Lehigh Valley Financial Executives Honored at 2017 CFO of the Year Awards
By Colin McEvoy on September 20, 2017
As Anthony DiGirolamo accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award during the Lehigh Valley Business (LVB) 2017 CFO of the Year, he decided to quote the former Vice President of the United States of America.
“As Joe Biden said, ‘This is a big expletive deal!'” DiGirolamo said to a crowd of more than 200 people during the Sept. 19 award ceremony at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township.
Eighteen nominees and 10 winners were honored at the CFO of the Year Awards program, which celebrates the Greater Lehigh Valley’s financial executives at all levels who contribute to the success of the region’s economic growth and stability.
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) was a major sponsor for the program, and Jaime Whalen, LVEDC Vice President of Administration and Investor Relations, made introductory remarks at the event.
“Our region has been the fastest growing area in the state for the last five years, and it’s due to the success of our businesses and regional partners that we’re in a position to share these success stories around the world,” Whalen said. “The financial executives we’re recognizing here today are major players in those successes, and on behalf of LVEDC, I thank you for your contributions and dedication to the Lehigh Valley.”
The nominees and winners included:
Private Company (With Revenues Up To $25M)
- Michael Fischer, Client 1st Financial
- Chris Pektor, Ashley Development Corporation
- Daniel G. Smith, American Millwork & Cabinetry, Inc.
Private Company (With Revenues Over $25M)
- Gary Conner, Reading Health System
- Jeremy Melber, Southern Lehigh School District
- Mark Reed, Moravian College
- Tracie Springer, Dress for Success Allentown
Best Growth Manager
Best Turnaround Specialist
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
- Anthony DiGirolamo, AQualityCFO, LLC
Rising Star Award Winner
- Amy Malseed, Lehigh Valley Academy Charter School
Community Service Award Winner
- Joe Savage, Victaulic
Savage was among the first businessmen in the region to the Lehigh Valley’s “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, according to Mike O’Rourke, Publisher of LVB. He raised more than $27,000, which accounted for 30 percent of the total raised for the regional campaign and ranked #12 nationally.
“Having lost several loved ones to cancer, it was a cause that was near and dear to his heart,” O’Rourke said. “Not only did he raise awareness and funds for cancer research by wearing pink every day, he also inspired Victaulic’s global workforce to join the fight against this horrific disease. Employees across geographies stepped up to support the campaign efforts on behalf of Victaulic and in the spirit of the company’s philanthropic culture.”
O’Rourke also introduced each of the nominees, including Richard Hooper of Follett, and Gilbert Lee of Fuling Plastics, both of which are based in the Lehigh Valley.
Hooper, who served as Vice President of Finance at OraSure Technologies before becoming CFO at Follett in 2010, was instrumental in two major expansions for the company, O’Rourke said. This includes a 25,000 square-foot expansion of its Forks Township headquarters in 2013, and the opening of a 73,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Hanover Township in 2014.
Lee, CFO at Fuling Plastics, worked with investment banks, lawyers, auditors, and board of directors to take the company public on Nasdaq last year. Under Lee’s leadership, Fuling continues to expand and create more jobs locally, O’Rourke said., also serving as interim vice president of operations.
The CFO of the Year award winners were selected by a panel of judges that included Gary Bender of The Manfacturer’s Advantage, David Deal of Blue Mountain Resort, Stever Gergar of Hospital Central Services, Inc., Jim Lynch of ABEC, Inc., and Todd Quann of the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority.
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