Chief Financial Officer

Maine (US)
Depending on Experience
May 28, 2021
Jun 27, 2021
Job Role
Contract Type
Full Time
Level of qualification
CPA, Director/Executive

Position Description

Chief Financial Officer

U.S. Northeast


The Client

Our client, Seven Islands Land Company, is a Maine-based forestland resource and management company, whose roots date back more than 180 years. David Pingree, Sr., a successful shipping merchant from Salem, Massachusetts, invested in Maine’s timberlands in the mid-1800s as a means of diversifying.  Today, the timberland legacy lives on, with the family owning over 820,000 acres of timberland in Maine.

Founded in 1964 in Bangor, Maine, Seven Islands Land Company manages the Pingree Family timberlands in northern and western Maine.  Seven Islands’ forest management mindset is driven by its Land Ethic which is grounded in Conservation, Sustainability, Working Forests, and Certification. Committed to these foundational principles, Seven Islands is dedicated to bettering the environment, strengthening the forest products industry, and supporting the people and the communities in which it lives and works.

Seven Islands has a strong belief in the symbiotic relationship between healthy forest products markets and the sustainable management of working forests.  Timber from the lands that Seven Islands manages is harvested by local logging contractors and sold to regional mills, a number of which are independent, family-owned enterprises. Many of the mill and harvesting contractor relationships fostered by the company go back several generations.  In addition to selling timber externally, Seven Islands has grown to encompass a family of forestry-based businesses that include wood processing, chipping, and quality hardwood lumber production. Affiliates and subsidiaries include:

Maine Woods Company, LLC: A lumber manufacturing company with a modern, state-of-the-art sawmill in northern Maine committed to the production of high-quality hardwood lumber. All products are chain of custody certified as originating from a well-managed or certified forest.

Portage Wood Products: A hardwood chipping facility in Portage Lake, Maine that can chip up to 350,000 tons of roundwood per year. This facility provides Seven Islands and the Northern Maine region a stable market for hardwood pulpwood to foster the health, productivity, and sustainable management of the region’s forest resource.  

The Chief Financial Officer of Seven Islands will be based at the company’s headquarters in downtown Bangor, Maine.

 The Position

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a key member of the Seven Islands executive team and will report to Mr. Daniel LaMontagne, President/CEO of Seven Islands.  The CFO leads a team of six employees and is responsible for the financial, accounting, administrative, and risk management functions of the company and its subsidiaries.  Additionally, this role works in close collaboration with the General Manager and Controller of the company’s affiliate, Maine Woods Company.  The role is responsible for the development of the company’s financial strategy and the oversight of key control systems, financial reporting, and the disciplined deployment and preservation of company assets.  In addition, the CFO, in collaboration with the CEO, helps to guide the overall operational strategy and growth of the company and its subsidiaries and affiliates.  Essential duties and responsibilities include:

  • Supports the CEO in leading the company consistent with the organization’s Mission, Vision, and Values.
  • Provides executive leadership in the continuous evaluation of short and long-term financial objectives and offers recommendations to enhance financial performance and business opportunities.
  • Ensures the credibility of the Finance and Accounting team by providing timely and accurate reporting of results, variance analysis, analysis of budgets, financial trends, forecasts, cost / benefit analyses, and recommendations for improvements.
  • Oversees Seven Islands’ risk management functions including general liability and other related insurances
  • Develops finance organizational strategies by contributing financial and accounting information, analysis, and recommendations; studying economic trends and revenue opportunities; analyzing organization operations; identifying opportunities for improvement, cost reduction, and systems enhancement; and identifying sources of capital to fund growth opportunities.
  • Establishes finance operational strategies by evaluating trends; establishing critical measurements; determining production, productivity, and quality strategies; designing systems; accumulating resources; and implementing change.
  • Develops financial strategies by forecasting capital, facilities, and staff requirements; identifying monetary resources; and developing action plans.
  • Monitors financial performance by measuring and analyzing results, initiating corrective actions, and minimizing the impact of variances.
  • Maximizes return on invested funds by identifying investment opportunities and maintaining relationships with the banking and investment community.
  • Works closely with Pingree Associates and its affiliates.
  • Updates job knowledge by remaining aware of new regulations, participating in educational opportunities, reading professional publications, maintaining personal networks, and participating in professional organizations.

Ideal Professional Background

The ideal candidate for this position will have previous corporate management experience, a proven track record for effective team management and leadership, and a solid track record of professional accomplishments. He/she will have an undergraduate degree in Business or Finance, and an advanced degree is desirable but not required.  CPA or other appropriate certifications would also be a plus. He/she will have a minimum of fifteen years of experience in business and financial management, and while experience in the broader forest products industry would be of benefit, it is not a requirement. Additional desirable experience, skills, and attributes include the following:

  • Experience with a family-owned business is desirable, but not required.
  • Assessing, monitoring, and managing / responding to risk.
  • Developing and maintaining appropriate key internal controls.
  • Experience working in a company with multiple sites / locations with direct reports located remotely or in different offices.
  • Experience in a manufacturing environment and, as such, familiarity with inventories, costing, waste, and production asset performance.
  • Leading a team with diverse talents and backgrounds
  • Experience working effectively with a company Board is desirable, but not required.
  • Understands the basics of credit, investment, cash flow forecasting, and technology systems.
  • Familiarity with acquisitions and divestitures and performing analysis, modeling, and due diligence functions.
  • Experience in corporate governance.
  • Strong cash management and capital allocation focus, including experience with capital spending and ROI analysis.
  • Experience in managing and developing a strong, capable team and investing inthe teams personal and professional growth.

Ideal Personal Background

First of all, the successful candidate must be able to rapidly gain a clear understanding of the company and its operations, the employees, the history, and the culture of the organization. In addition, the successful candidate will:

  • Have excellent people skills, relationship building skills, verbal and written communications skills, and presentation skills.
  • Be an active listener.
  • Have a strong work ethic and unquestioned integrity and will work with candor at all times.
  • Have strong problem-solving skills with a business approach.
  • Have a commitment to leadership.
  • Behave like an owner, will treat the company’s money (costs) as his/her own, and will instill that attitude in his/her team.
  • Be a strong day-to-day manager, a hands-on doer, as well as an effective delegator.
  • Get the best out of his/her team and will create a culture of accountability.
  • Have the ability to work with a wide age-range of co-workers and will be able to build consensus among those over whom he/she does not actually have authority.
  • Be self-directed but also collaborative, will know instinctively when to act and when to ask, will be responsive to those to whom he/she is accountable, will be both tough when needed and diplomatic when needed.
  • Be able to anticipate and will be open-minded about change and about different or new approaches and views.
  • Be open-minded about input from others.
  • Take feedback well without becoming defensive.
  • Be knowledgeable and confident without “knowing everything.”
  • Be a life-long learner.
  • Readily share the negative along with the positive.
  • Be self-motivated, detail oriented, a problem solver, and able to maintain a flexible work schedule to meet the demands of executive management.
  • Be entrepreneurial, creative, results-oriented, highly organized, and both a high-level strategic thinker and tactical leader.
  • Be able to efficiently manage several diverse tasks at the same time to meet demanding deadlines.
  • Be a team player that leads by example and holds himself or herself accountable for performance and takes absolute ownership for success of the company.

Finally, the successful candidate will have the professional presence and demeanor to lead the business/financial management responsibilities of this highly successful organization, as well as the experience, vision, creativity, scope, leadership skills, and intellect to enhance the existing organization and to constructively contribute to the growth and strategic direction of Seven Islands Land Company.