A week after the CFO of the Year luncheon, I’ve been thinking about what an honor it was to be nominated and selected as a finalist. As a CFO, there are not many opportunities to be recognized publicly (at least not many positive ways), so I’ll be honest, the nomination felt like a big deal to me. With all sincerity I can say that it didn’t matter what happened at the lunch, I was just hoping I didn’t react like Faith Hill.
As I’m not what you would call the best public speaker and didn’t have a chance to say anything anyway, I don’t want to miss the opportunity to thank some of the people and organizations that have been significant and positive influences on me and my career.
- Miami University and my fraternity Phi Kappa Tau – Phi Tau’s gave me the opportunity to become a treasurer and through that work I was able to make a connection for an internship. Miami provided me with a solid foundation to start my career in accounting.
- Ernst and Young – Working in public accounting is a great way to begin a career or, as my dad would tell you, have a career. There are too many people (clients, peers, and supervisors) to mention, but suffice it to say this was a great experience.
- George Troutman at E&Y and Pathlore – No better financial guy to work for… Smart, fair, hard working, and funny. A great leader with the utmost integrity.
- Thanks to Mark Matson for nominating me. It was very humbling to read what he wrote about me considering I’m the one always cutting his budget.
- Thanks to Henry Cialone, Phil Weisenbach, Chris Conrardy, and Lisa Austin for allowing me the opportunity to branch out beyond the traditional CFO role and giving me great advice and guidance along the way.
- Special thanks to Lenny Anessi, Mike Sewell, and Angi Cox who do an unbelievable job at their roles at EWI. Without their excellence, EWI wouldn’t be the place it is today and I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be nominated.
- Working at EWI for over five years, I cannot explain how great the people here are to work with. Our engineers and technicians have so much passion for what they do and delivering to our members, it truly makes you want to do a great job.
- My Mom – There would have been no one more proud of me for being nominated… Heck… She thought I was terrific no matter what. I’m really sad she wasn’t able to see the nomination write-up, but my dad said it best by saying “your Mom would have been really proud of you.”
- Which leads to my Dad – He retired a partner from Deloitte. He never pushed me to go into accounting, so I was able to make up my own mind… He leads by example, is hard-working, funny, and incredibly smart. There were few better days than the day I told him I got my first professional job or the first time I was able to have a real business conversation with him. I owe more to him than I can ever express so I will just say thank you and I hope to be a fraction of the person he is.
- My Kids – They all were excited to hear I was a finalist, but separately asked:
- “Is this CFO for the whole country? (“no”)… Oh… well… I guess that would still be cool if you won”
- “How much money do you win? (“nothing”)… Huh… Do you at least get a trophy or something?”
- “What kind of food are they having?”
- “Can I come to the lunch so I can watch you get crushed by the OSU guy?”
- “Is there a CFO of the year for Hilliard?… Maybe you could win that one”
- Jenny – My wife willingly gave up her career in public accounting after we had our second kid (we now have four). For the past twelve years, she has remained on top of everything raising four amazing kids, keeping things organized and running smoothly (with four kids “smoothly” is a relative term), and has even recently gone back to work. She’s the best and I can’t thank her enough for everything she does in our partnership.
The great group of people here at EWI have extended trust to me and have allowed me the benefit of the doubt to act in the best interest of the Institute. They question me freely and respectfully; give me grief and hold me accountable; and they each have a tremendous impact on the direction (and changing the direction) of the company. So being named a finalist is really a reflection of the unbelievable people we have here…. This is definitely an EWI honor… Plus saying that pulls the engineers in with the accountants which will make them very uncomfortable.