GCC’s Stacy Magill Recieves North Bay CFO Award.
Name: Stacy L. Magill
Company: Ghilotti Construction Company
Company address: 246 Ghilotti Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95407
Number of company employees: about 300
Education: Executive Sustainable Business Enterprise (GyMBA) Dominican University. SSU BA Business Mangement emphasis Accounting and Finance. SRJC AA Business Management.
What do you see as the essential role of a financial leader in the current environment?
Adaptability. Economic changes have accelerated rapidly. A financial leader must have a strategic vision that is aligned with a rapidly changing market and simultaneously, develop and maintain great working relationships with lenders and stakeholders. With tighter margins and less business to go around focus on return on investment and maintaining strong cash and working capital are critical. Identify your most profitable core competencies and focus on increasing those markets while assessing current opportunities.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your industry?
Increasing collaboration between the design build team to lower costs and improve production efficiencies. More partnering earlier in the project cycle. Increased use of technology both in the field and administratively. The decline in private development, tightening funding streams, increasing environmental regulations and rising fuel costs.
Tell us about the particular challenges and opportunities your organization has met in the recent past?
The asset purchase of North Bay Construction was a phenomenal opportunity. We have brought some excellent people on board, optimized our equipment fleet and increased our backlog. Difficult economic times present challenges and opportunities. Having focused strategic vision and a strong balance sheet enabled us to take advantage of this great opportunity. The decline in real estate and the tightening of the credit markets have been very challenging for our private and commercial clients. We have used this time to provide value engineering services and assist in project design to optimize value and cash flow for our clients.
What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?
Finance is a great career, enjoy it. Never underestimate the need for great communication and presentation skills. Your ability to communicate strategy, vision and results, (ROI) will be paramount to your career. Network and take every advantage to learn new things. Be adaptable and creative. Always remember there is nothing more valuable than your reputation.
What’s the best advice for weathering today’s economic environment?
We came into this environment with very strong financial fundamentals. Future scenarioing and sensitivity testing are invaluable. When your looking at ROI, always assess cash flow and working capital. Communicate proactively with stakeholders. Keep your focus and adapt when the environment shifts. Engage all levels of the company in business development. A great sense of humor doesn’t hurt either.
How do you think your business will change in the next five years?
There are a lot of opportunities in Construction to continue to implement new technology, particularly as it relates to environmental and production efficiencies. The construction industry has some pretty significant funding source challenges right now with credit tightening and the fiscal challenges in government. Funding and design of projects will be evolving. You will see more public private partnerships.
What is a decision you wish you hadn’t made? What did you learn from it?
I learn from every decision so no regrets. If I could change something it would be the times I have been a little too risk averse. Contracting requires a lot of optimism, especially during challenging economic times.
What is your most memorable business experience?
There have been many. Most recently, traveling to Shanghai China with the Bay Area Council. Seeing infrastructure and clean energy development on such a large scale gave me many new strategic development insights.
What is your greatest business success?
Seeing a third generation family business pass onto the fourth generation with the same passion and enthusiasm that our founders had for excellence, community philanthropy and placing importance on relationships.
What was your toughest business decision?
Every decision is a learning opportunity. For our Company the hardest decision has been to reduce staff during the recession. Any decision you make that effects the lives and well being of others is a tough decision, particularly in a family owned business.
What would your friends be surprised to find out about you?
I am a real construction Geek. I love to watch Build it Bigger.
Most admired businessperson outside the company: I feel you can learn from everyone. I can’t pick one so Indra Nooyi, Warren Buffet, Russ Colomo, Bank of Marin and Jim Frank, Greenstone Homes.
Current reading: Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales and The Art of Happiness by The Dahli Lama
Most want to meet: I.M. Pei
Stress relievers: Golf, being in nature, talking with a good friend and yoga/meditation.
Favorite activities outside work: Travel, Golf, Skiing, Cooking, Gardening, Socializing with friends and family and practicing the principles of sustainability.
Is there anything we may have missed that you would like to add?
My success and the success of Ghilotti Construction Company are a direct result of the talented and dedicated owners, employees, customers and business associates I have the privilege of working with everyday. Thank you for all the opportunity and effort.
Read more here.