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2019 BC CFO Award winners have braved financial storms

Many of the winners of this year’s awards helped their organizations persevere in times of trouble, judges say

Today’s CFOs are tasked with navigating new technological challenges and meeting heightened expectations both within company walls and outside in the wider world. Obstacles are multi-faceted and problems are complex, requiring expert communication, organization and creative skills to find solutions.

The BC CFO Awards, now entering their eighth year, celebrate the province’s top financial leaders. This year’s judging panel consisted of five professionals spanning multiple industries to find the most exceptional individuals in seven categories: large private company, large public company, small private company, small public company, non-profit and transformation agent.

The previous CFO winners were chosen for their record in helping companies grow through strategic decisions, but the qualifications extend beyond candidates’ daily endeavours. This year’s judges ranged from newcomers to seasoned veterans.

First-time judge and previous BC CFO Award winner Erfan Kazemi, CFO of Sandstorm Gold Ltd., certainly understood the importance the award had on his career. Now, Kazemi is excited to pass that honour on to the next batch of recipients.

“It was an honour to be recognized and receive validation for the growth that our company had experienced,” said Kazemi. “It is wonderful to recognize the various financial professionals in the city for their contributions to their organizations across many platforms.”

Tony Guglielmin, CFO of Ballard Power Systems, a previous winner in the transformation agent category, is participating as a judge for the second year. The process is hardly less daunting this time around.

“As a previous winner I had no appreciation for the challenge the panel had given the unbelievably high quality of candidates,” Guglielmin said.

“As to the judge’s panel itself, some of the judges have been doing this for a number of years…. I applaud them both for their commitment and their insights in how the panel considers candidates and selects from such a large number of talented individuals.”

To self-proclaimed “longest-standing judge” Hugh Notman, managing director at CCC Investment Banking, the various nominees this year were anything but typical.

While many of the previous winners have followed an upward trajectory of success, this year many nominees had to help lift their organizations out of troubling times.

“We had a difficult time in a couple categories; it’s not always easy,” Notman said. “Very interesting storylines with the companies this year, in the case that something happened and things took a hit and then got back on track thanks to the CFO’s efforts.”

The winners of the 2019 BC CFO Awards will be honoured at a gala dinner on June 6 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver.•Business in Vancouver and the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia will honour the province’s top CFOs at the BC CFO Awards gala dinner, being held June 6 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. For more information or to register, go to