It might be said that the Chief Executive Office (CEO) provides the vision for the company while the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) provides the reality. CFO’s have a strategic role in the financial health of any organization. This often extends to the survival of the company during tough economic times. Five CFOs from the Sacramento area were recognized for their outstanding financial stewardship by the Sacramento Business Journal’s CFO of the Year Awards.
The CFO provides both operational and programmatic support to their organization. They supervise the finance unit and are the chief financial spokesperson. Their knowledge of the financial health of a company is vital in assessing whether the company should take on additional debt for expansion or how to preserve capital in an economic down turn.
Is everyone on the same page?
There was an illuminating panel discussion moderated by Sacramento Business Journal Editor Jack
Robinson between Gencorp Inc. CEO Scott Seymour and CFO Kathy Redd exploring the partnership between the CEO and CFO at a company. The challenge presented pertains to managing the financial position of the company while shepherding the organization to fulfill its mission. In more recent times, CFOs have been integral to stabilizing a company financially amidst rough economic times.
There are few companies in Sacramento that are as involved with the variety of government oversight, regulation and corporate finance as Gencorp Inc. As a long time resident of Sacramento, I am familiar with Gencorp/Aerojet’s early years as a contractor with the Apollo space program, the economic loss to the region when the NASA program ended, their challenges with ground water contamination under their site and their resurgence as a major employer in the region. There are perhaps no two CEOs and CFOs that have to interact on such a diverse range of issues as Seymour and Redd.
CFOs: a guiding force in the background
We usually only hear about CFOs in connection with some accounting scandal splashed on the
evening news. It was great to see individuals recognized for their stellar contribution to their organizations. Of the recipients at the morning breakfast event held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, 2 were from public agencies, 2 from private enterprise and 1 nonprofit. The spectrum of the Award winners under scores the importance of the CFO’s role in a variety of enterprises in Sacramento.
2012 CFO of the Year Award recipients:
Russ Branson, City of Roseville
Dee Brookshire, Sacramento Regional Transit District
Matthew Russell, Hanson McClain Advisors
Robert Ban Tuyle, BloodSource, Inc.
Scot Williams, Beutler Corp.
Sound principles pay off
Regardless of how some folks view business expenditures as a “tax write-off”, CFOs understand
that cash is king and debt can kill. CFO’s often times have to endorse the tough decisions to keep an organization financially sound. The folks recognized as CFO’s of the year have made the tough calls and the results are financially stable organizations that are important contributors to the Sacramento region.