Lievin Mwamba, chief financial officer of the San Rafael-based nonprofit, says, “Don’t just be a bean counter, be bean sprouts too.” He is a winner of the Business Journal’s eighth annual North Bay CFO Awards in 2021.
Education: Master of Science in Accounting with a focus on CPA; Master of Science in Finance and Master of Arts in French Literature
What lasting changes has your company made due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic disruptions?
Moving to a small office / room due to increasing remote work.
What changes have the industry in which you work as a result of the pandemic?
Identify which changes are temporary and which, if any, are permanent. Work from home, connect virtually for meetings and electronically sign documents.
What has changed personally about the attitude towards your job that is related to the work experience over the last year or so?
I invested the time I needed to get to work at home.
Tell us about a recent success for your company.
The company has successfully partnered with another organization.
What advice would you give to young aspiring financial managers?
Be patient and proactive, work hard, like your job, and most importantly, be not just bean counters but bean sprouts too.
If you could change one (or maybe two) opinions about the job of CFO or similar leadership position, what would it be and why?
CFOs are “only compliance cops”. I believe CFOs are more than just compliance cops. They are business partners and play multiple roles including supporters, strategists, protectors, and innovators.
Which decision would you not have liked to have made? What did you learn from it?
Change of accounting in the middle of the financial year.
What is your most memorable business experience?
In recognition of my achievements, I was given a “Rock Star Award”.
What is your greatest business success?
Clean audits year after year for five years in a row
What was your toughest business decision?
Recommendation of budget cuts due to economic difficulties.
What would your friends and family be surprised to find out about you?
I am a good cook, an excellent dancer and speak seven languages
What is the greatest lesson for you personally from the events of the past few months?
Expect the unexpected.
Tell us about your commitment to the community.
By working in the choir, I developed the ability to work in a team and was more integrated into the community.