10 Questions for RemitData CFO Joel K. Wood
Name: Joel K. Wood
Time with company: 3.5 years
Education: Bachelor of Industrial Engineering, Georgia Tech; MBA, Duke University
Company headquarters: Founded in Memphis, Tennessee; headquarters in Plano, Texas
Number of countries: 1 (U.S.)
Number of employees total: 60
Number the CFO oversees: 18
About the company: RemitData provides reimbursement and utilization data and analysis software for the outpatient health-care provider market. The company website is http://www.remitdata.com
1. Where did you start in finance and what experiences led you to the job you have today?
I started my career out of business school as a corporate banker in Atlanta with Wachovia Bank in the early '90s (prior to the First Union merger). In 1997, I left corporate banking to pursue a career in investment banking and ultimately was with three firms: Morgan Keegan & Company, Stephens Inc., and Dain Rauscher Wessels (now RBC Capital Markets). I moved into venture capital in 2002 and spent five years with Delta Capital Management in Memphis, Tennessee. Through Delta, I became aware of the opportunity with RemitData when the company was raising its initial round of Series A funding in the fall of 2007. I came on board as CFO in December 2007 at the time of the funding.
2. Who was an influential boss for you and what lessons did they teach you about management and leadership?
Peter de Vos at Stephens Inc. and later with Dain Rauscher Wessels was a very influential boss for me. Peter was an extremely hard worker and pushed others to achieve excellence. He also was very loyal to his employees and most of us would have run through a wall for him. He embodied the concept of servant leadership -- empowering people to do their jobs.
3. What are the biggest challenges facing CFOs today?
Forecasting in an uncertain environment -- unstable economic times, changing regulatory policies, structural changes in the capital markets (especially in venture capital) to name a few.
4. What is a good day at work like for you?
Recognizing revenue from growth in new sales and channel partners and reporting the good news to our investors. I also enjoy solving operational and organizational issues along the way.
5. How would you characterize your management style?
Hands off. I like to hire great people and let them do their jobs. I can get intrusive if I don't think people are doing their jobs with excellence; however, I prefer that people were self-motivated for excellence.
6. What strengths/qualities do you look for in job candidates?
Drive, initiative, past history of striving for excellence, prior success at jobs or responsibilities, ability to communicate new ideas.
7. What are some of your favorite interview questions or techniques to elicit information to determine whether a candidate will be successful at your company?
My favorite interview question is this: If I went back in time and bumped into one of your college friends and asked him or her to describe you in five words, what would they say? If the candidate can't communicate the five words very quickly, then they don't have much to offer.
8. What is it about your current job, at this particular company, that sets it apart from other chief finance positions?
The CFO wears all kinds of hats in a VC-backed company, and RemitData is no different. I manage the finances, manage the client service group, advise the CEO on operational issues, and communicate with the Board.
9. What do you do to unwind from a hectic day?
I have three young boys, so there's really no relaxing after a hectic day. But, when it does get quiet or I get a chance to get away, I like to read, enjoy a good movie or play golf.
10. If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
If possible, I would go back into the private equity investment business. I love investing, watching and participating in growth companies.