LogicSource Chief Financial Officer Niki Heim recently appeared on The CFO Thought Leader Podcast for a candid conversation with host Jack Sweeney on her unconventional path to becoming the Finance leader at LogicSource.

The CFO Thought Leadership podcast features CFOs driving change within their organization, giving finance leaders a platform to speak their minds and share their career experiences.

In this episode, Niki opens up about tackling career challenges head-on, conquering self-doubt, and laying the groundwork for LogicSource’s financial analysis. Her efforts have paved the way for strategic, data-driven decision-making and optimal resource management within the company.

Listen in to gain deeper insights into Niki’s career journey, and hear first-hand accounts of notable initiatives and achievements, including:

Applying unit cost modeling and resource utilization that drives all her forecasting
Implementing a time-tracking system and growth database which tracks meetings and other metrics for a bird’s eye view of business activities
Ensuring that resources are deployed effectively, preventing both employee boredom and burnout

CFO Thought Leader

921: The Work Comes First | Niki Heim, CFO, LogicSource

It’s perhaps no secret that this podcast can be rather rigid when it comes to our policy for welcoming guests: Invitations are reserved for CFOs and CFOs alone. In fact, we regularly turn away book authors, consultants, and even CEOs. Such was the case for David Pennino, CEO of LogicSource, who recently was “pitched” to us as a potential guest. As always, we issued a templated email reply specially crafted to politely inform a dutiful communication professional of our “CFOs-only” mantra.

This being said, LogicSource’s CEO has arguably nabbed a plus-size supporting role on our latest episode without having recorded a single word. Although unexpected, this was perhaps an eminently understandable development, given the central role that Pennino has played in the career of Niki Heim, LogicSource’s CFO, who easily met our necessary criteria and subsequently accepted our invitation.

Still, when it comes to Pennino, CFO Heim does not serve up the familiar cadence of CEO kudos, any more than she attempts to tell us that Pennino is some kind of all-knowing C-suite Yoda forever imparting career wisdom.

Instead, she swings open the door to a conference room of the past. The year is 2014, and Heim, a newly hired controller, is fielding questions from LogicSource’s private equity investors.

Pennino is confident that she has the makings to be the company’s next CFO, but not all those gathered feel as certain—including Heim, who now tells us that at the time, she felt that she was not yet ready.

“I’m very grateful that I had Dave Pennino, who was honest and open with me—he’d say, ‘Listen, here’s what I’m hearing—I believe in you, but you have to believe in yourself and you have to keep going,’” explains Heim, who adds that the company’s CFO had exited the company only days before her arrival, prompting the company’s investors to scrutinize the firm’s recent finance hire all the more.

“During every single presentation that I gave to the board and to investor meetings, I was on edge—I needed to prove myself but always make sure that I was doing what Dave believed that I could do,” remarks Heim, who would shortly begin serving in an interim CFO role despite having her own misgivings about her CFO readiness.

“Along the way, I would hear people say, ‘The work is going to come before the belief in yourself,’ and that was me—it was almost like my self-confidence wasn’t fully there yet,” comments Heim, who besides receiving confidence-boosting support from her CEO also began to extract feelings of self-worth from each new board encounter.

“The board would be asking me to do something, and I would need to just go and figure out how to do it—I always found a way, and there were a lot of times early on when I was in the office at [6:00] in the morning and left at midnight,” recalls Heim, who tells us that once the work came, her confidence began to arrive soon thereafter.

Says Heim: “More and more people and investors would call me up personally, and I’d be able to answer their questions.” –Jack Sweeney