Thanks to local commercial real estate pros CBRE for sponsoring our new Meet A Minnesota Tech CFO series!
When and how did you get started in your finance career, specifically within the tech industry?
My first financial role was at the local KPMG office, working in the Computer Network area. Having always loved technology, this initial experience launched my 30-year career that has spanned a variety of Twin Cities tech companies.
What is unique about your role with the technology industry, compared to other industries?
Working in technology, everything is extremely fast-paced. Changing customer demands and expectations are continually driving the industry to perform and innovate faster. And, as Arcserve’s CFO, I have a front-row seat to a tech segment that is ever-changing, fueled by new cloud technologies and the threat of cyber-attacks.
What do you find most interesting or challenging about being a modern-day CFO?
Data-driven decisions are the backbone of a profitable company. Today’s systems are making access to and analysis of data happen near real-time, empowering everyone in an organization to make smarter decisions based on corporate goals.
Why did you decide to move from Cachet/Digiliti to Arcserve?
Arcserve presented an exciting opportunity to be part of a leadership team that would scale and grow an international business in a technology category ripe for rapid growth and backed financially by Marlin Equity Partners. I continue to serve on Digiliti’s board.
How is success measured in your role as a CFO?
I measure success by the financial performance of our company, including revenue and EBITA growth, the accuracy of our forecasting, reliability of our infrastructure and the company’s adherence to financially sound, data-driven processes.
How do you effectively manage expectations to help everyone in the company know what their priorities should be?
Communication cannot be underestimated. Never assume everyone knows their priorities. Always be communicating and tracking progress.
Have you ever made a decision around office space and commercial leasing?
Yes, Arcserve recently moved our Eden Prairie headquarters office to a larger office space. Recognizing that our current space wasn’t sufficient for our forecasted growth, I led an initiative to relocate to a new office space in 2017 to better serve our long-term needs.
What did you learn from the process? How did you select an agent/broker?
The process takes time and the right team. Coming into the process with an understanding of the business’ needs for space, technology and growth were critical. We selected to work with the broker who had setup our initial office lease based on their superior level of customer service.
What advice would you have for the founder considering their first office lease?
Details matter. Be thorough and take your time to find the right fit. Start with the end in mind.
What do you enjoy doing with your time outside of the office?
Spending time with my wife and kids is what I enjoy most, but you will also occasionally find me on the golf course, riding my motorcycle or running. Minnesota summers are my favorite time of year.
What advice would you have for someone in finance who wants to become a CFO?
Find an industry that interests you. For me it was technology, for others it may be healthcare, manufacturing or financial services. Successful CFOs are passionate about all aspects of their business, not just its financial considerations. Your career will likely find itself focused in one industry, so make sure its one you enjoy.
What is one question you want to ask of your tech CFO peers?
How has/will your business change given the new U.S.-first administration?
Is there anything else you would like to add?
No thank you.