The California Chamber of Commerce, the largest state chamber in the United States, is entering a new era. The long-time CEO has retired (ably succeeded by Jennifer Barrera, formerly the Chamber EVP on policy and strategy) and the long-time EVP/CFO is also retiring. Building upon the Chamber’s rich heritage, the new leaders and team will focus the Chamber on the future.
The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) is a 501(c)(6) business trade organization representing 14,000 member companies of all types and sizes who employ one-fourth of the private sector workforce in California. Notably, more than two-thirds of CalChamber members have 100 or fewer employees. CalChamber has 100 employees and an annual budget of approximately $30 million (60% products/40% membership).
As the leading business group in the fifth largest economy in the world, CalChamber advocates to makes California an even better place to live, work and do business. Active since 1890, CalChamber is one of the state’s largest, broad-based business advocates to government. CalChamber advocates for member companies located throughout California by being deeply involved in behind-the-scenes meetings and discussions with the Governor and legislature, supporting business-friendly ballot measures and helping shape proposed laws and regulations to streamline government and improve the job climate.
CalChamber is also the leading advocate for California businesses with regulatory agencies and in the courts. CalChamber’s website, calchamber.com, connects visitors to up-to-date information on legislative, court, and regulatory activity affecting California employers. In addition, CalChamber is an expert HR-compliance resource for California employers; they monitor, analyze, and report changes in state laws as they happen, turning their expertise into products and services that help businesses more easily understand and comply with complex laws and regulations.
HRCalifornia.com, dedicated to human resource issues, and calchamber.com/store, the source for products, services, and tools to help companies comply with employment law requirements, are major sources of revenue fueling the Chamber’s advocacy efforts. The products and services included in the compliance business are membership, products, and training. Members also have rapid access to HRCalifornia, which provides answers to questions on California employment laws and is considered the best software-as-a-service in the state, with a Helpline for answers to confidential questions. Their products and training are purchased by more than 50,000 businesses, most in California.
Products sold include:
- Employment compliance tools
- Required state, federal, and local employment posters and pamphlets
- Reference guides
- An online employee handbook creator
Training includes a software-as-a-service sexual-harassment prevention course, on-site and virtual compliance seminars, and webinars.
EVP/ CFO POSITION SUMMARY
CalChamber is seeking to hire an innovative, analytical, and results-oriented executive with experience in finance, investing, information services, and operations; a businessperson steeped in finance and IT. Building on the Chamber’s history of success, the new EVP/CFO will support the CEO in leading the Chamber into this exciting and fast-paced new era, one which will provide opportunities and challenges for its members.
Major strengths for EVP/CFO candidates should include leadership, management, and technical skills to:
- Develop business plans
- Evaluate marketing opportunities
- Improve operations while simplifying business processes
- Administer investments
- Facilitate the implementation of computer software and hardware.
This individual should also be skilled in financial reporting requirements (ideally, in nonprofit organizations), corporate financing, purchasing, project management, and the administration of compensation, benefit, and pension plans, as well as board-related responsibilities.
The EVP/CFO will study and plan, with the President/CEO, future programs, projects, and activities of the organization, to include executing all programs, activities, and projects approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.
A social entrepreneur, the EVP/CFO will supervise the work of the following departments, maintaining the programs, policies, and activities by providing support and guidance:
Finance Department, which helps the Business Services Division do the following:
- Identify opportunities to increase membership, product, and training revenue and simplify processes
- Administer and develop compensation and benefit plans
- Manage facilities and leases
- Approve capital investments for office and warehouse equipment
- Negotiate working capital and medium-term financing
- Plan and coordinate insurance programs to control risks and losses
- Manage short-term and long-term investment portfolios
In addition, the EVP/CFO will lead the preparation of the financial budget, interpreting and reporting revenues and expenses in a timely and accurate manner.
Business Services Division, which is CalChamber’s primary revenue source. In conjunction with finance and the staff legal counsel, this division keeps HRCalifornia relevant, providing the latest employment law posters, online training services, and print and digital publications to help California employers meet changing state and federal employment law requirements. As well, Business Services markets the virtual and on-site seminars and webinars developed by Legal Services. The division utilizes surveys of CalChamber members and customers to uncover new ways to assist businesses with their HR compliance.
Information Technology Department, which is responsible for the staffing and infrastructure needed to maintain computer software and hardware, communications tools, cybersecurity, CalChamber’s websites, CRM, Enterprise Systems, and the online store. This department supports on-going improvements in the Internet, emails, mobile apps, and podcasts for members and business leaders to have access to relevant and timely information. Its responsibilities also include evaluating alternative ways to receive CalChamber updates such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and supporting development of smartphone and tablet-friendly applications.
The EVP/CFO will also provide guidance and support to the:
Advocacy Department, which works with state legislators, regulators, and other key government staffers to assure that, when proposing new laws and regulations, they consider business concerns and the impact of their actions on the California economy and jobs. California Foundation for Commerce and Education, a tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation affiliate. The Foundation is a credible source of accurate information on the benefits of a strong economic base and the adverse effects of many government policies. The Foundation functions as a “think tank” for the business community in California. The Foundation is nonpartisan and does not advocate on legislation or ballot measures. The Foundation’s most recent focus is on the type of courses needed in K-12 and higher education to help the business community.
Legal Affairs Department, which supervises the Helpline and coordinates the strategy to bring together, for common purposes, virtual and in-person seminars and webinars which are marketed by Business Services.
Public Affairs Department, which helps evaluate political candidates and offers input on the appointment of high-level staff at the Capitol.
International Department, which maintains CalChamber as the only statewide business organization continually devoted to promoting international trade and exports with Congress.
Media Relations Department, which builds upon CalChamber’s reputation as the state’s foremost business advocate. The department complements the CalChamber advocacy team by ensuring that policymakers and the public, via the news media and social media outlets, know CalChamber’s positions on public policy issues in the legislative, regulatory, and judicial arenas.
Human Resources Department, which recruits, screens, and trains job applicants and administers employee-benefit programs.
EXPECTED OUTCOMES FOR THE FIRST YEAR
It is expected that the Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer will achieve the following by the end of the first year (in implementation order):
* Within the first 90 days…
o will have met with the executive staff, key board members and employees to begin building relationships and an understanding of communication needs and high-priority activities already underway
o will have conducted an informal “audit” of the CFO’s responsibility areas and shared those results with the CEO
* Within the first 180 days…
o will have in place a continued development and bench strength plan for staff under the CFO
* By the end of the first year…
o will have developed a strong understanding of the organization’s financial structure, including different revenue streams, short and long-term investment accounts, 401k investments, healthcare plan and costs, and other major costs/expenses including department specific current and future needs
o will be effectively managing the organization’s finances by forecasting revenue and expenses, strategic planning for projected expenses and revenue growth, overseeing the annual audit, managing investment advisors, managing the accounting department, and advising the CEO accordingly
o will have developed an in-depth understanding of the business products and services offered by the Chamber, and will collaborate with management and the CEO on improving outcomes and efficiencies
o will have developed a strong understanding of the organization’s IT needs and manage IT department to ensure critical infrastructure to support the organization is updated and implemented in a timely manner, as well as strategic planning for future needs
Experience, competencies, education, and culture needed to successfully achieve the expected outcomes (in preferential order):
* Ten plus years of diverse and increasingly responsible professional experience. Open to industries; service sector preferred
* Experienced in the successful management of a division’s, branch’s, or organization’s:
o finance, accounting, investing/treasury (the newer asset classes would be of interest),
o information services (digitally forward thinker with recent experience in system change), and
o operations (to include mapping to strategy); experience with a wide variety of tasks preferred
* Experienced in working with a Board (volunteer experience acceptable)
* Understanding of 501(c)(6) not-for-profits a plus
* A partner with the CEO
* Team-oriented and an effective facilitator
* Demonstrates effective use of written and verbal communication
* A coaching-type style with staff
* A drive for helping to build the next chapter of the Chamber’s success
* Business or accounting undergraduate degree. Graduate degree, CMA/CPA preferable
* Demonstrated track record of continuing professional education
VALUES / WORK STYLE / PERSONAL TRAITS
* Integrity, trust, and transparency
* Passion for helping California businesses do business
* A dedication to internal customer service
COMPENSATION AND INTERVIEW PROCESS
The competitive compensation package includes a salary of $300,000 plus a bonus of up to 10%, based upon business performance. The excellent benefits include employer-paid health insurance for the employee and a 401(k)-retirement plan.
Pre-screened, selected candidates will be invited for an initial interview with the Search Committee in Sacramento, CA, on Monday, November 29, 2021, with second interviews the following morning.
PROCEDURE FOR CANDIDACY
For confidential consideration, at your earliest convenience and no later than COB on November 10, 2021, please email your chronological resume (to include description and size of current/prior organizations and responsibilities) and compensation expectations to: