Daniel Y. Chin of Ghilotti Bros. wins CFO award

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Daniel Y. Chin

Vice President & CFO

Ghilotti Bros. Inc.

525 Jacoby St., San Rafael, 94901


Daniel Y. Chin of San Rafael’s Ghilotti Bros. wins one of North Bay Business Journal’s 2017 North Bay CFO Awards.

Professional background: Over 25 years of financial management in the construction industry, starting out in with an Architectural Interior Design firm in San Francisco with 3 million in annual revenues to East Bay’s Marelich Mechanical, a Fortune 500 subsidiary of EMCOR with annual West Coast annual revenues over $200 million revenues, to currently serving 11 years with Ghilotti Bros. Inc., with annual revenues from $50 million to over $100 million in revenues. A member of the Construction Financial Management Association, Institute of Managerial Accountants and a lifetime member of the CAL Alumni Association.

Education: University of California, Berkeley, 1987

What do you see as the essential role of a financial leader in the current environment?

Construction is a tough business, especially in the public sector, where the low bidder gets the job. You have to keep the company focused on its core values. Observing and adapting to constant economic changes helps you stay in front of the competition. Team work is key and being part of the solution and not the problem is necessary to be successful in any business.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your industry?

Increased willingness from lawmakers to provide public infrastructure funding, from the recent passing of California’s SB-1 Transportation bill providing $54 billion over the next decade to the current Administration’s hope to fund a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

Tell us about the particular challenges and opportunities your organization has met in the recent past.

With the bankruptcy of one of our J/V partners in 2016, we were able to overcome this financial challenge by closely working with our key business partners from our banker, insurance broker/surety and vendors/suppliers

What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?

Always strive to improve, otherwise stagnation will set in. Keep up to date on current innovations. Work hard and learn from your top executives and their business partners. Together as a team, you will reach your professional goals faster.

What’s the best advice for weathering today’s economic environment?

Stay calm and focused on your goals and adjust your business plan as needed. Look at historical industry and internal cycles and use that data to help you plan for the current and future outlook.

How do you think your business will change in the next five years?

There is a positive outlook in our construction industry over the next 5 years and we will need to be more selective in choosing public versus private work based on both profitability and cash-flow.

What is a decision you wish you hadn’t made? What did you learn from it?

No one is perfect and you only have one life to live…Don’t dwell on your mistakes too long, learn from them as much as you can and that will prepare you for the next challenge with better results.

What is your most memorable business experience?

Working with Mario and Eva Ghilotti before their passing and giving them the peace of mind that GBI’s financial management and reporting would be in good hands for the next generation.

What is your greatest business success?

Training, mentoring and developing my assistants and watching them eventually become CFOs and Controllers in their own right.

What was your toughest business decision?

Employees are a company’s greatest assets. Layoffs during hard economic times affect everyone from the top down.

What would your friends be surprised to find out about you?

I can actually cook a mean pineapple cheeseburger fried rice, that I invented over 40 years ago working at my parent’s Chinese American restaurant in Roseburg, Oregon.

Is there anything we may have missed that you would like to add?

It has been a pleasure working for Ghilotti Bros. Inc. over the last 11 years and I look forward to my retirement here and seeing the 4th generation of Ghilotti’s step in.

Daniel Y. Chin

Vice President & CFO

Ghilotti Bros. Inc.

525 Jacoby St., San Rafael, 94901


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