Non-Profit CFO Finds Meaning and Mission in the For-Profit World

Rachel Mardock CFO Headshot

The Situation

Our client, a global architecture, engineering, and construction firm with a specialty in sustainability and designing “living buildings” sought a CFO who could bring fresh new ideas from outside the industry as they were growing exponentially, into new markets and innovative new services. 

They were also seeking a CFO who could develop a strategy around investments in the production of new, leading edge, regenerative solutions.

The Process

For this search, Acumen focused on intentionally leveraging their network within Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle where some of their client’s largest offices are located. 

The hiring team wished to explore both candidates with deep industry expertise and those who were less “traditional” — who could help them think about growth and opportunities in a different way and expand into global markets. The new CFO needed cultural competency, a highly data-driven orientation, the right balance of risk tolerance that’s both entrepreneurial and more “corporate”/process-driven, able to learn the highly technical AEC industry, a firm grasp on landscape of complex professional services, and have a passion for their sustainability mission. 

The Result 

Rachel, a talented rising CFO with a varied background in global services non-profits, Big 4 Accounting, and investments, was not actively looking for other opportunities, but she was looking to take her career – and a mission-driven organization to the next level. 

Rachel’s background in professional services and financial services allowed her to proverbially hit the ground running and add value. Within 6 months PAE had opened a new West Coast office (with more to come), transitioned to new leadership in the organization, and simplified the annual budgeting process within the organization. She also instituted systems and processes which allowed the finance team to understand “where the bus is going and where the guard rails are.”

The feedback from the team has been overwhelmingly positive and resulted in better than anticipated performance feedback and year-end compensation. 

Working with Acumen From Rachel: “Molly and Suzanne were a delight to work with. They made the experience searching for the right position, preparing, and interviewing flow smoothly from start to finish. They were supportive, encouraging, and informative throughout the process. I relied on their expert advice and knowledge and was so glad I did. Thank you, Acumen for your kindness, professionalism, and wisdom. I’ve landed in a great place that fulfills my passion for making the world a better place through sustainable initiatives while working with a fantastic team.”