New Board Member Broadens Perspective on Fiscal Strength, Growth
Selecting a senior leader and new board member is a significant decision and the Page Board of Directors is confident they have made a strong choice in the recent appointment of Cathy Britt, Chief Financial Officer. She has worked in the architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) industry for much of her career, and spent the past 12 years at Page. Cathy was the sole woman owner when she joined Page in 2007 and is now the first woman Senior Principal / Board Member.
Thomas McCarthy, Senior Principal in the Page Washington DC office, explained, “Cathy has been instrumental to the success of our business and has supported our growth. As Page expands internationally, Cathy’s knowledge of A/E financial strategies and compliance issues has allowed us to make moves with confidence. Her work has greatly benefited all of our shareholders and we are excited about having her perspective on all Board decisions.”
Cathy has consistently demonstrated thoughtful fiscal leadership; upon joining Page she immediately implemented a centralized accounting system, a single project number structure and pushed for Page to join the AIA Large Firm Round Table. In 2013, she led the firm through its evolution from a limited liability partnership to a corporation. More recently, she led the committee that implemented the firm’s employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and remains a program trustee.
“Finance is part of the business; it is fundamental to our growth,” she says. “But the best financial practices are not just about the bottom line.” She has steered the fiscal ship as revenue has grown from $77M to a projected $180M during her tenure, and the firm has evolved into a complex international company with numerous legal entities, over 20 state registrations and filings, joint ventures and complicated tax issues.
Cathy knew architecture was the right industry for her when she joined CRSS Architects in Houston as a project accountant. It was early in her career and she had just passed the CPA exam in one sitting—when all four sections were given at the same time. CRSS eventually became HOK and Cathy became part of HOK’s leadership team with ownership in the firm. In 2007, her former CRSS colleagues called Cathy to join the leaders at Page, then PageSoutherlandPage.
Joining Page was exciting because Cathy saw potential. “I am a firm believer in our Page One philosophy,” she says. “When I started, there were four individual offices running independently. A decade later, we have transformed into an international firm with nine collaborative offices and more than 650 employees.”
Outside of the office Cathy dedicates time to numerous community and professional organizations. She has been on the board of Fort Bend Regional Council of Substance Abuse for four years and serving as its acting treasurer for two years. She is a member of Greater Houston Partnership and its Executive Women's Partnership. She is also one of the longest serving members of the CFO AIA Round Table.
Regarding her role as a Senior Principal on the Page board, Cathy notes she is proud that today the firm has 70 owners and that during her time here she has seen a net gain of 46 owners, of which 37% are women. “As the nation and world economies continue to change, I look forward to positioning our firm in the best financial condition,” she says. “I will continue to promote healthy growth balanced by sound financial management.”
To learn more about Catherine J. Britt, CPA, click here.