Name: Sherry Maloney
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: WRA, Inc.
Company address: 2169 East Francisco Blvd, Suite G, San Rafael, CA 94901
Phone: 415-454-8868 x115
Number of company employees: 58
Professional background: CFO for the past six years at WRA, an environmental consulting firm.
Education: Bachelor of Science Degree -- Accounting, University of Santa Clara
What do you see as the essential role of a financial leader in the current environment?
Counsel the executive leadership on the direction of the company and how it is likely to impact cash flow.
What are the biggest changes you've seen in your industry?
After the collapse of the housing industry, the tightening of available credit has stalled many projects that were in the pipeline. On the other hand, many other projects have been expedited, due to the emphasis on alternative energy and infrastructure.
Tell us about the particular challenges and opportunities your organization has met in the recent past?
To further expand on question two, meeting the cash flow needs of the company after the housing crash required expanding into new markets. We have been able to meet that need by becoming a leader in the industry of Conservation Banking and Mitigation Banking. We also expanded our market share of public infrastructure projects, renewable energy projects, and transportation projects.
What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?
Make sure you have a strong voice at the table for executive decisions. Cultivate a good relationship with your banker. Use the advice of professional consultants.
What's the best advice for weathering today's economic environment?
Make sure you have an adequate Line of Credit in place.
How do you think your business will change in the next five years?
It will continue to move towards projects related to alternative energy and supplying that energy to the urban areas, conservation and mitigation banking, and public infrastructure while still retaining our private sector clients as well.
What is a decision you wish you hadn't made? What did you learn from it?
I wish I would have bought more stock in my company earlier in my career, when I had the chance. I learned that I should trust my instincts more.
What is your most memorable business experience?
Becoming a principal in my company.
What is your greatest business success?
Being able to weather the downturn in the economy in 2008, and helping to get the company positioned to take advantage of the growth opportunities we are seeing now.
What was your toughest business decision?
Terminating an employee for lack of performance.