The next time you pass a Girl Scout selling cookies, take notice. That pint-sized sales agent may be a future CFO.
As merit-badge laden Girl Scouts around the country celebrate March as Women’s History Month, women finance chiefs are in the spotlight.
For this year’s Celebration Luncheon, Girls Inc., the Scouts’ parent organization, chose “Power Players” as its theme. Among the five women to be feted is Verizon CFO Doreen Toben. “She’s exactly the kind of role model that young girls need to see at every company,” declares Girls Inc. CEO Joyce Roche. Roche calls Toben “an influential leader whose hard work, intelligence, and integrity helped her scale the financial ladder.”
Toben became EVP and CFO of the communications company in 2002. She’s been named to Fortune magazine’s list of “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” keeping company with top executives like Marsh & McLennan’s vice chairman Heidi Miller.
“It’s an honor,” said Toben when she heard of the Girl Scout honor, adding that leadership development in women and girls is “essential for the growth of our future work force.”
According to Verizon management, woman are encouraged to climb the corporate ladder through an in-house group called the Women’s Association of Verizon Employees, a company-sponsored organization that focuses on work-and-life balance issues. Verizon also runs a leadership-development program designed to help employees fine-tune career goals and network with Verizon executives.
Another CFO, Carol Tome of The Home Depot, is among the three co-chairs of the event.
Earlier this month, the Girl Scouts Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania held its own event honoring women with “smarts and savvy in finance and investments.” Among the recipients of the 17th annual “Take the Lead” awards was Unisys Corp. CFO Janet Brutschea Haugen. (Haugen discussed cash flow strategies in December’s CFO Magazinecover story.)
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania treasurer Barbara Hafer received a lifetime achievement award at the same event.
CFOs on the Move
Parker Hannifin Corp. promoted treasurer Timothy Pistell to VP of finance and CFO, replacing Michael Hiemstra, who will retire on May 1. Pistell, a company veteran, joined the diversified manufacturer in 1969.
Dennis Klaeser was named CFO at PrivateBancorp Inc. and CFO and managing director of The PrivateBank and Trust Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary. Klaeser replaces Gary Svec, who resigned to pursue other opportunities.
Klaeser, a career-long banker, returns to the executive suite after a stint as an analyst covering large- and mid-capitalization Midwestern banks for Robert W. Baird & Co.
His previous bank experience includes time at U.S. League of Savings Institutions, Sears Savings Bank, First Union Securities, and Andersen Corporate Finance, where he was managing director and head of the U.S. Financial Institutions Group. He joined Robert W. Baird in mid-2002.