Texas Baptists' Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Jill Larsen has been named a finalist for Dallas Business Journal's CFO of the Year award.
Larsen was selected and named a finalist by a panel of independent judges after being nominated by a close business friend. She will join 28 other financial executives Oct. 26 at the CFO of Year Awards program in Dallas, where category winners will be announced.
The past year has brought an abundance of new challenges and opportunities for Larsen as she managed two substantial projects for the Texas Baptists—restructuring the 2015 budget and steering the office relocation.
The budget restructure occurred after the convention reset in February. Larsen said though much work was required, that project represented a new and exciting opportunity for the Texas Baptists staff to refocus and realign.
The second, and most noteworthy, project was steering the transition process for Texas Baptists' Dallas office relocation, which came to completion in September.
"It was so much work, but it was also so much fun," Larsen said. "There were many aspects in the transition that I'd never been exposed to before, so I learned a lot."
The process began with negotiating the sale of the downtown Dallas facility to Baylor University. From there, Larsen selected a transition team to help with vision sessions, hired experts to help with logistics, performed negotiations for three building options and identified a suitable new location. Then, she said, the "real fun" began where she worked with a design firm and construction company and invited the transition team to help pick out furniture.
Since the staff moved into the new building, located at 7557 Rambler Road in Dallas, on Sept. 1, Larsen can confidently say she feels good about the decisions that were made during the 16-month process.
"Now that we're here [in the new building], it's better than I imagined," she said. "Our staff really embraces it. It delights me to see them using all the different spaces."
Alongside those major projects, Larsen has made numerous other contributions in the past year simply through her ongoing tasks of making budget presentations at each of the three Executive Board meetings, preparing for annual audits, managing endowments, managing legal matters and conducting countless other tasks.
Dr. David Hardage, executive director for Texas Baptists, commended Larsen's accomplishments.
"Jill is knowledgeable, hard-working and fully committed to the organization," he said about Larsen. "She has earned the respect of those inside and outside the office. She is a CFO who can truly be trusted."
Through each new challenge Larsen has faced in the past year, her assurance of her calling has made them seem more like opportunities to use her God-given gifts to serve with Texas Baptists.
"I feel strongly that I am called to this position and called to be here and it's a blessing to be here," she said. "And it's a great honor to be nominated for an award."