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Paul Roberti of Blue Star Gas wins CFO award

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Paul Roberti

CFO

Blue Star Gas

880 N. Wright Road, Santa Rosa 95407

707-573-3130

www.bluestargas.com

Paul Roberti of Santa Rosa’s Blue Star Gas wins one of North Bay Business Journal’s 2017 North Bay CFO Awards.

Professional background:

• 35 years in accounting and finance

• Public accounting, publicly-traded companies, and private companies

• Early career focused in telecommunications

• Six years working abroad at international subsidiaries

• Mid-career focused in venture-backed, high tech start-ups

• Current role at Blue Star Gas combines the elements I’ve enjoyed the most

Education: University of San Francisco, bachelor’s in accounting; Golden Gate University, MBA Finance; and California CPA

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

A financial leader must be fully engaged in the strategy and operations of the business. Focusing only upon the accounting and financial functions will not allow the leader to add the value necessary for decision-making in today’s competitive environment.

What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?

Look for opportunities to develop your professional experience across a wide spectrum of industries and functional specialties. This exploration will allow you to discover what you most enjoy, and at the same time it will increase your value to each company or organization your join. This will likely require you to take some risks and stretch beyond your “comfort zone”.

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

The most important step to take to weather any economic environment, as well as nearly all other business challenges, is to have the best team of people. This may sound basic or simplistic, but from my experience it is both difficult and fundamental for an organization’s continued success. Hiring, and then retaining good people requires significant focus and attention by the leaders of the business. The culture of the company must support this focus, which in turn, re-enforces the employee/employer relationship that will weather the good times and tough times. This is especially true in the San Francisco Bay Area, where we have reached a such low unemployment level.

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

Blue Star Gas participates in a very competitive industry. We have national, regional and local competitors. At the same time, the supply cost of our product is driven by international, as well as domestic oil and gas dynamics, including the price of crude oil, regional political instability, and uncertain weather patterns. These forces will continue to require Blue Star Gas to be operationally nimble and very focused on operating costs in order to maintain the flexibility to grow and to capitalize on strategic opportunities.

What is your most memorable business experience?

The first CFO opportunity I was offered required my family and I to take on some big risks and challenges. We moved to Egypt where I was part of the start-up team for a new subsidiary. There were many challenges, both business and cultural. However, this opportunity led to one of my most personally rewarding experiences. I learned many lessons in team building, international business, and time-to-market trade-offs. I was professionally and personally stretched in a very positive way, and this experience has served as valuable reference point throughout my career.

Paul Roberti

CFO

Blue Star Gas

880 N. Wright Road, Santa Rosa 95407

707-573-3130

www.bluestargas.com

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