The Faces Of CFOLC
Our team members make all the difference! The CFO Leadership Council (CFOLC), established in 2006, has a team that spans across the US & Canada supporting each other, our chapters & national initiatives 100% virtually. Through these interviews written in their own words, you’ll meet these innovative, driven and creative team members who make CFOLC what it is today.
Meet Angela Tise, National Membership Chair & Regional Director. Angela joined the team in 2015 leading our newly formed NYC Chapter. She now leads 7 chapters (NYC, NJ, Philly, DC, Baltimore, Detroit & new under her wing, our flagship Boston), chairs our membership services & is a team leader of CXO NOW, (our Executive Network of Women). Here’s her story.
Angela, tell us your story. Your path here at CFOLC & beyond
I come from Corporate America where I was in business development and creative services/advertising. However, my true passion is education and teaching! I love the fact that I can combine my passion with what makes the CFOLC so special to our members. We are able to connect our members to share their experiences in order to make someone else’s research and exploration time less – I heard someone share the other day that it is like getting the cliff notes from each other and I love that! I started working with the CFOLC as soon as Jack decided he would expand. Before I came on board officially, I was watching what he was doing and I was intrigued, thinking, I really like the way he is developing that organization! When I saw that I had an opportunity to take part in building on to that foundation, I jumped on it. I really believe we have a very special organization where we attract vibrant, motivated, lifelong learners who are motivated to share and gain knowledge from their peers and select experts whom we invite to take part. I want to continue to build this community so that for decades to come our members will continue to utilize the power of one another and establish the CFOLC as a main resource for the business leaders today and tomorrow.
“Angela’s commitment to our CFOLC members is paramount. Just short of five years with us, she has brought tremendous value, enriching our member’s experience. Angela is an integral part of our leadership team and a valued part of the CFOLC community”
Jack McCullough, Founder & President, CFO Leadership Council
Could you tell us about your background? One sister among all those brothers must have been interesting.
It is funny really that I wound up at the CFOLC. I think that my entire path in life led me right here in exactly the place where I am most comfortable and happy. I love organization and I attribute that to my mother. Growing up in a small home with 8 people (my parents had 6 children; 5 of them boys!), my mother was extremely organized. She was quick to get things done and never procrastinated; everything had its place and if you forgot to put your things in its place, she held her promise that it would end up on “Pinto’s truck”. That was the local garbage pickup in our town. I cannot tell you how many times my brothers and I ran after that garbage truck! I was groomed to be organized and act on things as they come along. I learned that organization made life easier. I took these lessons with me into Corporate America. Since I was trained by the best, my managers and actually even my peers came to depend on me to get things done. I was their resource in understanding where things were or where they needed to be – no matter how many brands or stores or countries, I was on top of where it all was and what still needed to be done.
Chaos was a routine thing in my very Italian and very loud, active household – I got really good at seeing and hearing and deciphering through the noise without even knowing how it would help me manage so well in my adulthood – I learned very early that you don’t sit around waiting for others to feed you, literally! – In my house, if you were not quick to jump at the food, you would go hungry! Seriously, try going after the big pasta bowl in the middle of a table with 5 hungry and bigger brothers!!
So, as I grew up, these were life lessons that I just thought were natural. They are now just a part of my personality and I am so glad that I was taught to roll up my sleeves and get what I needed or wanted, done – the CFOLC staff thinks this same way. I really believe it is why we are a successful organization. There is always so much buzz from all the activity and I think this energy is what attracts our members. The energy from the entire staff is fantastic. We are accommodating and positive – and the best part is that we are this virtual company with amazing people all over the country – each of us owns what we do and so we make happen what we need to with a common goal of empowering our members and each other. I love being a part of that! This setting is very special, and I am proud that not only do people tell us how organized and professional we are but that we are warm and welcoming – fabulous!
“I always say as you think differently, you do differently. We are determined to give that to our members – it is a main ingredient in the recipe for success!”
Angela Tise, National Membership Chair & Regional Director, CFO Leadership Council
So many choices for executives today. What makes CFOLC stand out?
I think we stand out because our members and our partners are motivated to give away what they have – it may seem cliched or “pie in the sky” but it really is true. This community was established with Jack’s vision of making sure that we had a place where financial executives could share authentic and valuable time with their peers alongside industry experts we allow in the rooms. It’s about sharing knowledge and valuing each other’s time – really helping one another however possible. Those who attend CFOLC meetings whether virtual or in person share that they appreciate the level of excellence – the topics and the time spent. We make sure to use the time effectively so that there is enough time to get to know one another and each of us has an opportunity to continue to build on our circle of trust. Having people who “get you” is really important to your success. We give our members the opportunity to gain as much as they need and want. We support it and you can feel that when you take part. I am proud of that!
How are you all staying afloat during COVID? Any lessons learned or silver linings?
Crisis always brings about creativity and ingenuity – I am proud of the fact that the CFOLC staff was able to pivot immediately to on line meetings – we listened to our members so stayed fluid and flexible in order to respond quickly to their needs – if they needed answers, we found a way to bring that to them if they needed connections, we made the introductions. What I learned is that it really does take a village – our members and sponsor partners were all so quick to lend a hand when and where needed. It has really proven out for me that this organization is so important to the well-being and success of our members. When the confusion hit, we all responded so that we could shape the fog. Though we are not really through it, we all offered each other what we could to help make sense of the unknown and confusion. That is the silver lining! Our partners stayed with us – our members stayed with – the CFOLC became a safe place where we could take a breath and look to one another to share the struggles and the strengths. I keep saying that as soon as we are able, I want to have a big party to celebrate us all “thriving not just surviving”! It was the contribution of our entire community that made that happen.
Virtual is taking over for a while. As CFOLC Membership Chair, what ways are you keeping members engaged & thriving?
Connection, Connection, Connection – I cannot stress that enough – we are using all the latest technology to ensure that our members feel like they are connected to one another and to the resources they need to thrive. It is top of mind that we continue to talk with our members not at them. It is the collaboration of the intelligence in the room that brings out the genius. It comes in the form of resolutions to an individual issue or problem. We will continue to address the issues that our members are dealing with and rely on that collective experience to guide the way. I so appreciate that when I ask a particular member to share h/her experience, they do it without hesitation. I think that is why they are engaged and thriving – they are voicing their needs and we are doing everything we can to feed them. Of course, we can always do better, so we do not rest on our laurels at any time. We make sure to communicate to our members that we want this community to give them what they need – and we show them every chance we get.
Through the COVID crisis, we made sure to quickly pivot to virtual connections and meetings – It was quite amazing to see our VP of Marketing, Kristin Todd, immediately assemble a small team to help the rest of us convert any in person meeting to a virtual platform. They worked tirelessly and fiercely to ensure that we could continue to offer the same connection to our members. Debbie Lindner, Senior Marketing Director and the key person who helps me run the NE Region, is one who quickly embraced the whole idea of making sure our members were engaged. She explored, studied, then introduced us to some really great add-in technologies that keep our members attentive and actively participating throughout the virtual meetings.
It was gratifying and humbling for me to see our team quickly jump on whatever was needed so that we could all thrive within this challenging time. I am really so proud that we are and were willing students! So many of my team really enjoyed learning about new technologies that could ensure active engagement – whether it was a ZOOM virtual meeting bringing our members and sponsor partners together to discuss what they were learning about the latest from PPP to the Care Act to figuring out where a CFO could find some laptops – we shared everything and helped each other and still are – we are watching life closely right now so that we can be ready to turn when necessary. Kristin and Debbie are two great examples of our entire staff – we are all here because we all have this desire to bring value to our community.
When the COVID crisis hit, CFO Connect lit up! CFO Connect is an amazing online members-only forum. Any need or question is posted and then answered quickly and thoroughly by their peers. No surprise – our members consistently rank this resource as one of the top membership benefits. We also encourage our partner experts to help our members see options that are available so that they can think differently. I always say as you think differently, you do differently. We are determined to give that to our members – it is a main ingredient in the recipe for success!
Do you have a favorite story about CFOLC?
This is a very difficult question – I have so many favorites! I appreciate so many of our members allowing me to come into their lives – I have cried with some, prayed with many and laughed with even more. I am grateful for this community and how they push us to continually raise the bar – whether it is the programming, our ability to organize an event, find the right experts; all of it. And team members – we have a culture here that mimics the membership – and maybe that is why – perhaps the energy from all my teammates is why the energy in the membership is the same. They are champions for one another. We applaud the accomplishments of each other and help when one falls short. I have never been part of an organization that is like this. I am grateful to each one of my teammates because they help me be the best rendition of me that I can be! I hope I do the same for them…
“I really believe we have a very special organization where we attract vibrant, motivated, lifelong learners who are motivated to share and gain knowledge from their peers. I heard someone share the other day that it is like getting the cliff notes from each other and I love that!”
Angela Tise, National Membership Chair & Regional Director, CFO Leadership Council
What is your favorite part of your job? Something you are most proud of? Your “why”
My favorite part of my job is having the opportunity to really know and connect to so many amazing and smart individuals. I have built some true friendships here and I will bring them with me. One of our members who spoke the other day on Leadership talked about having a personal Board who can help you get to where you want to grow in life. As she was speaking, I thought to myself, how lucky am I to have met so many wonderful people whom I can trust to tell me the truth in a way that is only beneficial to me. Who gets that in the place they work? Perhaps you get to meet one person like that as you are moving about in your career but here, I get to meet so many people and really get to know how they think – I am blessed.
I get to help people all over the country or work with some of the greatest minds on projects, I get to stretch my thinking or even cooler, is when I can stretch theirs; Wow! I am humbled by the opportunities I have daily with all the members and friends of the CFO Leadership Council.
If you had a crystal ball, what lies ahead?
Hopefully my crystal ball is correct, and we will come out of this stronger, smarter and perhaps even a little more audacious! I think we have learned that we need each other and that we can stop for a moment and re-evaluate. So many people have shared with me that they have newfound time because they were forced to take a road that they never even knew existed and on that road, they had to pause. As much as it is scary and hard when life gets dark or cloudy, there is something wonderful about shaping the fog. I believe that since we are a country of amazing people we will continue to challenge and take on challenges, and handle the unknown with as much dignity and grace as we can – and I know that when you have a set of people in your circle with whom you can trust, it makes it a little easier and you get a little more courageous knowing they have your back!
How do you start your day, end your day, take that leap?
I start every day by thanking God for all the blessings in my life. I try to stay in gratitude at all times and do my best to walk through life without fear. I am motivated to continuously take the leap ( in whatever form that means!) knowing that if I don’t do it, I will miss out. Even if I land in a puddle of mud, I knew what it felt like to jump, and the jumping is the exhilarating part. We are smart enough and capable enough to figure out what to do after we jump but if we never jump, we will never know. I prefer to grow old with a lot of scrapes and scars. It will be fun telling the stories behind each one … ?
Angela Tise, National Membership Chair & Regional Director, CFO Leadership Council
As a leader in the marketing efforts of our northeast region, Angela is an experienced manager who strives to improve and ensure overall membership quality. In addition, on a national level, she supports our financial executives with our uniquely designed members-only Problem Solving Forums and Ask The Expert calls. Angela began her career at Unilever Cosmetics Corporation as a Global Marketing Liaison, where she was responsible for the sales aids and advertising of more than 35 brands. She was also the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Panasonic and, most recently, Manager of Membership Services for FEI. Angela received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Arts degree in Education at Montclair State University.
About The CFO Leadership Council
What began as a close knit experiment back in 2006 is now a global community, 2000+ members & 27 chapters strong. The CFO Leadership Council offers both live & online programs that feature expert panels and interactive sessions that drive meaningful conversation and leadership development among our membership. Our collection of leadership development resources similar to this article contain pragmatic insights and advice sourced directly from our members and industry experts. Recordings of CFOLC webcasts are made available to our current CFOLC Premium & Virtual members. For a full list of programs, visit www.cfolc.com.
About CFOLC Membership
The CFO Leadership Council is a community dedicated to empowering our members to grow and thrive. We provide insights needed to overcome any challenge a CFO may face and meaningful connectivity to a dynamic community of peers in a way that is most convenient and beneﬁcial. Who are our members? CFOs, Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents of Finance, Director of FP&A, CAO, Controllers, Directors of Finance, and other senior financial leaders make up our membership and are invited to join. Start engaging today at www.cfolc.com/membership
Want to Continue the Conversation?
We’d love to hear from you. Post a comment about your experiences or provide feedback below to continue the discussion about how creative leadership in the current climate. Or contact Kristin Todd, Vice President of Marketing, [email protected].