Even as runner-up, Pink Energy CFO proves he’s money in the bank
July 19th, 2019 | By Roger Kuznia
July 19th, 2019 | By Roger Kuznia
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Thursday night provided another highlight in Pink Energy’s growth, as the company’s chief financial officer, Juan Ramirez, was honored as a CFO of the Year finalist among large private Charlotte-area companies by the Charlotte Business Journal.
While Ramirez was not among the winners chosen for the award, even those without Pink Energy-tinted glasses would find it difficult to argue that his time with the microphone in the Providence Ballroom at The Westin was not tops among his 14 finalist peers.
In being introduced to all in attendance, every finalist had the opportunity to answer one question: Who would you put on the $100 bill and why? Ramirez used his moment to honor his grandmother Gloria and mother Esther, who immigrated from Cuba to the New York area in the 1960s, when Ramirez was a young boy. Check out the simple, yet impactful way he honored those two women.
Ramirez’s humble approach belies the impact he’s had on the success of Pink Energy, which eclipsed $100 million in sales for the first time in its four-year history in 2018. His leadership and contributions in transforming a department that went from cash to GAAP accounting was his first job, and he’s layered successes on top ever since.
Pink Energy had its first successful external audit under Ramirez (2018 financials), and he spearheaded the successful conversion of accounting systems in 2019 from QuickBooks to NetSuite. His department implemented an automated order to cash process, where company sales data flows right into our accounting software, eliminating the opportunity for error.
He orchestrated the change of payroll services, implemented Expensify to make all associates more conscientious of what they’re spending, and also wrote a travel and expense policy to ensure adherence to company-wide guidelines. Through recruiting efforts, his department now has four degreed accountants, adding to the strength of the group. He also established a new banking partner in 2018, allowing Pink Energy to put in credit lines and a variety of banking products.
The sum of those changes has brought a much higher level of professionalism and reporting that allows Pink Energy to be an efficient financial machine as its growth continues. Pink Energy has entered two new states already in 2019, and is eyeing additional growth.
“The thing I am most proud of is how we interact with other departments,” Ramirez says. “We are a team and we try to bring all together, not point blame, in interacting with our employees. We have a very good culture.”
These cumulative successes have brought Pink Energy to the level it needed, and his department’s work has positioned Pink Energy for an even stronger 2019. Along with that pursuit, Ramirez and his team prepared the company’s first ever in-house budget for 2019, jointly developed a reporting package that can be shared with its investors, and signed on with a new tax accountant.
Through this massive overhaul in recent months, Pink Energy’s controller, James Carroll, has seen the successes play out, and he respects the job Ramirez has undertaken and executed against.
“There’s nobody else I’d want to work for,” Carroll says. “I love his energy, I love his enthusiasm, he gives me guidance, and I fulfill all our dreams.”
Pink Energy’s goal and expectation is always up and to the right. You can be sure that Ramirez’s guidance will help point the way, and all of us who work for the company are grateful for the matriarchs of Ramirez’s family for taking a chance on pursuing a better life in the U.S. all those years ago. Those two, and Ramirez himself, are money in the bank.