By Carten Cordell
Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal
Oct 8, 2020, 5:00am EDT
Susan Lynch knows that many continue to battle the challenges of negotiating everyday life in the time of Covid
As senior vice president and chief financial officer of Vectrus Inc., she’s seen a global workforce bend to meet the working conditions of this pandemic, while simultaneously maintaining a semblance of a normal life — and she’s in awe.
“I have to say, I’m really pleased with our employees, how they have been able to do everything,” she says. “It’s not ideal for everyone. Obviously, we’d all like to be interacting with one another and see one another, but I think everyone has demonstrated a high level of patience and understanding with one another.”
It’s not without its surprises, but the Midwest native says she sees those as positives, not hindrances. “I’ve seen dogs in the background. I’ve seen a cat jump up on the desk and walk in front of the camera. We’ve seen kids, and I think it’s great.”
In respect of that resolve, Lynch has helped guide Vectrus — a government and IT services contractor based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but with an Alexandria office — with a steady hand in what could have been choppy and unpredictable markets.
Through the first two quarters of its fiscal year, Vectrus has managed to bring in more than $687 million in revenue, while sustaining fewer than $25 million thus far in Covid-related costs.
Lynch isn’t a rookie to helping financially steer large operations. She served as CFO or a controller within companies as varied as Sungard Availability Services, Hitachi Data Systems, Honeywell International Inc. and Raytheon Technical Services Co., a division of the giant Raytheon Technologies Corp.
But the pandemic represented a wholly unknown business case to navigate — especially for a company that hired her in August 2019 to help it grow to $2.5 billion in revenue in five years. That is more than double the $1.3 billion it generated in 2018.
Add to that the challenge of keeping aligned the company’s 6,700 employees across 22 countries.
“You are just trying to deal with employees around the world and what the return to work is and what the base access restrictions are — [that] has been a challenge that I never had to face” before this year, she says. “I would say my experience in the past, being a global CFO and having to adapt to different cultures has prepared me pretty well for this. But I don’t think anybody can say they’ve been fully prepared.”
Moving forward, Lynch says she is at work on an application modernization effort to help streamline specific operational reporting across the company, one that she says she hopes will compile more financial information and help back-office tasks move more smoothly.
“We’re really looking forward to getting the entire company implemented,” she says. “We really want to provide insightful and timely information to our business partners, and the application modernization program will allow us to do that.”
Senior vice president and chief financial officer, Vectrus Inc.
Residence: Upperville, Virginia
Education: Bachelor’s in accounting and business administration, MidAmerica Nazarene University
Family: Husband Robyn; son Austin, 26; daughters Halle, 23, and Lauren, 19
Hometown: Merriam, Kansas
First job: Sales clerk at Harzfeld’s department store, accounting intern at DST Systems and Dun & Bradstreet
Most likely to be found on the weekends: Spending time with family on our farm and riding her two dressage competition horses, Hit Master and Soleil
My role models: My mom, Charleen Sciolaro, and my mother-in-law, Micki Lynch
Best business advice I’ve received: “Seek first to understand what other people are saying before reacting or commenting.”