Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. (HTA) announced today that Executive Vice President of Asset Management, Amanda Houghton, was interviewed by Seeking Alpha in an article published today. Ms. Houghton discussed the company’s in-house property management and leasing platform that was started in 2010 which now operates and leases over 12.6 million square feet of medical office space. Ms. Houghton illustrated the direct impact that this platform has on HTA’s tenants, health system partners, and bottom line, demonstrated by its six consecutive quarters of same store growth of 3 percent or better.
Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. announced Tuesday that it is serving as the top level, founding partner for the launch of Revista, a new data service for medical real estate. Founded by former executives with the National Investment Center, Revista is creating the most comprehensive and accurate data and industry services focused on the characteristics, transactions, and performance of the growing medical real estate sector in the United States. Revista is the first data service to be built by healthcare real estate veterans and will highlight the key drivers and trends that make medical real estate one of the most attractive asset classes today. Revista is formally launching later this month with the roll out of its data service for the Northeastern U.S. It expects to roll out services for the entire United States later this year.
Healthcare Trust of America is the largest, dedicated owner of medical office buildings in the U.S. today. The medical office sector is estimated to include over $250 billion in asset value, with less than 10% owned by institutional investors. HTA is dedicated to the medical office sector and is committed to providing the tools and resources necessary for health systems and healthcare providers to effectively and efficiently meet their real estate and financing needs.
“As one of the leading owners and operators of medical office real estate in the United States, HTA is committed to bringing an institutional quality to this currently fragmented sector,” stated Chairman and CEO Scott D. Peters. “We believe that the rollout of Revista’s products and services will greatly improve the quality of data that institutional investors require to understand the strong fundamentals of medical real estate. It will also highlight the tremendous value that health systems and providers have locked up in their real estate portfolios, allowing them to strategically analyze their true costs of capital in today’s changing environment.”
Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. (NYSE:HTA), announced the appointment of Steve W. Patterson, the current Athletic Director of the University of Texas at Austin, to its Board of Directors. The Board has determined that Mr. Patterson qualifies as an independent director under the applicable NYSE and SEC requirements. With the appointment of Mr. Patterson, HTA’s Board of Directors will increase to a total of seven members, six of whom qualify as independent.
“We enthusiastically welcome Steve Patterson to HTA’s Board of Directors,” stated Scott D. Peters, Chairman and CEO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. “Steve is the first director we have added since 2007 and will bring new insight to the board room. He has a tremendous track record with a diversified business background and brings a wealth of relationships that he has developed over the years. Steve will be a key asset for HTA as we continue to develop and expand our company in the coming years. “
Mr. Patterson has over 25 years of experience in a variety of executive roles in the sports and educational sectors. In his current role, Mr. Patterson heads one of the most dynamic collegiate athletic institutions in this country, with significant touch points throughout the educational, athletic, business and healthcare communities. Prior to that time, Mr. Patterson served as the Athletics Director at Arizona State University from 2012 to 2013 and Managing Director of the Sun Devil Sports Group and Chief Operating Officer of Sun Devil Athletics from 2011 to 2012. Prior to that, Mr. Patterson served in a variety of roles in the professional sports and entertainment industry, including as the President of Pro Sports Consulting, President of the Portland Trail Blazers, Senior Vice President of the Houston Texans and General Manger of the Houston Rockets.
Mr. Patterson received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a J.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. announced the hiring of Judy Klein Romero as Regional Vice President for the South-Southwest Region.
She will be responsible for a region that includes 3.7 MSF of healthcare related properties located in Arizona, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and California.
“We are excited to welcome Judy to the HTA team,” said Amanda Houghton, EVP of Asset Management. “At HTA, our internal asset management platform is focused on growing health system and physician relationships, increasing the operating efficiencies of our properties, and establishing HTA as a leading owner of medical office buildings. Judy’s wealth of knowledge and experience will allow her to play a leading role in driving these initiatives forward in the South-Southwest region.”
Klein Romero brings more than 25 years of experience in real estate, most recently serving as the Vice President – Portfolio Acquisitions for American Residential Properties. Prior to that, she was an Associate Partner and Senior Vice President of Ensemble Real Estate Services, a commercial real estate company providing management, leasing, development, brokerage and acquisition services with a specific concentration in medical office buildings.
While there, she was responsible for the asset management for a portfolio of medical buildings totaling approximately 1.5 MSF in Arizona, Nevada, and Texas.
In addition, Ms. Klein Romero holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire, the Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management, and the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) from the CCIM Institute. Judy is a licensed Real Estate Agent in the State of Arizona.
Scottsdale-based healthcare REIT Healthcare Trust of America again was the focus of Jim Cramer’s commentary in a segment that aired on CNBC on June 21.
Shares of all publicly traded REIT shares have been under pressure since interest rates started to increase following commentary from the Federal Reserve.
However, the Mad Money host singled out HTA as one of 5 potential “Bounce Back Stocks” for long term value given the company’s focus on medical office real estate and the current tailwinds for in healthcare real estate.
Insider cluster buys are usually a telltale sign that executive team members and directors believe their company’s stock is going higher. After all, CEOs, CFOs, and directors are trading on “insider information,” know industry trends and have a sense of their company’s intrinsic values.
So, when iStock saw four insiders at Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. (HTA) buying at the same time, we got to investigating. HTA is a self-administered and internally managed REIT primarily focused on acquiring, owning and operating high-quality medical office buildings that are predominantly located on or aligned with campuses of nationally or regionally recognized healthcare systems.
Last week, the CEO, an Executive VP and two Directors purchased a total of $13,000 shares valued at $147, 650. While the dollar amount might appear small, insiders at the REIT have been buying, buying, and buying stock. We count 20 direct purchases from nine different insiders who bought 169,500 shares totaling $1.69 million since August 2012. There is no mistaking their “opinion” on Healthcare Trust of America.
Studies have shown that investors should pay particular attention CEO purchases. In HTA’s case, Scott Peters bought 7,500 shares in June 2013. Peter’s most recent check for $84,250 follows a buy of $98,699 in December 2012. The fact that the head honcho continues to buy is encouraging.
It’s iStock’s opinion that the insiders are buying HTA due to the Affordable Health Care Act – AKA Obamacare. Due to cost-cutting as a result of the new law, demand for existing medical office space could boom.
Following the Supreme Court approving the law, Greg Weigle, P.E., FACHE, director of construction and design at the Medical University of South Carolina said, “Our margins define what we can afford to do and, from what I hear, they are going to shrink. That can’t help but have an effect on construction.”
Instead, the emphasis, at least early on, will be to renovate existing facilities near or predominantly located on or aligned with medical campuses. We think, the effort to keep costs in line will make Healthcare Trust of America more attractive to health care providers. As a result, iStock believes HTA will have no problem maintaining high occupancy rates, which currently stands at approximately 90.9%.
With that rate, HTA should have no problem maintaining or perhaps raise its 4.8% dividend.
Now, let’s consider the healthcare facilities REIT’s valuation on a price-to-book (P/B) basis. In the last year, HTA has traded with a P/B range of 1.33 to 2.24 with an average of 1.76. As we type, the REIT trades at 1.98 times the current book-value of $5.93.
Compared to a basket of similar REITs, Healthcare Trust of America trades at the low end of the range of 1.7 to 3.38 times book, and less than the average P/B ratio of 2.34. On a P/B basis, HTA insiders appear to be buying shares at a value relative to peers.
Overall: Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. (HTA) should benefit from demand for medical office buildings/space thanks to Obamacare. Insider buying should give investors confidence that management see the REIT as a “value” at current prices. Plus, the 4.8% dividend is attractive, too.
Article originally published at IStock Analyst.
Healthcare Trust of America (HTA) continued its progression as a publicly traded real estate investment trust by issuing $300M of unsecured bonds in the public debt markets. Pricing for the senior notes came in at a low 3.70% interest rate.
The company used proceeds from the issuance to repay debt and expand its portfolio of medical office buildings throughout the country.
This was HTA’s debut debt issuance in the public markets and attracted a high quality group of investors including leading insurance companies, pension plans, and fixed income fund investors.
Generally, first time issuers are forced to pay a premium interest rate relative to their peers, a sort of initiation fee to the market. However, HTA was able to price its deal inside its closest competitors as a result of investor’s interest in the company’s dedication to the medical office sector, the quality of its portfolio (with 91% occupancy and 57% of annual base rent coming from credit rated tenants – 40% investment grade), and its commitment to its investment grade balance sheet.
“This was a great execution for our company,” said Healthcare Trust of America’s CEO Scott Peters. “We were able to access debt that is competitively priced and lowered our cost of capital. It allowed us to align our current acquisitions with an attractive mix of long term debt and equity.
“Finally, it enabled us to maintain a well laddered debt maturity profile, with a manageable debt maturity schedule in the future. We were pleased that our company and its quality portfolio and asset management platform were recognized by this new group of investors.”
Healthcare Trust of America (HTA) has been busy of late as the Scottsdale-based real estate investment trust recently went public.
AZRE magazine sat down the company’s Chairman, President & CEO, Scott Peters, to find out more.
Q: I understand your company went public in June of last year. Can you tell us a little about that?
A: Yes, in June of 2012, HTA listed its shares on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “HTA” in an innovative structure that enabled it to become public without raising capital. With a market value of more than $2.4B, HTA offers investors access to a high quality portfolio of defensive healthcare properties, a conservative capital structure, an investment grade rating, and an attractive dividend yield of $0.575 per share.
Q: The company has been around since 2006 when you formed as a non-traded REIT. How have your investors fared?
A: Individuals who invested in HTA since the beginning, and reinvested in company stock have earned a total return of more than 77%, or more than 9.5% per annum. This return has consisted primarily of our steady and predictable dividend – currently 5.1%, plus some appreciation of principal. Investors in HTA have significantly outperformed the S&P 500 and other broadly held investments during that same period of time. As a publicly traded company, we now have access to lower cost capital which should enable us to continue to perform for investors.
Q: Healthcare Trust of America is one of the largest national owners of medical office buildings and is headquartered in Scottsdale. Tell us about your company and its scope both nationally.
A: Healthcare Trust of America is one of the largest dedicated owners of medical office buildings in the country. We have more than 12.6 MSF of medical real estate, located in 27 states throughout the country. More than 95% of our portfolio is affiliated with leading health systems, with more than 72% of it being located directly on or adjacent to a health system campus. These locations provide for the most efficient patient care and generally have high barriers for competition.
We are headquartered in Scottsdale, but do the leasing and property management for more than 80% of our portfolio through our regional offices in Indianapolis, Atlanta, Charleston (S.C.) and here in Scottsdale. We believe this operating platform will enable us to continue to expand our reach and presence in key markets across the nation.
Q: HTA also has a significant concentration of assets here in Arizona. Tell us about your portfolio here.
A: We have more than 1 MSF of assets in the greater Phoenix area, making us one of the largest owners of medical office buildings in the valley. We are primarily focused on our portfolio located in the west valley, including Sun City, northwest Phoenix, and Estrella, but we also have properties in northern Phoenix/Desert Ridge area.
Q: Do you have significant operations here locally?
A: In addition to being our corporate headquarters, we have also made Scottsdale the head of our South/Southwest regional operations which now includes both property management and leasing. In December of 2012, we brought regional leasing onto our platform with the hiring of Chelsea Maddox, who joined our team as Director of Leasing, South/Southwest Region. She is responsible for the leasing activities for more than 1.2 MSF of assets throughout Arizona and 3.3 MSF of assets in the Southwest. In addition, we hired two Leasing Associates, Katie Kelle and Sumer Riddle along with our Leasing Coordinator, Patti Perkins to round out the South/Southwest Leasing team.
Q: There are many different parts of healthcare real estate – from medical office buildings, to assisted living properties, to skilled nursing facilities. Why do you focus exclusively on MOB’s?
A: HTA is focused almost exclusively on the Medical Office Building sector. Within the healthcare sector, medical office is considered to have the lowest risk profile. It has the lowest exposure to government reimbursement. It also is driven by traditional real estate fundamentals and is not dependent upon the success or failures of a single operating company. Additionally the MOB sector allows us to concentrate all of our efforts on maintaining and building our relationships with health systems and developers in this sector; relationships which are key to our long term success.
This is significantly different than the model of the larger, diversified healthcare REITs you mentioned. Each of these invests in a disparate set of businesses, from skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, to medical office and even life science buildings. HTA is dedicated to only one asset type, medical office buildings.
Q: The healthcare industry is undergoing a number of changes right now. Please talk about them and their impact on medical real estate. Specifically, please describe the impact of the Affordable Care Act on healthcare real estate.
A: The Affordable Care Act did two or three things that were very strong positives for the medical office sector. First, is the well reported fact that the Affordable Care Act will bring about coverage for 30 to 40 million individuals. This will undoubtedly expand the number of patients coming into our facilities to see doctors, physicians’ assistants and nurses.
The second thing, which is somewhat underreported, is the fact that the healthcare act, and its focus on lowering costs, is forcing health systems to start acting like businesses – paying attention to the bottom line and increasing integration between hospitals, physicians, and insurance companies. This has caused health systems to move procedures to the most cost efficient setting – mostly MOB’s. It has also resulted in health systems buying physician practices – at which point they generally move them to their on campus medical office buildings, which is good for us.
Finally, the Affordable Care Act will require significant capital expenditures by health systems as they invest in the integration of care, from the acquisition of physician groups to implementation of new technology. Many of this capital can be funded through the monetization of health system’s real estate, which is not core to their mission of caring for patients. Public REITs, which have the lowest cost of capital in the real estate industry, are the logical buyers in these situations. There are more than $250B worth of MOB’s in the U.S., with less than 10% of that held by public REITs. We expect that number to increase greatly over the next decade.
Q: What is your exposure to government cuts to Medicare and Medicaid?
A: Our overall exposure to these government programs is very limited. On average, physicians receive only a very small portion of their overall revenue from Medicare and Medicaid. Hospitals receive a bit more, but any cuts are expected to be offset by the overall increase in health coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act. In addition, as the landlord, we represent a very small portion of a physician or health systems total profit and loss – in the magnitude of representing only 2% to 3% for hospitals. This provides significant cushion should cuts become more meaningful than currently expected.
Q: Many areas of real estate are starting to see some level of recovery. How is this playing out in the medical office sector?
A: On a national level, we have started to see an improvement in the level of activity in the medical real estate space over the last 6 months. The recent election results coupled with the Supreme Court’s ruling this summer have affirmed that the Affordable Care Act will be implemented in its current form. In many of our markets, we have seen this lead to an increase in activity at medical offices located on hospital campuses, as health systems continue to acquire physician groups and put them in their most efficient locations that provide increased synergies. Independent physicians are joining larger physician groups to take advantage of economies of scale and share the increased administrative burden.
As a company, we are seeing most of our growth in markets where we actively manage our own properties – about 80% of our markets currently. In these markets, we are closer to our health system and physician tenants, and have improved our ability to grow relationships and meet tenant needs. The forward looking health systems are recognizing the benefits of having a capable real estate partner that can provide the space and portfolio flexibility they need, in a partnership that can grow over time. This has especially been the case with our health system relationships in the Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Boston, and Greenville markets.
Q: How is the local medical office space performing?
A: In many ways, the Phoenix market is still in the early stages of this national trend. The economic downturn certainly took its toll in this market. Fast growing submarkets, particularly in the west valley, were hit hard by the deceleration in growth. This impacted health systems and physicians by reducing patient visits and increasing billing uncertainty with insurance companies. However, we think the market has largely stabilized in 2012 and are encouraged by the outlook for 2013 and beyond. The west valley, in particular, will show the best opportunities for growth as new home construction resumes and growth continues.
Healthcare Trust of America (HTA) announced that Chelsea Maddox has joined the company as Director of Leasing, South/Southwest Region.
Maddox will oversee leasing activities for HTA’s entire South/Southwest portfolio including more than 1.2 MSF in Arizona.
Maddox will be instrumental to the ongoing expansion of HTA’s portfolio in the South and Southwest regions including California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.
This region represents more than 30% of HTA’s overall portfolio including some of HTA’s key markets such as Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Houston. Maddox will work directly with HTA’s South/Southwest Regional Vice President, Sara Siverson.
Before joining HTA, Maddox was a senior associate with Cushman & Wakefield in the firm’s healthcare division where she represented a national tenant base. Prior to that, she was an associate with Grubb & Ellis, responsible for medical office leasing.
Maddox began her career with commercial real estate brokerage firm Landmark TCN as an associate. She holds a B.A. in Public Relations & Strategic Media and Communications from Arizona State University.
“Chelsea brings an extensive background in leasing medical and office properties to HTA,” said Scott Peters, Chairman, CEO and President of HTA. “Her specialized knowledge of the medical office industry will enhance the synergies of our fully integrated asset management platform, and we are excited to have her on board as we continue to expand and strengthen our presence in the South and Southwest regions.”
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. In addition to the awards, we’ll publish a special report that will accompany the November issue of Arizona Business Magazine.
Here are the CFO of the Year 2011 Finalists:
Karen M. Abraham
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Karen Abraham is responsible for providing direction and accountability regarding all financial matters at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. That was evident as she helped the company’s revenue grow from $313 million when she took over as vice president of finance in 1997 to $1.5 billion as CFO today.
In addition to the revenue boost, Abraham provided the vision and leadership to partner with other BCBS plans to decentralize the infrastructure necessary to process transactions, which will save the company millions of dollars.
Along with her many achievements, Abraham was responsible for getting the BCBS Association requirement to obtain a rating from S&P. Because of this rating, Abraham implemented a change in how the organization is managed, specifically providing an additional discipline in the budgeting, forecasting and rating of its products.
Abraham is a member of the Ethics and Compliance Committee that wrote the book for the organization’s policies for the finance and purchasing departments and other parts of the organization. She sits on several community boards, including the YMCA Town Hall Board and the W.P. Carey School Finance Advisory Board.
Chief Financial Officer
Through his role as CFO, Darryl Baker has been instrumental in the revenue growth of iGo, Inc., a technology and consumer products company.
In the past year, Baker has boosted iGo’s product diversity by adding three new product categories, and has been instrumental in the acquisitions of Adapt Mobile and Aerial7, and teaming up with Pure Energy.
Baker is the driving force behind the iGo Code of Business Conduct and Ethics document, which he adheres to. In addition to this code, Baker leads iGo in an ethical manner and ensures that the financial reporting process is carried out smoothly to ensure the safeguarding of company assets.
As CFO, Baker is responsible for safeguarding company assets, maintaining its balance sheet, providing timely and accurate financial and operating performance reporting, implementing cost controls and reducing unnecessary expense, and forecasting and planning to ensure appropriate financing for the company’s business objectives.
Chief Financial Officer
TASER International, Inc.
Since 2004, Dan Behrendt has been revamping TASER International, Inc. in order to ensure success.
Behrendt successfully redesigned TASER’s warranty programs, leading to a $25 million increase in revenue. In addition to this redesign, he created key performance indicators for each company department. This process measures growth and ensures that the company is moving toward its goals.
During a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, Behrendt made the decision to use an open door policy when others were against the idea. Because of his decision, after a 30 percent drop in revenue, TASER witnessed revenue growths of 42 percent and 47 percent the next two years.
In addition to his achievements, Behrendt oversees all aspects of corporate finance to make sure TASER is performing at the highest possible degree for its shareholders. He also runs the information technology department to ensure the company is being provided with the highest level of support and service.
In addition to building the company, Behrendt created the TASER Foundation for Fallen Officers as a way to give back to the community.
Vice President Finance
Fresh Start Women’s Foundation
Karen Bretz relies on her unique ability of blending her analytical and creative mind to financially manage and grow Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.
Bretz refinanced the foundation’s main building, expanded a second site, and developed the thrift store initiative with ease. Since she became CFO, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation has received a clean audit. In addition, Bretz’s financial leadership led to the foundation’s first profitable year from operations since 2003.
She revised the employee handbook to make the company’s policies and practices more clear. Bretz also created an internal grievance committee to implement processes to identify and resolve client complaints and grievances.
Bretz is responsible for the management of foundation finances, along with support for the Finance Committee and the Board of Directors. She manages strategic initiatives, including job placement services, the development of a thrift store, and managing the facilities of both of the Women’s Resource Center buildings.
Thomas R. Castellanos
Chief Financial Officer
Valle del Sol Inc.
In tough times for nonprofits and state-funded service providers, Valle del Sol is lucky to have Thomas Castellanos improving its finances.
By forming a Multiple Employer Welfare Association as a strategic cost reduction, Castellanos saved more than $600,000 in the group’s first year. Castellanos has been a change agent for Valle del Sol in order to achieve its goal of providing services to the underserved community. He focuses on the finance, accounting, facilities, and information technology side of the business. In the past year, four new clinics have opened and become licensed in Maricopa County with Castellanos’ assistance.
Castellanos created the idea of a chair of the board fund to address shortfalls in funding, given Arizona state budget cuts. This would allow services to be provided for AHCCCS recipients for a limited time until they could find coverage.
In addition to these achievements, Castellanos has increased Valle del Sol’s accountability by instituting internal controls within finance.
Mark D. Cavanaugh – Winner, Small Private Company
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Firetrace USA, LLC
It’s been said that “without Mark Cavanaugh, Firetrace would cease to function.”
When Cavanaugh began working at Firetrace in 20005, the aerospace and defense business had $189,000 in revenue. In 2010, that amount rocketed to more than $64 million. Focusing on the industrial commercial markets, Cavanaugh has strategically grown operations to India, Dubai, Singapore, Australia, and, in 2011, Brazil.
Using his public policy efforts, Cavanaugh secured more than $100 million for fuel tank fire suppression and got fire suppression mandated for all military vehicles.
Leading the Firetrace team in the adoption of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and UK Bribery Act, Cavanaugh is safeguarding the company’s financial assets.
Cavanaugh has been instrumental in the growth of the aerospace and defense team by using the philosophy, “Hire the best people and get out of their way.”
Cavanaugh is active in the community, coaching youth soccer, baseball, softball and basketball.
Thomas B. Fischer
Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Express Messenger Systems, Inc. dba OnTrac
Thomas Fischer provides leadership and coordination in OnTrac’s financial, business planning, accounting and budgeting efforts.
During Fisher’s tenure, revenues at the overnight package delivery company have increased more than 200 percent, stockholders’ equity has increased 200 percent, and long-term debt has decreased from 75 percent to 10 percent.
Fischer also has played a crucial role in defining and executing the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP.) The ESOP currently is worth more than $15 million for 550 active participants.
Fischer’s aptitude for budgeting, cost control principles and managing resources is critical to the company’s success. His abilities in contracting and negotiating have allowed OnTrac to grow and expand.
Fischer works with the regional management team to foster healthy relationships within the company. He also exhibits leadership by encouraging his team to think critically and promote an enriched personal and work atmosphere.
He is an avid runner and a member of a Tucson running club.
William “Bill” McClung – Winner, Non-Profit
Chief Financial Officer
Southwest Human Development, Inc.
After just three years at Southwest Human Development, Bill McClung has helped the agency grow and improve. In the past three years, the company has seen a positive gain in net assets of more than $1.5 million.
This can be attributed to changes McClung made to budgeting, financial reporting and cost containment systems. In fiscal 2011. Southwest Human Development reported revenue in excess of $45 million. Budgeted revenue for fiscal 2012 is $53 million.
In preparation for the tri-annual federal review of Southwest Human Development’s largest program, Head Start, McClung and his team completely rewrote agency policies and procedures to meet federal requirements.
McClung has developed a top-of-the-line board of directors financial oversight committee and has made technological improvements, acting as the organization’s chief information officer. He has proven to be adept in preparing internal financial statements for management and the board of directors that enable them to better understand and manage finances at all levels.
Under his method of “leading by example,” the company has experienced almost no turnover in staff.
Steven L. Ortega
Chief Financial Officer
Leslie’s Poolmart LLC
For the past six years, Steven Ortega has kept Leslie’s Poolmart functioning swimmingly.
Leading the company through the national economic downturn, Ortega has helped it achieve 47 straight years of sales growth and 47 quarters of consecutive operating profitability.
During Ortega’s tenure, the company has developed a comprehensive five-year strategic growth plan. This plan was created as a roadmap to achieve the company’s goal of growing to $1 billion in annual sales revenues.
Ortega was instrumental in a financial transaction with CVC Capital Partners to invest in the company, which helped provide capital structure. Since 2005, Ortega has opened 172 retail stores, 17 new commercial service centers, relocated 12 retail stores, and remodeled more than 200 stores. In addition, Ortega was a key part in two strategic company acquisitions that led to market growth in both Texas and Arizona.
Ortega provides strategic leadership in which he revamped the new store development process, enhanced the company’s compensation plans, and enhanced the review and approval process for all contracts and agreements.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Goodwill of Central Arizona
Respected for her leadership, Perry has led Goodwill of Central Arizona to a new level of growth and success.
During her four-year tenure, Goodwill of Central Arizona has grown from 37 retail locations to 46. Along with retail growth, revenue has grown from $60.1 million to a projected $87 million.
Perry has been responsible for the stability, credibility, and overall effectiveness of the financial operations of the organization. Goodwill’s balance sheet has greatly improved, and debt balances have decreased from $22.3 million to $13.9 million.
Perry has created a financial culture that is focused on transparency, credibility (internally and externally), integrity, and a culture that is consultative, synergistic, supportive and advisory.
She was instrumental to the development of an innovative campaign called “Band Together to Spread Goodwill,” which features “Giving Bands” that are being sold at all Goodwill locations. Proceeds benefit nine different charities.
Kellie S. Pruitt
Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary
Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Healthcare Trust of America (HTA) has been in business for just four years, and its seasoned leader, Kellie Pruitt, is steering it in the right direction.
During Pruitt’s tenure, the company increased its financial flexibility by obtaining a $575 million unsecured credit facility, and was assigned an investment grade credit rating by Moody’s and S&P. In the past two years, Pruitt and efforts by the management team have led to a $1.6 billion increase in equity. As CFO, Pruitt is responsible for managing HTA’s accounting, tax, and finance, treasury and investor relations functions. She established the company’s corporate headquarters and closed over $1.2 billion of acquisitions has helped hire and train all the company’s employees with the CEO.
Pruitt is involved in all strategic operating and financial decisions, but also actively drives and monitors the results. Her leadership has been essential to leading the company through the recession, always with HTA’s financial health and the best interest of the company’s investors in mind.
Displaying the highest level of ethics, integrity and trust, Pruitt believes in transparency with employees, the board of directors, and investors. She always believes in doing the right thing, even if it isn’t the most popular decision.
Dena L. Richter
Chief Financial Officer
SynCardia Systems, Inc.
By overseeing all financial activities of SynCardia, Dena Richter leads the company that manufactures the Total Artificial Heart that helps people who suffer from heart failure. Her roles as both CFO and HR Director allow her to utilize her talents as a financial director and employee mentor. Financial reporting, cash management and five regulatory audits per year are just a few of Richter’s extensive responsibilities. Her leadership ability resulted in the vertical integration of a supply chain with an $800,000 purchase of a supplier’s Segmented Polyurethane Solution (SPUS) reactor. Trinity Capital Investment’s confidence in Richter led to their approval of an additional leasing capacity of $2 million along with a $1 million investment in SynCardia’s Series E equity round. These are just a few of her financial accomplishments. Her fiscal management of the company has resulted in explosive growth and sales. SynCardia’s success through Richter’s example has increased product manufacturing, allowing a great number of people to receive the care their lives depend on.
Chief Financial Officer/Human Resources Manager
CCS Presentation Systems
Jack Seaver’s fiscal actions help the company provide quality audio and video systems for clients such as Intel, Arizona State University and Ratheon. With 13 years of experience, Seaver plays an essential role in making CCS one of the largest A/V integrators in the United States. His collection policies put the company’s current accounts receivable percentage at 90.4 percent based on approximately $5 million in receivables. Due to his initiation of the American Express “Plum” Credit Card, CCS receives 2 percent cash credit for all payments made accordingly. Seaver’s unparalleled leadership style has the company recognized for having one of the best operational practices in the industry. Known as the “rock” of the company, his generosity always shines through. Whether making a personal donation to a struggling employee or raising money for the Red Cross and local charities, Seaver goes above and beyond his written responsibilities through selfless acts of kindness.
Andrew A. Stevens
Chief Financial Officer
Liberty Distribution Company, LLC
As CFO and board member, Andrew Stevens is responsible for all financial aspects of Liberty Distribution, including financial reporting, treasury and risk management, investor relations, planning and analysis. As a crucial member of the company’s board, Stevens sets the strategic direction of the business while providing valuable feedback to the group. He works with sales to competitively price new account acquisition proposals, and significantly contributed to the acquisition of a competitor’s assets in 2008. Stevens seeks “balance” between risk and reward when analyzing opportunities, and is known by co-workers as both a leader and team player. His dedication to the success of Liberty Distribution does not hinder his commitment to service. Stevens has been an active member of organizations such as Childsplay, the America West Airlines Foundation and the University of Arizona Alumni Association. An active member of the church and the community, Stevens strives to bring people together through his discipline learned as a CPA.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Apollo Group, Inc.
After previously joining the Apollo Group as vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer in 2007, Brian Swartz was appointed CFO two years later.
Swartz is recognized by the company for his influence on goals and performance. Despite a 40 percent decline in new enrollment, he helped Apollo maintain its fiscal strength. His review of the company’s cost structure resulted in the identification and reduction of more than $100 million in costs through operational initiatives. With the help of colleagues, Swartz spearheaded a comprehensive overhaul of the governance practices at Apollo after discovering a stock option backdating issue. His oversight of the “Apollo Excellence” program helps ensure business processes are streamlined and cost-efficient. These are just a few ways Swartz continues to contribute his expertise toward the company’s enormous success.
Stevens also is actively involved in the community through serving on the board of directors of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
Chief Financial Officer
CyraCom International, Inc.
As CFO of CyraCom International, a provider of language services for people with limited English proficiency, Susan Sweeney executes an extensive array of financial duties.
During her four-year tenure, Sweeney has accomplished an incredible amount for CyraCom. Under her guidance, the company doubled revenues to $37.4 million, and increased the earnings per share by 180 percent. The company also met all cost and revenue budgets for 41 of the past 42 months, with a staff that expanded from 248 employees to 600. Sweeney’s leadership helped increase CyraCom’s borrowing capacity from $1.5 million to $18 million, enabling its first acquisition. As a result of these successes, CyraCom was honored as the second-fastest growing company in Southern Arizona by the Arizona Daily Star, as well as listed in the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest growing companies for 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Sweeney’s grasp of cost-control and decision management has made her an admirable part of CyraCom’s team. Her personal interest in the well-being of employees has them continuing to hold a full suite of benefits.
Dan Urness – Winner, Public Company
Chief Financial Officer, Vice President and Treasurer
Cavco Industries, Inc.
Dan Urness has led Cavco Industries to financial success.
He is responsible for IT functions, payroll, human resources oversight, corporate development work, as well as all financial affairs. More importantly, he has been highly influential in the company’s growth.
By providing innovative ideas into Fleetwood Homes’ and Palm Harbor Homes’ bid strategies, Cavco changed from a regional manufacturer to the second-largest national supplier, retailer, financier, and insurer of systems-built housing in the U.S.
During the 2008 economic market crisis, Urness demonstrated his valuable leadership by actively managing the company’s excess cash and investments to prevent that loss in value and liquidity that many other companies experienced. This proved critical when funding subsequent expansion.
By recognizing that the implementation of a company-wide enterprise resource planning IT system would be critical to future success, he worked closely with the IT department to identify and retain the chosen provider.
Urness volunteers as a youth leader in his free time.
Chief Financial Officer
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix
With 12 locations and growing, the Boy & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix relies on Dale Wanek to oversee the accounting, information technology, human resources, and facilities functions.
In his role, Wanek has worked with the organization to achieve many milestones. During his tenure, the organization has had yearly clean audits without discrepancies. His vendor negotiations have resulted in savings of $150,000 in the past year. The Boys & Girls Clubs also remodeled existing locations, and has undertaken an expansion plan for a dental clinic that is expected to be completed in 2012.
Wanek’s innovative approach to finance has helped establish new policies, such as fortifying the organization’s reserves to maintain a minimum of 90 days of cash on hand, and strengthening the business relationships in the community to solicit donations.
Wanek also helped secure a $10.8 million new construction loan to build three new clubhouses. The organization recognizes him as both an easygoing and engaging person with whom to work.
Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer
Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS
Steve Ward serves as both CFO and COO for the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, Arizona’s oldest and largest nonprofit AIDS organization.
Ward’s timely and effective tactics regarding finance have helped the agency excel during the economic crisis and beyond. By helping the agency with effective banking arrangements, it continues to have strong months of fundraising.
His ability to submit financial, operational, and qualitative program narrative data directly addresses grantor’s needs. The Southwest Center benefitted from Ward’s financial planning by receiving voter approval for $3.6 million in public funding to establish a community center.
He oversees a clinical trial program which previously lost $300,000 per year, but is now breaking even and growing in revenue thanks to his leadership.
Ward has been called an ambassador of collaborative, creative solutions among community partners. His popular “can-do” attitude and optimism have helped the agency become a critical outlet for those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Chief Financial Officer
Children’s Museum of Phoenix
Margaret Wolford has assembled financial reporting systems and procedures that have advanced the Children’s Museum of Phoenix to an unparalleled level.
When her fiscal management began, the organization was staffed with a small operational planning group that oversaw $22 million in multi-year charitable gifts. After her influence and leadership, Wolford converted the museum’s systems to sophisticated management software.
The reporting systems she established advanced the museum to a level of efficiency many mature organizations have not yet seen. As a brand new museum, Wolford increased operational staff members from 12 to 85 in three weeks. The budget also skyrocketed to $3 million.
Aside from her museum duties, she is an activist working on issues of human understanding and world peace. She models both peaceful and humane behavior in the workplace, and embeds the principles of ethical practices into everything she does.
Michael Zimmerman – Winner, Large Private Company
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
The Go Daddy Group, Inc.
Under the financial supervision of Michael Zimmerman, the Go Daddy Group is the world’s No. 1 domain name registrar and largest Web hosting company.
Responsible for financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, as well as daily financial affairs, Zimmerman has taken the initiative as a true leader over the past 10 years. He was instrumental in managing a financial deal with other investors worth more than $2 billion. Amid the economic recession, Go Daddy earned double-digit growth, thanks to Zimmerman’s relentless approach with financial tracking.
Under his leadership, Go Daddy also increased sales by 21 percent, added a new facility and hired 400 employees. Zimmerman also oversees Go Daddy Cares, which donated more than $4.7 million in 2011, surpassing previous contributions.
After negotiating a partnership with the “.co” domain name that resulted in a Super Bowl commercial, the marketing strategy generated more than a 500 percent spike in domain name sales.
Zimmerman shows commitment to doing the right thing with each decision he makes, and is known as a “down-to-Earth and appreciative person.”