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Los Angeles CFOs Honored At Annual Awards

Los Angeles CFOs Honored At Annual Awards

Members of the Los Angeles finance community gathered on Tuesday, September 20 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown LA to recognize the top CFOs in the region at the 10th Annual Los Angeles CFO of the Year Awards. Century Group is a proud founding sponsor of the event, presented by the Los Angeles Business Journal to honor the important work of CFOs as financial stewards in companies and organizations throughout various industries.

Although there are six categories, awards went to eight individuals this year – with such an impressive group of nominees and finalists, two winners were chosen for two of the categories: Private CFO of the Year and Nonprofit CFO of the Year.

This year’s winners were:

The winners and awards committee
  • Public Company CFO of the Year – Steve Presley, Nestle USA
  • Private Company CFOs of the Year –
    • Nigel Kershaw, Lucky Brand
    • Whit Richards, Fullscreen, Inc.
  • Government/Public Sector CFO of the Year – Ryan Yakubik, Los Angeles World Airports
  • Nonprofit CFOs of the Year –
    • James Dougherty, Glendale Chamber of Commerce/JLK Rosenberger, LLP
    • Stephen Kennedy, Los Angeles Mission
  • Rising Star of the Year – Eric Chan, LootCrate, Inc.
  • RSM Middle Market Award – Matthew Pakkala, World Oil Corp.

Nearly 500 guests attended this year’s event, celebrating the 66 outstanding nominees and 23 finalists (see finalists by category below). “There is always such an impressive list of nominees and this year was no exception,” said Century Group’s COO Ron Blair, a member of the awards committee. “Each of the nominees has contributed to their company’s growth and built great teams to ensure their company’s continued success. It is our honor to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of each and every honoree.”

Given the ever-changing economic climate, CFOs serve as essential members of a company’s core leadership team. Together with their CEOs, their decisions affect all aspects of the business. Each year, one facet is central among the sentiments of the CFOs honored – they couldn’t do any of it without the help of their teams. Many of the honorees also attributed their success to a strong partnership with their CEOs.

Eric Chan of LootCrate, the honoree for Rising Star of the Year, shared his gratitude for his company’s CEO, who he said has given him a lot of room to shape the company’s processes. “We are only as good as our CEO allows us to be,” he stated.

Nigel Kershaw of Lucky Brand, one of the two Private Company CFO of the Year honorees, credited the two-year transition of Lucky Brand’s Los Angeles finance department as a team effort. He shared his award with everyone at Lucky Brand who participated in the transition, including a great partnership with the company’s CEO.

The other Private Company CFO of the Year honoree, Whit Richards of Fullscreen, Inc., commented on how he feels lucky to work with his finance colleagues and partners in the human resources and legal departments. He continued to say that he felt a bit guilty since he loves what he does for Fullscreen; it’s very rewarding in itself.

Steve Kennedy of the Los Angeles Mission, one of the two honorees for Nonprofit CFO of the Year, thanked the Mission’s President and CEO, “a great leader and a strong manager.” He also shared his gratitude for the entire accounting department, as well as Nathalie Hollants, Century Group’s Director of Client Services, for nominating him. Finally, he shared his appreciation for the men, women and children the Mission serves. “That’s what keeps me coming back,” he said.

The awards committee looked at a number of criteria in selecting this year’s honorees, including the length of time they had been with their organization, the overall body of work in their career, the impact they made within their organization; the impact they made compared to their peer group, the financial success and stability of their company, and their involvement in both industry groups and the community.

More details and photos from the event, as well as a profile on each winner and nominee, can be found in the September 26 issue of the Los Angeles Business Journal.

LA CFO Awards 2016

David Liebman with Whit Richards, Private Company CFO of the Year

LA CFO Awards 2016

Nathalie Hollants with Stephen Kennedy of the Los Angeles Mission, Nonprofit CFO of the Year, and Mission President and CEO Herb Smith

LA CFO Awards 2016

Barnaby Wang with Sabrina Ayala, finalist for Nonprofit CFO of the Year, and her husband

LA CFO Awards 2016

David Liebman, nominee Stephen Howe, his colleague Jeremiah Kalan, and Nigel Kershaw, Private Company CFO of the Year

LA CFO Awards 2016

Erik Mosson, Chantel LeBoff Greene and Nominee Margarita Buitrago

LA CFO Awards 2016

Ron Blair, COO of Century Group and member of the awards committee

LA CFO Awards 2016

Members of the Century Group team

Los Angeles CFO of the Year Finalists

Public Company CFO of the Year:

  • Douglas Benn, The Cheesecake Factory
  • Tom Emrey, DineEquity
  • Diane Holland, POSSIBLE
  • Steve Presley, Nestle USA

Private Company CFO of the Year:

  • Edgar Davtyan, Ayzenberg
  • Nigel Kershaw, Lucky Brand
  • Matthew Pakkala, World Oil Corp.
  • Whit Richards, Fullscreen
  • Phil Schraeder, GumGum
  • Neil Watt, UNICOM Systems

Government/Public Sector CFO of the Year:

  • Gene Straub, Granada Hills Charter High School
  • Ryan Yakubik, Los Angeles World Airports

Nonprofit CFO of the Year:

  • Sabrina Ayala, Green Dot Public Schools National
  • James Dougherty, Glendale Chamber of Commerce/JLK Rosenberger, LLP
  • Deborah Ives, Weingart Foundation
  • Stephen Kennedy, Los Angeles Mission
  • Elizabeth Turchan, The Buckley School
  • Paul Willett, Habitat for Humanity

Rising Star of the Year:

  • Karen LaVine Bond, Nestle USA
  • Eric Chan, LootCrate, Inc.
  • Peter Kim, Katzkin Leather, Inc.
  • Brian Sullivan, Regent Properties
  • Bryan Wolff, Thrive Market
Stacey MonyeiLos Angeles CFOs Honored At Annual Awards