Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Often, the seemingly simple experiences in life make the deepest impact.
When I was in grade school, I often mowed lawns for neighbors or painted for my father’s remodeling business. Through these experiences, I soon realized the importance of completing a task. The sense of satisfaction I felt—the joy of accomplishment—made the work much easier.
I also learned from others’ experiences. For example, when my grandfather—a Kansas farmer—became disabled at a young age, my grandmother persevered. She raised four young children, worked the farm, and personally tended to her husband. Yet throughout her life she looked back at this time with great joy and an appreciation for the opportunity to care for her husband and “best friend.”
Maybe these simple experiences are why I believe that combining a clear, compelling purpose with a positive, winning attitude can make all the difference in achieving your goals. And throughout my career, this belief has helped define my leadership style. My professional experiences, too, confirmed this belief and further shaped my leadership philosophy by introducing me to the importance of partnering with other areas of the business.
While studying economics and business at Wichita State University, I started my own business. This real-world experience provided a crash course in cash flow, managing people, and the importance of results. I continued to operate my business while completing my MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. It was an intense time in my life; I traveled between Chicago and Kansas every week—pursuing my degree, managing my business, and raising a young family.
Although I enjoyed my experience as a business owner, I was eager to put my newly earned degrees to work. My job search was focused on becoming a hedge fund manager, but along the way, I took a job in the finance department of a local aircraft manufacturing company and soon discovered that I really liked applying my business and finance skills in a manufacturing environment. I enjoyed leading a team who partnered with the business and shared financial insight to make the company even better.
In my subsequent positions as a business chief financial officer (CFO) and group CFO, I worked in different manufacturing companies, each progressively larger than the one before. In each case, the president and CFO were held accountable for the results of the business, including operations. Again, I had priceless opportunities to implement multiple operational and market strategies and see the results first hand.
Throughout, my leadership style evolved but never strayed. In fact, every experience—late nights, tight deadlines, and more—solidified my belief that providing clear direction and keeping a positive attitude was a winning combination. Teams respond better when they know they are part of a winning team. I don’t view this approach as a management strategy; I just view it as the most natural and effective way for me to lead and contribute to the business as part of a team.
As vice president of finance and CFO for Swagelok, I’m excited about opportunities I see for the team to partner with the business. As we develop additional insight, we will add even more value to all areas of the business and be well-positioned to serve our customers’ current and future needs.
Outside of work, my wife Katie and I have 12 children, and my family is my greatest source of pride. We've lived in many different places during the course of my career, and my family has adapted, thrived, and been an amazing source of support and stability for me.