By Jennifer Harrison
Inaugural CFO awards recognize contribution of those often overlooked
On an evening where it was time to stand on their own and finally be recognized, many of the CFOs being honoured took the opportunity to praise their teams as being factors in their success. “It all comes down to team in the end, I’m not here because I did anything in particular, said Michael Taylor, nominee in the private company category and CFO and chief compliance officer of Nicola Wealth Management. “Yes, I had an opportunity to make some change, but you can’t do it by yourself. “It’s about getting a good team together and working well with people and anything is possible.”
Sarah Hoffman, CFO of the Healthcare Benefit Trust and winner of a transformation agent award took the notion of team one step further when asked about the biggest challenges facing a CFO. Hoffman said, “The biggest challenge is managing people, the economic challenges are always going to exist in some shape or form and you just have be staffed appropriately and have the right people in place and you have to have the right management skills to make them accountable, responsible and successful in their positions.”
The 13 nominees and winners along with their support systems gathered on May 17 at the Four Seasons Vancouver to celebrate their successes. Business in Vancouver, in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia, presented the first BC CFO of the Year Awards in front of an audience of more than 300 people. The evening featured dinner and an awards presentation where awards were handed out to one CFO each from a large public company, a small public company and a private company. Awards were also distributed in a special category to transformation agents who were recognized outside of the three previous categories.
Winners were chosen based on their leadership in finance, contribution to strategic decision-making and growth, a commitment to sound ethics and reporting, and contributions to sustainability and community initiatives. This criterion was echoed by the eventual winner in the large public company category and CFO of Port Metro Vancouver, Allan Baydala, when offering advice to other CFOs. “You have to take a broader perspective, a broader view of the organization and environment, he said. “Like any executive we have to promote the organization in the community. You have to be able to take the strategic view of the company and be not just the accountant but be the organization’s financial conscience and steward.”
To see pictures from the event, visit BIV’s Facebook page.