DiscoverUpside/Downside - a podcast for Finance Business Partners
Upside/Downside - a podcast for Finance Business Partners
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Upside/Downside - a podcast for Finance Business Partners

Author: Matt Cooley

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My name is Matt Cooley, host of the Upside/Downside podcast, where we explore what it takes to be the best Finance Business Partners possible. I'm a Finance Business Partner myself and former president of the New York City Chapter of Financial Executives International. Prepare to meet professionals on the front lines of value creation and hear their stories. Through personal 1:1 interviews with inspiring and interesting professionals, we'll explore the many aspects of being a Finance Business Partner at forward-thinking organizations. Advisory, communications, business models, competition, digitalization, data analytics, risk management, complex regulatory environments, difficult environments, emerging businesses, continuous learning, personal branding and many other topics are all on the table as we explore what it takes to be our best. If you would like to suggest a future guest for this podcast, or be a guest yourself, please reach out today.
13 Episodes
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Welcome to Season 2 of Upside/Downside!  Samuel Dergel, Founder & Principal of Dergel Executive Search, shares what companies are looking for in a CFO/Finance Business Partner, why you need to be a people person, and how to deliver value at every stage of your career.  Straighten that collar and listen in.
In this episode, Alex Kotlyarevsky, VP of Finance at Maxx Properties, compares the recent real estate market to flying a plane.  Monitoring real-time metrics and making timely, fact-based course corrections drive value.  Getting there requires digital and cultural transformations that will ultimately separate winners from losers.  Forward-thinking Finance Business Partners are in the cockpit.  Fasten your seat belts and let's go!
What are the most critical skills for Finance Business Partners that support very large and visible civil engineering projects?   Nick Mitrakis, SVP & Corporate Controller at WSP USA, shares the cornerstones of good project management and how Finance Business Partners need to step up in a world where our function is increasingly at the intersection of everything.  Join us!
We all want to allocate capital where we anticipate maximum returns.  But how you measure those returns depends on your mission.  In this episode, hear why Peter Wise felt compelled to leave his high tech job building satellites and enter a completely different world as Soup Kitchen Director.  Peter also offers a word to the wise (pun intended) on career resiliency for Finance Business Partners.  Five, four, three, two, one...!
What are the tools enabling Industry 4.0 and how should Finance Business Partners incorporate their promises into a broader value creation strategy?   CFO and Industry 4.0 Advocate Dave Sackett, shares the first application at his company, and why filtering a broad variety of information is critical to narrowing down the solutions you really need.  Dave also explains how these solutions are no longer the exclusive domain of large companies as SMBs also start feeling the benefit.  Listen in!
With a heritage dating back 88 years, Financial Executives International (FEI) has been providing generations of finance professionals with a strong community for networking, learning and professional growth.  In this episode of Upside/Downside, Andrej Suskavcevic, President & CEO of FEI, shares how Finance Business Partners are really in the relationship business, and the days of getting by with technical and cost-cutting skills alone are gone.  We also discuss why professional associations are an important component to your career resilience strategy.  Join us!
What if you are your own Finance Business Partner?  And what if you were able to combine your love of technology and wine into a viable business?  In this episode, we explore value creation from the perspective of an entrepreneur and business owner. Thea Dwelle, Founder & Principal at Vine Wire Consulting, shares her insights on making business decisions when the buck starts and stops with you, what customers are really buying when they introduce a new technology, and why Finance Business Partners need to be creative and see the big picture at every level.  Cin cin!
Managing our careers for long-term resilience takes time and effort.  In this episode of Upside/Downside, Alyssa Gelbard, Founder & President of Point Road Group, tells us to fight through our Zoom fatigue, keep building our networks, and to show empathy towards others.  Alyssa also explains why a lot of things can come next after a Finance Business Partner role and offers strategies to keep growing.  Rev your engines and tune in!
From his first job as a kid mowing lawns to today's role as Customer Unit Controller at Ericsson, Riccardo Govender shares how understanding the business and the flow of money are fundamental skills for Finance Business Partners.  And improving your ability to listen, observe and be courageous will complement your impact.  Riccardo joins from sunny Johannesburg, South Africa.  Listen in!
What are those foundational truths of Finance Business Partnership that persist across roles, companies and industries?  Cliff Merchant, Finance Manager at ForeScout Technologies, shares his insights on what makes a strong relationship with your partner, and how to grow our arsenal of skills for the road ahead.  Welcome!
When you're a mission-driven early stage tech company headquartered in the heartland, does it change the fundamental skills you need as a Finance Business Partner?  Not exactly, but you'd better be comfortable wearing extra hats.  Dana Price, CFO of Kenzie Academy, shares smart career hacks for Finance Business Partners and how a strong network can propel your success at any career stage.  Listen in!
We cover a lot of fascinating ground in this episode about learning.  Vidya Krishnan, Chief Learning Officer at Ericsson, shares what makes learning stick, how to build and grow an effective learning plan, and how to prepare for the future of Finance Business Partnership.  Oh yeah, we also cover the future of Earth!  Join us. 
Mitch Peipert, CFO of Thomas, one of New York City's longest continuously operating companies, joins podcast host Matt Cooley in a discussion about value creation and the key skills required of Finance Business Partners at today's leading companies.  What skills matter, how to deal with change and the future of the role are all on the table.
Fascinated by numbers from an early age, Nerma Kolenovic, student at St. Francis College in New York City, shares how determination and being deliberate in the steps you take can push anyone towards a bright career.  We'll also hear what Nerma and her friends talk about when they get together after class, and why you should start training your opposite hand how to use the mouse!  If Nerma is any indication, the next generation will take the Finance Business Partner role to new heights.   Join us.
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