Thanks to local commercial real estate pro’s CBRE for sponsoring our new Meet A Minnesota CFO series!
When and how did you get started in your finance career, specifically within the technology industry?
I started my career in public accounting with KPMG Minneapolis in 1996. I left KPMG in 2000 after responding to a job ad in the Star Tribune for an Accounting Manager role at Microgistix, a software marketing company in the Warehouse District.
Then, in 2002, a former manager from KPMG reached out to me about an Accounting Manager role at Secure Computing Corporation, a network security company where I ended up working for almost seven years. In that seven-year period, I was a part of three acquisitions until we were acquired by McAfee in 2008.
At that point, I knew I had found my niche and wasn’t going to consider leaving the tech space.
What is unique about your role with the technology industry, compared to other industries?
The technology industry is always changing, so I need to keep pace with organic and inorganic growth of the business and stay ahead of the hiring curve, so we can identify the right talent that can handle the amount of change. With tech, it’s all about balancing priorities for my team and effectively reporting data so we can make informed decisions.
It’s also imperative for us to proactively identify and prevent potential security issues for customers and the business. Given the number of priorities, constant change, and need to evolve to stay in the game, it’s important for me to continually make the commitment to develop and grow talent in the organization, all while supporting the growth of an ever-changing business.
What do you find most interesting or challenging about being a modern-day CFO?
The biggest challenge is, in a very dynamic market, determining which new solutions to implement and when, especially for enhanced reporting and scalability. In addition, I always need to find ways to entice external candidates to explore new opportunities at the organization. I also strive to find the balance to keep the work place fun while regularly rolling up our sleeves to get things done, which is an interesting, yet great, challenge!
Why did you decide to move from SPS Commerce to Calabrio?
It’s an exciting opportunity to be the CFO at a rapidly-growing tech company that recently launched a cloud-based platform that is 12-24 months ahead of the competition. We are one of the fastest-growing companies in this market and we’re continuing to be recognized as a leader for our approach to the industry and the value proposition that we provide our customers. It’s a really great time to be a part of Calabrio during this transition.
How is success measured in your role as a CFO?
From a business standpoint, the role of the CFO is instrumental in helping drive the organization toward its objectives. Success is measured based on the value added to the top and bottom line as well as the growth and development of the team. From a personal standpoint, I measure my success as CFO based on my accomplishments both at work and at home.
What do you enjoy doing with your time outside of the office?
I enjoy being at our cabin in Northern Minnesota with my husband, Kyle and three children: Katelyn, Sydney and Alex. I also love boating, snowmobiling, and spending time with friends. I also enjoy watching football, especially the Wisconsin Badgers.
What is one question you would ask to your tech CFO peers?
When you experience change at such a rapid pace, how do you effectively manage expectations to help everyone in the organization know exactly what their priorities should be?
Is there anything else you would like to add?