Paula Brannon of Marin County-based staffing firm Vine Solutions wins 2019 North Bay CFO award

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Paula Brannon

Chief Operations Officer

Vine Solutions, Inc.

7250 Redwood Blvd., #113, Novato 94945


Paula Brannon, chief operations officer of Vine Solutions Inc. in Novato, is one of North Bay Business Journal's CFO Recognition Awards winners for 2019.

Number of company employees: 60

Professional background: 25-plus years of management, leadership and human resource consulting

Education: Hotel and Restaurant Management, Washington State University

How has the current economic environment changed how you carry out your job at your current employer?

The current “on-demand” economy has forced us to find ways to speed up the delivery of our product and services. Our clients want financial data and metrics in real time. Technology advancements have also shifted our staffing strategies.

What are the two key challenges your industry faces?

Rising costs of labor and the lack of talent pool within the restaurant industry leads to increased pressure for our team to provide creative solutions to improve profit margins.

Technology-We are a high touch business solution and technology is replacing people. We have to stay relevant and prove that our advisory services provide better insight than technology.

Tell us about a recent success your company has had.

We had our best annual client and staff retention rates ever in 2018.

What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?

Stay relevant! Always seek to improve and keep pace with technological advancements. The financial leaders of the future will need to balance the finance functions with technology.

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

Technology will continue to advance at a rapid pace and this will continue to push us to evolve how we do business and how we position our staff to adapt to new ways of business.

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

Trying to conquer too many company initiatives in a single year. I learned that one great “win” is far better than 3 average finishes. Teams like to succeed and we can accomplish great things when we have challenging, but realistic goals.

What is your most memorable business experience?

For me, it is always about the people. Seeing a staff member grow from an intern to the highest producing consultant as well as seeing clients who came to us because their business was failing and we helped turn them around and become successful business owners.

What is your greatest business success?

Staff and client retention, continued growth in client acquisition.

What was your toughest business decision?

Changing the staffing structure of our organization which led to substantially higher labor costs, but ultimately led to improved staff retention, client retention, improved efficiencies and a better bottom line.

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

I rode from San Francisco to Los Angeles two years in a row to support the SF/LA AIDS community.

Tell us about your community involvement activities.

We currently link our company wellness initiatives to our staff member’s local charities of choice through Give Hero. In addition, we aim to support local communities by volunteering annually as a team. We would like to focus more efforts in community support and will keep this goal in our plans moving forward.

Paula Brannon

Chief Operations Officer

Vine Solutions, Inc.

7250 Redwood Blvd., #113, Novato 94945


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