Welcome to 2012 CFO Awards (Associate Publisher Chip Taulbee Introduction)

In our fourth year of Arkansas Business’ CFO of the Year Awards, we’ve found a common denominator for virtually all of the program’s finalists and winners: humility.

Chief financial officers are about as boastful as chief information officers are chatty. They seek the spotlight as eagerly as an IRS audit. And probably the biggest self-endorsement they will offer all year is their Sarbanes-Oxley-required signature certifying their organization’s financial statements.

Often overshadowed by dynamic CEOs or board chairmen, CFOs are the unsung heroes of their organizations. Even as their roles have evolved and expanded over time into some combination of financial steward, business strategist, C-level confidant and more, CFOs have largely remained, in the eyes of the public, business wallflowers.

It’s important, however, to recognize and celebrate what these honorees represent: intelligence, judgment, loyalty, integrity, high energy, balanced ego and the impressive ability to see around the corners — the values and traits any thriving business community should espouse.

This year we are proud to recognize two professionals who are being honored with the Arkansas Business Lifetime Achievement Awards for their accomplishments in the fields of public accounting and as chief financial officer. The very deserving recipients are Tom Gibbons of Frost PLLC and Kim Crook of First Arkansas Bank & Trust.

These honorees as well as the other finalists were selected independently by our discerning panel of judges – Sam Fiser of S.F. Fiser & Co., Mike Hutsell of First Security Bank and Sherry Middleton of the Arkansas Department of Human Service’s Division of Community Service & Nonprofit Support. We greatly appreciate their service.

As you read about this year’s finalists and Lifetime Achievement Award honorees, we hope you will think about other financial officers who are also deserving of recognition. Please consider nominating them for the 2013 awards at ArkansasBusiness.com/Nominations/Nominate-CFO or simply click the Nominate tab on our homepage.

We would love to hear your comments on this recognition program. Email me at CTaulbee@ABPG.com.

Chip Taulbee

Associate Publisher