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Opportunity

Vice-President Finance – Avena Foods

THE ORGANIZATION

Based in Regina, Saskatchewan, Avena Foods is a leading provider of gluten-free oats to the North American market.  Since 2008, Avena Foods (Avena) has been providing its customers and consumers with consistent, superior quality, certified gluten-free oats – guaranteed to be wheat, barley, and rye-free.  The oats are sourced from a select group of farmers using Avena’s proprietary ‘Purity Protocol’ process.  Avena’s Purity Protocol is an industry benchmark process that is based on “Start Clean, Stay Clean” principles proven to produce certified gluten-free oats consistently at or below 5 ppm level that meet and surpass the gluten-free standards of the FDA, GFCO, GFCP and Health Canada.

Avena sells both organic and non-organic, pure whole grain oat products in bulk primarily to food processors specializing in the gluten-free and celiac market.  In addition, Avena sells retail ready products under the brand Only Oats that can be found in gluten-free section of health food and specialty food stores across Canada.

Avena has studied and analyzed the gluten-free and organic markets and has made strategic investments to dedicate resources to high growth and sustainable customer bases.  The organization is well positioned to continue its penetration of its traditional markets as well as leverage its capabilities to diversify into new products.

Avena’s Mission and Vision are highlighted below:

MISSION

…to grow and produce pure, safe uncontaminated and certified gluten-free oat products for the celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitive (NGCS) market…

VISION

…to be the best source of gluten-free oat ingredients in the food industry…

The original entrepreneurial vision to “deliver products that meet a need, not a want” was shared and initiated by a group of farmers and continues to resonate for Avena Foods’ investors and the Avena Foods team.  There is a passion for and commitment to growing ‘the right way’, ensuring the integrity of their value-chain and processes resulting in consistent purity and highest quality of their gluten and organic products into the future!

For further information about Avena Foods, please visit their website at www.avenafoods.com

 

VICE-PRESIDENT FINANCE

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer

Direct Reports: 1

Indirect Reports: –

Location: Regina

 

MANDATE

The Vice-President Finance (VP Finance) provides both operational and executive support to the organization.  The VP Finance provides active ‘hands-on’ leadership to the small finance and accounting team, while participating as a member of the senior leadership team.  The VP Finance reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and directly assists the CEO and  other senior leaders on all strategic and tactical matters as they relate to budget management, cost benefit analysis, forecasting, business analysis, financial reporting and compliance.

 

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES

Contribute to Avena Foods Growth

  • Working with the CEO and other senior leaders on the strategic growth objectives including fostering and cultivating strong relationships and rapport with stakeholders on all levels.
  • Assisting in performing all tasks necessary to achieve growth plans.
  • Participating in developing new business, specifically: assist the CEO and other senior leaders in assessing new growth opportunities, drafting of new business (organic or acquisition) plans and budgets, and determining relative return of different options.
  • Participating in key supplier, client contracts and tenders to ensure terms and financial metrics are acceptable and, where necessary develop and negotiate contracts.

Fiscal Accountability

  • The management and coordination of all fiscal reporting activities for the organization including: income statements, cash flow reports, and balance sheet reports, reports to the Board and equity partner, reports to the Bank and, as required, reporting to governmental agencies.
  • The production of monthly reports, executive summaries as well as financial statements and cash flow projections for use by management, as well as the Board.
  • Providing support to the execution of new business growth opportunities including due diligence and guiding deals through to completion with the assistance of the Company’s legal and tax advisors where required.
  • Development of the annual budget and periodic forecasts.
  • Cash flow planning and ensuring availability of funds when needed.
  • Develop a strong working relationship with the equity partner.
  • Monitoring the organization’s banking activities and establishing a strong working relationship with Avena Foods lender.
  • Leading requirements definition, system selection and implementation to ensure a cost effective and secure Information Technology solution is in place to enable Avena Foods future growth, and efficient, effective operations.
  • Contributing to the maintenance of the inventory of all fixed assets and product inventory ensuring metrics are in place assuring turnover of inventory and asset utilization.
  • Overseeing all tax filings and ensuring the company is tax-efficient.

Risk Management

  • Developing and maintaining systems of internal controls to safeguard financial assets of the organization.
  • Overseeing the coordination and activities of independent auditors ensuring all audit issues are resolved, all compliance issues are met, and the preparation of the annual financial statements is in accordance with GAAP and federal, provincial and other requirements.
  • Overseeing risk management (property, casualty, liability, director insurance).
  • Ensuring adequate controls are installed and that substantiating documentation is approved and available such that all financial systems and controls will pass independent and governmental audits.

People Leadership

  • Training, mentoring and coaching the Finance and Accounting team and other staff on raising awareness and knowledge of financial management matters.
  • Identifying opportunities for streamlining processes to increase departmental efficiency.
  • Support the CEO by investigating cost-effective employment arrangements, benefit plans and other benefits which the organization may offer employees and potential employees with the goal of attracting great people, retaining qualified individuals and motivating high performance.

 

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

With a focus on growth and diversification, the VP Finance will need to work hard to ensure the unique culture of Avena Foods is protected, while a strong financial foundation is in place to support its growth and sustainability

 

ATTRACTIONS

Avena Foods exists to ‘meet a need, not a want’ and has a purpose driven team.  The organization is highly entrepreneurial and success has come from an organizational culture that thrives on open communication, collaboration, flexibility, innovation, and a commitment to results.  Strong investor support, combined with a management team that has significant industry experience, ensures Avena Foods is poised to continue as an industry leader.

 

FIRST YEAR DELIVERABLES / MEASURES OF SUCCESS

Success in the first year will be determined by the Vice-President Finance’s ability to:

  • Establish a high level of confidence throughout the organization regarding their knowledge of and contribution to the organization’s strategic, operational and growth objectives.
  • Translate complex financial concepts into business information enabling others to utilize and make strong business decisions.
  • Initiate the selection and implementation of an appropriate information technology system to enable the business growth objectives, operating efficiency and effectiveness
  • Develop open and trusting relationships.
  • Be an active, valued voice at the executive table providing strategic advice and guidance regarding the business and its growth objectives.
  • Ensure the small finance team composition is appropriate, the team is aligned and positioned for success. Through continuous improvements the finance & accounting processes are in place to deliver optimal value to the business.
  • Integral participation in successfully executing the business plan.

 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The successful candidate will have the following:

EDUCATION:

  • The successful individual will possess a Bachelor’s Degree, ideally in Accounting, Finance, or Business Administration supplemented with a professional accounting designation (CPA: CA, CMA, CGA) or CFA.
  • An MBA will be considered an asset.

 EXPERIENCE:

  • An executive leader with ten (10) years of proven leadership, as an active voice in business direction as well as extensive knowledge of accounting practices, financial planning /reporting, budget planning / reporting, compliance management and governance. System selection and implementation leadership also an asset
  • A background in agriculture and / or food ingredients is preferred.

COMPETENCIES & ATTRIBUTES:

  • Highest standards of personal integrity supported by open and honest communication.
  • Sophisticated finance and accounting knowledge & skill, willing to be hands-on and immerse themselves in the work to support the business
  • Develop and promote a culture of continuous improvement and foster a climate of openness, adaptability and flexibility to change.
  • A skilled communicator that is able to translate complex financial information for diverse audiences.
  • Someone that thrives within a fast paced environment and takes great satisfaction in hard work.
  • A positive approach to business and views challenges as opportunities.
  • A confident yet humble leader that acts as a trusted advisor to the business.
  • A strategic thinker with strong analytical skills to quickly assess complex situations, determine key issues, then prepare and implement clearly defined solutions and/or responses.
  • Outstanding relationship-building skills with people at all levels of the organization with a focus on creative problem solving using a collaborative approach.
  • An engaging leadership style that excites and motivates while holding the team to a high standard.
  • Proven ability to frame issues and creates a sense of urgency to achieve positive and timely end results.

 

THE COMPENSATION

An attractive compensation package including an opportunity for equity awaits the successful candidate.


How to Apply:

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: gfieger@conroyross.com. Copy and Paste the following job title and code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job and confirm receipt of your application:
AGCH-470203 Vice-President Finance – Avena Foods, SK – Regina (CRPAPPLY)

Please note that only those candidates meeting the selection criteria, established by our client, will be contacted further. Although we may not contact you directly for this particular role, all applications will be reviewed as we would like to consider you for future opportunities that may be appropriate. We encourage you to continue to visit our website at www.conroyross.com as our opportunities are updated on a regular basis.

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