On November 15, MDI CFO Marv Hannon, was recognized at an award luncheon by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal as a CFO of the Year. Below is an accompanying article. Congratulations to Marv and his dedication to MDI's mission of serving people with disabilities by offering inclusive employment opportunities and services.
As the father of an adult son with disabilities, Marv Hannon understands the importance of offering inclusive employment opportunities and services. As the chief financial officer of Minnesota Diversified Industries Inc., Hannon is doing his part to make sure his nonprofit company has a long and successful future providing those opportunities and services.
Hannon joined Minnesota Diversified Industries three-and-a-half years ago. In that time, the company has added two buildings and grown its commercial business from $8 million to $11 million.
"Marv has a very strong work ethic and demonstrates MDI core values: putting employees and customers first, doing the right thing, empowering individual ability, showcasing a positive, respectful attitude," said CEO Peter McDermott, who nominated Hannon for CFO of the Year.
Hannon is active in Special Olympics Minnesota and is a current board member and former chairperson for the Wayzata Special Education Advisory Council.
Chief financial officer, Minnesota Diversified Industries Inc.
Hometown: Andover, S.D.
Education: Bachelor of Science, accounting; MBA
Family: Spouse, Patricia; son, Jay
Hobbies: Coaching Special Olympics, playing golf, traveling
What advice would you give a high school student? Enjoy your high school years and make sure to join in and participate in outside school activities. Working with many different types of individuals will help you develop social and communication skills needed as you start your careers after school. Work hard and do your best and always maintain a positive outlook.
Why accounting/finance as a career? A career in accounting and finance allows you to be part of the overall business team by providing the necessary financial data regarding the operations of the business. Without finance and accounting data a company is not able to make sound business decisions. Business today needs to have strong accounting and finance teams that are key to making sound and quick business decisions driving results needed to be successful in today's fast-paced business environment.
What do you wish people understood about your job? My job is much more than accounting and finance. You must have a broad knowledge of the business and industry you work in. A CFO must have a complete understanding of the business, including vendor and customer relationships, HR process, systems and IT applications. If you do not have the complete facts, you will not give a complete financial analysis of the operations.
What ideas have you brought to the organization? Created a bottom-up budget process versus a top-down approach. This forces accountability across all teams and makes the budgets more meaningful, attainable and key measurement tool against actual results. Also implemented a new HRIS system to replace an outdated system (15-plus years old) which enabled the company to improve numerous processes, creating better reporting and gain efficiencies.
Most unusual (legitimate) corporate expense you've ever OK'd? Approving an invoice for the rental of a water dunk tank for a company summer picnic and asking the committee chairperson who was volunteering to be dunked. I was told that several employees had volunteered; however, I found out later that my boss (CEO) had volunteered me to be the featured person to be dunked.
How do you start your day? I start my day by checking the calendar, catching up on emails and handling any items that might need immediate attention. I also walk the office and manufacturing area to see what is on going on in the other areas. This is the one way I can make sure to find out what may be causing potential issues for the company.
What is something not many people know about you? I won third place in the 1973 South Dakota Cow Belle Beef Cook-off for my barbecue beef rib recipe, competing against many experienced cooks, and I was only 17 years old.