CFO of the Year Awards 2009

November 1, 2009
5:00 pm
Past Event


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.

Bradley A. Denton
Sprouts Farmers Markets LLC
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

“I am the polar opposite of a micromanager; I truly empower those around me to do as they need to get the job done.”

Sprouts Farmers Markets Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bradley A. Denton looks after the company — the nation’s second-largest natural food grocer — as if it were his own.

Earlier, when Sprouts struggled with financial losses and constrained cash flow, Denton loaned the Phoenix company money so it could make payroll and move forward. He later converted those loans into equity.

Denton also co-implemented a Sprouts-paid fund that provides loans and grants to employees who need financial assistance.

Denton’s most significant accomplishments are in the areas of capital structuring and fundraising. In his four and a half years at Sprouts, he has raised more than $62 million in equity and debt capital for the company. This capital was the catalyst for Sprouts’ strong growth from a few stores in Phoenix to 42 stores in four Western states. His capital structuring has added tens of millions of dollars in market capitalization.

“To provide growth companies with required capital is very rewarding in several regards, like here at Sprouts, where we will add 1,000 new jobs this year in a down economy and where we will add in excess of 1,200 new jobs next year; and personally rewarding where my board of directors, management team and I have created an enterprise whose market value is fast approaching a billion dollars,” Denton says.

Denton also created an investor relations department from scratch to serve nearly 500 investors, and organized Sprouts’ risk management department.

Larry Haggerty
TriWest Healthcare Alliance
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

“Our organization has established a great leadership team and it is through this team that we establish common goals, and my job is to ensure the proper allocation of resources to achieve these goals through collaboration and honest conversation.”

It’s no surprise that working with Washington bureaucracy is no easy task. But Larry Haggerty has helped to lead TriWest Healthcare Alliance into a lengthy and profitable partnership with the federal government.

TriWest is a Phoenix-based company that contracts with the Department of Defense to provide health care services to military personnel and retirees and their families in the Western U.S. and Alaska.

As executive vice president and chief financial officer, Haggerty has been a crucial player in three highly successful and competitive bids, and several years of profitable contract execution. Recently, TriWest was one of only three existing Defense Department contractors to survive negotiations and retain its government business. Boasting conservative but solid growth, TriWest has never had a quarterly loss, even though it’s in the kind of business in which it cannot raise prices. In addition, TriWest has never suffered investment losses.

Haggerty is praised for leading numerous negotiations with the Defense Department over thorny issues. He’s done it all with a style that has reinforced TriWest’s reputation for openness, transparency and an approach that balances both corporate and taxpayer interests.

“I believe that my single most important function as my role of CFO at TriWest is to maintain our reputation as a fair and honest contractor with the Department of Defense, and that TriWest continues to be seen as a good steward of the taxpayers’ funds,” Haggerty says.

Peter Harper
Scottsdale Insurance Company
Vice President of Finance and Treasurer

“I have a passion for learning and helping people and businesses succeed, which has enabled me to continue to excel in finance, and in business.”

Peter Harper is credited with thinking outside the box to bring greater financial discipline to Scottsdale Insurance Company, where he is vice president of finance and treasurer.

“I see finance as the discipline that can see the bigger picture and coordinate resources to build winning strategies, while providing an independent point of view regarding opportunities and risks impacting various parts of the business,” says Harper, who has been on the job four years.

In that time, Harper has implemented internal processes that are more metrics based. The end result is improved prioritization and execution of large information technology projects. In 2007, he led the acquisition, development and integration of the company’s D & O business, which already is meeting premium projections.

Harper’s responsibilities are numerous. He and his staff are in charge of operational and strategic financial plans and analysis, internal and external financial reporting, customer accounting, audits and re-insurance services. Harper also coordinates Scottsdale Insurance’s strategy, project and risk-management activities, as well as managing the development and implementation of accounting policies and controls. “Within Scottsdale Insurance, my finance team and I are viewed as strategic advisers and business partners, which enables us to influence key decisions through insightful analysis,” Harper says.

One mission of Harper’s finance division is to be recognized by customers and business partners as a knowledgeable and trusted adviser.

Tom Harris
Arizona Diamondbacks
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

“I work in a very unique industry (sports), and I am driven to make a difference at our company.”

In his 14 years with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tom Harris has rolled out a number of fiscal initiatives and is hailed as the sole voice in bringing the Major League Baseball team to a new level of financial efficiency.

“I believe that a direct result of my work can improve our overall operations — whether that is the performance of our baseball team, or the enjoyment and experience of a fan attending one of our games,” says Harris, the Diamondbacks’ executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Harris, who was named CFO in 2006, insisted that the team include finance in its “Circle of Success,” which defines the Diamondbacks’ main areas of focus. He helped establish the team’s core values of people, learning, relationships and integrity. Then he went to work on two major financial endeavors. First, Harris improved the Diamondbacks’ cash position with a $50 million capital infusion from the team’s owners. Second, he secured large lines of credit in an economic environment that offers safety nets to few companies.

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 mapped out a new player payroll strategy and was influential in the creation of a policy aimed at avoiding player agreements that include incentives.

The Diamondbacks are a highly visible component of the Valley, and Harris makes sure he is actively involved in the community. He is president of the board for Special Olympics and an officer of the Diamondbacks’ charitable foundation.

Jon Held
The Arizona Republic
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

“My continued desire to succeed stems from the satisfaction received from participating in the development of the strategic direction of the company …”

The recession and evolving business models are challenging the newspaper industry in ways it has never experienced. Jon Held is helping to guide Arizona’s largest daily newspaper through these difficult times.

Held plays a critical role in defining the Arizona Republic’s strategic and financial decisions. Working closely with the information technology department, Held strives to ensure that funds are available to acquire and develop software so the company can continue to move forward.

“It takes the collective intelligence of the team, good data analysis, a hard working and dedicated finance staff and a consistent vision shared by our president/publisher to allow me to work effectively within the organization,” he says.

In his capacity as CFO, Held also directs day-to-day management of the Republic’s Spanish-language publications. After analyzing the impact of the economy and tougher immigration laws, Held adjusted the publications’ business plan and editorial focus. He also changed publication days and distribution. Now, the publications are more effectively targeting the Hispanic market, driving up readership and generating better results for advertisers and the Republic.

Held is not averse to seeking different perspectives. For example, Held brought in an outside consulting firm after management tried unsuccessfully to solve an operational issue. He advised that it was both the most effective way to reach a solution and an opportunity to learn. The problem was solved and management said the exercise helped them work better as a team.

Tod Holmes
Republic Services Inc.
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

“I see an important part of my position is to challenge ‘conventional wisdom,’ and to challenge the CEO to ensure that we examine all sides of an issue as we move forward.”

Republic Services successfully completed the largest acquisition in its history during the 2008 stock market turmoil and credit-market meltdown. The company gives Tod Holmes high marks for helping to bring it through those challenging times.

Last year, Republic purchased Allied Waste Industries to form the second-largest non-hazardous solid waste services company in the nation. The transaction closed on time and with the original terms. The deal is considered Holmes’ signature achievement during his tenure as Republic’s vice president and chief financial officer. Initially expecting to realize $150 million in cost savings by year-end 2010 because of the all-stock transaction’s structure, Republic reached the $115 million mark during the first half of 2009. It has bumped expected savings to between $165 million and $175 million by the end of next year.

Holmes also successfully retained Republic’s investment-grade credit rating. He acknowledges that the mega merger involved many talented people. “I’m lucky that I have great people in the key positions that report to me,” Holmes says. “The business has done well because of the actions of a lot of people.”

Following a personal vision of patience and discipline, Holmes has helped Republic adjust to the recession. During the first two quarters of 2009, earnings remained strong, cash flow was ahead of targets, and profit margins expanded. Republic currently has the highest margin performance among large waste companies. Its EBITDA margins have increased more than 200 percent in the past year.

Todd Laporte
Scottsdale Healthcare
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

“I have now served health care clients/organizations for over 25 years, and still love the work and the results.”

While some hospitals are retrenching in the midst of a recession, Scottsdale Healthcare (SHC) is investing in its operations and expanding its reach, thanks to the financial leadership of Todd LaPorte. As senior vice president and chief financial officer at SHC, LaPorte is described as a “superstar” at his job.

In the two-and-a-half years he has been at SHC, LaPorte has improved the balance sheet and operating results to the point that the health care organization has the financial wherewithal to make substantial investments in facilities and technology. In spite of the recession’s headwinds and the prospect of congressional health care reform, SHC is well positioned to grow its patient base beyond its traditional service area.

In spring 2008, SHC faced a critical juncture as the national credit market unraveled. Recognizing the seriousness of the situation, LaPorte refinanced several bonds, saving millions of dollars. His action also led to a dramatic turnaround in the balance sheet and a stronger bond rating for SHC.

In addition to his financial acumen, LaPorte has a knack for working with and understanding input from such varied sources as hospital staff, executives, board members, legal counsel, external auditors and investment houses. This has resulted in the creation of challenging, yet realistic, goals for SHC’s financial performance.

“I also try to bring a perspective into decision-making and prioritization of resources that views our mission as being under a long-term horizon and not as a concession for a narrow, short-term goal,” LaPorte says.

David Lutich
Laboratory Services of Arizona/Sonora Quest Laboratories
Chief Financial Officer

“Working within this culture has given me the opportunity to provide leadership in otherwise non-traditional methods for a CFO.”

In finance, numbers rule and David Lutich has racked up impressive statistics in his five years as chief financial officer for Laboratory Sciences of Arizona (LSA) and Sonora Quest Laboratories (SQL) in Tempe.

The two labs, the largest integrated laboratory network in the nation, provide medical diagnostic testing and reporting for thousands of health care clients in Arizona. Under Lutich’s watch, SQL’s volume, revenue growth and profitability are among the best nationally in the laboratory industry. In 2008, when Arizona’s recession gathered momentum, SQL reported double-digit growth in volume, revenue and operating margin over 2007. Contributing to this success is Lutich’s commitment to Six Sigma business management strategies. The Six Sigma investment has paid off handsomely. In 2007, the program generated nearly $4 million in savings at SQL, a return on investment of 6 to 1. That was followed in 2008 by $4.2 million in savings, an 8-to-1 ROI.

“As part of the LSA/SQL management team, I have learned that success can be accomplished by emphasis on core values, company vision and mission, and a focus on key critical success factors, all of which comprise our annual strategic roadmap,” Lutich says. SQL received the 2005 Arizona Governor’s Award for Quality, the only health care company in the state to earn this recognition. SQL is one of the top laboratories nationally in customer satisfaction. Also, both labs have superior financial performance when benchmarked against the best-performing organizations in health care.

Lawrence J. Minich
Mister Car Wash Holdings Inc.
Chief Financial Officer

“My niche now is the small growth company; a company just past the start up phase and into its initial stage of rapid growth.”

A company is performing exceptionally well when it is courted by private equity firms that want to do more than just inject capital; they want to own the business lock, stock and barrel. Such is the case with Mister Car Wash Holdings in Tucson, where Lawrence J. Minich is chief financial officer.

Minich joined the company in 1999 as CFO. By 2006, he had directed the relocation of the company’s headquarters from Boston to Tucson, built a financial-reporting infrastructure, raised $32 million in new capital, retired expensive and restrictive debt, developed a business plan to put the company into growth mode, and played a key role in multiple acquisitions of other car wash companies and integration of new stores. This flurry of activity resulted in inquiries from several private equity firms and a new task for Minich. In 2006, he negotiated the sale of Mister Car Wash’s predecessor company, Car Wash Partners, to one of those firms, Toronto-based ONCAP. Mister Car Wash now is the nation’s second-largest car wash chain, based on the number of locations.

Economic conditions led to another challenge for Minich in 2008. He worked with senior management to establish a contingency plan for the recession and led a cost-reduction effort that combed more than $2 million in expenses out of several areas of the business this year. “The CFO has the responsibility to build an infrastructure that provides quality information to those who need to rely on that information — shareholders, banks, regulators, and most important, the management team,” Minich says.

Lawrence “Chip” Molloy
PetSmart Inc.
Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer

“I want my company to do really well, because I actually love business too. My role is to help the business be successful.”

Lawrence “Chip” Molloy has worked at PetSmart’s headquarters in Phoenix for only two years, but he has made his mark in one critical area — the finance department is now a key partner in the business.

“Compliance is the most important thing, because if we don’t comply with the laws as the SEC suggests, then potentially myself, and/or my boss, the CEO who signs all of our documents, could go to jail,” says Molloy, senior vice president, finance and chief financial officer. “But once you get over the compliance hurdle, it’s really being a business partner to those who run the operation.”

Prior to his arrival, PetSmart’s finance division struggled with inconsistent performance, lack of career growth and poor morale. Molloy reorganized the department and within 90 days, it was transformed. Finance now is at the table on key decisions, helping drive company strategy.

There have been plenty of other accomplishments. With an economic slowdown imminent, Molloy successfully shifted PetSmart away from new store construction, freeing up capital and reducing fixed costs. The company was one of the first retailers to announce a planned slowdown in unit growth. Under Molloy, PetSmart paid down all bank debt and built a cash reserve that allowed the company to be self-financing.

He is adamant that the company’s quarterly earnings releases provide meaningful information. His philosophy for dealing with shareholders is simple: Give them all the facts, favorable and unfavorable, so they can clearly understand the company and make informed investment decisions.

Elizabeth Montemayor
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN)
Chief Financial Officer

“(TGen’s) culture provides many opportunities to increase my knowledge in order to meet the ongoing challenges and develop creative solutions.”

Elizabeth Montemayor has been chief financial officer at the Translational Genomics Research Institute since the Phoenix nonprofit opened in 2003. She leads a business team dedicated to helping TGen succeed in conducting groundbreaking research on diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

As CFO, Montemayor has established financial systems and performance metrics to monitor progress toward strategic business goals. She created accounting policies and procedures to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of financial information. In addition, Montemayor led the implementation of sophisticated software that improves the flow of financial information to all TGen stakeholders.

Montemayor also is credited with establishing a culture of ethical values and decision-making at TGen, including the adoption of best practices for nonprofit organizations.

“Integrity and high ethical standards, combined with an open, approachable attitude, influence others to behave in a similar manner, and provide a climate of respect and honesty that encourage high standards of performance,” she says. During TGen’s last budget cycle, she worked diligently with scientific leadership to meet the challenges of the recession.

She also regularly meets with other business departments to find creative solutions to problems. As TGen’s financial steward, Montemayor focuses on diversification of revenue sources to ensure the most is made of each funding opportunity. As a result, she is experienced in obtaining federal research grants and is familiar with complex research.

Tim Propp
Thunderbird School of Global Management
Chief Financial Officer

“With a few notable exceptions, the accounting profession, in particular, is filled with people of integrity.”

Tim Propp is described as thoughtful and calm with a transparent, inclusive management style — attributes that have helped steer the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale through tough economic times.

As chief financial officer of a nonprofit that provides graduate global business education, Propp manages the institution’s financial condition and sustainability, as well as most of its nonacademic operations.

During Propp’s nine years as CFO, Thunderbird has financed the re-engineering and diversification of its program offerings, lifted its financial performance out of several years of significant deficits and refinanced its bond debt with more favorable terms. Debt refinancing gave Thunderbird the monetary muscle to invest in new programs and improved operations.

“What continues to drive me is the impact that my role has on the success or failure of the organization, and the exceptional team that I have surrounded myself with who always makes me look good,” Propp says.

Last year’s steep global economic decline spurred Propp to carry out his duties tirelessly as the value of Thunderbird’s endowments deteriorated and a worldwide liquidity crisis temporarily froze its short-term investments. Program diversification proved to be a valuable investment. In the midst of the recession, Thunderbird offered alternate programs that remained strong financial performers as others declined. Thunderbird closed its most recent fiscal year in full compliance with liquidity requirements and with the highest cash reserves in many years.

Jack Seaver
CCS Presentation Systems Inc.
Chief Financial Officer

“In all aspects of life, including business, I have a strong competitive desire to excel and be the best I can be.”

Jack Seaver’s impact on CCS Presentation System’s goals and performance is so significant, the CEO says the company simply wouldn’t be where it is today without him. Seaver is described as a stabilizing influence and the sound, level-headed conscience of the company.

During his 11-year tenure as chief financial officer at Scottsdale-based CCS, Seaver has been responsible for all operations, finance and human resources. Working with an operations staff of 10, he has established policies, procedures, controls and audit checkpoints necessary to the audio-video integration company’s success. As a testament to Seaver’s professionalism, CCS has had eight formal audits with no adjustments to financial records. In the human resources area, Seaver is responsible for the firm’s extensive employee handbook.

“As a result of my dual role, I develop compensation plans and formulate incentives for managers and employees. I structure compensation plans/incentives to encourage managers and other employees to achieve financial and other performance goals. I also have responsibility for making CCS an enjoyable place to work,” Seaver says. “I try to put each employee in the best position for achieving their individual goals and that in turn leads to CCS achieving its goals.”

Seaver encourages both internal and external growth at CCS, and has been instrumental in the company’s expansion to several states over the past 10 years. One of the largest audio-video integrators in the U.S., CCS serves customers in the corporate, government and education sectors.

Colleen Shannon
Lumesion Security Inc.
Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer

“Being a CFO isn’t all about accounting or finance, but I do enjoy that aspect about my job. I think enjoying what you do is part of the key to doing a good job.”

If one word could describe Colleen Shannon’s performance at Scottsdale-based Lumension Security it would be “versatile.” As senior vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer, Shannon oversees accounting, legal, human resources, facilities, operations, corporate governance, compliance audits and shareholder relations.

Lumension develops, integrates and markets security software worldwide to help businesses protect their vital information and manage risk across networks and computer-system endpoints. Shannon joined Lumension three years ago and literally had to start from scratch.

“When I first started with the company, there was no formal accounting close process and no financial reporting to the executive team for over a year,” she says. “With limited resources and working with the existing systems, my team rebuilt the accounting function at headquarters and formalized the accounting policies and practices for the company.”

As CFO, Shannon also has guided three strategic acquisitions — one global firm in Luxembourg and two in the U.S. This involved integrating information systems, employees, corporate cultures, processes and policies. She also implemented financial-impact programs, such as automated expense reports and travel booking, to ensure new employees were seamlessly integrated into the company.

Lumension has grown more than 3,000 percent over the last four years. To manage that growth, Shannon helped expand the company’s Galway, Ireland, research and development hub.

Debbie Shumway
Hospice of the Valley
Associate Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer

“We’re very much a team-oriented organization and I think the key is having really solid working relationships with each other that are built on trust.”

As chief financial officer and associate executive director for Hospice of the Valley, Debbie Shumway has the opportunity to exert a positive influence beyond finance. She has not let that opportunity slip away.

Under Shumway’s 15 years of financial leadership, and at her encouragement, the hospice has made significant investments in expansion. In 1994, the agency had one small administrative office and one palliative-care unit. Today, it has a square-block administrative campus, four clinics, 16 palliative-care units and two resale shops. Hospice of the Valley has grown from caring for a few hundred patients a day to 3,000. “Really understanding the needs of the community for me is the most important function,” Shumway says. “I could sit and look at numbers all day long, but they are really meaningless unless I know what we need to do.”

The hospice also invested in technology at Shumway’s urging. Operations were paper-based when she started. Today, Hospice of the Valley has an IT team of 30 employees that she assembled. Shumway also launched a point-of-care clinical documentation system and partially rebuilt the computer hardware infrastructure. Now, the hospice’s facilities are linked to high-speed communications that allow rapid sharing of critical patient information. All of this was accomplished with internal funding, thereby keeping the hospice’s balance sheet debt free.

Shumway has logged other major accomplishments. She has facilitated five mergers — two in the last three years — and formed partnerships with other health care providers and nonprofit organizations.

Joanne Solomon
Amkor Technology Inc.
Chief Financial Officer

“There is only so much I can do as an individual, but our employees working together can create significantly more value for all of Amkor, our customers, investors and other stakeholders.”

Joanne Solomon is more than the manager of all things financial at Amkor Technology; she is leading the global company through transformative change.

In addition to her regular duties as chief financial officer, Solomon is executive sponsor of a major program that will essentially change the way business is conducted at Amkor, a Chandler-based provider of semiconductor assembly and test services for semiconductor manufacturers. Under her steady hand, the program implementation team is enhancing the company’s information technology capabilities, strengthening efficiencies across departments and far-flung locations, and positioning the company for future growth.

“My ability to influence the organization is largely by inspiration, keeping the organization aligned and to make sure I provide the resources that the teams need to achieve their goals,” she says. In her role as CFO over the past two years, Solomon has been a key player in Amkor’s continuing success in a challenging global economy. Specifically, Amkor had a 20 percent gross profit margin the second quarter of 2009, compared to a 12 percent margin in the first quarter. Operating costs were trimmed by $55 million and $39 million in the first and second quarters, respectively. She also has raised $250 million in capital, thus expanding the company’s cash reserves. In addition, she has championed Amkor’s efforts to rebuild its debt structure by refinancing existing debt, lowering borrowing costs, laddering debt maturities to generate stable liquidity, and reducing overall debt by increasing cash flow.

Michael T. Tobin
OneNeck IT Services Corporation
Chief Financial Officer

“Today, I’m still motivated and excited about the analysis involved in exploring and completing solid and well-thought out acquisitions.”

OneNeck IT Services Corporation in Scottsdale has been profitable since it opened for business 12 years ago — and Michael T. Tobin has been instrumental in that success.

A founding member of the company and chief financial officer since its inception, Tobin helped to set up the initial launch of the firm in 1997. Three years later, Tobin exerted his influence when OneNeck management purchased its parent company, SCB Computer Technology. He helped secure financing for the buyout, including equity funding, a term loan and a revolving line of credit.

Over the last six years, Tobin has laid the groundwork for three successful acquisitions by providing due diligence and financial-performance analysis, and then counseling the CEO and board of directors with his “go” or “no-go” recommendations.

OneNeck’s most recent acquisition, the managed hosting division of Ensynch in Tempe, is performing beyond expectations. In addition to nonstop profitability, OneNeck has a 13 percent compounded annual growth rate and is projecting a 16 percent increase in revenue for 2009. “With our projected 16 percent growth increase for 2009, that translates into more jobs within Arizona, an objective which is very near and dear to my heart since this is where I call ‘home,’” Tobin says.

Tobin is highly respected within the banking community for his honesty in reporting OneNeck’s financial performance. His monthly financial statements impressed one bank so much that it asked Tobin to teach its other clients how to report to the bank efficiently.

Matthew Wickesberg
Z’Tejas Inc.
Chief Financial Officer

“Seeing the dedication of our employees each day energizes me to work hard to ensure we can provide opportunities for their growth and advancement.”

Z’Tejas may mean Southwestern cuisine to most people, but to Matthew Wickesberg it’s a corporate world he is guiding through a treacherous economy.

Wickesberg has been chief financial officer at the Scottsdale-based restaurant chain for four years and he has faced down many challenges during that time. Anticipating the current recession, Wickesberg developed a strategic plan for expenditures that allows the company to deliver consistent profitability without sacrificing the quality of its products and services. Knowing that implementing such an initiative requires unsettling changes, he spent considerable time mentoring and coaching employees so they understood the necessity of the measures being taken.

“During times of turmoil, people need straight talk and something to hang onto, even if it’s just your word,” he says. “CFOs should be out in front of the organization and be willing to face the tough questions.”

Z’Tejas is emerging from the recession with a strong and stable balance sheet under which it can take advantage of lucrative real estate opportunities.

Wickesberg is committed to providing employees with the tools they need to carry out their responsibilities to the highest standards. His efforts have cultivated a company that functions with the same practices, disciplines and efficiencies of an organization much larger in scope and size.

Through Wickesberg’s social and business networks, Z’Tejas has tapped into the legal, real estate and media communities, helping the company advance its growth initiatives.

Eric Young
The Carioca Company
Chief Financial Officer

“Here is my secret to exerting influence: Make the goals clear, hire the right people, get out of their way and watch great things happen.”

The Carioca Company in Phoenix follows a philosophy that a chief financial officer should be a leader in employee relations in addition to heading up finance. Eric Young wears both hats and he has a large constituency.

Young is CFO not only for Carioca, an operator of gas stations and convenience stores in Arizona, but also for 29 other companies that own sandwich shops, pizza parlors, strip malls and other businesses. Three families own this group of companies and Young works closely with all of them.

“I find that because I have more of an entrepreneurial mindset than the typical ‘bean counter,’ I am able to adapt quickly and intimately know the operations of every one of these businesses,” Young says. In the human resources area, Young is credited with helping managers perform better to drive profits. He also delves into the hiring process, making sure the companies bring talented employees onboard. In addition, Young works with others in senior management so they understand the importance of strong employee relations.

In his dealings with staff members, Young seeks their advice on how to improve operations at all levels, folding that knowledge into his policy of adhering to best practices to enhance company operations.

As he carries out his duties in the financial arena, Young monitors company assets daily in order to maximize income from idle funds and to minimize bank charges.

He also assists with inventory management, scrutinizing product pricing and ordering to obtain the best value possible.

Michael Zimmerman
The Go Daddy Group Inc.
Chief Financial Officer

“My single most important role as CFO is to work in tandem with the employees at Go Daddy to create, drive and deliver core operational results for the organization.”

As chief financial officer, Michael Zimmerman has helped Scottsdale-based Go Daddy Group grow from $10 million in sales to the approximately $740 million projected for this year.

“One of the most important aspects of my job is balancing growth and bottom line results for the company,” he says. “You often hear of companies growing too quickly and then failing. At Go Daddy, we were able to avoid that moniker because the leadership team was able to see the company’s big picture.”

Go Daddy is the world’s largest Web site domain name registrar and hosting provider of secure Web sites.

Zimmerman has achieved several milestones in his nearly eight years as CFO. He played a key role in establishing a joint venture with two other companies that won the right to offer .ME as a domain name. The project has produced a multimillion-dollar return for Go Daddy.

He also has helped Go Daddy’s human resources department work on a new health care plan, negotiated recruiting contracts with external vendors and developed a new annual review process. In addition, Zimmerman worked with the company’s fraud detection team to cost effectively improve fraud identification.

Under Zimmerman’s guidance, Go Daddy also acquired its second Phoenix facility and opened it as a 270,000-square-foot data center. Zimmerman conducted extensive research of available space and located a building with large power capacity and a fiber Internet connection — two capabilities vital to operating at full capacity. The data center has contributed to Go Daddy’s rapid growth.

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