They not only keep the books in order, they also are referees for the issues that set the direction of a company's success.
Nine suburban financial executives were honored Wednesday at the 2016 CFO of the Year Awards, hosted by the Daily Herald Business Ledger and its sponsoring partners. About 100 people attended the ceremony at the Danada House Conference Center in Wheaton.
2016 CFO of the Year honoreesDaily Herald staff report
• Gail Hernly, Tek-Pak, Inc., Batavia
• Mary Davolt, Englewood Construction, Inc., Lemont
• Jeffrey Wink, RSA Medical, Naperville
• Thomas Peters, Symbol Training Institute, Addison
• Ralph Sarbaugh, McHenry County, Woodstock
• Linda Cheatham, People's Resource Center, Wheaton
• Carol Fiandalo, Schaumburg Business Association
• Ann McLaughlin, DuPage Children's Museum, Naperville
• John Utterback, Bartlett Learning Center Inc., Wheaton
The mission of the CFO of the Year Awards is to honor financial executives who contribute to the success of the suburban region's economic growth and stability. Candidates must work for a business or organization with a presence in the suburban Chicago area and must be responsible for the financial management of their companies. Consideration is given to the individual's contributions to the organization's overall growth, commitment and ethics,
The honorees are selected from nominations that are reviewed by editorial management members of the Daily Herald Business Ledger.
David J. Hinman, senior commercial banker with Fifth Third Bank Chicago, set the tone of the CFO as "referee" during keynote remarks. He used examples from other companies to exhibit how the financial executive plays an important role in the success of business' strategic plan.
"You're there for a reason. Someone there is good at something very important, but finance is not it, and they need your help," Hinman said.
"You're viewed as the most impartial perspective," he added. "The one with the best view of the realities, the limitations, the opportunities, and people can look to you as the referee."
All of the honorees credited having a quality staff and good interactive workplace for the success of their respective organizations.
"A CFO's work is largely the compilation of efforts of many individuals who make us look competent, prepared and organized," said honoree Ann McLaughlin of the DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville.
"I feel strongly that people are the lifeblood of an organization, and mentoring and team building are key components to the success of an entity," added honoree Gail Hernly of Tek Pak, Inc. in Batavia.
Detailed profiles of the honorees will be featured in a special section of the Aug. 22 Daily Herald Business Ledger.
Presenting sponsors for this year's awards are B. Gunther & Company, Fifth Third Bank, Marsh and Northern Illinois University Graduate School of Business.