FEI Arizona honors the 2014 CFO of the Year winners, finalists

The Arizona Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI) handed out its annual CFO of the Year Awards Thursday during a ceremony at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale.

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The CFO of the Year Awards are given to professionals for outstanding performance in their roles as corporate financial stewards. This program provides many benefits to the business community by highlighting the important roles that financial executives play within the region.

Earning 2014 awards were Dennis Dahlen, senior vice president and CFO for Banner Health in the nonprofit category; Gary Dalke, CFO for Western Refining, Inc. in the public company category; Lawrence Eisel, CFO of Total Transit in the private company category; and Richard Skufza, executive vice president and CFO of LaneTerralever in the private company category.

Here is a closer look at the winners:

Dennis Dahlen:  Dahlen oversees the financial operations of an organization with more than $5 billion in revenue, including all treasury functions related to investment management and capital development. Dahlen’s work with executives throughout the company ensures that realistic budgets are established and budget goals are met or exceeded.
Dahlen’s impact on Banner Health: Under Dahlen’s leadership, financial pro formas have been reliably solid foundations for Banner’s expansions in Arizona. They have included construction of Cardon Children’s Medical Center, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, Banner Ironwood Medical Center, new towers at Banner Baywood Medical Center, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center and Banner Estrella Medical Center; the acquisition of Sun Health (two hospitals and a research center), Arizona Regional Medical Center and Casa Grande Regional Medical Center; and the development of the Banner Health Network.

Gary Dalke: Dalke is one of Western Refining’s founding executives and is responsible for all finance, treasury, tax, accounting, and information system activities throughout Western and its affiliates. Dalke is also a critical member of the executive committee, responsible for establishing company goals, performance metrics, and monitoring mechanisms.
Dalke’s impact on Western Refining: In the fall of 2013, Dalke guided Western through a spin-off of the company’s logistics assets via an initial public offering of a new entity — Western Refining Logistics, LP — and acquisition of the general partner and 38 percent of the limited partnership of Northern Tier Energy LP, both within a 31-day period. Dalke led by example, demonstrating a dedicated work ethic, calm demeanor, command of accounting principles and financial market prowess. Each of these attributes were critical to successful completion of these extraordinary accomplishments.

Lawrence Eisel: In his first five years, Total Transit’s revenue has nearly quadrupled. Eisel has been heavily involved in strategic planning, business planning, budgeting and working capital management to support this phenomenal growth.  In addition, Eisel has been successful in developing a strong relationship and credibility with the company’s banks to finance this growth.  He has also coordinated all risk management activities for the organization.
Eisel’s impact on Total Transit: Eisel has implemented several changes that define showcase his vision, including implementation of a balanced scorecard process, establishing an internal audit function and coordinating a significant estate planning project that will ultimately save millions in future tax liabilities. Most recently, to combat a tighter insurance market and increasing auto liability premiums, Eisel and his team successfully identified alternative insurance designs and created a captive insurance entity, which will control the costs of the company’s auto liability risk.

Richard Skufza: Skufza works closely with the CEO and other executive leadership to accomplish corporate strategic objectives. He is one of three key contributors to the development and execution of LaneTerralever’s’s corporate strategy while maintaining important external relationships with banks, clients, external auditors and suppliers.
Skufza’s impact on LaneTerralever: Over the last nine months, Skufza led the integration of the accounting, management information and telephone systems into one unified system and was instrumental in bringing the two cultures and two offices of E.B. Lane and Terralever into one office. Skufza’s prior initiatives include online recruiting and employee orientation process; an enhanced performance evaluation process in order to align corporate values, mission and vision throughout the organization; and employee training and staff development with the introduction of E.B. Lane University.


NonProfit: Dennis Dahlen, Banner Health

Private Company: Richard Skufza, Lane Terralever

Private Large Company: Larry Eisel, Total Transit

Public: Gary Dalke, Western Refining, Inc.