Once again this year, I had the honor of serving on the judges panel for the Memphis Business Journal CFO of the Year Awards with the winners being announced yesterday at the awards breakfast on the campus of The University of Memphis. This year’s finalists included 14 outstanding CFOs in 4 different categories (Private companies with less than $100 million in revenue, private companies with more than $100 million in revenue, nonprofit organizations with less than $30 million in revenue, and nonprofit organizations with more than $30 million in revenue).
Choosing winners from this talented pool was difficult as all of the finalists play critical roles in there respective companies and are crucial to the success of the business. Judging criteria included outsatanding performance in the areas of 1) financial management 2) company leadership and 3) strategic thinking. Contributions outside of the company were also given consideration. In reviewing the finalists’ information, the judges panel was looking for the extroadinary, which could be in a variety of forms such as:
- A complex transaction
- A challenging business issue
- An iniative that greatly impacted the business
- Or some other “wow factor” accomplishment that would set one of the finalists apart from the great group of professional in their respective categories
It was a tough decison to select the winners and I congratulate all of the finalists. After careful consideration, the winners selected in each category were as follows:
Private Company (less than $100 million revenue): Brent Patterson – Semmes-Murphey Clinic (Medical Practice)
Private Company (over $100 million revenue): David Rosenthal – Buckman (Industrial Chemicals Manufacturer)
Non-Profit (less than $30 million revenue): Brandon Wellford – Memphis Bioworks Foundation (Biosciences Incubator)
Non-Profit (over $30 million revenue): David Zettergren – The University of Memphis
Unlike other executives who may spend significant time in the public light, CFOs usually operate “behind the scenes” managing the company’s finances and working with the executive team in executing corporate strategy and ensuring financial objectives are met. CFOs are critical decision-makers providing valuable input as to the financial consequences of the opportunities and challenges that are a part of any business. In fact, most of these CFOs have responsibilities that go beyond the financial area, assuming responsibility for areas such as human resources, information technology, risk management, facilities management, regulatory compliance and safety. I applaud the Memphis Business Journal for recognizing these often unsung heroes and congratulate this year’s winners.