FEI Announces 2017 Financial Executive Of The Year and Distinguished Service Award Recipients

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National Financial Industry Recognition Programs Honor Five Peer-Nominated Professionals and Five Organization Members Who Demonstrated Distinguished Achievements and Service.

“Financial executives play a pivotal role in shaping their organizations and industries, and we are pleased to honor these leading professionals who were chosen by their peers,” said Andrej Suskavcevic, CAE, President and CEO, FEI.

Financial Executives International (FEI), the association of choice for CFOs and other senior-level finance executives, today announced the ten individuals receiving the organization’s highest honors for 2017.

Financial Executive of the Year Award Recipients
The nationwide awards program, launched this year, recognizes peer-nominated individuals who have made considerable impact within their companies or organizations. Notably, nominees are not required to hold FEI memberships.

The Selection Committee reviewed several criteria for each nominee: leadership, team development, responsibility, planning and budgeting, control and reporting, social responsibility, and innovation. Within those criteria, nominees were assessed for use of judgment and insight to shape strategic organizational direction; ability to drive growth or mitigate a financial crisis; impact on their colleagues’ professional growth; mentorship; impact on organizational and community issues; and more.

2017 award recipients, listed by organization category, include:

  •     Private Company – Small/Med-Size: Michael Love, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer, Climax Portable Machine Tools

Michael has multi-faceted domestic and international leadership experience. At Climax Portable Machine Tools, Michael was a member of the Executive Team that successfully orchestrated the sale of the Company to new private equity owners, and acquired three complimentary companies. He also successfully instituted a company-wide focus to drive profitable growth and positive cash flow. The Business Journal of Oregon and Southwest Washington named love 2016 CFO of the Year.

  •     Private Company – Large: Paula Gold-Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer, CPS Energy

In her more than 12 years at CPS Energy, Paula has served in various positions including Controller and Assistant Treasurer, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, and Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer. She has more than 30 years of leadership experience in San Antonio, including as Regional Controller for Time Warner’s cable and telephony office and the Vice President of Finance for Luby’s, Inc. Paula was named as a San Antonio Business Journal Elite Executive CEO in 2016. She also received the San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce (SAWCC) Constellation of Stars Award in 2015, and received a Best CFO award from the San Antonio Business Journal (SABJ).

  •     Public Company – Small/Med-Size: Richard Naponelli, former Chief Financial Officer, Sage Products

Richard served as Chief Financial Officer of Sage Products, from where he recently retired after a 30-year career. He played an integral role in the recent sale of Sage Products to Stryker Medical. Richard built an operational infrastructure that sustained revenue growth from $13 million to more than $500 million and a finance team with average tenure of more than 17 years. He is a member of the Board of the Raue Center for the Performing Arts, Crystal Lake Library Foundation and American Community Bank and Trust.

  •     Public Company – Large: Gordon Heneweer, Chief Financial Officer, CooperVision Inc.

Heneweer manages four major pillars on a global basis, internal controls and compliance; improving business processes and systems; making CooperVision a better valued and trusted business partner; and developing the organization, where market share has grown from 17 to 23% since he joined. Prior to joining CooperVision, he served as Vice President of Finance and Interim Chief Financial Officer for Electronics For Imaging, Inc., a global leader in digital print.

  •     Non-Profit Organization: Lenora Hardy-Foster, President and Chief Executive Officer, Judson Center

Lenora is responsible for the overall operations and strategic planning of a holding company and three wholly owned subsidiaries with approximately 400 employees. She directs the expansion of growth opportunities in five major counties within the State of Michigan.

“Financial executives play a pivotal role in shaping their organizations and industries, and we are pleased to honor these leading professionals who were chosen by their peers,” said Andrej Suskavcevic, CAE, President and CEO, FEI. “Our inaugural winners of the Financial Executive of the Year award demonstrate the sound judgment, leadership, and technical skills necessary to be good stewards of their respective organizations and our industry at large. We commend each of them for their achievements and look forward to continuing to cultivate and recognize senior financial leaders in the years to come.”

FEI would like to acknowledge and thank Robert Half for sponsoring the public company categories, PwC’s Private Company Services for sponsoring the private company categories and Microsoft for serving as the event’s Diamond sponsor.

Distinguished Service Award Recipients
Recipients of the Distinguished Service Award are FEI members who have demonstrated service to the organization that consistently ranks above and beyond their chartered responsibilities. These individuals exhibit extraordinary commitment and purpose within their local Chapters as well as at the National level. This year’s honorees include:

  • Silicon Valley Chapter: George de Urioste, CFO and Audit Committee Chairman, Pluribus Networks, Inc., FEI member since 1997
  • Dallas Chapter: Eric Holleman, Managing Director, Conexus SG, FEI member since 2002
  • Detroit Chapter: Mark Rusch, SVP and Chief Financial Officer, Proper Group International, FEI member since 1994
  • Chicago Chapter: Otis Usher, Director of Finance, PLS Financial Services, Inc., FEI member since 2000
  • New Jersey Chapter: Paul Chase, Chief Financial Officer (retired), Financial Executives International (FEI), FEI member since 2000

Awards Presentations
Presentation of the above awards will occur during FEI’s annual Financial Leadership Summit, April 23-25, at the Anaheim Marriott in California. Recipients of the Financial Executive of the Year award will be celebrated during a reception on April 23. Recipients of the Distinguished Service Award will be recognized during the Summit’s Welcome and Opening Remarks on April 24.

About FEI
Financial Executives International (FEI) is the leading advocate for the views of corporate financial management. Its more than 10,000 members hold policy-making positions as chief financial officers, treasurers and controllers at companies from every major industry. FEI enhances member professional development through peer networking, career management services, conferences, research and publications. Members participate in the activities of 74 chapters in the U.S. and a chapter in Japan. FEI is located in Morristown, NJ, and Washington, D.C. Visit http://www.financialexecutives.org for more information.

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