Through good times and bad, F. Philip Giltner has steered Shamrock Foods Company’s finances with a steady hand for 19 years. It’s a longevity Giltner appreciates.
“Relationships and people that come to Shamrock tend to stay for a long time,” he said. “Relationships develop. It’s sort of intuitive that you know what to expect from the others.”
When he joined the company as chief financial officer in 1991, Shamrock’s annual sales stood at $469.4 million. The company estimates that its 2010 sales will reach $1.7 billion.
Giltner’s steady hand was tested in 2000, when Shamrock experienced a series of financial difficulties. First, the computer system for its Arizona Foods Division’s automated warehouse system left the company unable to accurately and timely ship products. Secondly, the company was not successful in operating a new and larger ice cream manufacturing plant. Finally, there were reporting problems at Shamrock’s Arizona Meat Plant. The problems were fixed, but the company took a substantial loss. However, with Giltner’s assistance, Shamrock was able to secure additional long-term debt and renegotiated bank loans.
It’s not easy maneuvering through the twists and turns of Washington bureaucracy, but for 15 years, Larry Haggerty has led TriWest Healthcare Alliance out of the maze and into profitability.
TriWest contracts with the Department of Defense to provide health care services to 2.7 million military personnel, retirees and their families in 21 Western states, as well as Alaska and Hawaii.
Haggerty was a critical factor in TriWest’s successful efforts to land three competitive bids. As a result, TriWest is one of only three existing Defense Department contractors to survive negotiations and retain their government business. With conservative but solid growth, TriWest has never had a quarterly loss in its history, nor suffered investment losses.
Haggerty is praised for leading numerous negotiations over thorny issues with the Defense Department, all with a style that reinforced TriWest’s reputation for openness, transparency and an approach that balances both corporate and taxpayer interests. TriWest has strived to achieve the status of a true partner with the Department of Defense, and a good portion of the credit goes to Haggerty and his financial team.
In his four years as chief financial officer for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tom Harris has become an industry leader in financial planning and efficiency.
Harris improved the Diamondbacks’ cash position with a $50 million capital infusion from team owners, and secured large lines of credit amidst economic turmoil.
Harris also reversed the team’s policy of allowing deferred player payments and created a timeline to pay down debt associated with that practice. In addition, he has mapped out a new player payroll strategy for the team’s baseball operations staff that puts the club more in line with teams in comparably sized markets. Harris also was influential in the Diamondback’s new policy of avoiding player agreements that include incentives. And as the economic climate worsened, Harris oversaw a difficult, but necessary, work force reduction.
The Diamondbacks are a highly visible member of the Valley’s business community. As such, Harris makes sure he and the team are actively involved in giving back to the community. Harris has been the leading force behind the team’s diverse vendor program and hiring practices.
James R. Hatfield
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Pinnacle West Capital Corporation/Arizona Public Service Company
The company faced a litany of challenges over those years: APS’ corporate bond rating was just above non-investment grade; the utility filed a proposal with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) for a 10 percent retail customer base rate increase, as well as an emergency interim rate request to preserve its debt ratings; the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station was placed in the second-highest category of government oversight, creating additional costs; Pinnacle West decided to exit the real estate development business; and finally, the financial market collapse froze access to crucial commercial paper markets.
Under his watch, Hatfield stabilized the company’s bond ratings, renegotiated debt covenants and maximized the opportunity to raise $250 million with a high-valuation common stock offering. But perhaps most importantly, Hatfield helped the company achieve $65 million in emergency rate relief in 2008, and the following year, a regulatory settlement with the ACC and 21 stakeholders statewide provided a $207 million annual revenue increase to APS.