June 11, 2012, 8:10 AM — Name: Michael Milligan
Time with company: Started in December 2007
Education: University of Notre Dame with a B.B.A. and also earned a Masters in Accountancy from Notre Dame
Company headquarters: Bethany, Oklahoma
Revenue: About $25 million for next fiscal year
Number of employees total: 475
Number of employees the CFO oversees: 15 directly; indirectly 250
CFO's areas of responsibility: finance, budgeting, some HR... numerous other duties
About the company: The Children's Center is a private, nonprofit pediatric hospital serving children with complex medical and physical disabilities.
1. Where did you start in finance and what experiences led you to the job you have today?
I started in public accounting and did that for two years, during which time I also obtained my CPA license. I audited several not-for-profit entities while I was working in public accounting and that sparked my interest in that field. I was called out for a tour of The Children's Center and came out to see it and fell in love with the place and have been here ever since.
2. Who was an influential boss for you and what lessons did they teach you about management and leadership?
Both Albert Gray and Carol Gray -- Albert is the CEO and Carol is the COO of The Children's Center. A lot of what they have taught me I had to learn because I had never been in a management position before and I was hesitant to take this job because of that.
One thing they taught me is what we call 'justa'. There are no just a's here -- everyone is important to the operation of the facility and everyone should be treated that way -- laundry, housekeeping, nutrition as well as nursing and the medical staff. Everyone matters.
They also taught me to be very hands-on in my management style and to jump in where help is needed, and also to be flexible. You might come in one day thinking you're going to do one thing but then everything can change. In a hospital, things come up quickly so you have to be flexible enough to change your schedule when needed.
3. What are the biggest challenges facing CFOs today?
Being in the health-care sector, you're trying to provide the highest quality of care in the most cost-effective manner. That's becoming more and more difficult because the reimbursements you receive from Medicare or Medicaid, and also from insurance companies, are not keeping pace with medical costs. So that's a big piece.
The other part is the implementation of electronic-health records. That's a big one because some of your reimbursement from the federal government is tied to that.