In fall 2014, Mark Stutrud was fishing for salmon in Michigan’s Pere Marquette River when a colleague introduced an intriguing but fraught proposition: interviewing to become the CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), the largest statewide social service agency in the state. As Stutrud cast his line, he considered the challenges: low morale, a looming state fiscal crisis that could imperil LSSI’s funding, and a litigious environment that had led to 80 consent decrees. “My first question,” recalled Stutrud, then the President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, “was, ‘Why, God, would you ever call me to this situation?’”
In 2008, Walt Ekard, the Chief Administrative Officer for San Diego County, asked Nick Macchione, the newly-promoted director of the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, to address a complex and significant question: “How do we help San Diego become a healthier region for the entire county, representing more than three million residents?” Macchione responded by engaging his staff and an array of county, city, and community partners to develop a health strategy, which elected officials used as a launching point for what would become Live Well San Diego, a multi-pronged “vision for a region that is building better health, living safely, and thriving.” To achieve these goals, the county team planned to employ a variety of core strategies, including strengthening the service delivery system, effecting policy and environmental change, supporting positive choices, and improving the culture from within one’s organization. They also identified areas of influence (e.g., health and knowledge) to be measured by a set of key indicators. Above all, the fate of this initiative would hinge on the ability of the county team to establish trust and build an ecosystem that spanned organizational and jurisdictional boundaries, moving beyond politics. Macchione emphasized, “It’s about relationships. It’s about beliefs. It’s about integrity. It’s about legitimacy. It’s all about improving lives.”
In 2011 and 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown issued a pair of executive orders that created both an opportunity and a dilemma for the Office of Fleet and Asset Management (OFAM) in the state’s Department of General Services (DGS). Brown directed OFAM—which oversees the state’s 50,000 vehicles—to reduce its fleet by 7,000 vehicles, increase the proportion of light duty fleet purchases that are Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) to 25 percent by 2020, and cut statewide petroleum use by 50 percent by 2030. On the one hand, this meant that OFAM had the chance to make a significant contribution to the mission of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, it raised difficult questions. How would OFAM balance “green goals” and departmental needs (e.g., public safety vehicles with special performance requirements)? In addition, how would the division remain competitive with other suppliers (e.g., rental car agencies)? “If we just have a green fleet and vehicles that people don’t like at a higher cost, they’re not going to go to us,” said DGS Director Daniel Kim. “Our costs escalate and then that’s just a vicious cycle.”
In 2016, the Georgia Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) encountered what then-DOAS Commissioner Sid Johnson characterized as a “crisis situation.” , That August, news broke that a senior official from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) had used an agency credit card to make over $87,000 in personal purchases; at least some of the purchases were made via Amazon. A subsequent investigation revealed a breakdown of internal controls, inadequate management oversight, and a broader sense that something had gone seriously awry. “The GBI routinely conducts investigations of misuse of purchasing cards. In this case, it was one of its own employees,” said GBI Director Vernon Keenan. “I [was] totally mortified that this occurred.”
In March 2015 when Hardik Bhatt became the Chief Information Officer for the State of Illinois, he faced significant challenges.7 The state was spending approximately $1 billion annually on Information Technology (IT), yet it ranked in the bottom quartile nationally among state information technology departments. This spending was especially concerning because Illinois had been slow to recover from the Great Recession; in fact, it was one of the few states in the country experiencing population outflow. Finally, there was a sense of urgency. Bhatt estimated that Illinois’ IT system was 45 years behind where it should have been, but with the next gubernatorial election approaching in November 2018, he was only guaranteed a narrow window to pursue reform. Bhatt summarized, “We had to do an overall transformation of 45 years in four years.”
In 2015, 1,307 people died from opioid overdoses in Kentucky, resulting in Kentucky having the third-highest overdose mortality rate in the country. What’s more, of the approximately 50,000 babies delivered in Kentucky that year, more than 1,000 had Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. , As Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said, “We don’t have the luxury of pretending there isn’t a problem. Every life is worth saving. There is not a person we would not want to see redeemed and removed from this addiction, and it is up to all of us to work together and find solutions.”
If you read the name Stanley Black & Decker and think of your power tools you wouldn’t be wrong, but you’d also be missing the whole picture. Ryan DuRussel is the chief financial officer of Stanley Security Solutions, one of the groups within the more than century-old company. During his presentation at The2017 CFO of the Future Summit: Fueling the Growth Agenda, he spoke about the critical role of the finance organization in supporting innovations that have allowed the company to build a platform that services and supports 18 market-leading brands, while keeping an eye on the future.
Gannett has a rich history as a media company, with outlets that include top local newspapers as well as national newspaper USA TODAY. The company also has a strong digital presence locally and nationwide. However, in 2016, the company decided it needed to make a change. While Gannett was growing rapidly on the digital side, many investors still saw the company as a declining newspaper publisher instead of an online leader.
Accenture recently embarked on a transformational journey to become a first mover in the new digital economy. In her presentation at The 2017 CFO of the Future Summit: Fueling the Growth Agenda, KC McClure, Finance Director for Communications, Media & Technology at Accenture, reflected on the company’s journey and the importance of the role that CFO David Rowland played in leading the change and creating shareholder value.
When Anheuser-Busch InBev, one of the largest brewing companies in the world, and Keurig Green Mountain decided to form a joint venture, the market took notice. During a presentation at The 2017 Next Generation Operations Summit: Creating a Customer-Centric Supply Chain, Scott King, who is leading supply chain strategy for the joint venture (JV), talked about what it’s been like to merge teams from two very different companies.
The JV is set up as a research partnership. Both companies will contribute to developing new technology for an in-home beer and cocktail experience. The JV will operate as a separate entity from its parent companies but will be able to draw on the capabilities and pedigree of both as it evolves.