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544: Tales of a Finance Journeyman | John Pokorney, CFO, LeTip International

CFO Thought Leader

Release Date: 10/30/2019

566: Building Your P&L Culture | Scot Parnell, CFO DailyPay show art 566: Building Your P&L Culture | Scot Parnell, CFO DailyPay

CFO Thought Leader

We are nearly at the end of our interview with Scot Parnell when we ask him to explain what led him to accept the CFO position at DailyPay, a company with a pioneering technology inside the human capital management realm. This is a question that we had asked a little earlier in the interview, but this time we want to know what other factors may have contributed to his decision. Although Parnell has already put forth a compelling explanation of DailyPay’s unique offerings, he is happy to share a bit more with us. “This role was absolutely fascinating. I was at a place in my life where I...

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565:  A Fintech Unicorn Burnishes its Risk Management Brand  | Michael Tannenbaum, CFO, Brex Inc.  show art 565: A Fintech Unicorn Burnishes its Risk Management Brand | Michael Tannenbaum, CFO, Brex Inc.

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Tannenbaum: At Brex, pretty early on, I was kind of familiar with the banking landscape from when I had been in investment banking. The group that I had been in actually served regional banks, so I did a lot of regional bank mergers and acquisitions. Then, at SoFi, I had built a lot of relationships with regional banks. I think that when you start in fintech, there's always this belief that you're competing with big banks. That was a lot of the marketing positioning of my former employer, SoFi, but at Brex I saw this opportunity to partner with banks because I was familiar with the card...

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564: Synchrony Steps Beyond the Shadow of its Historic Roots  | Brian Wenzel, CFO, Synchrony show art 564: Synchrony Steps Beyond the Shadow of its Historic Roots | Brian Wenzel, CFO, Synchrony

CFO Thought Leader

CFOTL: Having splitout from GE- we would imagine there were certain business processes already in place at Synchrony, while others processes had to be reestablished or developed. Wenzel: The processes that have been developed are probably the core part of our business. We had to build everything from scratch. Even the processes for things like very mundane benefits in HR, and paying people, and for some of the regulatory reporting–we had to build all that up. But we did take a process from GE that was a very good process in the credit risk world, a very traditional process. You go out...

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563:  Energizing Your Entrepreneurial Mind-set | Stephen Grist, CFO, Bohemia Interactive Simulations show art 563: Energizing Your Entrepreneurial Mind-set | Stephen Grist, CFO, Bohemia Interactive Simulations

CFO Thought Leader

It was back in 2002, Stephen Grist says, when he first punched through a surface of rigid assumptions to grasp the innovative levers that would propel him into the ranks of strategic CFOs. At the time, Grist was the CFO of Viatel, a technology company whose management and sales teams were eagerly seeking to reestablish the company’s footing along a growth path after having recently emerged from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. With its bankruptcy in the rearview mirror, the company emerged with an unbridled appetite for growth—but one that was perhaps lacking in long-term vision. Says Grist:...

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562:  A Window Into the Future | Anna Brunelle, CFO, Kinestral Technologies show art 562: A Window Into the Future | Anna Brunelle, CFO, Kinestral Technologies

CFO Thought Leader

Asked to reflect on those experiences that she feels prepared her for a finance leadership role, a cash flow statement quickly comes to mind for Anna Brunelle, CFO of Kinestral Technologies. Only months into her first industry finance job, Brunelle was tasked with preparing her company’s cash flow statement, and she didn’t like some of what she discovered about the business. “I realized that there were a couple of businesses that the company had acquired a few years earlier that had some elements that were kind of dragging down our profitability,” explains Brunelle, who after digging a...

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561: Identifying the Levers for  Efficient Growth |  John Evarts, CFO, Mediafly show art 561: Identifying the Levers for Efficient Growth | John Evarts, CFO, Mediafly

CFO Thought Leader

Ten years or so ago, the expression “never waste a downturn” became a popular maxim among business leaders who viewed the economy’s downward spiral as an opportunity to trim waste and restructure portions of their businesses. The expression also summed up the mind-set of a unique class of executives who, despite a bleak hiring environment, viewed the period as being potentially transformational for their careers. Such was the case with CFO John Evarts, who entered the downturn as a CFO for a not-for-profit and exited as CFO of Mediafly—a small content asset management company that in...

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560: When Your Tactic Becomes Your Strategy | Raman Kapur, CFO, Moogsoft show art 560: When Your Tactic Becomes Your Strategy | Raman Kapur, CFO, Moogsoft

CFO Thought Leader

Years from now, if Silicon Valley’s glitterati were ever to gather to celebrate the opening of a National Cloud Computing Museum, CFO Raman Kapur would make an excellent tour guide for the facility’s finance wing. In fact, he could just chart the trajectory of his career from the dot-com bubble forward to help the world at large to better grasp how the cloud opportunity has grown and reshaped the finance business function. Our tour could begin at Intuit, the accounting software developer that Kapur joined in 2001 while seeking shelter from the dot-com bubble burst, where he quickly found...

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559: Establishing  Your Work Ethos | Bea Ordonez, CFO, OTC Markets Group, Inc. show art 559: Establishing Your Work Ethos | Bea Ordonez, CFO, OTC Markets Group, Inc.

CFO Thought Leader

Perhaps, unlike most of her professional peers, when Bea Ordonez first interviewed for a CFO role, she got the job. At the time, perhaps no one was more surprised than Ordonez, whose finance resume—while impressive for a 26-year-old—still lacked a number of C-suite prerequisites. Twenty years later, she still resides in the C-Suite, having filled a number of consecutive CFO and COO roles over the years. Nonetheless, she credits her first CFO tour of duty with having opened the door for everything that has followed. “On paper, at least, I was woefully underqualified for the job. I...

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Holiday Bonus | Family, Discipline & the Roots of Leadership | Charmaine Spence Rochester, CFO, Chester County Hospital show art Holiday Bonus | Family, Discipline & the Roots of Leadership | Charmaine Spence Rochester, CFO, Chester County Hospital

CFO Thought Leader

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Holiday Bonus | A Career In Step with the World |Andreas Schulmeyer, CFO, Better Choice Company show art Holiday Bonus | A Career In Step with the World |Andreas Schulmeyer, CFO, Better Choice Company

CFO Thought Leader

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Few finance leaders have boiled down the take-aways from their career journeys into as many palatable, bite-size portions as John Pokorney, CFO of LeTip International. Having found his original finance door of entry at Intel Corp. in the early 1990s, Pokorney credits the chipmaker’s collaborative culture for prodding him to speak the language of others and tap the power of narrative.

“I wasn’t there to create numbers for the engineering group that I was working with or the logistics organization that I ended up supporting, but I was there to be a business partner—and when you’re a business partner, you have to talk the language of the group you’re working with,” explains Pokorney, who would enter the ranks of entrepreneur CFOs after leaving Intel, where in a span of eight years he occupied the roles of finance analyst, finance manager, and group controller.

Reflecting on a number of different CFO tours of duty, Pokorney is able to quickly bring forth detailed memories of different places and times when business challenges were addressed and lessons learned. While certain ilks of finance leaders have reduced their career highlights to a single stock price or capital raise, Pokorney can be counted among the finance realm’s artful communicators who routinely draws people in by sharing wins, failures, and hard-earned insights. –Jack Sweeney

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