BoardWalk Consulting Seeks CFO for Winrock International
April 28, 2023 – Executive recruitment firm BoardWalk Consulting was recently retained by Winrock International to lead in its search for a new chief financial officer. Managing director Kathy Bremer and director of research Patti Kish are leading the assignment. The CFO reports to the CEO and is a strategic member of the executive team and partner to the board and global staff. This executive will be charged with modernizing and solidifying core systems and processes, and with enhancing Winrock’s financial, technology, and facilities infrastructure. The CFO will be expected to be an inspiring leader of people and the business, innovation, and growth.
The ideal candidate will be an experienced, visionary leader. BoardWalk Consulting notes that the CFO will be a dynamic leader of international finance and technology strategy, operations, and staff. “They will be a trusted, effective thought leader and partner to the CEO, board, executive team, and staff across the organization,” the search firm said. “The CFO will be a great listener, team and relationship builder, communicator, and collaborator. They will envision, and bring to fruition, best-practice management, processes, and systems.”
The ideal CFO is a strategic and pragmatic leader, well-seasoned in global non-profit finance and technology leadership. The CFO will be passionate about advancing Winrock’s differentiated mission and culture through outstanding communication, management, and best-in-class solutions.
The CFO will bring skills and experience that include:
• Vision and strategic acumen.
• Complex international finance and IT experience.
• Knowledge of diverse public and private funding streams, and of endowment and portfolio investment management.
• Change management and organizational development expertise.
• Ability to listen, engage others, and make timely, courageous decisions.
• Talent management, delegation and development skills.
Winrock International is a leader in U.S. and international development, providing solutions to some of the world’s most complex social, agricultural and environmental challenges. The $100 million non-profit is a leader in climate, natural resources, agriculture, and economic opportunity, as well as the global fight against trafficking of persons and migrant exploitation. Winrock programs improve lives in over 40 countries including the U.S.
BoardWalk Consulting, based in Atlanta, is a national executive search firm that recruits CEOs and senior leadership for mission-driven non-profit organizations. Founded in 2002, the firm leads executive searches for clients from across the non-profit sector with global, national, regional, and local missions. Many of the firm’s team members have previously served as non-profit executives, grant makers, and board leaders. BoardWalk Consulting is also an active partner in Panorama, the global network of independent executive search firms.
BoardWalk Consulting was founded by Sam Pettway, a 30-year search veteran. Over his career in executive search, he has worked with hundreds of board members and leadership teams with entities ranging from start-ups to mature multinationals in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Since founding BoardWalk in 2002, Mr. Pettway has served clients as varied as international relief agencies, national foundations, regional trade associations, and local agencies in dozens of markets.
Related: BoardWalk Consulting Places New CEO for Louisiana Children’s Museum
Ms. Bremer joined BoardWalk Consulting in 2007 after eight years as head of Porter Novelli Atlanta. Prior to that, she served as senior vice president of fundraising and marketing for CARE. Earlier in her career, Ms. Bremer was a senior executive at three New York ad agencies, where she led assignments for Procter & Gamble and other client work. Prior to these roles, she worked as a journalist and writer in Tokyo. She has led numerous executive searches for clients including ADL, Heifer, Save the Children, CDC Foundation, Oxfam, HIAS, Research!America, Jane Goodall Institute, TSNE MissionWorks, The Trustees, and many others.
Ms. Kish works closely with search consultants to develop and implement research strategies and proactively recruit senior level executives into non-profit leadership roles. Prior to joining BoardWalk Consulting in 2015, she led full life-cycle talent acquisition for a national search firm that specialized in C-suite executive search for consumer products organizations. She began her career with EDS (now HP) where she spent several years managing the entire talent acquisition organization for the southeast region. A career recruiter, Ms. Kish has placed CEOs, presidents, executive directors, and CFOs for organizations with national and global impact.
CFOs for Non-Profits
For corporate finance executives who want to de-stress their lives, moving into the non-profit world is one obvious avenue. But a new report by professional services firm BDO USA pointed out that some of the issues they would face there might remind them of their for-profit jobs. For one, their fellow C-suiters may not fully appreciate some of the challenges that CFOs face. Non-profit CFOs are much more attuned to the difficulty of dealing with regulatory and legislative changes.
BoardWalk Consulting Recruits CEO for The Asia Foundation
BoardWalk Consulting has assisted in the recruitment of Laurel E. Miller as president and CEO of The Asia Foundation. She succeeded David D. Arnold, who is retiring after 12 years of leading the international development non-profit during a period of profound change across Asia and the Pacific. A large initial prospect pool was narrowed by stages to a group of finalists who interviewed with the board’s search committee and select staff across the foundation. “We are thrilled to introduce a leader of Laurel’s caliber to guide the organization into its next stage of growth and impact,” said Tim Kochis, chairman of The Asia Foundation board of trustees.
Like their for-profit counterparts, non-profit CFOs have also been tasked with assessing the impact of the new tax-reform law, implementing the necessary changes and determining the most beneficial tax strategies going forward. They were also involved in implementing accounting changes for revenue recognition and leasing arrangements. Finally, the CFOs were somewhat less concerned about cybersecurity than were the others. Exactly half of the former respondents, but 57 percent of the latter, said it’s a high or moderate challenge for non-profits’ boards.
BDO appeared to lightly criticize the finance chiefs for not taking cybersecurity seriously enough, saying that “CFOs could be overlooking tech-related challenges.”
“While information technology is often not under [non-profit] CFOs’ immediate responsibilities,” BDO said in its survey report, “the security of financial technology systems — including donor databases — is a crucial element of a non-profit’s overall cyber hygiene.
“Anecdotally,” the report said, “protecting organizations from cyber threats is consistently onboard agendas. A CFO’s role might primarily live within the organization’s finance arm, but as veterans of the non-profit space know well, an effective leader in the dynamic non-profit world is a jack of all trades.”
Related: BoardWalk Consulting Assists Dare to Care Food Bank in the Recruitment of New CEO
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media