Governing Body Spotlight

Co-Chair of the Los Angeles CFO Community

Kevin Manion


Calavo Growers

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I started my career at Arthur Andersen in the consulting group for privately held companies. This gave me exposure to many entrepreneurs early in my career and helped shape my views on creating value as the CFO. I was fortunate to work at Entenmann's just after it was purchased by Kraft General Foods. Mr. Entenmann took me on many market tours, which shaped my views on understanding the consumer and responding to their needs. I then took the opportunity to be the first CFO for a leveraged buyout with my former Andersen partners and several startups that had very successful exits. I am now the CFO for Calavo Growers (CVGW) selling avocados and enjoying the better for your health food segment.

Learn more about the Los Angeles CFO community here

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

I use the guiding principle of two ears and one mouth. That's a nice way of saying listen twice as much as you talk.

With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a financial leader going in the next 1-2 years?

The CFO will continue to be the chief operating officer role of a few years ago. The role is responsible for helping each business unit manager grow their business while still managing the company’s cultural changes, such as ESG.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CFO?

My guidance for new CFOs is to be visible, through organizations such as Evanta, and find messy situations and jump in. This is the opportunity to learn a lot with little downside risk.

Tell us a couple fun facts about yourself.

Heather Locklear lived next door, and I'm still trying to convince my wife she had a telescope focused on my hot tub. I'm delusional!

What is the value of participating in a professional community through Evanta?

I have been in the leadership group with Evanta for almost 10 years. I have met a lot of great CFOs and their CEOs through our events. It's all part of being part of a community to share insights.


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