I had the distinct pleasure of being on the judges panel for this year’s 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 5 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, nonprofit organizations with more than $30 million in revenue and public companies).
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. Nonetheless, the winners in each category were as follows:
Private Company (less than $100 million revenue): Dwight Bassett – Builders Transportation Co., LLC (Interstate Motor Carrier)
Private Company (over $100 million revenue): Jackie Thomas – Power & Telephone Supply Co. (Global distributor of communication network supplies)
Non-Profit (less than $30 million revenue): Beth Porter – St. George’s Independent School (Coeducational independent school PK – 12)
Non-Profit (over $30 million revenue): Richard Wages, Jr. – Regional Medical Center at Memphis (Healthcare system)
Public Company: Albert Campbell, III – MAA (Owner and operator of apartment homes)
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.