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Saturday, Jun 3, 2023

Five Honored for Exemplary Financial Performance

In our first special report on Valley CFOs, we received nearly 50 nominations of financial professionals to consider from readers and through our own Business Journal research. The list of these professionals was then culled to 20 individuals who are featured in detail in this report. The 20 were selected by an outside committee of financial professionals. The committee as well as the nomination and selection process was led by Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff with assistance from Business Journal Researcher Ari Morguelan. Five of the 20 honorees were then selected to be featured as the best in different categories based on company size and type. MEDIUM COMPANY AWARD Bob Hudson Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Most hospitals have their doctors to credit with being heroes, but in the case of Henry Mayo, one may consider CFO and Executive Vice President Bob Hudson to be the real hero. Before Bob Hudson came aboard at the health care facility, it was in deep financial trouble, and was about to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In April 2001, Hudson joined Henry Mayo when the hospital was $12 million in debt and was cash poor. Hudson assisted in developing a plan to reduce costs, enhance revenue and address Henry Mayo’s cash flow problems. He established goals based on industry standards and now calls Henry Mayo “very profitable,” with an operating margin of 13 percent. One of only a few healthcare providers in the Santa Clarita Valley, Henry Mayo is now healthy enough to pursue expansion opportunities. Before coming to Henry Mayo, the Valencia resident was a Director at KPMG where he was responsible for a wide range of business development matters. Hudson was also vice president of MedPartners, where he was responsible for the financial oversight of three hospitals and ancillary providers. He has used the experiences he has had at his previous jobs to employ a successful strategy at the hospital including installing a new full computer system for the finance department, $75 million in bond financing and maintained a top 25 percent finance performance for the hospital. All of this culminated in the successful navigation through Chapter 11, to a point where now Henry Mayo is now expanding and growing. According to Justin Brauer of Union Bank, before Hudson joined Henry Mayo his predecessors had tried to sell the facility but were unsuccessful. “Bob assisted in developing a plan to reduce costs, enhance revenue and address Henry Mayo’s cash flow problems. He now compares Henry Mayo’s performance based on peer analysis of the top performing hospitals in the state,” Brauer added. A large part of the expense reductions were a result of the elimination of non-core services that were draining Henry Mayo’s cash flow. Bob’s efforts have returned Henry Mayo to profitability and he is now working with the hospital’s management team and board of directors to expand and grow the hospital campus. Brauer adds that Hudson was instrumental in Henry Mayo’s reorganization plan which has ultimately led to positive cash flow and profitability. Bob worked with the court, bond issuer, credit committee, analysts, management team and the hospital’s board of directors to put an expansion plan in place. The expansion plan included a $75 million bond issuance in 2007 along with a $7 million term note from Union Bank of California for exit financing in 2003. The money is being utilized on new projects such as a connecting corridor between hospital buildings, new power plant, new radiology department, new acute care beds, new hospital wide computer system, new ICU, new operating room and emergency room expansion. Ari Morguelan NOT FOR PROFIT AWARD Ken Jones Woodbury University As Ken Jones has said publicly, what he likes best about his job as vice president for finance and administration at Woodbury University is the “family” environment. “We’re a small, private university,” he said, and “our staff really does work well together. It’s a close-knit group that always tries to be on the same page all the time, and we avoid the silo approach.” With just 1,500 students, Woodbury is a significant change from Jones’ experience at Texas A & M;, where he was employed back in the 1980s. In those days, just getting from one side of the campus to the other was a major effort, he recalls. As a non-profit organization, Woodbury also has different financial requirements from a major educational institution. Begun in downtown Los Angeles back in 1884, the Woodbury campus is now in Burbank and is funded from endowments, contributions and grants, and part of Jones’ function is to lead re-investment of that money back into the university. Jones has an extensive background in finance, with more than seven years in commercial finance, a dozen years in non-profits, and five years at the Otis School of Art and Design. He is now in his seventh year at Woodbury. Overall, Jones is in charge of treasury functions and reports directly to the president of the university and the university cabinet, of which he is a member. In addition, he oversees all university administration, human resources and facilities. His own staff includes the director of human resources, the accounting manager and the director of facilities. “I’m especially happy with the relationship that exists among the university trustees, our administrators and the faculty,” Jones said. “That’s a key component in any business and is essential in a non-profit context if we are to be in sync as we determine our mission and strategize our future. In more commercial organizations that sometimes doesn’t occur and it can be a problem. Jones ensures the closeness continues by placing a premium on very open communications where every member of the staff is encouraged to ask questions. Accordingly, the university cabinet meets at least once every week. “That way,” he said, “we create a transparent process where everyone is informed and up to date all of the time.” John Mitchell SPECIALITY ENTERPRISE AWARD Dr. Gary Lysik City of Calabasas One of several cities in the midst of the greater Los Angeles area, Calabasas incorporated a number of years ago and is now a community of about 26,000 residents. Overseeing financial matters is city CFO Gary Lysik. “We’re just 13.4 miles square,” Lysik said, “ranging from Las Virgenes Canyon to Valley Circle to Ventura Blvd., but being small gives us a lot of (operational) flexibility. We work from an annual budget of about $110 million dollars, a large portion of which comes from sales taxes.” Lysik noted that it doesn’t hurt that Calabasas is home to a number of high-end automobile dealerships, including Mercedes, Volvo and others. In addition, the per capita income soars up to $72,400 a year, among the highest in the county. When compared with revenues for the entire city of Los Angeles, Lysik said, Calabasas sees about 4.7 percent of one percent of available money. Lysik spoke from new offices adjacent to the Commons in Calabasas, which he and his staff of 10 occupied less than a month ago and which Lysik, through skillful financial management, helped to make a reality. The title of “CFO” is not common in municipalities in California, he said, and he believes he was the first in the state to be so named preferring that designation over “director of finance.” During his five-year tenure as CFO, Calabasas has moved from a troubled financial posture to one of much greater precision and stability. With a new emphasis on “financial transparency,” Lysik designed a complete set of policies and procedures that have streamlined the path to better, more effective city governance. An acknowledged fan of the job, Lysik has been in financial matters for 26 years, with positions in the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Edison International and Northrop-Grumman. He followed an MBA from Pepperdine in 1988 with a doctorate of education degree from the same university in 2007. And he admits to political aspirations. Several years ago, he gave running for Congress a lot of serious thought, but his love for finance gained the upper hand. Still, his interest in public service continues, perhaps in the state house, perhaps Washington, D.C. One day, he thinks, the title Congressman Lysik might have a nice ring but not this year. John Mitchell ENTREPRENEUR COMPANY AWARD Sharon Manley Andy Gump Inc. Few products, let alone a company name, have ever become a generic description, but “Andy Gump” has. People speak of “an Andy Gump” when referring to the familiar portable restrooms at outdoor events all over Southern California even if provided by one of the company’s competitors. Talk about a marketer’s dream. Started in the 1930s by Messena “Andy” Gump, the company has become a success locally since 1936 when the family moved west to escape the Dust Bowl in Colorado, and for the past 20 years, Sharon Manley has been a major part of the story. Bringing a 15-year background in banking along with her, Sharon began with Andy Gump as a part-time accountant. “You could say I grew up with the business,” Sharon said. “At the time there were just 40 employees, and total revenues were $2 million. I became the office manager, then was promoted to controller, and finally to CFO. Then, as now, Andy Gump was a family business, and what I tried to do was bring some of the structure of the banking business to bear and make it work.” She also led the company’s transition from manual accounting procedures to a computer-based system. That has eased the financial and administrative complexities of working with multiple facilities, now accomplished by just three employees. And she was instrumental in the successful acquisition of five companies that added to Andy Gump’s reach. What hasn’t changed over the years, Sharon noted, are the old school values and culture that continue to ensure the company’s success. The family culture is “what makes it happen.” At the end of 2007, company revenues were at $25 million and the number of employees had reached 215. And there have been additions to the familiar portable restroom, including solar powered units to drive water pumps, and special upgrades to units seen on motion picture sets. The company also supplies temporary electrical power systems. In addition to the company’s headquarters in Santa Clarita, there are also offices in North Hollywood, Bakersfield, Lancaster and Orange. With no franchises seen for the future, Sharon says the direction for Andy Gump goes toward improved quality. “We don’t necessarily want to be bigger,” Sharon said, “we want to be better.” John Mitchell LARGE COMPANY AWARD Jonathan Mather American Reprographics Co. LLC Jonathan Mather accomplished a lot before he even landed at American Reprographics Company (ARC), most recently working as CFO of wireless router giant NETGEAR as it grew to be the forerunner in the wireless router market. Before working at NETGEAR, Mather worked at Applause Inc., and served in a variety of senior finance roles at other consumer-related and technology companies. Mather is a CMA and a Chartered Accountant, who also has an MBA from prestigious Cornell University. Two years ago he came to ARC where he oversees the entire finance department. Since Mather joined ARC in 2006, he has completed a number of key initiatives which has furthered the company’s acquisition and growth strategies. Just last year, Mather worked closely with a mergers-and-acquisition group to acquire 19 companies with revenues of more than $100 million dollars. ARC now has more than 5,000 employees and in its last fiscal year revenues of $688 million. Mather recently completed a $350 million credit facility, quite a feat during a very tight credit market. Mather, who not only reports daily to the CEO, but also formally four times a year to the Board of Directors as ARC is a public company, has a lot on his plate everyday. Mather, in an interview with the Business Journal, talked about how his experiences at NETGEAR prepared him for his post at ARC, “when I was at NETGEAR I joined the company when it was losing money, and it turned into a profitable company and it went public.” Adding, “(I have) done substantial value creation within companies, and I pride myself on operating with a high level of ethics.” People who work with Mather share a similar feeling about his work ethics. Carlos Herrera, vice president and senior relationship manager for Union Bank of California, said that during his time at NETGEAR, Mather completed a number of key initiatives which included acquisition and growth strategies. Adding, “American Reprographics continues to acquire and integrate companies into its operational platform. Jonathan’s experience has been integral in successfully managing this process.” Herrera stressed the importance of Mather’s completion of a $350 million syndicated credit facility in November of 2007 in a credit crunch. ARC is the leading reprographics company in the United States, providing business-to-business document management services to the architectural, engineering and construction industry. Ari Morguelan

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