One key trait was overwhelmingly discussed in each of our Roundtable markets when we asked attendees what they look for when hiring finance talent. That trait was passion. It’s not a coincidence that passion is one of the core values at The Original Bradford Soap Works, Inc.
Stu Benton has been a CFO Alliance Member for the past eight years and currently serves on our Global Advisory Board. Similar to many CFO Alliance Members, Stu spent much of his career as a CPA working in audit and accounting. Our 2018 CFO Sentiment Study indicates that the expanded role of the CFO is a critical opportunity in 2018. The CFO Position has become more strategic and has evolved well beyond strictly financial oversight. The modern CFO is expected to be heavily involved in Human Resources, Operations, Risk Management, IT and Legal.
Stu has truly embraced the evolving nature of the CFO role. Stu started as CFO of Bradford in 2011, and was promoted to the role of President and CEO in 2016. Through his leadership, Bradford currently manufactures 44 percent of the specialty bar soaps in the U.S. Since it’s inception in 1876, Bradford has embraced a passion for innovation and product development. As showcased in the Providence Business News (PBN) publication, Bradford has achieved several firsts, including becoming the first U.S. soap manufacturer to be organically certified, the creation of the first dermatological soap for Galderma/Cetaphil and more. Under Stu’s leadership, PBN awarded Bradford Soap Works the award for Overall Excellence in the Large Manufacturer category at the 2018 PBN Manufacturing Awards. Bradford was also recently awarded the Providence Business News(PBN) 2017 Business Excellence Award – Excellence at a Large Company, and The Rainforest Alliance 2018 Honoree for Contribution to Sustainable Practices around Palm Oil.
In another recently published PBN article, Stu was featured because of the passion he exhibits. Passion led his team to two high school football state championship appearances. He mentions his guiding principle is “never wish you had” and that to be successful, individuals need to have passion for everything they do. Stu’s outlook complements what attendees at our Q1 Roundtable said was an important factor to look for when hiring finance talent. Stu’s passion aligns with the core values of Bradford Soap Works, and under his leadership, that passion to innovate will lead to continued success.