Kelly Olson, EVP & CFO Cambria

Kelly Olson, EVP & CFO Cambria

Kelly Olson, EVP & CFO of Cambria, has over 25 years of financial leadership across a wide range of industries; leading diverse teams in companies of all sizes. She has navigated the challenges of publicly held as well as ESOP companies. Kelly’s strategic development, execution of business reorganizations and participation in successful mergers, acquisitions, and divestiture transactions has been valuable to the Twin Cities’ marketplace. Additionally, she has experience building accounting and finance functions from ground zero. Her recent move to become CFO of a very well-known brand and a Minnesota success story made Scouts Talent curious to learn more….

What advice would you give someone starting out in your industry?

Look for opportunities where you can work on projects and initiatives that cross over into other functional areas, departments, and industries. These are the experiences that set you above others when being considered for promotions and other opportunities.

What is your mantra?

Be true to yourself and hold your head high, especially during challenging times.

How do you get yourself out of a slump?

Keep doing the right thing, and good things will happen.

What companies and leaders do you admire?

I admire selfless leaders, whose actions are driven by what’s in the best interest of the employees. Consequently, they deliver successful company results because of this approach. These same leaders make thoughtful investments in their teams via opportunities to learn and engage outside of their comfort zones.

If you could try a different job for a day, what would you choose?

I would love to have a job that puts me in the forefront of designing high-end jewelry, clothing, or interior designing. I would love to exercise that “other side” of my brain for a day.

What has been the biggest shift you’ve noticed in your industry in the last decade?

I’ve seen a very clear shift in the accounting and finance function being engaged Postas true business partners. As more data becomes available because of technology, we’re seeing more data-driven strategic decisions to drive business transformation and investments.

How has the pandemic changed the way you go about your business?

The pandemic has changed our communication to all key stakeholders in the business (employees, key customers, board/owners/investors). It has changed both how we communicate (video conferencing), and how often we communicate. The pandemic also heightened the thirst for identifying more key metrics to keep our finger on the pulse of the business. This has increased opportunities to add more value by providing the business with stronger “headlights” to project business results.

Have there been any silver-linings for your business as result of COVID?

Yes. The building materials industry has seen increased customer demand for our products and services, which support the remodeling and building in the residential markets.

Who has been most instrumental in your career?

I was fortunate to work under a finance leader for over 12 years who gave me opportunities to learn and apply my skillsets in many different areas of the business, and across multiple functions. Having a proven, transferrable skillset, was a main enabler that afforded me additional opportunities to be successful in supporting new businesses, functions, industries, and companies later in my career.

What is your go-to celebration meal, drink, or tradition?

Enjoying a seafood restaurant with a glass of wine, accompanied by my family of course!


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