Ballinger | Leafblad is proud to present the following information on behalf of our client, Saint Paul Port Authority, in its search for a Chief Financial Officer.
The Saint Paul Port Authority is an economic development agency with a statewide reach. Within the City of Saint Paul, the Port Authority manages four river terminals. The organization also serves as an extension of the city’s economic development team by supporting industrial redevelopment, growing the tax base and creating opportunities for low barrier to entry jobs. Statewide, the Port Authority is the primary source for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and offers its economic development services to other public and private agencies through its Port Consulting program.
The organization was formed as a direct result of a decision by the U.S. Congress in the 1920s to dredge a 9-foot channel in the Mississippi River between Saint Paul and New Orleans. The Minnesota Legislature established the Saint Paul Port Authority (SPPA) as a nonprofit government agency in 1929 to manage the Saint Paul Harbor.
The city transferred Terminal 1 to the Saint Paul Port Authority in 1932 and the Port began managing the commodities transfer throughout 2.1 miles of the Saint Paul Harbor. The Port continues to manage four Mississippi River terminals that serve as a commodities hub for grain, oil seeds, fertilizers, scrap steel, coal and gravel, among other things. Minnesota’s inland water transportation industry directly generates more than 1,200 jobs and nearly $5 million in payroll taxes to the federal and state governments.
In 1955, the Legislature authorized the Port to engage in economic development activities inland. Today, the Port has 21 business centers, including the four terminals.
Over its nearly 83-year history, the Port has redeveloped more than two square miles of Saint Paul into productive and prosperous jobs centers. That’s 3 ½ times the size of downtown Saint Paul. For their part, private businesses have invested nearly $200 million in Saint Paul neighborhoods since 1995 as a result of Port Authority redevelopment projects.
Today SPPA projects generate more than $33 million a year in real estate and personal property tax revenue. To be sure, the Port Authority is a redeveloper of land, but its projects provide good-paying jobs throughout the city. At this time, 555 companies employing nearly 25,000 people operate in the Port’s 21 inner-city business centers.
The Saint Paul Port Authority is managed by a 7-member Board of Commissioners. The Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor of the City of Saint Paul to six-year terms. Two members of the Saint Paul City Council sit on the Board.
The Saint Paul Port Authority takes public input and provides the following services:
Commercial Redevelopment The Saint Paul Port Authority purchases polluted, blighted properties in the City of Saint Paul that the commercial real estate community won’t touch. It then does the work needed to clean up the pollution and return the land for light industrial use. This results in new jobs at a living wage with benefits and significant increases in tax revenues going back to the City of Saint Paul.
Harbor Management The Saint Paul Port Authority owns and manages four ports located along the Mississippi River in Saint Paul. Their goal is to protect the integrity of the working river, which has been a long-time contributor to Saint Paul’s economy.
Energy Financing SPPA manages two energy saving finance programs that help businesses state-wide –MinnPACE and Trillion BTU. Both programs help commercial business owners make investments that significantly lower their energy usage with a finance option that in most cases is more than covered by the amount saved on utilities.
Port Consulting Port Consulting brings the knowledge and expertise of a 20-person economic development team to cities and counties across the State of Minnesota. The goal is to help a community meet its commercial real estate goals through customized services including:
Creating achievable economic development goals for the site
Remediating brownfield properties
Evaluating the best use for commercial properties
Identifying market opportunities
Attracting and retaining the “right” businesses
Diversifying industries and economic base
Increasing living wage jobs and tax base
Reaching qualified buyers and sellers through enhanced brokerage services
MISSION The Saint Paul Port Authority creates quality job opportunities, expands the tax base and advances sustainable development
VALUES/PRINCIPLES Goals: To improve people’s lives by building vibrant economic communities To be the premier economic development entity in the country To Be:
And to Act with Integrity
ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE Staff members at the Saint Paul Port Authority say that they are proud to work at the organization because of its mission, its people and the difference the Port Authority has made in the City of Saint Paul. Together, they say, this small group accomplishes big things! With creative new programs and a visible role in Saint Paul’s most prominent development projects, the Port Authority is a fast-paced place where important things get done.
POSITION OVERVIEW The incumbent serves as the Chief Financial Officer for both the Saint Paul Port Authority and its 501(c)3 subsidiary, Capital City Properties (CCP). As Chief Financial Officer, the incumbent is responsible for the financial planning and reporting as well as strategic and effective management of the financial affairs of SPPA and CCP. S/he will direct the finance and accounting functions of the organization in accordance with management techniques and practices appropriate within the industry. This position reports directly to the President and will work with the President and other senior leaders.
Financial Planning and Reporting
Performs financial forecasting of short and long-range revenues, expenses, and cash flows to determine funding issues.
Supervises preparation of annual budget and monitors actual performance to ensure compliance with budget including periodic reporting to the Board on actual performance.
Ensures ongoing compliance with continuing disclosure requirements to provide data necessary to facilitate the secondary market for bonds issued by the Port Authority and compliance with SEC regulations.
Supervises the functions of accounts receivable and accounts payable to ensure the accurate capture of revenues and expenses for the purpose of recording operating results accurately, including the establishment and maintenance of accounting for the Port consulting business.
Has ultimate responsibility for completion of the audit and implementation of the management letter suggestions.
Monitor outstanding debt. Determine best timing of refunding existing debt to maximize PV savings from refunding bonds.
Manage Financial Risk
Serve on internal credit committee. Evaluate proposed new credits and determine compliance with credit policy and appropriateness of the extension of credit to the customer.
Evaluate potential joint venture partners and proposed projects. Ensure credit worthiness of the partner, appropriateness of assumptions used in making projections, compliance of proposed project with Port Authority mission.
Establish credit policy. Propose credit guidelines for loan programs that balances risk of the credit with accomplishing the Port Authority economic development goals.
Supervise the independent investment advisor as well as the Port staff member making investment decisions to ensure compliance with the investment policy and MN State Statutes while maximizing the investment income potential.
Write investment policy for Port Authority, CCP and pension funds. Monitor actual investment results vs. bench mark and compliance with policy.
Perform work out functions as needed to resolve financial challenges with Joint Venture partners, and outstanding loans.
Serve as Chair of Pension Committee which sets investment policy, hires Registered Investment Advisor, and monitors performance versus benchmarks.
Ensure adequate funding for Port Authority operations and development functions
Forecast anticipated cashflow from Port operations and recovery of prior development investments to anticipate cash needs.
Maximize the use of tax levies to cover funding gaps in both operations and funding of development. This includes the appropriate use of general obligation tax levy, mandatory levy and discretionary levy in concert with City levy policies.
Develop and manage the financial plan for CCP to ensure adequate funding of Port Authority operations.
Maximize the use of State programs to finance economic development activities including the use of TIF, MIF, Job Creation Incentives, Capital Bonding Requests, etc.
Structures issuance of debt to fund development activities and Joint Ventures.
New Market Tax Credit Program
Supervise and participate in the preparation of the NMTC application to maximize the potential for receiving an award.
Serve on the Board of Governors and attend Advisory Board meetings to ensure the appropriate utilization of any allocation awards.
Ensure the completion of all compliance reporting for NMTC including the reporting to the CDFI Fund, tax returns, and audits.
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES The Chief Financial Officer reports to the President. Reporting directly to the CFO are the Vice President-Finance, Controller, Financial Reporting Analyst, Loan Officer, Staff Accountant and Executive Assistant.
The CFO provides ongoing performance feedback and coaching to increase effectiveness of staff. Together with staff members, identify appropriate job enrichment/training to facilitate staff development.
Knowledge, Skills and Personal Attributes
Knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), governmental accounting standards (GASB), SEC reporting requirements and Minnesota securities laws in order to direct the preparation of accurate financial reports to investors, financial institutions, and the Board of Commissioners.
Knowledge or internal controls in order to safeguard Authority assets and ensure proper use and recording.
Knowledge of budgeting, forecasting and long-range planning in order to prepare the annual budgets and long-range forecasts allowing the Board to make informed, appropriate, prudent and timely decisions on long-term direction and strategy.
Knowledge of structured finance and public debt markets to structure debt offerings that are saleable in investors.
Communicates effectively both in oral and written form in order to prepare concise, professional and accurate reports to the Board of Commissioners, President and others who rely on this type of information in order to make informed and timely decisions.
Skills in negotiating with outside auditors, bankers, vendors, legal firms, and consultants in order to negotiate the best value available for good and services required to operate the organization.
Exercises good judgment in making sound, well-informed decisions. Is proactive, result-oriented and adapts rapidly to new situations or information warranting attention.
Skills in management and administration in order to provide work direction to direct reports and organization and support to other areas of the organization.
Skills in expense related situations in proposing lower cost but equally acceptable alternatives to expenditures in order to preserve cash and reduce expenses.
Ability to establish and maintain strong financial internal controls in order to provide management confidence that the organization’s assets are adequately protected.
Ability to handle many projects at the same time in order to leverage the use of the organization’s external and internal human resources.
Ability to show professionalism and self-confidence in working with outside vendors and consultants in order to project a professional and knowledgeable appearance for establishing and maintaining the company’s favorable image.
Ability to provide a positive attitude in participative management style advocating team-building in order to provide and maintain high morale and a positive office environment in which employees can work effectively and feel productive.
Experience in finance and software packages, preparation of financial statements, compliance, and reporting.
Experience in administration of insurance, retirement, and other benefits programs; including creating and evaluating RFPs and implementing new programs or services.
Strategic thinking and planning with an ability to actively contribute to the long-term visioning of the organization.
Superior analytic and abstract reasoning, problem-solving and organizational skills.
Positive, enthusiastic, optimistic self-starter who demonstrates the highest standards of integrity.
Exemplifies behavior that is at all times professional and ethical. Builds trust both internally and throughout the community through demonstrated accountability, integrity and follow-through. Treats individuals with dignity and respect; exhibits tact, compassion, sensitivity and requires the same standards of
Is cognizant of and remains current on economic, political, regulatory and social issues and trends that affect the delivery of service provided by the organization. Participates in developing plans/strategies to address threats and to seize opportunities. Establishes relationships and networks throughout the community and industry-specific organizations in an effort to build trust, establish effective alliances and strengthen support
Supports the mission of the Saint Paul Port Authority in all interactions with internal and external customers, and in all work performed on behalf of the
Education, Credentials and Experience
Bachelor’s degree in Finance/Accounting Advanced degree in Finance/Accounting or Business desirable.
Must possess a minimum of 10 years’ experience in public finance, banking, investment or mortgage banking, public accounting with at least 5 years in a senior management position.
Proven financial management experience in not-for-profit environments a plus.
CPA or MBA
Additional Salary Information: The compensation package for this position is highly attractive and includes an executive base salary, bonus opportunity and participation in the organization’s benefits plan.