Name: Steven Harrison
Title: VP, Administration
Company: TriVascular, Inc.
Company address: 3910 Brickway Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Professional background: Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
What do you see as the essential role of a financial leader in the current environment?
Having a strong commercial understanding of all aspects of the business.
What are the biggest changes you've seen in your industry?
Regulatory aspects of financial reporting.
Tell us about the particular challenges and opportunities your organization has met in the recent past?
In the early-stage business the challenge is to know when to expand and when to hold you current status.
What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?
Understand the total business, not just the financial aspects -- go out with the sales organization and see the world from their perspective and experience the production environment too.
What's the best advice for weathering today's economic environment?
Manage cash carefully. A bit of a cliche but “cash is king.”
How do you think your business will change in the next five years?
The path for an early-stage company is unpredictable, but TriVascular will flourish over the next five years as it has a lifesaving, relevant medical device.
What is your most memorable business experience?
It is always the first sale for a new business. A lot has usually taken place to get a company to the point of making sales. Very rewarding.
What is your greatest business success?
Building a business from concept to profitability.
What was your toughest business decision?
Letting someone go from a business because the business outgrew their capabilities.
Most admired businessperson outside the company: Richard Branson
Current reading: ReWork by 37 Signals
Most want to meet: Richard Branson
Stress relievers: Running and biking
Favorite activities outside work: Photography, riding my Vespa and hanging with my family.