The Philadelphia Business Journal recently recognized the top chief financial officers in the region, and not only was Drexel University’s Helen Bowman on the list, but she was the sole awardee featured on the front page.
Bowman, a longtime CFO who is now the executive vice president, treasurer and chief operating officer of the University, was named to the publication’s “2017 CFO of the Year” list and interviewed in its July 14 cover story, “How CFOs Are Playing an Increasingly Dynamic Role” [Ed. note: subscription required].
In the article, Bowman discussed the changing role of a CFO, a position now looked to as a leader in promoting and enforcing business ethics.
“I do think it has changed; the role is a lot more than compliance and internal audits,” Bowman was quoted as saying in the article. “In our case, we need to protect donor dollars and tuition dollars — and ethics is a huge part of that. The CFO needs to set the standard for the entire staff that if you see something you don’t think is right, say something.”
Bowman also discussed her role at Drexel in the individual “CFO of the Year” feature highlighting her experiences and accomplishments.
“I’ve been in many industries: I’ve been in the banking industry, corporate finance, corporate re-engineering consulting — and I’ve taken a piece of every single one of those to help me be the best CFO I can at Drexel University,” she said. “So, corporate finance: The analytical skills that I learned there. Banking: The relationship skills that I learned there. And corporate consulting allowed me to really analyze and solve problems, so I brought all of that to Drexel University.”
Bowman has played a vital role in providing strategic leadership and direction at Drexel since 2011. Previously, she served as the vice president for finance and treasurer at Franklin & Marshall College.
Now that she’s at Drexel, and has been on campus during the school’s 125th anniversary, Bowman is helping to prepare the University for its next 125 years.
“The best part of my workday is that I’m preparing an institution for the future generation of America,” she said in a Philadelphia Business Journal video. “Drexel is a product that is just an education and it’s such a wonderful thing that we can provide. And so the best part of my workday is knowing that I’m preparing the world for our future generation and providing the best education that we can for those individuals that walk through those doors.”