After seven years at the Mission and a highly successful career in accounting, Jeff Shaw will retire as the Mission’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the end of December. Jeff joined the organization on a temporary basis in 2016 to finish a financial report for a grant. By the year’s end, he was hired as the Director of Finance. In 2020, he was promoted to Chief Financial Officer.
Jeff worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that things at the Mission ran smoothly, doing everything from financial reports to troubleshooting technology issues. Ever the night owl, it was not uncommon to receive an email from Jeff at any hour (and into the wee hours of the morning).
Mission President John Zavodny shares, “Jeff is one of those rare people who combines rock solid professionalism with humor and a big heart. It’s easy to see how competent Jeff is. Not everyone gets to see how much he cares about our communities and the people he works with. It has been my honor to witness his deep commitment every day.”
Prior to joining the Mission, Jeff worked extensively as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), auditor, CFO for nonprofits and religious organizations along the eastern seaboard and on west coast. He jokes about a self-imposed five-year time limit at previous jobs, but his time at the Mission stretched well beyond that. “There have been both hard times and good times at the Mission, but this has been a great place to end my career. I have enjoyed working with the Board of Directors, Finance Committee, Audit Committee, and staff. The time has gone by fast.” Jeff talks about hard financial choices the Mission faced in his first year of employment, but these decisions created an organization with greater financial stability and bolstered the Mission’s stronger sense of stewardship.
Colleagues say Jeff’s keen attention to detail and his role as a skillful diplomat made the sometimes-difficult budget season easier by facilitating dialogue and consensus. Known to crack a joke to put the room at ease, Jeff often took gentle ribbing at his quirks and idiosyncrasies with a smile and a nod. In his role, he was responsible for information technology as well as facilities management, which he embraced with gusto, making sure that the Mission’s Colket Center based in Northeast Harbor was clean and tidy (sometimes sneakily cleaning colleagues’ offices to tidy and straighten blinds after they left for the day).
Jeff was also instrumental in shifting the Mission’s fiscal year from December to June. Aligning a fiscal year to an organization’s fundraising cycle is an important fiscal consideration for any nonprofit. “The board needed to approve the 2017 annual budget, but results of the end-of-year annual giving campaign would not be known for a few more weeks.” Improving the Mission’s fiscal operations left December for all to enjoy the Christmas season even more.
He also championed the sale of the LaRochelle house on West Street in Bar Harbor in favor of moving to humbler and Mission-appropriate administrative headquarters in the organization’s current home of Northeast Harbor. Jeff says that these recommendations and initiatives were some highlights of his career at the Mission. “I have the pleasure to work with so many great people,” Jeff says. “It was a long way to get here but I am glad this is where I ended up.”