Finance and Investing is pleased to announce The Top 25 CFOs of South Carolina for 2023. Renowned for its charming historic towns, vibrant cities, stunning beaches, and southern hospitality, South Carolina is the perfect setting for many of the country's top businesses. The state's favorable commerce climate – which includes low corporate taxes, business-friendly regulations, and incentives for companies – continues to support a diverse range of industries including manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, and tourism. Many accomplished professionals, including our awardees, utilize their financial expertise and extensive backgrounds to provide guidance and support to companies operating within these sectors.
One of this year's notable awardees is Derek Ramsey, the CFO at Greystar, who has completed over $1.3 billion in balance sheet capital raising transactions and over $2 billion in new financings for his company. Another awardee is Joel Wilhite, the CFO at AvidXchange, who is well-regarded in the industry for his exceptional financial leadership in areas such as strategic financial planning, operational accounting, annual budgeting, managing mergers and acquisitions, and developing top talent, among others. Lastly, Alpana Wegner, the CFO at Benefitfocus, merits recognition for being a catalyst for driving numerous operational and strategic improvements at her company.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 CFOs of South Carolina for 2023.
1. Douglas Myers
Chief Financial Officer, Ascension
Douglas Myers is the Chief Financial Officer of Ascension. He first joined the company in 2022. Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2018, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care for persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes approximately 156,000 associates and 34,000 aligned providers. The national health system operates more than 2,600 sites of care – including 151 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 21 states and the District of Columbia.
Previously, Myers was a president and CEO at ABLM Inc.; and before that, he served as CFO at Phoenix Children's Hospital. Earlier in his career, he worked with Tenet Healthcare as a CFO. Myers earned an MBA from Loyola University Maryland and an undergraduate degree in accounting and economics from Youngstown State University.
2. Julie Albrecht
EVP and Chief Financial Officer, JELD-WEN, Inc.
Julie C. Albrecht joined JELD-WEN in 2022 after serving as CFO for Sonoco, one of the largest global sustainable packaging companies. In this role, she spearheaded the company's only accelerated share repurchase program, as well as the inaugural issuance of $1.2 billion in green bonds to fund the company's largest acquisition. Before Sonoco, she served as vice president, finance, investor relations, and treasurer for Esterline Technologies Corporation. She led the company's first Euro bond issuance at a historically low-interest rate and increased the profile of Esterline with key analysts and investors. Albrecht joined Coltec Industries in 1996, serving in various roles of increasing responsibility in treasury and finance for nearly two decades and through two company acquisitions. Albrecht began her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Albrecht graduated from Wake Forest University, where she earned a bachelor's in accounting. She is a past board member of the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics Foundation and the Central Carolina Community Foundation.
3. Robert Dillard
Chief Financial Officer, Sonoco
Rob Dillard is Chief Financial Officer for Sonoco. In this role, Dillard is responsible for Sonoco’s global finance functions, including audit, controllership, financial reporting, tax, treasury, risk management and insurance, financial planning and analysis – as well as strategy and corporate development. Previously, Dillard served as Chief Strategy Officer and was responsible for the company’s Corporate Development and Strategy function. He joined Sonoco in 2018 after serving as President of Personal Care Europe and Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Domtar Personal Care, a division of Domtar Corporation.
Before that, he served as President of Stanley Hydraulics and Vice President of Business Development at Stanley Black and Decker. He has extensive experience in capital markets and mergers and acquisitions from his time with UBS Investment Bank, where he served as Executive Director of the Global Industrials Group. Dillard serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Trinity Collegiate School. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics along with an MBA from the University of North Carolina.
4. Derek Ramsey
Chief Financial Officer, Greystar
Derek Ramsey is an Executive Managing Director and the Chief Financial Officer for Greystar. He also serves as a member of the Greystar Investment Committee, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors. Ramsey’s responsibilities include oversight of the financial management and reporting functions; and the management of the debt and equity capital resources of the consolidated global enterprise. In addition to these responsibilities, he oversees the teams that manage the company’s General Partner Fund, Investor Client Services, and Research and Strategy. Under Ramsey’s leadership, Greystar has completed over $1.3 billion in balance sheet capital raising transactions, over $2 billion in new financings for Greystar sponsor equity investment vehicles, and over $300 million in corporate mergers & acquisitions transactions.
Before joining Greystar in 1997, Ramsey was an analyst with Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc. in the corporate finance/investment banking division, where he played an integral role in over $500 million of equity, debt, and merger-and-acquisition transactions. He is a member of the National Multifamily Housing Council, the Pension Real Estate Association, and the Urban Land Institute. Ramsey received his bachelor’s from Southern Methodist University in business administration and finance.
5. Patrick Wamsley
Chief Financial Officer, Medical University of South Carolina
Patrick J. Wamsley has been Chief Financial Officer at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), in Charleston, South Carolina since December 2001. He received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Auburn University and a Master of Professional Accountancy from Georgia State University. He is a licensed CPA in the state of Georgia. Wamsley has a combined 26 years of higher education experience in Community College, Research and Doctoral, and Academic Medical institutions.
Additionally, he is an instructor in the College of Dental Medicine at MUSC, where he teaches Practice Management. He is also currently a member of the SACUBO Board of Directors and NACUBO Tax Council. Wamsley previously chaired the Research and Doctoral Committee of SACUBO.
6. Rick Petillo
Chief Financial Officer, Clemson University
Rick Petillo is the Chief Financial Officer of Clemson University. He first joined the company in 2015 as director of debt and capital financing. For over 130 years, Clemson University has shown unwavering dedication to the people of South Carolina. The University was founded with a land-grant mission and innovative vision — to increase the material resources of the state as a high seminary of learning. Since that time, the University has grown in esteem and impact, earning the R1 classification as one of the nation’s most active research institutions, developing international leaders, and instilling its core values of honesty, integrity, and respect in more than 160,000 graduates.
Previously, Petillo was an SVP at First Southwest Company; and before that a VP at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Earlier in his career, he worked with Citi as an associate. Petillo earned an MBA from Clemson University and an undergraduate degree in economics and computer science from Duke University.
7. Kim Elliott
Chief Financial Officer, University of South Carolina Foundations
Kim Elliott is the Chief Financial Officer of the University of South Carolina Foundations. Named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers, the University of South Carolina is a globally recognized, high-impact research university; and one of only 32 public universities in the United States to receive both the top-tier research designation and the community engagement designation from the Carnegie Foundation. Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina is located in the heart of Columbia, South Carolina — the No. 3 college town in the country.
Elliott has 22 years of experience. He began his career in 2001. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance.
8. Stephanie Turner
Chief Financial Officer, UHS
Stephanie Turner began her professional career 13 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Financial Officer of Universal Health Services (UHS). One of the nation’s largest and most respected providers of hospital and healthcare services, UHS has built an impressive record of achievement and performance. Growing steadily since its inception into an esteemed Fortune 500 corporation, its annual revenues during 2022 were approximately $13.4 billion. In 2022, UHS was again recognized as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune; ranked #297 on the Fortune 500; and ranked #391 among U.S. companies on Forbes Global 2000 World’s Largest Public Companies. Their operating philosophy is as effective today as it was upon the company’s founding in 1979, enabling them to provide compassionate care to their patients and their loved ones.
Turner first got her start in 2010 as an accounting co-op at Currency Exchange International. From there, she went on to MStreet Entertainment, before eventually rising to senior accountant and financial analyst at SunCrest Healthcare, her most recent position prior to joining UHS. Turner graduated from the University of Central Florida with an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance.
9. Jagtar Narula
Chief Financial Officer, WEX
Jagtar Narula joined WEX in May 2022 as Chief Financial Officer. In this role, he is responsible for the company’s financial planning, reporting, accounting, treasury, tax, corporate development, and investor relations activities. Narula brings more than two decades of experience generating sustainable business results by integrating finance and strategy with cross-functional implementation to grow revenue and increase profits.
Prior to joining WEX, Narula served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of 3D Systems. In this role, he led global financial functions including accounting, treasury, and investor relations, among others. He also helped restore the company to profitability, transform its business portfolio, and strengthen its balance sheet, resulting in a significant market cap increase during his tenure. Prior to that role, Narula served as SVP of Corporate Strategy and Business Development for Blackbaud, Inc., where he also previously led Investor Relations and Financial Planning. Additionally, Narula held finance leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Xerox, GE, and with private equity. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an Engineering degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
10. Brian Williamson
Chief Financial Officer, JTEKT North America
Brian Williamson began his professional career 26 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Financial Officer of JTEKT North America, a global leader in engineering and manufacturing automotive systems, bearing solutions, and high-performance machine tools. Their global vision is to be preferred by all stakeholders including customers, associates, suppliers, and their local communities.
Williamson first got his start in 1997 as an assistant controller at Interline Brands. From there, he went on to Sylvania Lighting International, before eventually rising to North America operations controller at ESAB, his most recent position prior to joining JTEKT North America. He graduated from Francis Marion University with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance.
11. Aaron Bower
Chief Financial Officer, Hartmann Group
Aaron Bower is the Chief Financial Officer of Hartmann Group, a global supplier of medical and hygiene products, headquartered in Heidenheim, Germany. With a history dating back to 1818, the company specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of wound care, incontinence management, and infection prevention products. The Hartmann Group operates in more than 40 countries worldwide, serving healthcare professionals and institutions, as well as consumers. Their portfolio includes well-known brands such as Hartmann, Molnlycke Health Care, and Kneipp.
Bower has 22 years of experience. He began his career in 2001. Before joining Hartmann Group, Bower was a senior finance manager at i4C Innovations Inc.; and before that an accounting manager at SSP America. Earlier in his career, he worked with the Army National Guard as a sergeant and team leader. Bower graduated from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business with an MBA and from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
12. Noam Harel
Chief Financial Officer, Aston Martin – The Americas
Noam Harel began his professional career 14 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Financial Officer for The Americas businesses at Aston Martin, the iconic car brand. With fresh investment, a new CEO, and the strongest model line-up in the company's history, the company now looks to an exciting future.
Harel first got his start in 2009 as a staff accountant at Ernst & Young. From there, he went on to Choice Hotels International, before eventually rising to controller of financial services at Capital Vacations, his most recent position before joining Aston Martin. Harel graduated from the University of Maryland of Robert H. Smith School of Business with an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance.
13. Dave Frost
Senior Vice President Finance & CFO, Coastal Carolina University
David Frost joined Coastal Carolina University (CCU) in February 2018 as vice president of finance and CFO. He later transitioned to Senior Vice President in 2019. Previously, he served as the compliance and planned giving officer and then as director of finance for the Coastal Educational Foundation from 2012-2018. Prior to joining CCU, Frost was the vice president of finance and CFO for Waccamaw Corporation.
He began his career with Waccamaw Pottery as a staff accountant; and held various positions over 20 years, including accounting manager, assistant controller, retail controller, corporate controller, and CFO. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of South Carolina–Coastal Carolina College. He is also a South Carolina CPA – and a member of the South Carolina Association of Public Accountants. Frost has been married to the former Gloria Prince of Conway for more than 36 years. They have three children and two grandchildren.
14. Doug Baskin
Chief Financial Officer, KYOCERA AVX Components
Doug Baskin is the Chief Financial Officer of KYOCERA AVX Components, a leading global manufacturer of advanced electronic components engineered to accelerate technological innovation and build a better future. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Kyocera Corporation, structured to capitalize on shared resources and technical expertise, KYOCERA AVX has an expansive global footprint comprising multiple research, development, and manufacturing facilities around the globe. KYOCERA AVX designs, develops, manufactures, and supplies advanced capacitors, inductors, fuses, resistors, filters, couplers, sensors, controls, circuit protection, and timing devices, antennas, and interconnects optimized for employment in the international 5G, IoT, aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, medical, and military markets.
Baskin has 20 years of experience. He began his career in 2003. Before joining KYOCERA AVX Components, he was a manufacturing accounting manager at CR Bard; and before that a manager of finance and administration at Mankiewicz Coatings LLC. Earlier in his career, he worked with Roedl & Partner USA as a staff accountant. Baskin graduated from Charleston Southern University with an MBA, and he graduated from Furman University with an undergraduate degree in accounting and business and management.
15. Don Krampe
Chief Financial Officer, Southeastern Freight Lines
Don Krampe began his professional career 26 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Financial Officer of Southeastern Freight Lines, a privately-owned regional less-than-truckload transportation services provider specializing in next-day service in the Southeast and Southwest. They serve customers through 89 service centers across 13 states and Puerto Rico. Southeastern has a network of service partners to ensure transportation services in the remaining 37 states, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Mexico.
Krampe first got his start in 1997 as a controller of the wheels business unit at Accuride. From there, he went on to Accuride Corporation. Krampe graduated from Murray State University with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in finance.
16. Bluford Vaughan
Chief Financial Officer, STÄUBLI
Bluford Vaughan is the Chief Financial Officer of STÄUBLI. He first joined the company in 2020.
Originally founded in 1892 as a small workshop in Horgen/Zurich, Switzerland, today Stäubli is an international Group headquartered in Pfäffikon, Switzerland. The company currently operates in 29 countries, with agents in 50 countries on four continents. Their global workforce of 5,700 shares a commitment to partnering with customers in nearly every industry to provide comprehensive solutions with long-term support.
Previously, Vaughan was a financial manager at WestRock Company; and before that a plant controller and financial manager at KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation. Earlier in his career, he worked with CMI Industries, Inc as a controller. Vaughan earned an undergraduate degree in accounting and business administration from Presbyterian College.
17. Christine Pearson
Chief Financial Officer, AnMed Health
Christine Pearson is the Chief Financial Officer of AnMed Health, a dynamic, comprehensive health system in Anderson, S.C. For more than 100 years, AnMed has provided healthcare for residents of eight counties in upstate South Carolina and northeast Georgia. AnMed’s medical staff includes more than 400 physicians and over 3,600 employees.
Pearson has 22 years of experience. She began her career in 2001. Before joining AnMed Health, Pearson was a CFO at Atrium Health; and before that a CFO at Evangelical Community Hospital. Earlier in her career, she worked with Knox Community Hospital as a CFO. Pearson graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with an MBA; and from Kent State University with an undergraduate degree in mathematics.
18. Steve Dickinson
Chief Financial Officer, Bob Jones University
Steve Dickinson is the chief financial officer at Bob Jones University (BJU). Prior to taking his position at BJU, he was the CFO of the BJU Education Group. In 2006 he began working at BJU Press. Dickinson’s time there included two years of helping develop the market for BJU Press in Southeast Asia.
He began his career at an accounting firm in Atlanta, Georgia, before joining the InterContinental Hotels Group, where he spent 16 years, the last three of which as vice president of global financial reporting. Notably, Dickinson earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bob Jones University.
19. Joel Wilhite
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, AvidXchange
As Chief Financial Officer for AvidXchange, Joel Wilhite brings decades of diverse financial leadership experience to his role – from leading strategic financial planning and forecasting, operational accounting, and annual budgeting, to managing mergers and acquisitions and developing top talent.
Before joining AvidXchange, Wilhite held the position of CFO at Quantros, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that offers an enterprise-wide suite of applications designed to help hospitals better manage the quality and safety of patient care. Prior to Quantros, he was the Senior Vice President of Finance for BenefitFocus, a leading SaaS provider of benefits administration software and solutions. He also served as the CFO for Blackbaud’s international division. Wilhite began his career as an auditor at KPMG. He holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting, with honors, from the University of South Carolina.
20. John Evans
COO and CFO, Illumis
John Evans joined Illumis, a company that delivers accounts payable recovery audits and business intelligence SAAS offerings to Fortune 1000 and large private companies, in 2017. Illumis has partnered with its clients to bring back billions of dollars in lost profits for nearly thirty years. As CFO, Evans aims to keep Illumis at the forefront of delivering best-in-class audit results by continuing to streamline every aspect of the process, reducing resource requirements, lessening engagement length for clients, and raising the bar for recovery audits worldwide.
Before Illumis, Evans served as CFO for a private family office in Charleston, SC with wholly-owned investments in a variety of industries in the Southeast. Previously, he started his career in financial research for Factset Research Systems. He later worked in public accounting, valuing businesses while at Dixon Hughes, a large regional CPA firm. He has his CPA license in South Carolina. He formerly held Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor, Series 66, Series 7, and Health Insurance Producer licenses. Evans holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from Elon University and a graduate degree in accounting from the College of Charleston.
21. Tasu Adamjee
Chief Financial Officer, AMECO
Tasu Adamjee serves as the Chief Financial Officer for AMECO. As CFO, he leads AMECO’s accounting, financial planning and analysis, audit, corporate insurance, and risk management functions. Since joining AMECO in 1996, Adamjee has held various financial and operations leadership positions of progressive responsibility supporting construction and maintenance projects in North America and internationally. He previously held several portfolio assignments, including the acquisition and transitioning of a family business into the AMECO corporate structure, project manager for enterprise resource planning (ERP) system selection and implementation, implementation of balanced scorecards, and growth strategy development.
Adamjee graduated from the University of Calgary with a double concentration in accounting and Operations & Management. He holds a professional accounting designation from Canada as a Certified Professional/Management Accountant (CPA/CMA).
22. Jason Carlson
Chief Financial Officer, Mood Media
Jason Carlson currently serves as Mood Media’s Chief Financial Officer. In this role, he leads all aspects of financial operations, including accounting, payables and receivable transactions, financial planning and analysis, treasury, M&A, and tax functions. He joined Mood in 2012 as a Controller over the North America segment of the business; and has served in many finance positions within Mood over the past 10 years. Among other things, these roles included guiding the Global FP&A and Accounting teams and leading the transformation of the finance teams through many acquisitions, system integrations, and strategic shifts in business strategy.
Carlson offers 19+ years of experience in finance and accounting, having worked in both public and private environments. Prior to joining Mood, he led the finance team at Universal North America Insurance Company. Carlson began his career at KPMG, spending eight years in the audit practice and serving as a Senior Manager. During his time at KPMG, he worked across many industries, including manufacturing, telecom, insurance, and construction. Carlson is a Certified Public Accountant. He holds a Bachelor of Science and an MBA from the University of Central Florida.
23. Alpana Wegner
Chief Financial Officer, Benefitfocus
Alpana Wegner is the Chief Financial Officer at Benefitfocus. Joining the company in 2017, she quickly saw an opportunity to provide financial leadership to the organization by moving into the VP of Corporate Controller role by the end of her inaugural year. Appointed CFO in 2020 – and thus extending her role beyond typical bean counting – she partners with the company’s business leaders to influence smarter decision-making and execution of key strategic initiatives. With more than 20 years of experience, she is a catalyst for driving operational and strategic improvements. As CFO, she currently oversees the company’s holistic financial organization, leading strategic direction for its FP&A, corporate finance, controller, investor relations, operational excellence, legal, and information technology arms.
Wegner has more than 20 years of experience in finance leadership roles and has spent more than half of her career in the software industry. Prior to joining Benefitfocus, she was at Blackbaud; and held progressive leadership roles from 2008 to 2017. Previous to her time at Blackbaud, she served as Director of External Reporting and Compliance at Allied Waste Industries. Wegner received her Bachelor of Science in accounting from Arizona State University and holds the CPA designation. When she isn’t on the sidelines watching her boys play soccer, you can find her enjoying the beautiful Charleston waters. She enjoys traveling to new places, discovering new local foodie spots, and experiencing live music. Her drive to be a strong role model for her two sons is what gets her up every morning.
24. Jeffrey Wamble
Chief Financial Officer, Hearts & Science
Jeffrey Wamble is the Chief Financial Officer of Hearts & Science. Designed to inform brand strategies with real-time insights, Hearts & Science is a data-driven marketing agency with expert media planning and buying capabilities, among other services that include: shopper marketing, marketing innovation, and content activation. Wamble has 27 years of experience.
Before joining Hearts & Science, he was a U.S. finance director at OMD USA; and before that, he was a finance director at Ogilvy. Earlier in his career, he worked with Arthur Andersen as a senior accountant in the assurance division. Wamble graduated from Columbia Business School with an MBA; and from Louisiana State University with an undergraduate degree in finance and accounting.
25. Hal Singley
Chief Financial Officer, Fitesa
Hal Singley is the Chief Financial Officer of Fitesa, a global leader in nonwoven fabric manufacturing, specializing in providing innovative solutions for various industries. With operations in North and South America, Europe, and Asia, Fitesa offers a diverse range of products, including spunbond, meltblown, and composite fabrics. These materials are used in applications such as hygiene products (diapers, wipes), medical supplies (surgical gowns, masks), and filtration systems.
Singley has 32 years of experience, having begun his career in 1991. Before joining Fitesa, Singley was a North America controller at Fiberweb; and before that, he served as a division controller at Apache Products Company. Singley graduated from The Mississippi State University College of Business and Industry with an MBA. He also holds an undergraduate degree in accounting and business administration.