Finance and Investing is pleased to announce The Top 25 CFOs of Minnesota for 2023. Minnesota's economy is a robust and diverse one, driven by a combination of sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, finance, technology, and agriculture. As the 22nd largest economy in the United States, it boasts a strong GDP and a low unemployment rate. This year’s awardees navigate complex financial challenges, analyze market trends, and implement effective financial strategies to drive growth and maximize profitability. Their expertise and leadership contribute to the economic stability and prosperity of the organizations they serve.
Among this year’s awardees is Matt Bilunas, CFO for Best Buy since 2006, who holds a crucial position overseeing global finance, strategic planning, audit, procurement, and financial services. Awardee Karen Parkhill, EVP and CFO of Medtronic, holds a key position overseeing global finance for the leader in medical technology, services, and solutions. Also awarded is Kofi Bruce, CFO of General Mills, who plays a pivotal role in driving the company’s financial performance and supporting its growth initiatives in the highly competitive food industry
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 CFOs of Minnesota for 2023.
1. Brian Harvey
Chief Financial Officer of Sage Electrochromics, Saint-Gobain
Brian Harvey serves as the Chief Financial Officer at Sage Electrochromics, a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain. Since his initial appointment in 2016, he has assumed key roles within the organization, including Global Controller of Life Sciences and SBU Controller for Business and Performance Solutions. Saint-Gobain, renowned for its expertise in the development, production, and distribution of materials and solutions, caters to the construction, mobility, and industrial sectors. By fostering a culture of continuous innovation, the company's comprehensive offerings exemplify sustainability and performance, effectively addressing the needs of modern-day living, encompassing public and private building renovations, lightweight construction, and the crucial decarbonization of the construction and industrial domains. Furthermore, Saint-Gobain remains steadfast in its commitment to curbing carbon emissions, promoting resource efficiency, and fostering circularity.
Brian Harvey's prior professional experiences encompass significant positions such as Group Controller at ASC Industries, Inc., and Group Business Controller at Shiloh Industries. Additionally, he played a pivotal role as a Controller at Progress Printing Company during the early stages of his career. Harvey earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Lynchburg, a testament to his commitment to acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills for his current role.
2. Bill Gaumond
Chief Financial Officer, Allianz Life
Bill Gaumond serves as the Chief Financial Officer at Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®), overseeing all financial functions within the company. In his capacity as CFO, Gaumond is responsible for financial planning, management, reporting, and corporate risk management. With a strong background in finance and investment, Gaumond has accumulated extensive experience during his tenure at Allianz Life.
Before assuming his current role, Gaumond spent 12 years in various finance and investment-related positions at Allianz Life, including serving as the senior vice president of the Asset Liability Management and Investment Risk Management department. Before that, he worked as a senior member of the Group Planning and Controlling department for Allianz SE in Munich, Germany, for two years.
Gaumond's professional journey began at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he worked for nine years before joining Allianz Life in 2004. He holds an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated summa cum laude. Gaumond's commitment to the industry is evident through his membership in the LL Global Board of Directors for LIMRA and LOMA, as well as his position on the Board of Directors for Bolder Options in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
3. Andrea Luedtke
Chief Financial Officer, Nidec Motor Corporation
Andrea Luedtke, a seasoned professional with 27 years of experience, currently holds the position of Chief Financial Officer at Nidec Motor Corporation. Renowned for its long-standing heritage spanning over a century, Nidec Motor Corporation (NMC) stands as a distinguished manufacturer of commercial motors, industrial motors, appliance motors, and controls. NMC's extensive product portfolio encompasses an array of high-efficiency motors under the U.S. MOTORS® brand, catering to diverse industrial applications including water treatment, mining, oil and gas, power generation, as well as commercial applications such as pool and spa systems, condensers, cooling towers, and large refrigeration units.
Before assuming her current role at Nidec Motor Corporation, Luedtke served as Vice President of Finance at Kato Cable and previously held a similar position at EPG Americas (Leroy Somer/Kato Engineering), also within Nidec Motor Corporation. Earlier in her career, she garnered valuable experience as an accountant with Taylor Corporation.
Luedtke's academic background includes an MBA in finance and operations from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Minnesota State University - Mankato.
4. Matthew Bilunas
Chief Financial Officer, Best Buy
Matt Bilunas is the Chief Financial Officer for Best Buy where he assumes a crucial role in overseeing global finance and strategic planning, along with audit, procurement, and financial services. Having joined the company in 2006, Matt has accumulated extensive experience in various financial leadership positions, both in the field and at the corporate campus. He initially started as a territory finance director in Los Angeles before progressing to work in Best Buy's domestic and international businesses. Throughout Best Buy's transformation, Matt has played a pivotal role as a key finance leader. Before becoming CFO, he held the position of senior vice president of enterprise and merchandise finance, contributing to the company's growth and success. His finance expertise spans across diverse sectors, including retail, e-commerce, and marketing.
Before his tenure at Best Buy, Matt gained experience at organizations including Carlson Inc., NRG Energy Inc., Bandag Inc., and KPMG. He earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Iowa State University.
5. Karen Parkhill
EVP & Chief Financial Officer, Medtronic
Karen Parkhill is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Medtronic. She holds a key position on the company's Executive Committee and oversees the global finance organization along with various supporting functions. In late 2020, she took on additional responsibilities, leading the IT and Enterprise Excellence organizations. Her leadership extends beyond her financial expertise. She serves as the Executive Sponsor of the Medtronic PRIDE Employee Resource Group and the Women's Network "Commit to Connect" leadership program.
Before joining Medtronic, Karen held prominent positions at Comerica Incorporated and JPMorgan Chase and Co. At Comerica, she served as Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, being part of the Management Executive Committee and the Comerica Bank Board of Directors. Her tenure at JPMorgan spanned over 19 years, during which she held various positions, including Chief Financial Officer for the Commercial Banking business. Her accomplishments have been recognized by numerous organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at American Express and chairs their Risk Committee.
Karen earned undergraduate degrees in business administration and mathematics from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is a distinguished alumna of both institutions, having received the SMU Cox School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Distinguished Young Alumna Award.
6. CJ Bernander
Chief Financial Officer, Park Dental
CJ Bernander serves as the Chief Financial Officer at Park Dental, a dental group spanning more than 50 locations throughout the Twin Cities, greater Minnesota, and Western Wisconsin. For over half a century, Park Dental has remained dedicated to its mission of delivering superior, patient-centered care to foster enduring dental health. The organization presently boasts a comprehensive roster of over 140 skilled general dentists who serve as adept leaders, propelling Park Dental's progression while relentlessly pursuing excellence in clinical care and personalized service for our valued patients.
Bernander's career began in 2004, as he undertook the position of a senior internal auditor at Bemis Company, Inc. Subsequently, he transitioned to Ernst & Young and later rose to the position of CFO at Calabrio, Inc., his most recent position before his tenure with Park Dental. Bernander earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from the Wisconsin School of Business.
7. Scott Kirkland
Chief Financial Officer, Ecolab
Scott Kirkland is the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Ecolab, a position he’s held since 2021. With a career spanning over a decade at Ecolab, Kirkland has played a significant role in the company's financial management and strategic planning. He joined Ecolab in September 2009 as the Head of Finance and Controller for Ecolab Textile Care NA, showcasing his expertise in financial operations. Kirkland then transitioned to become the Director of Corporate Planning & Analysis, contributing to the company's long-term growth strategies from 2005 to 2009.
Before their tenure at Ecolab, Kirkland served in various finance roles including as th a finance manager at Novartis Medical Nutrition and as the Transaction Services Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Kirkland earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa.
8. Kofi Bruce
Chief Financial Officer, General Mills
Kofi Bruce is the Chief Financial Officer of General Mills. He assumed his current role in February 2020 after serving as Vice President of our Financial Operations since September 2019. Before that, Bruce was Vice President, Controller.
Bruce joined the company in 2009 as Vice President, Treasurer after serving in a variety of senior management positions with Ecolab and Ford Motor Company. He served as Treasurer until 2010 when he was named Vice President, Finance for Yoplait. Bruce reassumed his role as Vice President, Treasurer from 2012 until 2014 when he was named Vice President, Finance for Convenience Stores & Foodservice. He served in that role until he was named Vice President, Controller. Bruce earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
9. Joe Gaylord
EVP & Chief Financial Officer, Fairview Health Services
Joe Gaylord serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Fairview Health Services. He previously held the position of System VP for Finance within the same organization. Before assuming his current role, he served as the Interim Chief Financial Officer.
Joe began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers after completing his education at Marquette University. Throughout his career, he has held prominent positions, including Chief Financial Officer at Capella University and Regency Corporation. Known for his operational focus, Joe has successfully established a finance support function at Fairview Health Services that is closely aligned with the objectives of the hospital, service line, and functional leaders.
In addition to his contributions within the healthcare industry, Joe has actively participated in systemwide transformation projects, displaying his leadership abilities and commitment to driving positive change. He has made significant contributions to the Twin Cities community by serving on multiple boards with a focus on education.
10. Richard Magnuson
Chief Financial Officer, Allina Health
Richard Magnuson serves as the Chief Financial Officer at Allina Health, a distinguished not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing professional growth opportunities for individuals. Allina Health operates an extensive network of over 90 clinics, 12 hospitals, and an array of specialized care services throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Committed to the well-being of its employees, Allina Health offers continuous training, competitive remuneration, support for achieving work-life balance, and numerous avenues for community engagement.
Before joining Allina Health, Magnuson occupied the role of CFO at the City of Hope, and before that, he contributed to the healthcare landscape as a Medicare auditor at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Magnuson obtained an EMBA from the University of St. Thomas and an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance from Augsburg University.
11. Beth Nunnally
Chief Financial Officer, University of Minnesota - Academic Health Center
Beth Nunnally has held the position of Associate Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for health sciences at the University of Minnesota since October 2000. With a diverse professional background, Beth previously served as a tax director at the University of Minnesota, following a successful seven-year career at the renowned international accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand. Prior to her venture into public accounting, she worked as a secondary school English teacher, showcasing her passion for education.
Having completed her undergraduate and master's degrees at Vanderbilt University, Beth furthered her academic achievements by obtaining a master's degree in accounting from the University of Iowa. Nunnally's contributions play a crucial role in supporting the university's financial stability and advancing its mission of excellence in education and research.
12. Penny Cermak
EVP & Chief Financial Officer, HealthPartners
Penny Cermak is a highly accomplished executive with extensive experience in the field of healthcare finance. As the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at HealthPartners, Penny's responsibilities encompass leading finance, real estate, and supply chain functions while supporting the organization's growth strategies. With a career spanning 25 years in healthcare finance and an additional five years in non-healthcare finance accounting, Penny has consistently demonstrated her ability to enhance profitability and establish financial flexibility to adapt to evolving market environments.
Before joining HealthPartners, Penny spent eight years at Baylor Scott & White (BSW) Health, where she held various roles, culminating in her position as an executive vice president and CFO. Before her time at BSW, Penny served in healthcare finance positions at BroMenn Healthcare System/Advocate BroMenn in Illinois, including a decade-long tenure as CFO.
Penny's professional background extends beyond her executive roles. She co-founded and served on the Board of Directors of Immanuel Health Center. She has also contributed her expertise as a member of the National Board of Directors and Board of Examiners for the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Additionally, Penny has been involved with the American Hospital Association, participating in committees focused on operations, audits, and solutions.
13. Mike Zechmeister
Chief Financial Officer, C.H. Robinson
Mike Zechmeister serves as the Chief Financial Officer of C.H. Robinson. He has nearly three decades of finance experience. C.H. Robinson provides freight transportation and logistics, outsourcing solutions, produce sourcing, and information services to 100,000 customers through a network of offices in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.
Before joining C.H. Robinson in September 2019, he served as Chief Financial Officer of United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), where he led organization and capability enhancements across the Finance function. Before joining UNFI, Zechmeister spent 25 years at General Mills, where he held a variety of finance leadership roles, including Vice President of Finance for the Pillsbury Division, Vice President of Finance for U.S. Retail Sales, and Treasurer. Mike earned an undergraduate degree from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He serves on the Board of Overseers for the Carlson School of Management.
14. Bob Mack
Chief Financial Officer & EVP of Finance and Corporate Development, Polaris
Bob Mack was appointed Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance and Corporate Development in April 2021. Before his current role, he served as Interim Chief Financial Officer. Mack joined Polaris in April 2016 as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy and President of Adjacent Markets.
Before joining Polaris, Mack was Vice President of Corporate Development for Ingersoll Rand plc, based in Davidson, NC. In this role since July 2010, he had global responsibility for the company’s acquisition and divestiture activities. With Ingersoll Rand for 20 years, Bob held a variety of positions with the company across a range of functions and businesses. Bob holds an MBA degree from Duke University, an undergraduate degree from Siena College, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
15. Traci Morris
Chief Financial Officer, Essentia Health
Traci Morris is the Chief Financial Officer at Essentia Health. She is a finance leader for the $2+ billion integrated health system consisting of 15 hospitals, 75 clinics, six long-term care facilities, assisted and independent living facilities, ambulance services, and a research institute serving patients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Idaho. Morris provides leadership and oversight for all enterprise-wide finance functions including accounting, revenue cycle services, treasury, and supply chain functions.
Before joining Essentia Health, Traci served Benedictine Health System. She earned an MBA from Concordia College and an undergraduate degree in accounting from Minnesota State University Moorhead.
16. Kirk Klopfenstein
CFO & VP of Global Sales Operations & Integrated Business Planning, Resideo
Kirk Klopfenstein is the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Global Sales Operations and Integrated Business Planning for Resideo. As a senior finance and operations executive, he has domestic and global experience with Blue Chip companies in the life sciences, consumer goods, and industrial space including Medtronic, International Multifoods, and Valspar. Kirk has partnered successfully with other executive leaders to stabilize, improve and transform financial and operational performance in areas including sales, sales operations, marketing, R&D, manufacturing, integrated business planning, supply chain, and procurement.
Kirk is known as an effective listener, communicator, and influencer with both C-suite executives and staff as a result of his ability to easily shift focus between blue-sky thinking and on-the-ground implementation. He earned an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance from the University of Iowa and an MBA in finance from the University of St. Thomas.
17. Tony Rochel
Chief Financial Officer, Pentair Residential Water Treatment
Tony Rochel currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Pentair Residential Water Treatment. Pentair, a leading global organization, is committed to creating a better world by offering intelligent and sustainable water solutions. With a strong focus on enhancing the way we move, improve, and appreciate water, which is life's most fundamental resource, Pentair consistently strives to drive innovation that benefits both our planet and its inhabitants. Employing approximately 11,250 dedicated individuals worldwide and catering to customers across more than 150 countries, Pentair actively contributes to the betterment of lives and the environment on a global scale.
Before his tenure at Pentair Residential Water Treatment, Rochel held positions including Senior Finance Director at Tennant Company and Finance Director at Eaton. Earlier in his career, he worked as a project engineer at Anderson Passe and Associates. He earned an MBA from the University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management, as well as an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota.
18. Phil Donaldson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Andersen
Phil Donaldson is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Andersen Corporation in Bayport, Minn. He leads the company’s finance, information technology, strategic planning, and business development functions. Phil was named CFO in 2004 and was elected to the Andersen Corporation Board of Directors in 2009.
Phil also serves as a director of the Andersen Corporate Foundation, as a member of the Board of Directors of Simpson Manufacturing Company, Inc., Pleasanton, Calif, and as a member of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies Policy Advisory Board. He is a past chairman of the Lakeview Health System, past chairman of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, and past director and treasurer of the Northwestern University Alumni Association. Phil earned an undergraduate degree and MBA from Northwestern University.
19. Jerry Dervin
Chief Financial Officer, Kaplan Higher Education
Jerry Dervin, serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Kaplan Higher Education, has been an integral part of the company since 2011. Kaplan, a globally recognized educational services organization, offers a wide range of solutions catering to individuals, universities, and businesses. These encompass higher and professional education, test preparation, language training, corporate and leadership development programs, student recruitment, online enablement, as well as various support services for universities. Originating in 1938 within the Brooklyn residence of Stanley Kaplan, Kaplan was established with the noble objective of assisting immigrant children in realizing their aspirations of pursuing a college education. Over the years, Kaplan has evolved from its humble origins to become an expansive enterprise operating in 28 countries, serving nearly a million students, and collaborating with numerous corporate and university clients.
Prior to joining Kaplan, Dervin assumed the role of an interim finance executive and independent consultant at Apollo Group, Creative Environments & Others. Preceding that, he served as the CFO of Creative Environments Design & Landscape. Earlier in his career, Dervin held a financial analyst position at Apollo Group, Inc. He holds an MBA in finance from Western International University, complemented by an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance from the University of Arizona.
20. Angie Drake
Chief Financial Officer, The Toro Company
Angie Drake was elected Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in March 2023. Before that, she served as Vice President of Finance from July 2022 to March 2023, and VP of Construction from April 2020 to June 2022. Drake joined The Toro Company as a senior managing director and integration co-lead when Charles Machine Works was acquired in April 2019. Drake is responsible for all financial areas of the company including tax, controllership, internal audit, corporate liability and risk management, banking relations, and investor relations.
Drake originally joined Charles Machine Works in September 1997 and subsequently held a series of staff and management accounting roles leading to her appointment as corporate controller and treasurer in 2007. She then was named a CFO and secretary-treasurer of Charles Machine Works in 2011 and served in this role until 2019.
Drake earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Certified Public Accountant. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants. She serves on the Board of Directors of the First Bank & Trust Company.
21. Scott Kennedy
Chief Financial Officer, Caribou Coffee
Scott Kennedy, the former President of Financial and Retail Services for Target Corporation, assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer at Caribou Coffee in 2019. Caribou Coffee, the second largest company-operated premium coffeehouse in the United States, boasts an extensive presence with over 300 domestic locations across 18 states, as well as 260 international franchise stores spanning 10 countries.
During Scott’s 14-year tenure at Target, he held various finance positions before rising to the position of President of Financial and Retail Services. In this capacity, he oversaw the operational and financial management of guest payment transactions, which encompassed Target's impressive $6 billion credit card portfolio, gift cards, third-party credit and debit card acceptance, and processing, and check transactions. Kennedy was also responsible for managing enterprise services that provided support to Target, including all contact centers. Prior to his time at Target, Kennedy spent 15 years at the global accounting and auditing firm KPMG, ultimately attaining the position of partner before transitioning to Target.
22. Lisa Erickson
Chief Financial Officer, Medica
Lisa Erickson is the Chief Financial Officer at Medica. Medica is a nonprofit health plan that operates in various communities spanning Minnesota, Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Committed to community empowerment, Medica diligently listens to the voices of the people it serves, actively learns about their needs, and dedicates valuable time and resources to provide assistance.
Previously, Erickson served as a product and project manager at TCF Bank. She held positions at The Pillsbury Company and eventually became the SVP of Industry and Network Relations at Optum, where she worked before joining Medica. Erickson earned an MBA in finance and strategic management from the University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management and holds an undergraduate degree in finance and marketing from the Wisconsin School of Business.
23. Christian Weisenahl
Chief Financial Officer USA & Canada, SICK
Christian Weisenahl, a highly accomplished professional, embarked on a new chapter in his career in January 2023 by joining the US subsidiary of SICK. As the Chief Financial Officer for the US and Canadian Subsidiaries, Weisenahl assumed a prominent role on the management board, overseeing Finance & Controlling and IT for these units. With an academic background in business administration from the University of Cologne, Germany, Weisenahl brings a solid foundation to his leadership position.
Weisenahl's extensive experience in territory management across Europe is an invaluable asset to his new role. Prior to his current appointment, he served as the Head of the European Sales Office in Munich, Germany at Two Technologies, Inc. From 2007 to 2017, Weisenahl excelled in a pivotal role at SICK, where he oversaw Finance, Controlling & Internal Services for the German Sales & Service Unit. He was subsequently appointed to the management board in 2018, assuming responsibility for Finance & Controlling, HR and Service, as well as various other crucial functions such as Purchasing, Order Processing, IT & e-Business, Management Systems, and Facility Management.
24. Brenda McCormick
Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Children's Minnesota
Brenda McCormick, a seasoned professional in finance and leadership, joined Children's Minnesota in August 2019. As the responsible figure for the organization's finance functions, her role encompasses overseeing accounting and financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, health information management, investments, payer contracting and strategic pricing, revenue management, and treasury. With a diverse background, McCormick brings expertise in strategic planning, controllership, mergers and acquisitions, and business operations to her current position.
Before her role at Children's Minnesota, McCormick held notable positions including CFO and senior vice president of finance at Smiths Medical, and VP, corporate controller, and principal accounting officer at Valspar. Her financial management experience extends to respected organizations such as Lawson Software, International Multifoods, The Pillsbury Company (Diageo), and Coca-Cola Enterprises. She obtained her undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College and further pursued her MBA in finance from the University of Minnesota.
25. Jason Bixby
Chief Financial Officer Americas, Worldwide Flight Services
Jason Bixby serves as the Chief Financial Officer - Americas at Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), a preeminent global leader in air cargo logistics and ground handling solutions, operating an extensive network of over 158 stations across the globe. With four decades of industry expertise, WFS delivers unparalleled services encompassing cargo handling, baggage handling and processing, ramp services, and passenger services, including premium VIP offerings, all while upholding the highest standards of safety and security. Spanning 18 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, WFS boasts an impressive workforce of over 31,500 dedicated professionals, catering to the needs of more than 270 airlines.
Bixby brings an extensive 30-year career to his role. Before joining WFS, he held the position of Executive Director at Argo Business Group, and before that, he served as a senior operations executive at Cerberus Capital Management. Earlier in his professional journey, Bixby contributed his expertise as a corporate auditor at GE. He earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame.