SOUTH FLORIDA BUSINESS JOURNAL: CFO Roundtable | Executives Prepare Companies for Opportunities, Obstacles (December 2017) | WGI

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SOUTH FLORIDA BUSINESS JOURNAL: CFO ROUNDTABLE | EXECUTIVES PREPARE COMPANIES FOR OPPORTUNITIES, OBSTACLES

December 2017

CFO Roundtable: Executives Prepare Companies for Opportunities, Obstacles  

Andrea Bohr, CFO of WGI

Andrea Bohr, CFO of WGI

NOTE: This is an excerpt; to read the entire article please go to https://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2017/12/15/cfo-roundtable-12-15-2017.html.

THE PANEL:
Joseph C. Berardinelli | Senior VP/CFO/treasurer, Keiser University
Andrea Bohr | CFO, Wantman Group Inc. (WGI)
Ronald C. Brandenburg II | VP/CFO, Holy Cross Hospital
Mark Brockelman | CFO, GardaWorld Cash Services
Eric Engstrom | CFO, Hedrick Brothers Construction
Richard Feldman | CFO/chief corporate development officer, TouchSuite
Jose Luis Gonzalez | CFO, Monument Capital Management
Richard Outram | CFO, Cross Country Home Services

CFOs face the future with guarded optimism
South Florida’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in more than a decade. National GDP growth has been strong, and Florida’s economic growth has been outpacing the nation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average seems to hit a new high every month.

Yet, when South Florida CFOs are asked about the future of the economy, they’re not all smiles.

Indeed, it’s the job of a CFO to be cautious and remind corporate leaders not to overextend themselves in good times…

Right now, most firms in the Florida real estate sector are doing well.

Spending on public infrastructure such as roadways should benefit engineering and planning firms like Wantman Group Inc., said Andrea Bohr, CFO of the West Palm Beach-based company. WGI has grown about 65 percent in the past two years, and she expects another good year in 2018. Bohr said the biggest challenge is finding enough employees to handle all the work, as there’s a shortage of engineering students in colleges.

Bohr has allocated resources for WGI to tell its story at networking events, and to build an attractive website so recruits know its growth story…

Challenges for CFOs go beyond financial
The bottom line for CFOs is the financial bottom line, but that’s far from the only measuring stick these days.

From cybersecurity to hiring to technology innovations and more, a CFO must prepare for the company’s biggest challenges…

All of the CFO Roundtable panelists said cybersecurity was a top concern.

“You can’t ever protect yourself completely,” said Andrea Bohr, CFO of Wantman Group Inc. “We have a co-location that is secure. We have backups for data every hour.”…

WGI's CFO, Andrea Bohr and Joseph Berardinelli, Senior VP/CFO/treasurer, Keiser University

WGI’s CFO, Andrea Bohr, and Joseph Berardinelli, Senior VP/CFO/treasurer, Keiser University

CFOs talk leadership
Demonstrating leadership is one of the most important, and rewarding, aspects of being a CFO.

It’s not always easy, though.

Many employees think of the CFO as a bean counter or the “CF-No” that shoots down their best ideas. But when CFOs become true leaders, they can shape strategy and make sure that companies are taking the right approach to business…

What are the best leadership qualities of a CFO? The panel named many, including honesty, integrity, fidelity, being decisive, being analytical, having a calming demeanor and being transparent.

What’s been your proudest moment as a CFO?

“Winning my first bankruptcy auction. Going in cold turkey, not knowing what to expect. I was successful without being the highest bidder.”  — Richard Feldman, TouchSuite

“At my former company, the general counsel and I worked together to successfully market and sell a very complicated transaction for the owner of the company, who is a great friend of ours.” — Eric Engstrom, Hedrick Brothers Construction

“Being part of the turnaround team at Jackson. When I [joined] seven years ago, they had hundreds of millions in losses, and now they are in the black six consecutive years.” — Mark Knight, Jackson Health System

“When some R&D credits tax credits we took got audited. I was pleased to say it was a no-change audit and it preserved a significant amount of R&D credit for the company.” — Andrea Bohr, Wantman Group Inc.

“We were acquired by a large company, a household name. After years of building a finance team, I was told: ‘You really built a world-class finance organization.’” — Richard Outram, Cross Country Home Services

Copyright © 2017, South Florida Business Journal

 

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