2023 CFO of the Year: Monica Markovich

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(IBJ photo/Christian Alonzo)

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer | Holy Cross College

Monica Markovich oversees all operations of Holy Cross College, including human resources, information technology, finance, facilities and risk management. She joined the college as vice president of finance and CFO in January 2018, less than six months after the college declared financial exigency. Because of the work and tough decisions made early in her tenure, the college has enjoyed net positive income every year since. Last school year, she was promoted to executive vice president of the college. 

Major accomplishments
In addition to the college achieving financial stability under Markovich’s tenure, its endowment has grown more than 1,000%. The college has also increased salaries, caught up on significant deferred maintenance and completed other capital projects, and maintained a tuition discount rate under the national average. 

Challenges overcome
Holy Cross College’s new president, Marco Clark, started July 1, 2022. Markovich gave birth to her fifth child three months later and took a 14-week maternity leave. During Clark’s first year, which included the time Markovich was out of the office, the college crafted a new strategy and a campus master plan and began the process of designing three major construction projects. The college has identified and financed an organizational structure that allows it to implement its projects while ensuring employees have reasonable work/life integration, she said. 

Career path
She always imagined she’d work in ministry, which she did for two years. She learned she was good at administration. So she went on to get a master’s in not-for-profit administration, then chose to switch to public finance. She worked for the Department of Workforce Development for six years and became state director of adult education policy and programs, overseeing a $25 million budget. She then joined her alma mater, where she worked as an analyst for the executive vice president to move special projects forward. Her role with Holy Cross is the first “traditional finance” job she’s held, and “even then, I started with overseeing all operations.”•

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