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Dennis Dahlen, senior vice president and CFO for Banner Health; Gary Dalke, CFO for Western Refining, Inc.; Lawrence Eisel, CFO of Total Transit; and Richard Skufza, executive vice president and CFO of LaneTerralever.

FEI Arizona honors 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.

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FEI, Az Business present CFO of the Year awards

Financial Executives International (FEI) Arizona Chapter and Az Business magazine presented the 7th Annual CFO of the Year Awards at the Arizona Biltmore. The awards recognize professionals for outstanding performance in their roles as corporate financial stewards.

Read all about the finalists below, then check out photos of the event.

Finalists were Bradley C. Anderson, executive vice president of finance and CFO, Amtech Systems, Inc.; Dan Behrendt, CFO, TASER International; Jerome Bruggeman, CFO, RMJ Electrical Contractors, Inc.; Christina Cancino, senior vice president and CFO, Arizona’s Children Association; Sandy Catour, CFO, Sitewire; Ed Czemerych, CFO, Liberty Iron and Metal Holdings, LLC; Ward Huseth, CFO, Great Hearts Academies; Joseph Ivenz, CFO, Marcolin USA; Renee Krug, executive vice president and CFO, Clear Channel Outdoor; Thomas C. Lavoy, CFO, Veolia Transportation on Demand;  Shaun McMeans, vice president of administration and CFO, HTG Molecular Diagnostics; David Miller, CFO, Jokake Construction Services, Inc.; Doug Noblitt, executive vice president, finance and accounting, Tallwave; Chris Power, CFO, LifeLock, Inc.; Carlos L. Rojas, CFO, Heard Museum; Ashley Sanders, vice president of finance, Angel MedFlight; Richard Skufza, executive vice president and CFO, LaneTerralever; Debra Thompson, vice chancellor for business services, Maricopa Community Colleges; Christopher L. Turner, director of finance, GlobalMed; Dennis M. Via, CFO, NFP Property & Casualty Services, Inc.; and Shane Wells, Arizona-Nevada market CFO, IASIS Healthcare.

The four winners honored were:

CFO of the Year, Private Company

Thomas B. Fischer, CFO and vice president of finance, OnTrac

Since taking the role in 2000, Fischer has navigated business reorganizations, led the implementation of optimized business practices and collaborated toward the successful launches in five new states, helping to diversify the company’s services and increase customer value. His responsibilities include daily operations of financial and fiscal management.

Impact on OnTrac: In 2013, Fischer coordinated $40 million in new borrowings, which facilitated the buyback of employee stock option plans and the implementation of material handling, as well as allowing for the working capital for increase of business.  More than $20 million has been invested into equipment that will help OnTrac increase its package delivery from 50,000 packages a day to more than 300,000 packages a day. This type of automation significantly reduces the cost of delivery to the company.

CFO of the Year, Private Company

Tom Harris, executive vice president and CFO, Arizona Diamondbacks

Harris oversees all financial operations, risk management, administration, stadium operations and ownership relations. His tenure in this organization and in the industry make him an integral officer in assisting the president and CEO and other executives in guiding the organization to success. His knowledge of the inner workings of local government is essential in the day-to-day affairs of stadium related matters.

Impact on Diamondbacks: Harris spearheaded a 2011 debt refinancing, bond tender offer and line of credit with JP Morgan that reduced long-term debt by $1 million and provides for reduced interest expense and improved cash flow going forward. In 2011, he also spearheaded a modification of the team’s concessions agreement that has significantly improved its concessions revenue share.

CFO of the Year, Public Company

Amin Maredia, CFO, Sprouts Farmers Market

In less than two years, Maredia has established a public company finance function while completing a major strategic acquisition, more than $700 million debt refinancing, and leading Sprouts’ initial public offering efforts. In addition, he designed Sprouts’ finance infrastructure, including implementation of analytical tools, which provide the ability to monitor current and accurately forecast future performance. Maredia has also used his vast retail experience to help Sprouts execute its new store selection process and strengthen its position in the market.

Impact on Sprouts: Maredia has been instrumental in establishing the company’s internal control systems. He is a tireless advocate for transparency in not only financial reporting, but all areas of the operations. He has taken a lead role in developing a delegation of authority policy and code of conduct applicable to all company team members.

CFO of the Year, Nonprofit

Tanya Muñiz, CFO, Valley of the Sun United Way

Muñiz administers all financial operations and analysis. Under her leadership, the annual budget has grown from $50 million to $114 million in five years. United Way has very complex financials and undergoes six audits annually, with consistently excellent results and zero findings. Muñiz oversees a department of 20 employees who have flourished under her leadership. She led the development of organizational scorecards for measuring and managing performance. Customer satisfaction with accounting has increased by 25 percent since she became CFO.

Impact on United Way: Muñiz built a 10-year economic model that enables the organization to better plan its work and serves as a foundation for its strategic plans. The model enables Valley of the Sun United Way to see the effects of multi-year grants and major gifts, as well as recognizing that many expenses are long-term investments requiring up-front financing.

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Arizona Chapter of FEI announces new officers

The Arizona Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI) announces the election of its new officers and board of directors for fiscal year 2012-13.

The newly elected leadership team is comprised of finance executives in the Phoenix-metro area who represent and advocate for the interests of finance professionals of companies in all industries, all sizes, public, private and non-profit, throughout Arizona. Responsibilities of officers and board members include managing chapter administrative and financial functions, and leading multiple chapter committees which are focused on membership value, program quality, educational and leadership enhancement, including policy and financial standards updates.

“The leadership team of FEI Arizona represents a wealth of knowledge, background and expertise in executive-level financial management and leadership of Arizona companies,” said Bret Lawson, President and Chairman of the board, FEI Arizona Chapter. “I look forward to working with this exceptionally talented group and am confident they will serve as the elite financial resource for members and supporters this year and help us accomplish our goal of advancing the success and growth of financial executives and their companies in the coming years.”

FEI Arizona Chapter officers include:

President and Chairman of the Board: Bret Lawson, CFO, vice president, finance, Unique Home Designs, Inc.
First Vice President: Bob Vreeland, Vice President of Finance and Accounting at Clean Energy Fuels Corp
Second Vice President: Richard Skufza, executive vice president, CFO, E.B. Lane
Secretary and Treasurer: Gil Christopher, president and CEO, The Logistics Group
Past President: Michelle Hoffman, president, CFO &COO, ActiveForever.com

FEI Arizona Chapter board members include:

Stephanie Brun, Financial Analysis Manager, U-Haul International
Marcus Feder, Salt River Project
Chris Niezgodzki, director, financial budgeting and forecast, Grand Canyon Education Inc.
Gayle Pincus, social enterprise consultant, Palo Verde Business Advisors LLC
Dan Regan, principal, Executive Financial Management
Jon Steging, VP corporate controller CAO at Health Essentials LLC.
Helen Swiatek, Partner, B2B CFO
Karen Whitney, vice president, financial planning and analysis, Apollo Group Inc.

Officers will serve a one-year term and board members will serve a three-year term. Officers and board members can be re-elected by the membership and do not have term limits.

Financial Executives International is the leading advocate for the views of corporate financial management. Its 15,000 members hold policy-making positions as chief financial officers, treasurers and controllers at companies from every major industry. Founded in 1931, FEI enhances member professional development through peer networking, career management services, conferences, teleconferences and publications. Members participate in the activities of 86 chapters, 74 in the U.S., 11 in Canada and 1 in Japan. Visit www.financialexecutives.org for more information.

The Arizona Chapter of FEI held its fourth annual CFO of the Year Awards

The Arizona Chapter Of FEI Held Its 4th Annual CFO Of the Year Awards

The Arizona Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI) held its fourth annual CFO of the Year Awards on Nov. 4. FEI Arizona presents the CFO of the Year Awards to financial professionals for outstanding performance in their roles as corporate financial stewards. The nominations and awards recognize exemplary financial management in all types of businesses: public, private and nonprofit. An impressive set of independent judges from local business and academia selected the winners based on their contributions to their respective organizations and their involvement in the community. The following CFOs were honored at the event:

Nonprofit CFO of the Year

Mary Jane Rynd Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Virginia G. Piper Charitable TrustMary Jane Rynd
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

 

The talent and drive that Mary Jane Rynd put into becoming the first female partner of a national accounting firm in Arizona is now benefiting one of the state’s largest nonprofits.

As executive vice president and chief financial officer, Rynd she oversees the investment management of the approximately $500 million endowment of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. She also supervises the trust’s investment consultants and staff in the investment committee of the board of trustees.

For more than a decade before Virginia Piper’s death, Rynd served as the philanthropist’s tax adviser. As a result, Rynd has a full understanding of Piper’s approach to her philanthropy — and translates that every day into the work and spirit of the trust.

“I think I’m really lucky, because the people that I work with are highly motivated, extremely good professionals,” Rynd said.

Among her achievements at the trust is the identification, purchase and complete renovation of the nonprofit’s current offices. Over the past four years, she also has managed the diversification of the trust’s investment portfolio.


Private Company CFO of the Year

Tim Einwechter Chief Financial Officer Ascent Healthcare SolutionsTim Einwechter
Chief Financial Officer
Ascent Healthcare Solutions

 

In his 13 years as chief financial officer, Tim Einwechter has guided his company from a small startup to the $160 million corporation it is today.

When Einwechter began his tenure at the company that was then known as Alliance, he had to deal with cash shortages and other various financial struggles. He aggressively pursued investment capital that allowed the medical device company to take advantage of opportunities in its market. He also initiated a merger in 2005 that allowed the organization to continue growing, and played a key role when Stryker Inc. acquired the company, now known as Ascent Healthcare Solutions, in 2009.

“Life as CFO is not one of simply saying no,” he said. “Rather, it is one of bringing sense of reason to the discussions, understanding the business drivers and supporting what is important to drive the success of the business.”

Beyond the financials, Einwechter is committed to maintaining the ethics that make Ascent a success. In fact, the company’s mission statement of “Results, Integrity, and Quality” was coined by him. Einwechter’s understanding of what makes a business successful, along with a strong focus on ethical behavior, has created a shared ownership of the company’s commitment to integrity.