As CFO, Gary is responsible for the company’s financial records, reporting, and management.
Where did you grow up?
A suburb of Toronto—Pickering, Ontario
Married? Do you have children? Pets?
I’ve been married for 28 years. I have three kids and two dogs.
What led you into this field?
My whole career has been in finance. For more than 30 years, I’ve worked with publicly traded and privately-held companies to implement innovative financial and business strategies. I’ve served as CFO in various industries, including eCommerce, ocean shipping, energy trading, and risk management. This is my first experience with human capital management and I’m excited about it. Finance is a transferable skill.
What do you enjoy most about your job? What do you find most challenging?
They key is the people. Over the years, I’ve experienced good and bad. I really enjoy the working relationship I have with our CEO, Greg Moran. It’s great to work on bringing the companies, Assess Systems and Chequed.com, together to create a unique culture for OutMatch. That’s also been the challenge, bringing together the best of both worlds.
What’s been a career accomplishment that you’re especially proud of?
I started as CFO at Quadrem in 2004. For the previous four years, they’d been struggling financially and losing money. I was able to help put the company back on the right financial track. Over the course of the next seven years, the company went from $20 million a year to about $75 million, then was sold to Ariba. Typically after an acquisition, the CFO gets let go, but I was kept on, in addition to the entire management team. The company was then sold to SAP in 2012. I’ve been able to apply what I learned there and embrace organic growth.
What do you think it takes to be successful in your role?
You need to have a good balance of art and science. Many people have a difficult time understanding financial concepts, so being able to break things down in a way they can quickly grasp is key.
What are some of the industry-specific challenges you see for the future?
Human resources is one of the last areas to automate. But this is a challenge that presents tremendous opportunity for our company. There’s a lot of white space to address.
What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?
It wasn’t so much advice as it was an action. Nortel, a previous company I worked at, did long employee evaluations each year—four to five pages of questions. My manager boiled these evaluations down to the most important questions, like: “Did you do a good job last year? What will you do next?” He taught me the importance of simplifying things, boiling down the essence, and he also showed me how to work outside the box a bit—how to think outside, but work inside. He showed me how you can challenge the system.
What’s your most valuable professional tool?
The ability to network. It’s so important to be able to bounce ideas, ask questions, and share information.
Passions? Hobbies? Interests outside of work?
I love hockey! I still play about four to five times a month. I’m also a big sports fan in general. You can’t live in Dallas and not support the Cowboys or the Stars. I’m a season ticket holder to the Dallas Stars. I also play golf.
What is something no one knows about you?
I’m a semi-accomplished piano player. I took lessons for 10 years.
Favorite TV show? Why?
I really don’t watch TV… Maybe CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360??? I do go to the movies occasionally. The last one I saw was “Specter.”
If you could order anything for lunch at your desk, what would it be?
You work hard, but personal time is important too. What’s been your best vacation spot ever? Why? Do you have a dream destination?
Because of the companies I’ve worked for, I’ve been lucky to travel around the world. If I had to come up with a favorite all-out relaxing beach vacation it would be Phuket, Thailand. It was an idyllic island and the water was bluer than blue. I also really enjoyed Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—the people were wonderful and the place is beautiful. And, while I have been to Paris several times, my wife never has. I want to take her there one day.