Picture It. Boonsboro 2021. You’re sitting in your office on a regular day of the week. You’re busy looking out the window when something along the wall catches your eye. The calendar. With a particular date circled. You rack your brain trying to figure out why that day is so important and then in a flash you remember. It’s the end of the month. Not just the end of the month but the end of the quarter. And the end of the quarter means that quarterly reports are due. Everything must be submitted in a folder to the Board of Directors by close of business that day. Including the most important folder. The one labeled financials.
If one stops and thinks about it, a skilled nursing facility can be comparable to a very large ship. There’s a lot of moving parts that have to all function properly in order for the ship to stay afloat, especially in rough waters. If even one part of the ship is out of synch with the others, an organization could have a problem like Titanic on their hands. Not the good Leonardo DiCaprio kind, the tragic, run head first into an iceberg kind. There have to be people in place who can see the iceberg coming and know how to navigate around it. Someone who can get the boat safely to shore when the waters are choppy. Someone who can assure that there is room for both Jack AND Rose on that floating piece of furniture in the middle of the ocean. Someone who can read the coordinates and tell the captain which direction to go in so that the massive iceberg can be avoided. That someone is the Chief Financial Officer, better known as the CFO.
By definition, the CFO is the individual responsible for managing the financial actions of a company. It is their job to look at every dollar spent and be able to account for it. They spend their day crunching numbers, tracking the flow of cash, and financial planning and forecasting so that the company or organization knows how much money they have to spend going forward and what they have spent in the past. Think about the past year with the Covid-19 virus. The amount of testing done on all employees, the PPE that had to be purchased, vaccines that were delivered, the pharmacy that delivered them, cleaning supplies for a room that gets designated as a quarantine area when a positive case occurs, the staff that has to be compensated for working longer hours. All of that comes at a cost and if those costs are not planned for and managed carefully, an organization could be in financial ruin, a problem we call Maria. And how do you solve a problem like Maria? You have a CFO at the top of the mountain navigating the financial hurdles and pittfalls and executing everything related to finance with the clarity of a high note. Like the song says they must “climb ev’ry mountain, search high and low, follow every byway, every path they know”. Let’s hope they’re not afraid of heights.
Each week, we will be highlighting a member of the Fahrney Keedy Family to learn a little bit more about their life and career. They will be offering a unique perspective on their role as well as advice for those considering a career in senior living.
This week, we get a snapshot into the life and career of Christopher Stockslager, Chief Financial Officer:
Where did you go to school? What was your major? “I graduated from Shippensburg University with a degree in Accounting.”
Do you have any other certifications? “No”
When did you know you wanted to work in finance? What drew you to your current position? “I knew in high school I wanted to be an Accountant because my father and mother worked as bookeepers and accountants most of their lives. My father, who is retired, still prepares individual income tax returns for quite a few clients. I am a lifelong member of Church of the Brethren and have served on the Fahrney Keedy Board of Directors in the past. When I was asked to consider the position of CFO, I gladly accepted.”
In honor of #tbt, we want to throw it back to your first day at Fahrney Keedy. What do you remember? “My current office was being painted and a new floor was being installed. My temporary office was in the library. The first day I began exploring the accounting system, which I remember, was overwhelming. This is my first health care position, so I had a lot to learn.”
What does a day in the life look like for you? What are your duties and responsibilities? “My days vary as to the time of the month. At the beginning of the month, I am catching up on work. Toward the mid to end of the month, I am preparing Financial Statements for the Board of Directors. My overall responsibility is to ensure that Fahrney Keedy financially can execute its mission. That means having enough funds in place to meet its financial obligations.”
This pandemic has been hard for everyone but especially for those individuals working in healthcare. How did you personally get through it? “I took it one day at a time. Financially, we could not plan too far into the future, so we set financial priorities and made sure that top priorities were met. I did a lot of praying. I asked for guidance to navigate the financial hurdles of the pandemic to ensure that we could continue caring for our residents. I am grateful that many of my prayers were answered.”
Oscar Wilde once said “with age comes wisdom”. What advice would you give to your younger self? “Always treat your friends and co-workers with kindness and respect. Everything else falls into place.”
What advice would you give to someone interested in working in finance? “Working in finance/accounting gives you an excellent operational understanding of any business or organization. This understanding allows an individual to go in many career directions.”
And, last question, why should someone choose to join the Fahrney Keedy team? “It’s mission. Loving and caring for your fellow human being is the greatest commandment of all.”
Five Second Pose!
We asked Christopher 5 rapid fire questions to get to know him a little better:
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Movie: The Sound of Music
Favorite Disney Character: Donald Duck
Favorite Superhero: Superman
Favorite Actor, Age 65 & Over: Julie Andrews
1 Fun Fact: Chris has been a tuba player since 1986
Thank you so much to Christopher Stockslager for sharing! Stay tuned next week when we add another photo to our Family Album!