Michigan's reputation as the center of the U.S. automotive industry in the early 20th century led to its development as a major economic force. Despite undergoing fluctuations over the years, the Great Lakes State’s economy continues to flourish. Its Upper Peninsula, once exploited for logging and mining, now thrives on tourism due to its abundant natural resources, while the Lower Peninsula serves as a hub for manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, services, and high-tech industries. Meanwhile, renowned research institutions like the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University contribute significantly to the state's economy, creating a cooperative atmosphere that encourages collaboration among academia and businesses. The CFOs recognized for this year's accolades, while representing a wide range of industries, all serve as outstanding examples of excellence within the financial services space.
One of this year's recipients is Hughey Newsome, who serves as the Chief Financial Officer at the Piston Group. Newsome’s expertise is backed by years of experience in government service for Michigan, including serving as CFO for the city of Flint, where he was responsible for developing the EPA project plan that resulted in $100 million for emergency funding. Another deserving awardee is Laura Ferich, the CFO for the NBA's Detroit Pistons. Additionally, Sandeep Reddy, Domino's EVP, and CFO, is focused on leading the pizza giant's financial strategy and operations, including budgeting, planning, treasury, accounting, tax, financial reporting, risk management, and investor relations.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 CFOs of Michigan for 2023.
1. John Lawler
Chief Financial Officer, Ford Motor Company
John Lawler is CFO and interim Chief Supply Chain Officer for Ford. As CFO, Lawler has overall responsibility for Ford’s Finance functions, including Accounting, Financial Planning and Analysis, Treasury, Tax, Investor Relations, Economics, and Audit – as well as the Ford Credit business. Separately, on an interim basis starting in September 2022, Lawler is leading Ford’s global supply chain organization.
Lawler has been with Ford since 1990. Over the years, he's held a variety of roles in North America, Europe, and Asia. His assignments included controller of Ford of Europe’s Product Development organization and a finance leadership assignment with Mazda in Japan. Later, Lawler was a key member of the team that led the company’s North American turnaround, serving as controller of U.S. Marketing and Sales from January 2007 until moving to China in 2010. Most recently, Lawler served as CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles and VP of Mobility Partnerships, where he led the team developing and bringing to market driverless transportation services. Before that, he served as VP of Strategy. Lawler earned a bachelor’s in economics from Knox College in 1988 and an MBA from the University of Iowa in 1990.
2. Sandeep Reddy
Chief Financial Officer, Domino's
Sandeep Reddy has served as Domino's EVP and CFO since joining the company in April 2022. In these roles, he is responsible for leading the company's environmental, social, and governance efforts, as well as its financial strategy and operations, including budgeting, planning, treasury, accounting, tax, financial reporting, risk management, and investor relations.
Before joining Domino's, Reddy served as EVP and CFO of Six Flags Entertainment since July 2020. He led the company's emergence from the pandemic with strong financial results in 2021 and served as a strategic thought partner to the CEO and the leadership team in strategy development. In addition, Reddy worked as the CFO of Guess Inc. from July 2013 to December 2019. Before that role, since 2010, he served as vice president and European CFO of Guess Inc., where he was responsible for all aspects of the company's European finance functions, including financial planning, treasury, accounting, and tax. From 1997 to 2010, Reddy held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility for Mattel Inc., ultimately serving as vice president of finance and supply chain for France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Reddy holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Delhi University and an MBA from Cornell University.
3. Becky Smith
Chief Financial Officer, Amway
Becky Smith is Amyway’s Chief Financial Officer, responsible for the company’s global finance team. Among her responsibilities, she oversees accounting, financial planning and reporting, internal audit, treasury, tax, and global financial shared services divisions. Smith reports directly to CEO Milind Pant. Additionally, she serves on Amway’s Global Leadership Team, Amway’s key decision-making body focused on strategy development and delivering meaningful ABO and customer experiences. She also serves on Amway’s Executive Staff. Before taking on the role of Chief Financial Officer in 2020, Smith held a variety of leadership positions, including Vice President of Global Procurement.
Before joining Amway, Smith worked for Chrysler LLC, Michigan State University, and Cargill, Inc. She received a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness management, animal science from Michigan State University and a master’s with a concentration in finance and supply chain management from the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University. She also has a Global Strategic Leadership Program Certificate from the Wharton School, Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the University of Pennsylvania.
4. Jeff Maddox
Chief Financial Officer, Gordon Food Service
Jeff Maddox is Chief Financial Officer of Gordon Food Service, a multi-billion dollar, privately held, family-managed food service distribution company with operations in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to heading a team of more than 350 finance professionals, Maddox is responsible for reviewing and evaluating all acquisition opportunities for the company. Notably, he joined Gordon Food Service in 1999 and has assisted with more than 20 acquisitions. Previously, he spent over 9 years in public accounting, most recently with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
It is worth noting that Maddox has practiced accounting in both Michigan and Illinois and is a member of the AICPA. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of FM Global, the Michigan State University Eli Broad School of Business Alumni Board, and a participant in the Americas Leading Private Enterprise Network (ALPEN) forum sponsored by Ernst & Young (EY) and Northwestern University. Maddox received his bachelor’s in Accounting from Michigan State University.
5. Gina Butcher
Chief Financial Officer, Detroit Medical Center
Gina Butcher is the Chief Financial Officer of Detroit Medical Center, which has provided medical excellence throughout the history of the Metropolitan Detroit area. From the founding of Children’s Hospital in 1886 to the creation of the first mechanical heart at Harper Hospital 50 years ago, to their compassion for the underserved, their legacy of caring is unmatched. Their medical experts are nationally recognized and each year, hundreds of DMC doctors are included in the list of America’s Best Doctors™. A reputation for excellence draws patients to world-class programs in oncology, organ transplant, cardiology, women’s services, neurosciences, stroke treatment, optometry, orthopedics, pediatrics, and rehabilitation.
Butcher first joined the company in 2021. Previously, she served as a regional chief financial officer at Prime Healthcare Services. Before that, she was the CFO at St. Mary's of Michigan. Earlier in her career, she worked with LaBreck PC as an accountant and auditor. Butcher earned an MBA from Northwood University’s DeVos Graduate School and an undergraduate degree in accounting from Ferris State University.
6. Chris Bergman
Chief Financial Officer, Sparrow Health System
Chris Bergman is the Chief Financial Officer of Sparrow Health System, a prominent healthcare organization based in Lansing, Michigan. It serves as the region's leading provider of comprehensive medical services and is recognized for its commitment to patient care and community well-being. With a history dating back to 1896, Sparrow Health System has grown into a network of hospitals, outpatient facilities, and physicians' offices. The system offers a wide range of medical specialties, advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies, and innovative programs.
Bergman, who began his career in 1996, has 27 years of experience. Before joining Sparrow Health System, he was a VP of finance at Centura Health. Bergman graduated from Oklahoma State University.
7. Jennifer Smith
Chief Financial Officer, Comau
Jennifer Smith began her professional career 16 years ago. Today she is the Chief Financial Officer of Comau. A member of Stellantis, Comau is a worldwide leader in delivering advanced industrial automation products and systems. Its portfolio includes technology and systems for electric, hybrid, and traditional vehicle manufacturing, industrial robots, collaborative and wearable robotics, autonomous logistics, dedicated machining centers, and interconnected digital services and products able to transmit, elaborate and analyze machine and process data. With over 45 years of experience and a strong presence within every major industrial country, Comau is helping manufacturers of all sizes in almost any industry experience higher quality, increased productivity, faster time-to-market, and lower overall costs.
Smith graduated from the University of Michigan with an MS in finance. She also graduated from Albion College with an undergraduate degree in economics and management.
8. Mike Valdes
Chief Financial Officer, Eastern Michigan University
Mike Valdes is the Chief Financial Officer of Eastern Michigan University, a public university with approximately 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The University offers a wide variety of programs with over 200 majors/minors. One of the University's major strengths is that many programs incorporate hands-on work experience in the curriculum that includes practicum, fieldwork, and internships, among others. Graduates have a solid academic foundation and are ready to hit the ground running as they transition into full-time careers.
Valdes first joined the University in 2014. Previously, he was a CFO at Agility Health. Before that, he served as a chief administrative officer & associate hospital director at the University of Michigan - Hospitals and Health Centers. Valdes earned an MBA in finance from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He also holds an undergraduate degree in accounting from The University of Toledo.
9. Steven Sacharski
Chief Financial Officer, Acadia Healthcare
Steven Sacharski is the Chief Financial Officer of Acadia Healthcare. Headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, Acadia Healthcare was established in January 2005 to develop and operate a network of behavioral health facilities across the country. Acadia Healthcare’s mission is to create a world-class organization that sets the standard of excellence in the treatment of specialty behavioral health and addiction disorders. As a leading provider of behavioral healthcare services in the United States and Puerto Rico, Acadia Healthcare operates 227 treatment facilities across 40 states.
Sacharski has 16 years of professional experience. Before joining Acadia Healthcare, he was a group chief financial officer at UHS. Before that, he served as an accounting manager at Forest View Hospital. Earlier in his career, he worked with Owosso Poker Room as a floor manager. Sacharski began his career in 2007. He graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
10. Michael Eesley
Chief Financial Officer, Tower Health
Michael Eesley, who began his professional career 24 years ago, is now the Chief Financial Officer of Tower Health, a regionally integrated healthcare system. The organization offers leading-edge, compassionate healthcare and wellness services to communities in Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. With more than 12,000 team members, Tower Health consists of Reading Hospital in West Reading; Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia; Phoenixville Hospital in Phoenixville; Pottstown Hospital in Pottstown; and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, a partnership of Tower Health and Drexel University in Philadelphia. It also includes Reading Hospital Rehabilitation at Wyomissing; Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences in West Reading; home healthcare provided by Tower Health at Home; TowerDirect ambulance and emergency response; Tower Health Medical Group; and a network of 25 urgent care facilities across the Tower Health service area.
Previously, Eesley served as CEO at Centegra Health System, holding the position for nearly 20 years. From there, he went on to Northwestern Medicine. In 1982 Eesley graduated from the University of Detroit with an MBA in finance. In 1978 he graduated from Ferris State University with an undergraduate degree in healthcare administration.
11. Steven Quinlan
Chief Financial Officer, Neogen Corporation
Steven Quinlan is the Chief Financial Officer of Neogen Corporation, a company specializing in food safety and animal health products. Headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, Neogen offers a wide range of innovative solutions for the agricultural, food processing, and veterinary industries. Founded in 1982, the company's product portfolio includes diagnostic tests, disinfectants, veterinary instruments, and genomic tools. Neogen's cutting-edge technologies help ensure the safety and quality of food products, detect and prevent diseases in animals, and provide valuable insights for animal breeding and production. With a global presence, Neogen continues to be a trusted provider of solutions that promote food safety and animal health worldwide.
Quinlan has been part of the Neogen team since January 2011. Previously, he was a CFO at Detrex Corporation. Quinlan earned an MBA in finance from Wayne State University and an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
12. Hughey Newsome
Chief Financial Officer, Piston Group
Hughey Newsome is the CFO at Piston Group. In this role, he is responsible for financial oversight and reporting, information technology, strategy, and support for government relations for the Piston Group family of companies. Over his lengthy career, Newsome has advised Fortune 500 clients on risk and controls, procurement strategy, process improvement, and enhanced reporting. Before joining Piston Group, Newsome served in the municipal sector, holding roles such as the CFO for Wayne County, Michigan; and CFO for the City of Flint, Michigan. While in Flint, Newsome helped to establish the recovery framework during the City’s lead contamination water crisis. Additionally, he was responsible for developing the project plan submission to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), necessary to finalize the award of $100 million in emergency funding.
Before his government service, Newsome spent more than 13 years working in financial and performance improvement consulting, specifically in automotive and other manufacturing. Newsome graduated from Harvard Business School with an MBA in finance, from Stanford University with an MS in electrical engineering, and from the University of Arkansas with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering.
13. Kate Spratt
Chief Financial Officer, Detroit Institute of Arts
Kate Spratt is the Chief Financial Officer of Detroit Institute of Arts, a renowned art museum located in Detroit, Michigan. Founded in 1885, the DIA houses an extensive collection of over 65,000 artworks from various cultures and periods. The museum's diverse collection spans from ancient civilizations to contemporary art, encompassing paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts. Notable highlights include works by artists like Diego Rivera, Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Frida Kahlo. The DIA also offers educational programs, community outreach initiatives, and special exhibitions, attracting visitors from around the world to experience its rich cultural offerings.
Spratt has 25 years of professional experience. Before joining the Detroit Institute of Arts, she was a CFO at Neighborhood Service Organization. Before that, she served as a VP of financial management services at Corporate F.A.C.T.S. Spratt began her career in 1998. Early on, she also worked with Deloitte as an audit in-charge. Spratt graduated from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
14. Cynthia Duncanson
Chief Financial Officer, Cherry Health
Cynthia Duncanson’s career is characterized by a dedication to achieving meaningful work and community purpose in the healthcare industry. Having spent more than 15 years in finance and reimbursement as an administrator in the private sector, Duncanson has gained a unique knowledge, passion, and experience base that has proven invaluable in the FQHC environment. As a LatinX and LGBTQ+ member of the community, Duncanson is sensitive to cultural and gender-related issues.
Before Duncanson’s role as CFO at Cherry Health, she served as the CFO of Honor Health Center in Pontiac, Michigan. In her position, Duncanson focuses on creating long-term financial sustainability through strategic business growth. Her sharp analytical skills and reimbursement knowledge, coupled with her drive to make a positive impact, motivates her to improve the effectiveness of health centers by tackling the most prevalent issues for our most vulnerable community members. Duncanson graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with an MBA and from the University of Michigan with an undergraduate degree in healthcare administration.
15. Kenneth Krause
Chief Financial Officer, Gallagher Kaiser Corporation
Kenneth Krause is the Chief Financial Officer of Gallagher Kaiser Corporation. Founded in 1952, Gallagher-Kaiser Corporation (GK) is a privately owned, Michigan-based turn-key supplier of paint finishing systems, commercial HVAC, and mechanical automotive systems. GK has grown to become the world's top paint-finishing supplier. The GK enterprise includes GK de Mexico, GK Canada, Universal Piping Industries (UPI), Kais-AIR, and Commerce Controls Incorporated (CCI).
Krause has been part of the GK team since 2011. Previously, he was a senior associate at Parry, Murphy and Associates. Before that, he served as a financial consultant at KMK. Earlier in his career, Krause worked with PRICE WATERHOUSE & CO as an audit senior. He earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Michigan State University.
16. Brian Loftus
Chief Financial Officer, Unique Fabricating
Brian Loftus was appointed CFO of Unique Fabricating in April 2020. He brings nearly 15 years of finance and accounting experience including controllership, financial reporting, internal audit, and public accounting. For the last 18 months, Loftus served as the Corporate Controller for Wabash National Corporation, a publicly-traded leader in the design and manufacturing of engineered solutions for the transportation, logistics, and distribution industries.
Before Wabash, Loftus was the Corporate Controller for Horizon Global Corporation, a publicly-traded designer, manufacturer, and distributor of towing and trailering equipment. In addition, Loftus also held various positions with TriMas Corporation, a diversified industrial manufacturer – including Controller for TriMas' former subsidiary Cequent Performance Products, Segment Financial Manager, and Corporate Audit Manager. Loftus graduated from Central Michigan University with an MBA in management consulting. He also holds an undergraduate degree in accounting.
17. Laura Ferich
Chief Financial Officer, Detroit Pistons
Laura Ferich is the Chief Financial Officer for the Detroit Pistons, a professional basketball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Pistons are a member of the Central Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team was founded in 1941 as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons – and later moved to Detroit in 1957. Since then, the Pistons have won three NBA championships: in 1989, 1990, and 2004. Currently, the Pistons are known for their rebuilding phase and developing young talent.
Ferich first joined the company in 2019 as SVP of corporate controller. Previously, she was a corporate controller at Palace Sports & Entertainment. Before that, she served as a VP of finance and support services at Pentastar Aviation. Earlier in her career, she worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a senior associate of transaction services, audit, and assurance. Ferich holds an MBA in finance and organizational behavior from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business and an undergraduate degree in accounting from Michigan State University.
18. Jody Schmidt
Chief Financial Officer, Autocam Medical
Jody Schmidt is the Chief Financial Officer of Autocam Medical, a manufacturing company specializing in high-precision components and assemblies for the medical industry. Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Kentwood, Michigan, Autocam Medical provides advanced manufacturing solutions for medical device OEMs. The company's expertise lies in precision machining, tooling, and assembly processes. Autocam Medical operates state-of-the-art facilities in the United States, China, and Brazil – employing over 1,500 skilled professionals.
Schmidt first joined the company in 2015. Previously, she was an assistant corporate controller at Autocam Corporation. Before that, she served as a senior accountant at CED. Earlier in her career, she worked with Plante & Moran as a staff accountant. Schmidt earned an MBA in finance from Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business and an undergraduate degree in accounting from Central Michigan University.
19. Aaron Lackey
Chief Financial Officer, Detroit Athletic Club
Aaron Lackey is the Chief Financial Officer at the Detroit Athletic Club, a prestigious private club that has been acclaimed as the No. 1 Athletic Club in America for six consecutive years. As CFO, Lackey manages the Club’s finances, accounting, treasury, technology, and procurement and is the appointed assistant treasurer for the DAC Foundation and MAS Corp. Lackey has been an integral part of financial planning and execution for some of the most significant capital and developmental projects in the Club’s history.
The DAC was founded in 1887 and has resided in its Albert Kahn-designed Clubhouse since 1915. It is renowned for its elegant architecture and luxurious amenities. The Club’s tradition of excellence in amateur athletics has made it a training destination for Olympic-qualifying athletes for decades.
Prior to joining the DAC leadership team, Lackey spent 20 years in hotel operations, including 20 years in key finance and accounting roles at Marriott International. He has also held multiple finance positions with White Lodging Services. After earning an undergraduate degree in hospitality management at Purdue University, Lackey pursued and received an MBA in finance from Roosevelt University.
20. Tom Kuslikis
Chief Financial Officer, University of Michigan Credit Union
Tom Kuslikis is the Chief Financial Officer at the University of Michigan Credit Union. In this role, he leads the accounting, finance, support services, audit, and compliance functions. During his tenure with the organization, Kuslikis has also had the role of Vice President of Internal Audit and Compliance. Notably, Kuslikis is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, and Certified Credit Union Investment Professional.
In addition to his CFO duties at the University of Michigan Credit Union, Kuslikis also presides on several boards and committees. This includes serving as Secretary for the Metro West Chapter of Credit Unions for the Michigan Credit Union League; serving as a member of the Credit Union National Association’s Finance Member Resources Committee; serving on the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions’ Legislative and CFO Steering Committees; serving as the alternate director for the Michigan Credit Union League; and serving as a board member and treasurer for Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan. Kuslikis holds both a bachelor’s and an MBA from Aquinas College and the University of Michigan.
21. Jen Tindle
A seasoned financial executive with over 15 years of experience in corporate finance, Jen Tindle serves as the CFO at Bobtail, a firm focused on eliminating inefficiencies in the supply chain. At Bobtail, Tindle is responsible for overseeing the company's financial operations and providing strategic guidance to support its rapid expansion. As CFO, she plays a pivotal role in developing financial models, conducting comprehensive analyses, and making data-driven recommendations to drive business performance.
Tindle’s past work experience includes seven years at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, where she held various finance positions, the most recent being Director of Finance and Admin Performance. She has also worked at KIPP NYC, a charter school management company; Sircon, a subsidiary of Vertafore specializing in compliance software; and Meritor, a supplier in the commercial vehicle industry. With a strong commitment to integrity and ethics, Tindle is a strategic thinker and a trusted advisor, known for her ability to communicate complex financial concepts in a clear and concise manner. Jen holds a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from Michigan State University and an MBA from Georgetown University.
22. Jennifer Moss
Chief Financial Officer, International Wholesale
Jennifer Moss is the first CFO of International Wholesale. Notably, Moss has helped International Wholesale develop business management strategies that position the company for sustainability and long-term growth. As CFO, she is focused on leading the transformation of the finance team from back-office support to insightful business partners. She joined the company in July 2021 after spending over 20 years in the automotive industry.
Moss has spent the last several years in financial leadership positions. Most recently, she served as the regional CFO for a privately held interiors manufacturer. Moss received her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
23. Maha Sabbagh
Chief Financial Officer, Hype Athletics Community
Maha Sabbagh is the Chief Financial Officer of Hype Athletics Community, an organization that focuses on promoting physical fitness, youth development, and community engagement. Founded in 2001, HYPE has successfully provided a wide range of recreational and educational programs for children and young adults. With multiple locations across various cities, HYPE offers state-of-the-art facilities for sports, fitness training, and academic support. The organization's mission is to empower youth through mentorship, leadership development, and positive role models.
Previously, Sabbagh was an accountant at Omnex Accounting and Tax Services. Earlier in her career, she worked with BP Amoco as an owner of Amoco Station 10 Mile and Hayes. Sabbagh earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
24. Joe Seikel
Chief Financial Officer, Octane Environmental
Joe Seikel is the Chief Financial Officer of Octane Environmental, an environmental containment, liquids management, and industrial specialty company servicing the U.S. oil and gas and renewable natural gas markets. In this role, Seikel oversees all facets of the company’s accounting, finance, FP&A, treasury, tax, and related financial functions and provides strategic analysis and guidance to all of the company’s stakeholders. He is also heavily involved in the company’s operational, strategic, and administrative functions and is a member of its Board of Advisors.
Before joining Octane, Seikel was a Manager in PwC’s Capital Markets & Accounting Advisory Services group, where he advised clients on various financial and regulatory reporting aspects spanning the deal spectrum. He graduated summa cum laude from Albion College with a bachelor’s in Economics and Management – with an emphasis in accounting.
25. Nick Stonerook
Chief Financial Officer, Foris Solutions
Nick Stonerook is the Chief Financial Officer of Foris Solutions, an investment firm that acquires and manages businesses that service consumers in and around their homes. Based in Detroit, Michigan, the company has an established track record of success driven by experienced leadership, attracting and developing top talent, and applying proven processes for the growth and profitability of its investments.
Stonerook first joined the company in 2015. Previously, he was a financial controller at Precision Garage Door of Detroit. Before that, he served as a finance and campaign associate at Plymouth Community United Way. Earlier in his career, he worked with Jean Stenger & Associates, PLC as a staff accountant. Stonerook earned an MS in accounting from Wayne State University and an undergraduate degree in economics from Kalamazoo College.