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2015 Lehigh Valley Business CFO of the Year Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
Paul Huck-Retired, Senior Vice President and CFO, Air Products and Chemicals, Allentown / Before Paul Huck retired from Air Products and Chemicals after 33 years, he ensured all the systems were in place to guarantee a smooth transition into the future. In being nominated for the 2015 CFO Lifetime Achievement Award, he points to those efforts as one of his greatest contributions to the Allentown-based company.
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Paul Huck-Retired, Senior Vice President and CFO, Air Products and Chemicals, Allentown / Before Paul Huck retired from Air Products and Chemicals after 33 years, he ensured all the systems were in place to guarantee a smooth transition into the future. In being nominated for the 2015 CFO Lifetime Achievement Award, he points to those efforts as one of his greatest contributions to the Allentown-based company. Joseph Montesano -- CFO VP, Beck Packaging Corporation, Allentown / In the seven years he has been with Beck Packaging Corporation, he has been in several seats, impressing Gregory Stoudt, Beck's president and CEO, who nominated Montesano for the CFO of the Year Award. Michael McCool -- CFO, Liberty Homes Custom Builders, Pocono Lake / McCool became involved with the ALS Hope Foundation after his wife was diagnosed with ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease four years ago. The foundation supports the multidisciplinary clinic at Drexel School of Medicine, in Philadelphia, and does research to support finding a cure. David Muth -- CFO, New Vitae Wellness and Recovery, Limeport / “When I first started my career, some of the best advice came from my father-in-law, Joe. Joe emphasized hard work and proving oneself to employers for external rewards, like salary and, more importantly, for the internal satisfaction of a job well done." Mark Singley --Vice President of Finance/CFO, Convergent, Bethlehem / "Every day I try to give my best effort to make a positive impact on our organization. I try to grow personally and professionally, and help others do the same.” Richard King -- Treasurer/CFO, Schlouch Incorporated, Blandon / The way Richard King sees it, the Great Recession has made Schlouch Incorporated stronger. As business declined in the construction industry, it became imperative to change and adapt at the Blandon-based company. “The tried-and-true methods that we had used so successfully for many years were no longer effective or even applicable as the environment was rapidly deteriorating,” says King, treasurer and CFO at Schlouch. Neil Cooper - CFO, Pocono ProFoods, Stroudsburg / “You need to be open to change and embrace technology. I would expect the pace of change to increase. The CFO will be as much involved with future planning as they are in reporting results.” James Cox -- CFO, Weidenhammer, Wyomissing / “My dad always told me, treat people fairly and equitable, and good things will come your way. As CFO, I have always tried to take this approach with my employees. Chris DeFrain -- CFO, Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group, Allentown / “Our founder and CEO, Stephen Hanzlik, passed away approximately seven months after I joined LVRG. As a CPA, I understand that many businesses struggle to overcome this situation. I partnered with LVRG’s board of directors, our banks, our legal team and our internal team to successfully manage our way through this process. John Morelli -- CFO, WORLD Electronics Sales & Service Inc., Reading / Years ago, businesses would wait for the results prior to implementing changes. Today’s technology makes data available in real time, thus creating the opportunity for more synergy and cohesion among previously segmented roles/departments. I think CFOs will continue to grow as business leaders and decision-makers within organizations.” Mark Wilkin -- CFO, Andesa Services, Allentown / “Early in my career, I was advised to keep it simple and don’t outsmart your common sense. That advice has become tremendously important to my day-to-day as a CFO and in my personal life. Sound common sense and gut feel is what makes one professional stand out and succeed over another.” Elaine Macbeth -- Director of Finance/HR, Rodale Institute, Kutztown / For Elaine Macbeth, her career meshes with her vision for a better planet.
“The most important charitable cause for me is to educate the youth and the public about growing, eating and building an organic planet. This is key for the future of the planet and the future of our children,” says Macbeth, director of finance/human resources at Rodale Institute in Kutztown.
Dolores Bauman -- Finance Manager (CFO), Schuylkill River Heritage Area, Pottstown / “I am very much interested in living off the land, producing our own food whether it be vegetables or meat. I enjoy and am capable of raising vegetables and animals for food. Debra Klocek -- Vice President, Finance, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Allentown / "I have dedicated the last 20 years to United Way and could not be prouder of the work that we are doing in the community; ensuring third graders are reading at grade level, older adults have their basic needs met and ensuring access to nutritious food for Lehigh Valley residents.” Monica Ruano-Wenrich -- CFO, United Way of Berks County, Reading / For Ruano-Wenrich, it was an experience with a job during summer break in college that offered a life-long lesson. “I spent a great deal of time that summer on spreadsheets in preparation for an upcoming audit. When I went back to college, I received a call from the president informing me the person I had worked with died and (asked whether I) could provide insight on what exactly I had been working on and where they could find the work. Dawn Werkheiser -- Executive VP, Finance and Human Resources, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Easton / “As CFO, our budget increased through the years. We went from one accounting person to three, including myself. … Since the budget keeps growing, so do expenses. It is important for the chamber to remain focused on our goals while encouraging our staff, who are engrained in our Lehigh Valley communities, to remain entrepreneurial in their initiatives. Robert Patrizio Jr. -- CFO, County of Berks, Reading / often is debated in politics but the answer might actually be in results. From that angle, Robert “Bob” Patrizio Jr. would have to say “yes.” “Our shareholders are the taxpayers and our citizens are the customers,” says Patrizio, Berks County CFO since 2004. With that perspective he has tried to convince county leaders that the county could apply “fundamental business principles of accountability to the taxpayer” and move away from a view of “that is how we have always done it.” Rhonda Gillespie -- Vice President of Finance, ArtsQuest, Bethlehem / “I believe my greatest contribution has been to foster the internal relationships across the organization with the finance area and provide the organization with the necessary tools, whether it is metrics, financial information, reporting, analysis, or keen budgeting and forecasts, in order to help them manage their growing business areas.” Michael McCorristin -- Senior VP/CFO, Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley, Allentown / Improving the organization’s financial position by improving our service contracts to be in line with actual costs and supporting the organization’s overall overhead rather than operating each program at a deficit. This change has also allowed the organization to plan for and support growth. Andrew McIntyre -- CFO, Computer Aid Inc., Allentown / Andrew McIntyre took a simple lesson from a college professor at Lehigh University, where he earned both an MBA and a bachelor’s degree, and used it throughout a long and distinguished career. The accounting professor was Ken Sinclair, McIntyre says. “He said, ‘Mr. McIntyre, you must always do your homework before you come to class.’ My days are always more enjoyable, less stressful and more productive when I’ve got my homework done.” And he has been ready for any and all tough assignments since. Michael Fischer -- President & CEO, Client 1st Financial LLC, Fogelsville / “I established The Client 1st Foundation back in 2012 as a way of giving back to the community. Every year, we ask our clients who they feel we should support. By doing this we have been able to give to 16 different charities/organizations in the areas of health, education, the arts and environment.” Mark Reed -- Vice President for Finance and Administration, Moravian College, Bethlehem / “The best career advice that I was given, was provided by my father as I embarked on my first job as a staff accountant in 1988. ‘Always be honest — as long as you are honest, things will always work themselves out.’" Neal Wikert -- CFO, Rotating Machinery Services Inc., Bethlehem / “Taking the chance to go out and start our business, leaving everything that was comfortable to me to pursue a dream I had. Now contributing to its success, growing it to nearly 60 employees and working with many talented people.” Shawn Glick -- CFO/Principal, Traffic Planning and Design Inc., Pottstown / Shawn Glick keeps something in his office that helps him when making the tough decisions — a picture of a can of worms. “I would sometimes refer to it when making an important decision and ask myself: ‘Is this going to be a problem (can of worms)?’” says Glick, CFO/principal of Traffic Planning and Design Inc Dan Crowley -- President, CA Growth Strategies, Center Valley / “CA Growth Strategies allows me to help CEOs with a growth problem. Most fast-growing companies struggle with cash-flow management and they don’t know why. I work side-by-side with the CEO and the controller to stabilize the health, improve liquidity and debt management, and mostly improve the measurement and improvements in the company’s profit centers. Marianne Kitzmiller -- Executive Director for Finance and Administration, First Presbyterian Church of Allentown, Allentown / “My greatest contribution thus far has been educating our board, leaders and church members about the finances of the church, in order to arm them with the information they need to make decisions about the future of our business.

 

Here are the winners and finalists of the 2015 Lehigh Valley Business CFO of the Year Awards.

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