Finance and Investing is pleased to announce The Top 25 CFOs of Kansas for 2023. There is no place like Kansas. Renowned for its vast prairies, rolling hills, iconic portrayal in "The Wizard of Oz," and rich historical landmarks, Kansas's significance extends far beyond its geographical location. In fact, it is the top wheat-producing state in the U.S., churning out over 300 million bushels of the essential crop. This agricultural prowess has earned Kansas the moniker "the Wheat State" and the reputation of being the "Breadbasket of the World."
But while Kansas has historically been known for its agriculture production, the area’s robust economy is also heavily influenced by the aerospace industry – with the state's largest city, Wichita, proudly carrying the title of the "Air Capital of the World.” Furthermore, several major companies call Kansas their home, including Garmin, Payless Shoes, Koch Industries, and Coleman. Notably, in this dynamic economic landscape, the awardees of this year hold a pivotal role in propelling Kansas's vibrant economy forward. Through the strategic implementation of effective financial initiatives, they foster growth and stability, ensuring that Kansas remains a powerhouse not only in agriculture but also across various industries.
This year's list of awardees includes Andrew Peck, who serves as the CFO for PBI-Gordon Companies, Inc. and its subsidiaries. A former D-1 NCAA basketball player, Peck has an impressive career history, having held management positions at three Fortune 500 companies. At PBI-Gordon, he has played a pivotal role in several transformative projects, one of which involved acquiring the company's current headquarters building.
Another outstanding recipient of this award is Dana Kettle, who serves as the CFO of Henderson Engineers. Kettle's career is an inspiration to all women, marked by several notable achievements, including being the first accountant at her company, the second female principal, and the first woman appointed to their board of directors. Last but not least, we have Gary Koch, the CFO at Associated Wholesale Grocers. Koch's responsibilities are extensive, as he manages the nation's largest cooperative food wholesaler serving independently owned supermarkets, generating over $12 billion in consolidated sales.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 CFOs of Kansas for 2023.
1. Kevin Kaufman
Chief Financial Officer, Netsmart
As Chief Financial Officer, Kevin Kaufman is responsible for Netsmart’s financial objectives, results, budget, reporting, policies, cash management processes and strategic direction. He also oversees preparation and filing of the company’s financial statements – as well as provision of company performance and financial information to analysts and the investment community. Prior to joining Netsmart, Kaufman was partner and the audit practice leader for KPMG’s Kansas City office, where he worked for 25 years.
During his time at KPMG, he provided professional audit services to a wide variety of clients ranging from large public FORTUNE 500 companies to small start-up companies in various industries. With more than 22 years of technology and healthcare experience, Kaufman holds a deep understanding of managing financial strategies for high-growth companies. Kaufman received a bachelor’s degree in accounting, cum laude, from Kansas State University.
2. Gary Koch
EVP and Chief Financial Officer, Associated Wholesale Grocers
Gary Koch is an EVP and the Chief Financial Officer of Associated Wholesale Grocers, the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently owned supermarkets, serving 1,100 member companies and over 3,400 locations throughout 31 states from 9 wholesale divisions. Notably, consolidated sales for AWG are over $12 billion. In addition to its cooperative wholesale operations, the company also operates subsidiary companies that provide certain real estate and supermarket development services, health and beauty care, general merchandise, pharmaceutical products, specialty foods, and natural and organic products.
Koch is responsible for the technology, business development, financial, risk management, payroll, and audit functions within the company – as well as facilitating financial support for members. His direct reports include the SVP, Finance & Treasurer; SVP, Chief Admin Officer; VP, Corporate Controller; and VP, Tax & Internal Audit. Koch graduated from Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University with an MBA and from the University at Buffalo School of Management, The State University of New York with an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance.
3. Brian Gillespie
Chief Financial Officer, DH Pace Company
Brian Gillespie is the Chief Financial Officer of DH Pace Company. He first joined the company in 1994. The DH Pace Company, Inc. offers a complete range of door and door related products and services for both new construction projects and existing facilities. The Company currently operates under the Overhead Door™ Ribbon brand name in numerous markets across the United States. This relationship as an authorized distributor partner with Overhead Door™ Corporation goes back to 1926.
Gillespie’s passion is systems improvement and training and people. He has experience with Baan, Navision, Inventory/Barcoding systems, Contract ERP, Vertex, Concur. Notably, Gillespie has more than 20 years of work with operations management, process improvement, internal controls, mergers and acquisitions and reporting. Previously, he was a supervising senior at KPMG US. Gillespie earned an undergraduate degree in accountancy from Miami University.
4. Chris Navratil
Chief Financial Officer, Equity Bank
Chris Navratil is the Chief Financial Officer of Equity Bancshares. Equity Bank, based in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma in the USA, is a $5 billion bank with corporate offices in Wichita, Kansas and 70 full-service bank offices. Equity Bank offers a full range of financial solutions, including online and mobile banking, commercial loans, consumer banking, and mortgage loans, and treasury management service.
Navratil first joined Equity as a SVP within Finance in February 2019. In December 2022, he was promoted to Bank CFO, overseeing financial and balance sheet strategy, liquidity, financial planning and analysis, investor outreach and more. Before Equity Bank, Navratil spent seven years – including two as a Senior Manager within the Financial Institution Audit Practice – with Crowe LLP, a public accounting firm in Chicago, Illinois. Navratil received his master’s in accountancy from Northern Illinois University in 2011.
5. Dana Kettle
Chief Financial Officer, Henderson Engineers
Dana Kettle is the Chief Financial Officer of Henderson Engineers, a national building systems design firm with a wide array of engineering services and a portfolio representing a full range of markets including business, community, retail, healthcare, and venue. Founded in 1970, they have more than 900 employees and licenses in all 50 states – plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and British Columbia.
Kettle began her journey as Henderson’s first accountant in 1994. She was also their second female principal and the first woman appointed to their Board of Directors, which she served on from 2016 to 2021. Not to mention, she’s the first non-engineer to hold either of those roles in Henderson’s history. It’s quite an accomplishment that positions Kettle as an inspiration to all women within a traditionally male-dominated industry. Kettle graduated from Baker University with an MBA and from Colorado State University with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
6. Ben Clouse
Chief Financial Officer, CrossFirst Bank
Ben Clouse is Chief Financial Officer of CrossFirst Bankshares, where he leads the financial organization and overall long-range financial planning and reporting – as well as supporting the execution of the bank’s growth strategy. Prior to joining CrossFirst, Clouse was CFO of Waddell & Reed, Financial. Waddell, notably, was the holding company for one of the oldest mutual fund companies in the United States (Ivy Funds) and a nationwide broker-dealer and investment advisor (Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors).
Clouse began his career in the audit practice of Deloitte. He has held successive roles of increasing responsibility across multiple financial disciplines in a variety of industries, including financial services, banking, consumer retail and digital, and transportation. Clouse obtained a business degree and a Master of Accountancy degree from Kansas State University. He has also been previously licensed as a CPA; and previously designated as a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Series 27 Financial and Operations Principal license holder.
7. Kent Townsend
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, Capitol Federal® Savings Bank
Kent Townsend serves as EVP and Chief Financial Officer of Capitol Federal Savings Bank and Capitol Federal Financial, Inc. Townsend also serves as Treasurer for Capitol Federal Financial, Inc., Capitol Funds, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank, and Capitol Federal Mortgage Reinsurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Capitol Funds, Inc. Notably, Townsend was promoted to EVP, CFO, and Treasurer in September 2005.
Prior to that, he served as SVP, a position he held since April 1999, and Controller of Capitol Federal Financial, Inc., a position he held since March 1999. He has served in similar positions with Capitol Federal Savings Bank since September 1995. He served as the Financial Planning and Analysis Officer with Capitol Federal Savings Bank for three years and other financial related positions since joining Capitol Federal Savings Bank in 1984. Townsend graduated from Washburn University with an MBA in managerial economics and from Kansas State University with an undergraduate degree in business and finance.
8. Andrew Peck
Chief Financial Officer, PBI/Gordon
Andrew Peck is Chief Financial Officer of PBI-Gordon Companies, Inc. and its subsidiaries, PBI-Gordon Corporation, Pegasus Laboratories, and Pet-Ag, Inc. He joined the Company in 2016 as CFO. In this role, he leads Finance, Legal and Risk Management, Payroll, 401(k), and ESOP Administration. Notably, Peck has played a key role in several transformational projects, including the purchase of the Company’s current headquarters building in Shawnee, Kansas.
Previously, Peck was CFO for Health Outcomes Sciences, a private equity backed healthcare software company.
He was also VP of Finance for private equity backed Willowbrook Partners prior to its sale to publicly traded EZCORP. In addition, Peck’s career includes public accounting (tax) as well as management roles in three Fortune 500 companies – Cerner Corp., Williams Companies, and AMR Corp. Peck graduated from Oral Roberts University with a BS in finance. An athlete on the ORU baseball team, Peck was an NCAA Division I Academic All-American. He earned his MBA at the University of Kansas. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.
9. Kelly Bauer
Chief Financial Officer, Fidelity Bank
As Chief Financial Officer for Fidelity Bank, Kelly Bauer holds a strategic role in the overall management of the company’s financial-related activities. Notably, Bauer has worked at Fidelity Bank since 1995 and has more than three decades of banking experience. During his tenure with Fidelity Bank, Bauer has developed and implemented formal budgeting/forecasting capabilities, an in-house asset/liability management function, analytical capacities and organizational profitability, which was later enhanced to include customer profitability.
Bauer holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Wichita State University with minors in accounting and economics. He has also acquired licenses for general securities and uniform securities through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
10. Teema Roberts
Chief Financial Officer, Hall's Culligan
Teema Roberts is the Chief Financial Officer of Hall's Culligan. As your water experts since 1936, they have the skills and the experience to handle just about any water-related challenge that may come up. At Hall's Culligan Water, they're committed to just one thing: improving your water. For almost 70 years, Hall's Culligan Water mission has been to deliver high-quality water treatment products that will benefit every part of their customers' lives.
Roberts first joined the company in 2013. Previously, she was a controller at Goodrich; and before that she served as a director of financial reporting at DeCrane Aerospace, Inc. Earlier in her career, Roberts worked with Grant Thornton as a senior manager. She holds an undergraduate degree in finance and accounting from Kansas State University.
11. Gary Stevens
Chief Financial Officer, SELEX Systems Integration
Gary Stevens is the Chief Financial Officer of SELEX Systems Integration. He first joined the company in 2001. SELEX Systems Integration was integrated with its sister companies, SELEX Galileo and SELEX Elsag (and their respective subsidiaries), to form a single combined business known as Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company. Selex ES is an international leader in electronic and information technologies for defence systems, aerospace, data, infrastructures, land security and protection and sustainable ’smart’ solutions. From the design, development and production of state-of-the-art equipment, software and systems to through life support, they partner with their customers to deliver the information superiority required to act decisively, complete missions, and maintain security and protection for operational effectiveness. Selex ES is an integrated global business with approximately 17,900 staff and total revenues over €3.5 bn. Alongside core domestic operations in Italy and the UK, it has an established industrial and commercial footprint in the US, Germany, Turkey, Romania, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and India.
12. Abby Sitzmann
Chief Financial Officer, SkillPath
Abby Sitzmann began her professional career 20 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Financial Officer of SkillPath. A leader in the learning and development industry since 1989, SkillPath delivers more than 16,000 training sessions each year and has enriched the professional and personal lives of 10 million individuals worldwide. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, their revenue funds scholarships for students at Graceland University.
Notably, Sitzmann first got her start in 2003 as an accountant at Live Nation, her most recent position prior to joining SkillPath. She graduated from the University of Iowa with an undergraduate degree in finance.
13. Jeff Kuzbel
Chief Financial Officer, Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka
Jeff Kuzbel began his professional career 31 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Financial Officer of Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka, a privately owned, federally chartered corporation that promotes housing and homeownership by providing wholesale products and services that help member financial institutions expand the availability of mortgage credit, compete more effectively in their markets and foster strong and vibrant communities. Notably, Kuzbel is a dynamic leader who promotes an infinite mindset, innovation and a collaborative culture.
He has been instrumental in transforming treasury, finance and risk management organizations — commensurate with business growth, changing operating environments, and heightened regulatory requirements. Kuzbel got his start in 1992 as a VP head of investments, assistant treasurer, and portfolio manager at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh. From there, he went on to Advanced Investment Management, before eventually rising to Libor transition executive at Capital One, his most recent position prior to joining Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka. Kuzbel graduated from Duquesne University with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in business administration.
14. Teresa Batchelor
Chief Financial Officer, The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus
Teresa Batchelor is the Chief Financial Officer for The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus, which is part of a long legacy of high-quality, compassionate care. St. Francis Hospital began serving its community in 1909 as the mission of a group of Catholic nuns who rose to meet a need. Today, St. Francis Campus is jointly owned by The University of Kansas Health System and Ardent Health Services. It has 378 licensed inpatient beds, 21 primary and specialty care clinic locations – including a cancer center location in partnership with The University of Kansas Cancer Center, and a history of technological advancements and dedicated staff.
An industry veteran, Batchelor has 21 years of experience. Before joining The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus, Batchelor was a sr. director of finance in the Texas Region and sr. director of operations performance at Tenet Healthcare. Before that, she served as a system CFO and hospital CFO at Forest Park. Earlier in her career, she worked with Triad Hospitals as a division CFO, Controller, and sr. financial analyst. Batchelor graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
15. Bruce Weaver
Chief Financial Officer, The Bradbury
Bruce Weaver is the Chief Financial Officer of The Bradbury. Based in the heartland of Kansas, and headquarters for The Bradbury Group of companies, Bradbury has been in business for over 60 years. Family owned and operated, they are a recognized manufacturer of roll forming, coil processing, leveling, and automated production systems for a wide range of industries.
You can be confident that Bradbury equipment incorporates the latest technology and is unsurpassed in quality and durability. Weaver has 35 years of experience, having began his career in 1988. Before joining The Bradbury, he was an audit senior at Ernst & Young. Weaver graduated from Wichita State University.
16. Dustin Dewitt
Chief Financial Officer, MMC
Dustin Dewitt is the Chief Financial Officer of MMC. Getting their start in 1932, MMC Corp is a national commercial construction services company based in Overland Park, Kansas. As a holding company, MMC Corp owns and operates the following brands. The MMC Corp family of companies is 100% employee-owned and is ranked as one of the top 100 ESOPs in the country.
Dewitt first joined the company in 2013 as a controller. Previously, he was a senior manager at BKD CPAs & Advisors. Dewitt earned an MS in accounting from UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management and an undergraduate degree in accounting from Truman State University.
17. Debi Jones
Chief Financial Officer, Airxcel
Debi Jones began her professional career 32 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Financial Officer of Aircel, which was founded in 1991 with the acquisition of two business units of the Coleman Company out of Wichita, Kansas. In the 30+ years following, the U.S. based company has grown through strategic acquisition, constant innovation and a dedication to its three core values – unparalleled service, product expertise and committed partnerships.
Furthermore, Airxcel is one of the nation's leading designers, manufacturers and distributors of the most critically functional products for the RV industry with 14 unique brands under the Airxcel banner operating in facilities across North America and Europe. Jones graduated from Newman University with an undergraduate degree in accounting, business and management.
18. Cindi Strack
Controller and Chief Financial Officer, Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital
Cindi Strack is the Controller and Chief Financial Officer of Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital, a 74 bed not-for-profit general acute care medical facility serving El Dorado, Kansas, and the surrounding communities. Strack has been with the hospital since 2020. Notably, she is an experienced financial controller with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry.
Strack is also known for being skilled in: Budgeting, Fixed Assets, Account Reconciliation, Accounting, and General Ledger. She holds a BS in business administration – focused in accounting – from Kansas State University. Previously, Strack was a VP and controller at Rock Regional Hospital. Before that, she served as a financial analyst at Newton Medical Center. Earlier in her career, she worked with Via Christi Health as a director of budget and reimbursement.
19. Keith Kranzow
President and Chief Financial Officer, Atlas Aerospace
Keith Kranzow is the President and Chief Financial Officer of The Atlas Group, leading the finance, IT, human resources, and supply chain organizations. He focuses on improving working capital, reducing costs, and working with all parts of the organization to increase profitability while bringing financial, technology and human-resource solutions to the business. Prior to The Atlas Group, Kranzow served as CFO for Joined Alloys and Sargent Aerospace & Defense, and Senior Vice President of Finance and Planning at Mesa Air Group. Kranzow brings has over 25 years of finance experience across multiple industries. Kranzow holds a BA in economics and political science from Northwestern University, an MBA from Arizona State University, and a JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
20. Cole Hoppock
Chief Financial Officer, Vornado Air
Cole Hoppock began his professional career 17 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Financial Officer of Vornado Air. The Vornado brand began earning the trust of its customers in the 1940s by making air circulation products that worked differently, and better. Today, Vornado continues that legacy of trust one innovation at a time. The same revolutionary thinking that created a superior fan has been poured into every aspect of Vornado's offerings today. Vornado offers Air Circulators, Whole Room Heaters, Air Purifiers, Humidifiers and Steam Task Tools to the discerning customer who is concerned about performance, longevity and service.
Hoppock first got his start in 2006 as a business analyst at The Hayes Company, his most recent position prior to joining Vornado Air. Hoppock graduated from Wichita State University with an MBA in finance and from Kansas State University with an undergraduate degree in economics.
21. Amy Hinkle
Chief Financial Officer, Massman Construction
Amy Hinkle is the Chief Financial Officer of Massman Construction. Founded in 1908, Massman is a heavy civil and marine contractor focused on providing turnkey construction solutions to both public and private owners. They have deep and comprehensive expertise as a self-performing national contractor in a variety of infrastructure markets including docks and terminals, bridges, locks and dams, difficult foundations and energy and utilities.
Notably, Hinkle is known for being a discerning strategist and business leader with a track record of success when it comes to helping organizations drive transformation, positive change, profitable growth, and award-winning results. She graduated from Kansas State University with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
22. Shandan Magee
Chief Financial Officer, Orion Property Group
Shandan Magee is the Chief Financial Officer of Orion Property Group, which was founded to offer a full range of real estate services to their client customers. Their core expertise is in the areas of property management, asset management, receiverships, brokerage, and commercial leasing services to their clients. Their executive team consists of experienced professionals representing every management-associated skill and professional designation. Their team has Certified Commercial Investment Managers (CCIM), Certified Property Managers (CPM), Accredited Resident Managers (ARM), Brokers, and Accounting Professionals to provide ownership and their customers the best possible service.
Currently, Magee leads and participates in all financial and management operations of the company. This includes reporting, cash management, accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll. She oversees the monthly accounting closings to insure timeliness, accuracy, completeness and compliance with corporate policy and our Client’s needs. Additionally, she is responsible for establishing, monitoring and enforcing company policies and procedures with her staff and the property management division. Notably, she reports directly to the President of the Orion Property Group. Magee graduated from The University of Kansas.
23. Janet Pahls
Chief Financial Officer, Bergkamp
Janet Pahls is the Chief Financial Officer of Bergkamp. Bergkamp Inc. was established in Salina, Kansas in 1977. They are proud to have great employees that hand-build their equipment right here in the U.S.A. They work closely with contractors and government agencies throughout North America and the world and find their greatest success through their personal dedication to customer service and support.
Pahls is an experienced business analyst with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Notably, she is skilled in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Accounting Software, Business Management, and Data Analysis. Pahls is a strong business development professional with a BS focused in Accounting and Business/Management from Marymount College of Kansas.
24. Tony Kasten
Chief Financial Officer, The Monarch Cement Company
Tony Kasten began his professional career 22 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Financial Officer of The Monarch Cement Company, which has been around for more than a century. At The Monarch Cement Company, strength is more than muscle and brawn; real strength is character, conviction and grit. It’s a core belief that binds the company together with its customers, employees and communities.
Kasten, notably, first got his start in 2001 as a director of operations at Control Vision, his most recent position prior to joining The Monarch Cement Company. He graduated from Pittsburg State University with an MBA in accounting.
25. Karen Frye
Chief Financial Officer, Catalyst Orthodontic Group
Karen Frye is the Chief Financial Officer of Catalyst Orthodontic Group. Catalyst Orthodontic Group is an orthodontic support company that supports award-winning orthodontic brands in 4 states: Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, and North Carolina. The offices supported by Catalyst are all orthodontist-owned and function as a large group practice. They are driven to provide opportunities to grow for patients, orthodontists, and team members. They provide an alternative practice opportunity from the private equity-driven corporate models. Doctors are in charge of treatment decisions, modalities, and system management. Frye has 25 years of experience. She began her career in 1998.
Before joining Catalyst Orthodontic Group, Frye was a senior corporate accountant at Freeman Holdings and before that an instructor at Utica School of Commerce. Earlier in her career she worked with Eckerd Corporation as an assistant manager. Frye graduated from SUNY Utica/Rome with an MBA in human resources management and services and an undergraduate degree in accounting and business management.