After recently relocating to Ohio from Wisconsin, Gordon Edwards says he’s looking forward to becoming part of the community and exploring Northeast Ohio.
“There are so many things to explore in this part of the country. So far, we are very impressed,” he says. “Although, the Browns/Jets game was tough to watch. How can you score a touchdown in the last 2 minutes, up by 2 scores and lose?”
While Gordon may have to adjust his expectations when it comes to Cleveland sports, he has quickly settled into his new role as Akron Children’s new chief financial officer (CFO). Previously, he held health care executive roles in several health systems, including Legacy Health, PeaceHealth, Gundersen Health, and most recently, Marshfield Clinic Health System as the chief operations and financial officer.
Gordon earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington and his MBA with a health care emphasis from Viterbo University, in La Crosse, WI.
Below he shares a little more about his life and background.
What inspired you to want to work in a pediatric hospital?
I chose to work in health care because of the impact health systems have had on my family. I have a brother (who at age 14 was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease), another who was stabbed after a junior high dance, and a younger sister who had a brain tumor removed. The local children’s hospital was instrumental in ensuring my siblings and my family were well cared for. Being part of the team that can “pay this forward” is an honor and privilege.
Tell us about the duties of your current role? Also, what do you enjoy most and what are some of the challenges?
As the CFO, I oversee the financial activities of Akron Children’s. We are facing a variety of challenges that include a pandemic, inflation, labor shortages, technology changes, rising interest rates and a financial market downturn. However, I enjoy being part of the team that solves challenges together!
If you didn’t work in health care leadership, what would your dream job be?
If you could remove the skills required, it’s a tie between a rock star and professional baseball player. However, based on my abilities, it would likely be a partner in an accounting firm or business owner.
Tell us about your family.
My wife, Theresa, and I have been together for 30 years, married for 26. We have 3 kids – Mo (Maureen) age 19, a junior at the University of Alabama majoring in accounting with minors in creative writing and Spanish; Jo (Joelle), 17, a senior at Hudson High School planning to pursue a business career and Walter, 9, whose plan is to be a professional “gamer”.
Hobbies/things you enjoy doing outside of work?
Spending time with my family, boating, sporting events, walking and reading a good book.
What was your first paying job?
In the fourth grade I had a paper route. In addition to delivering newspapers, I had to collect the subscription money (uncollected subscriptions came out of my cut). Ultimately, the newspaper decided to use the U.S. Postal Service for deliveries, so in sixth grade I was laid off.
Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?
I have several:
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you’ve got to be willing to take the hits and not point fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You are better than that!” — Rocky Balboa
“The time is always right to do what is right. You could start right now by doing a small part to treat people with dignity, courtesy and respect.” – Martin Luther King
See it, Own It, Solve It, Do It – the Oz Principle
Tell us some random things about you.
- I’m excited to live in a community where Costco and an Episcopal church are within 10 minutes of where I live instead of 2 hours.
- My daughters have male nicknames because I didn’t want gender stereotypes to hold them back if they aspired to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
- I always wanted to be a cowboy – the family ranch in Idaho (it was a homestead ranch) was paradise – riding, fishing, and being outdoors. I even wore cowboy boots when I got married.