to obtain the best value possible.

Michael Zimmerman
The Go Daddy Group Inc.
Chief Financial Officer

“My single most important role as CFO is to work in tandem with the employees at Go Daddy to create, drive and deliver core operational results for the organization.”

As chief financial officer, Michael Zimmerman has helped Scottsdale-based Go Daddy Group grow from $10 million in sales to the approximately $740 million projected for this year.

“One of the most important aspects of my job is balancing growth and bottom line results for the company,” he says. “You often hear of companies growing too quickly and then failing. At Go Daddy, we were able to avoid that moniker because the leadership team was able to see the company’s big picture.”

Go Daddy is the world’s largest Web site domain name registrar and hosting provider of secure Web sites.

Zimmerman has achieved several milestones in his nearly eight years as CFO. He played a key role in establishing a joint venture with two other companies that won the right to offer .ME as a domain name. The project has produced a multimillion-dollar return for Go Daddy.

He also has helped Go Daddy’s human resources department work on a new health care plan, negotiated recruiting contracts with external vendors and developed a new annual review process. In addition, Zimmerman worked with the company’s fraud detection team to cost effectively improve fraud identification.

Under Zimmerman’s guidance, Go Daddy also acquired its second Phoenix facility and opened it as a 270,000-square-foot data center. Zimmerman conducted extensive research of available space and located a building with large power capacity and a fiber Internet connection — two capabilities vital to operating at full capacity. The data center has contributed to Go Daddy’s rapid growth.