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Creating CFOs

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

By Mark Adam

Since its inception in 2009, the Albany Business Review’s CFO of the Year awards have continually honored Siena College alumni. Six of the 10 winners from this year and 12 out of 60 since the awards began are Siena alumni.

So what is it about Siena College that educates top moneymen and moneywomen and prepares them for successful careers?

“(It’s) the gold standard for business minded individuals,” said Owen Burns ’05, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of New York Business Development Corporation. His company secures money from partner banks and then loans it to small businesses.

Burns earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting part-time at night while working full-time at NYBDC. He was among the CFOs honored this year by the Business Review.

Fellow 2013 CFO of the Year Duke Bouchard ’02 led an expansion of Honest Weight Food Co-Op in Albany. He oversaw the grocery store’s move to a 30,000 square-foot building, doubling its size.

Bouchard credits Assistant Professor of Finance Rick Proctor, Ph.D., for sparking his interest in corporate finance.

“Who knows what they want to do when they’re 18 years old,” Bouchard asked. “The liberal arts background was nice and gave me the ability to switch majors from accounting to finance.” Bouchard began working at Honest Weight the November after he graduated. Two years later, he was tapped as CFO.

In addition to the normal accounting, budgeting and forecasting, a CFO must be a leader.

“The majority of what I do has very little to do with the technical accounting background. It has much more to do with strategy, business leadership and leading my departments,” said Bob Cushing ’77, who has been the CFO of Trustco Bank since 1994. He was named CFO of the Year in 2009.

Cushing said the combination of Siena’s strong business school and its liberal arts set him on a path of success.

“It helps you be a more rounded individual, manager, leader – not just a technician,” he said.


Albany Business Review CFO of the Year Winners


Mike Bossert '68

Duke Bouchard '02

Owen Burns '05

Jerry Hennigan '80

Vince Mastrianni '89

Mary Pierson '83


Matthew Mazzone '00

Richard Geary '75


John Endres '76

David DeLuca '74


Susan Premo '87

Robert Cushing '77

Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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