Nashville Business Journal recognizes Barb VanderMolen as a top financial executive for 2014


Nashville, Tenn.--Barbara VanderMolen, vice president-finance for the A. O. Smith North American, India, Europe, and Export (NAIEE) business unit in Ashland City, Tenn., has been honored as the 2014 Chief Financial Officer of the Year in the Public Company, Divisional Financial Executive category by the Nashville Business Journal.  The announcement was made in today’s edition of the paper and in the online version.

The Nashville Business Journal CFO awards recognize top financial executive talent working around the middle Tennessee region. The awards honors one executive from each category:  small private company; medium private company; large private company; public company; public company-divisional financial executive; and nonprofit organization.

As vice president of finance, VanderMolen leads NAIEE’s global finance function, including top and bottom line responsibility for the North America, India, Europe and Export business group. Her role includes providing business and financial insight and ensuring business decisions are based on solid financial criteria.

“The best part of my job has to be working and collaborating with talented and committed professionals to solve business challenges. I am able to work with a lot of different functions of the business, which allows me to see business strategies from all angles,” VanderMolen said.

“It is so rewarding to be able to put a plan together, create the analysis, and then see the plan accomplished. While at the same time of these accomplishments, it is so rewarding to see internal talent grow and develop within their roles.”

The Nashville Business Journal not only recognizes top talent, but recognizes individuals who have a passion for their work and for the numbers.  For VanderMolen, her passion started when she was in high school when her father owned a small business, where she worked as a bookkeeper. This position ultimately opened her eyes to the world of finance. This new-found passion has led her to the path of an auditor in public accounting, internal audit functions, sales and marketing.  She joined A. O. Smith in 2007 as a financial analysis manager.   

“I never realized how much fun “work” can be, the importance of day-in and day-out tasks, focusing on good communications, and building relationships has really helped me excel in my position,” she observed.

“What makes Barb different from other CFO’s; she can help explain the ‘why.’ She gets people engaged, so at the end of projects we can get better success because of her laying out the ‘why.’ And with that, this has led the organization to some very good results,” President and General Manager of NAIEE Kevin Wheeler said.

The CFO award was presented to VanderMolen on Oct. 21 at an award ceremony in Nashville. For more on VanderMolen and this year’s recipients, go to today’s online edition of the Nashville Business Journal.

VanderMolen plays a key role in moving A. O. Smith forward in the industry. She has been able to identify, attract, develop and retain top analytical finance talent that is globally diverse. She has also implemented long-term success to the product development and review processes, provided educational series for the organization to better understand financial concepts, and has an eye on growth and operational strategies.

“I have such a strong group of people to work with, and a great company to work for, without the support, it would be extremely difficult to achieve this award,” VanderMolen said.