Mark Vangsgard, vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer of St. Thomas since 2006, has been chosen a Chief Financial Officer of the Year by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
Vangsgard will be recognized Nov. 19 at a luncheon at the Marriott City Center in downtown Minneapolis. He is one of 24 CFOs, including four in the “nonprofits-civic/educational” category, to receive the honor. The other categories are nonprofits-health care, public, small private, medium private, large private and career achievement.
The newspaper established the CFO of the Year awards in 2007 to honor outstanding financial leaders at Twin Cities companies. A panel of financial executives evaluated the nominees and scored their contributions to their companies and the community.
“Chief financial officers are a crucial part of a company’s leadership team,” the Business Journal said, “but their role in company successes is often overlooked outside their offices.”
Vangsgard oversees more than 400 employees in business affairs, human resources, dining services, facilities and ground management, public safety, mailing services, conference and event services and the Rome campus. He coordinates the work of the Audit/Finance, Investment and Physical Facilities committees of the Board of Trustees. He has two St. Thomas degrees: a bachelor of arts in finance in 1980 and a MBA in 1990.
“He has demonstrated enormous support for his alma mater – both as a careful steward of its resources as well as a big-picture thinker who goes the extra mile to achieve its mission,” President Julie Sullivan said in nominating Vangsgard for the award. “I have greatly appreciated Mark’s wise counsel, his long history with the university and his deep care for our students, his colleagues and this institution.”
Sullivan pointed out that St. Thomas’ revenue has grown by 40 percent and net assets have increased 45 percent during Vangsgard’s tenure. He oversaw construction of the Anderson Student Center, Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex and Anderson Parking Facility.
“He is a valued adviser on my senior staff but also serves as a lead ambassador for St. Thomas and takes his role well beyond his job responsibilities,” Sullivan said. “You’ll find him mingling with parents and prospective students at admissions events, welcoming new freshmen at orientation each summer, and seated or standing in the fan section at each and every one of the Tommies’ football games. … His care for students, faculty, staff and alumni goes well beyond the university's bottom line.”
Vangsgard and his wife, Kim, have three adult children and one grandson. He previously worked at Ecolab for 17 years and is a past member of the Catholic Charities board of directors.