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■ SPECIAL REPORT: 2017 VIRGINIA CFO AWARDS


Money matters T


Virginia CFOs offer their wish lists for Congress by Gary Robertson


hey are the numbers people, often out of the spotlight but always in the game.


Chief financial officers are the heart-


beat of their organizations. Having the right one at the right time can make all the difference in a company’s growth. To recognize the contributions of


chief financial officers, Virginia Business has sponsored the Virginia CFO Awards since 2006. This year, the magazine received 50 nominations for awards in five categories: small and large nonprofit orga- nizations, small and large private compa- nies, and publicly traded companies. Nearly half of this year’s nominees,


21, were women. The judges for this year’s competi-


tion were the five winners from the 2016 Virginia CFO Awards. They were:


• René Chaze, CPA, of Edelman Financial Services in Fairfax.


• Mike D. Griffin of Tucker Griffin Barnes PC in Charlottesville.


• Julie Hovermale, CPA, of the Better Ho using Coalition in Richmond.


• Dave Keltner, interim group CFO, Wolseley Group Services in Newport News.


• Jeff Reed of Community Housing Partners in Christiansburg.


The five winners are profiled in the


following pages. In addition, Virginia Business talked to other nominees from four regions throughout the common- wealth about the issues they face on the job. The CFOs also reveal what they believe Congress could do to make the job easier.


Photo courtesy Emory & Henry College


Richard Gaumer wants Congress to increase the Pell Grant program so that more low-income college students can be helped.


The ‘vision guy’ Here’s what Jake Schrum, president


of Emory & Henry College in Southwest Virginia, says about his CFO: “Rick Gau- mer is more than a numbers guy, when it comes to the management of finances at Emory & Henry; he is a ‘vision guy.’ “He is a CFO with a dream for how educational mission and numbers can work together to create the best possible results for a college,” Schrum said in nomi- nating Gaumer for the Virginia CFO Awards. When Gaumer, a certified public


accountant, arrived at Emory & Henry in December 2014, he faced a budget crisis, because of what college officials say was an extraordinarily high level of debt service. The college, in fact, faced a budget gap of $3 million in fiscal year 2016-2017. Working with regional banks and in a


www.VirginiaBusiness.com


special arrangement with the U.S. Depart- ment of Agriculture available only to rural areas, Gaumer developed a debt refinanc- ing plan that shaved about $1 million off the college’s annual debt service. In addition, he was able to secure an


additional $20 million to finance construc- tion of eight apartment-style residence halls and an additional student center. The college expects the new residence


halls to improve retention and recruit- ment at the college, which has about 1,000 undergraduate students and 150 graduate students. “We’ll have a 40-year amortization with a relatively low interest rate,” Gaumer says. The CFO, who also has worked in


private industry, says he respects the value of a liberal-arts education offered by a small college. That’s one of the reasons he took the job at Emory & Henry.


VIRGINIA BUSINESS 71


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