A sluggish economy has taken its toll on every facet of business endeavor, for big companies and small. Nonprofits have been especially hard hit. And ground zero for both the problems and the solutions is usually the CFO's desk.
In any given day, a CFO may be called on to deal with the increasing state and federal financial reporting requirements and shareowner driven demand for greater financial accountability. But increasingly a CFO's responsibilities are stretching into information technology and human resources, manufacturing and sales.
Never has an organization's finance chief been burdened with more responsibilities and expectations as he or she manages, advises and guides an organization's financial direction.
And never has the challenge been more invigorating for those who do the job well. In this week's issue, we celebrate six Greater Hartford CFOs and a host of finalists in the Hartford Business Journal's 2010 CFO of the Year awards. The CFOs are drawn from Connecticut's broad spectrum of industries and organizations, for-profit and non-profits alike. They're the top financial minds for their organizations.
In today's difficult economy, these CFOs, like their counterparts across the nation, are being called on like never before by their CEOs and boards of directors to make the hard calls. They're the ones identifying and recommending ways to pare costs, helping find new ways to increase efficiencies and productivity, identifying new revenue streams, tax savings and more. The bottom line is their chief focus and their jobs and those of their fellow employees depend on their getting it just right.
No industry has escaped the effect that increased financial scrutiny and pressures of a worsening economy have brought in altering the role of the CFO. Once mainly a behind the scenes numbers cruncher whose critical function was appreciated chiefly at the top of the house by senior management and boards of directors, now the CFO is a highly visible officer. He or she regularly interacts with every department in the organization to achieve cost savings, raise productivity and protect earnings. Excellent communications skills and creative thinking are just as necessary a part of a CFO's skill set, today, as an aptitude for numbers.
CFOs have become the chief business ethics enforcer for companies. They must possess a complete understanding of an organization's operations, think strategically, practice a thorough understanding of risk management, yet operate daily at a very granular level. In today's business environment, they must be technologically savvy and possess an ability to adapt quickly to changing conditions.
They possess special skills to help keep our organizations financially sound and operationally strong, and they seem to thrive under immense pressure that might make most of us weak in the knees.
Please join us in congratulating our winners and finalists. They're helping keep Greater Hartford's businesses strong — and that's good for all of us.
Stories compiled by Kevin Moore, contributing editor
Click HERE for information about the judges.
|Robert Arace||Arburg, Inc.||www.arburg.com|
|Joe Baker||Community Foundation of |
Greater New Britain
|Saul Basch||Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co.||www.hsb.com|
|Brian Beck||Wealth Management Group of NA||www.myrestylement.com|
|George Bellas||Connecticut Innovations||www.ctinnovations.com|
|Michael Connelly||Greater Hartford Arts Council||www.letsgoarts.org|
|Michael Fresher||The Bushnell Center for the |
|Augusto Gautier||McLean Community Services||www.mcleancare.org|
|Donna Lasher||Okay Industries||www.okayind.com|
|Paula Matta||Walker Systems Support||www.walkersystemssupport.com|
|Kevin Murphy||Eastern CT Health Network||www.echn.org|
|David Newirth||Little Theater of Manchester||www.cheneyhall.org|
|Dale Ribaudo||FM Facility Maintenance||www.fmfacilitymaintenance.com|
|Deborah Sokol||Monitor Controls, Inc.||www.monitorcontrols.com|
|Joseph Weist||YMCA of Greater Hartford||www.ghymca.org|