Tag Archives: Tom Harris


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.

CFO Of the Year

CFO Of The Year Awards 2009 Finalists

Dan Bachus
Grand Canyon University
Chief Financial Officer

“I thoroughly enjoy being actively involved in shaping the vision of a dynamic, visionary company such as Grand Canyon University …”

Dan Bachus has been instrumental in reshaping the vision of Grand Canyon University.

In 2008, the university had rebounded from financial difficulties and its owners were thinking of taking it public. But they needed a new management team experienced at running a public company and expanding an institution of higher learning. Bachus’ role proved critical.

As chief financial officer, Bachus is lauded for personal qualities that have contributed to GCU’s continued success. He is noted for his integrity and ethics, his student-oriented attitude, his communication skills, an action-oriented focus and his self-leadership.

These traits have guided Bachus as he has put his personal touch on numerous areas of GCU’s operations.

“I believe it is critical that an organization set very clear, measurable performance goals and communicate these goals to all employees,” Bachus says. “It also is vital to then compare actual results to the goals and celebrate successes, while also ensuring that you understand why you came up short and fixing any issues.”

Bachus played an instrumental role in GCU’s successful initial public offering last fall. In addition, Bachus and other members of the management team modified the university’s strategy for market positioning. The focus is on growing GCU as a bricks-and-mortar campus that also is the marketing engine for its online model. This strategy is paying dividends. For its last fiscal year, GCU reported a 67.3 percent increase in student enrollment and a 71.8 jump in net revenue over the prior year.

Raymond C. Bargull
The Sundt Companies Inc.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

“As a CFO, you can make your company a better place — certainly a more profitable place — but also a better place to work.”

Managing risk is critical in the construction industry and Raymond C. Bargull has excelled in that area at The Sundt Companies in Tucson.

As executive vice president and chief financial officer for Sundt for nearly 20 years, Bargull convinced the general contractor that it was important to insure all of its subcontractors’ liability claims within Sundt’s job sites. The company also provides subguard insurance for subcontractor losses. These are high-deductible, high-risk insurance programs and Bargull has successfully managed both.

“I think for a CFO it’s really critical that you are paying attention and you are assessing the risks; making sure someone is reading the contracts and accepting only the things that we can accept,” Bargull says, “If you can’t handle the risk in-house, make sure you are transferring the risk either to insurance or contractual agreements.”

Bargull’s responsibilities are numerous. He directs the company’s accounting practices and financial plans and policies. Maintaining relationships with shareholders and the financial community is another one of his duties. He also oversees budgeting, auditing, tax functions and real estate, and serves on the board of directors.

Bargull is known for his integrity. He is chairman of Sundt’s ethics committee, and works with employees on ethics programs and training to ensure the company complies with regulations related to the proper conduct of business. Bargull also makes Sundt’s vendors aware of the company’s ethics program and how they can comply.

Allen Bloch
Beatitudes Campus
Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer

“With the … first of the baby boomers now beginning to retire, demand for long-term care services will outpace (the industry’s) ability to supply them by an alarming margin.”

With financial acumen and personal commitment, Allen Bloch has helped transform Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix from a senior-living complex with a limited lifespan to a thriving facility with a future.

Bloch has been senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer for Beatitudes for almost eight years and he began this transformation early in his career there. When Beatitudes needed to redevelop its property, Bloch crafted a plan to obtain $84 million in financing. He proposed two funding methods — a bank-financed commercial loan and tax-exempt financing — and let the two compete for the business. The competitive environment saved the nonprofit organization $2.4 million.

During the first phase of construction at Beatitudes, Bloch took on management of several departments so the chief operating officer could concentrate on the redevelopment.

“Operating managers, whose primary responsibility is to make sure that sales exceed costs, need accurate, easy to interpret and timely financial information,” Bloch says. “Making good reporting tools available to them is probably the most important way I influence the achievement of performance goals.”

Bloch drew upon his keen understanding of trends in the continuing-care retirement industry to propose yet another new approach. He convinced the board of directors to shift from a fee-for-service rental community model to a hybrid concept that added entrance-fee apartments to Beatitudes’ mix of housing. That improved the organization’s balance sheet, as well as its market position.

Kevin J. Burns
University Medical Center

Chief Financial Officer

“Simply put, what drives me is seeing every day how finance impacts our ability to provide the staff and facilities that sustain our long- standing commitment to providing high-quality care to our patients.”

In his seven years as chief financial officer of University Medical Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Kevin J. Burns has chalked up an impressive list of achievements.

While overseeing accounting, financial reporting, capital market activities and information technology functions, Burns has guided the hospital’s impressive growth in patient care services. He also has improved operating results at UMC, a 335-bed, acute-care hospital, and Arizona’s only academic medical center. Burns’ understanding and tireless promotion of the relationship between high-quality care and strong operating outcomes has been instrumental in UMC’s improved performance over the past five years.

“I believe my primary role, and the role of our financial services team, is to make certain that the resources are in place to assure the best care for our patients,” Burns says.

His many achievements include playing a leadership role in establishing an equitable policy for UMC’s uninsured and underinsured patients. Burns also oversaw the development of a robust investment policy, as well as the strengthening and documentation of key accounting and operational policies.

When he joined UMC in 2002, Burns’ years of experience and focus on operational performance led to three significant bond issues. They paved the way for the development of the initial phases of the UMC North campus, construction of an expanded emergency department and trauma center, and construction of an additional patient tower slated to open next spring.