By Audrey Yawn
An audit, a new food service provider, and two remodels; this summer presented a set of unique and pressing situations for Mariano Monzu to step into as the unverisity’s interim chief financial officer.
A close partner to former CFO, David Caldwell, Monzu was appointed as interim CFO by President Dan Boone at the end of June.
Caldwell served as the university’s chief financial officer for more than nine years.
Boone chose Monzu based on his familiarity with Caldwell’s work and experience, he said. “Summer is the time Trevecca does its audit,” said Boone. “You would never try to bring a new CFO into the beginning of an audit… Mariano has a backbone; you have to be able to say, ‘No, that’s not in the budget.’”
Monzu said it’s been an easy adjustment after seven years of working with Caldwell.
“[The job] is perfect and the reason why is I knew pretty much everyone I worked with,” he said. “I’m not new to it.”
For now, his title includes interim.
“I believe he would be a lead candidate if we put the job out there,” Boone said.
Monzu already has favorite parts of his job in the two months of being CFO.
“You get involved in so much and I love that. I like doing busy,” said Monzu. “You get busy pretty quick. You get pulled into different things. You get pulled into little things.”
There are less than desirable parts of the job for Monzu too.
“What I don’t like is I have a lot of meetings,” said Monzu. “You have a lot of stuff to do and not a lot of time to do it.”
Boone said Monzu is a great fit because he brings with him many of the same aspects that Caldwell applied to his work.
“[Monzu] is a phenomenal accountant… but most accountants are not good at financial strategy, and David Caldwell was very good at financial strategy,” said Boone. “We saw that Mariano had that same skill set.”
Monzu isn’t always focused on numbers and finances. He spends his free time playing soccer, which is what brought him to Trevecca when he was a college student.
“I played soccer here a long time ago,” said Monzu. “If you go to [Moore] you’ll see my picture in there.”
Boone also attests to his soccer abilities and how that opened up a chance for him to grow at Trevecca.
“The thing that I love most about him is that he came here to play soccer. While he was here his heart opened up to God and he began to see the value of deep Christian faith,” said Boone. “He still plays soccer a lot. He is an avid soccer player and fan.”
Monzu never thought about coming to work for Trevecca until the opportunity presented itself.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do [in college]. I wasn’t even planning on staying in the States. I wanted to travel, go to Europe. But two years became four and it just worked out,” said Monzu. “I went away for a while but I came back. I was looking for a challenge before the job came up.”
Overall, Boone said Monzu has been performing excellently in carrying out the vision of Trevecca and helping keep student costs to a minimum in the overseeing of financial plans.
“He is the primary strategist for getting money in the door,” said Boone. “He’s a very frugal person.”
For the duration of his time as CFO, Monzu is committed to keeping up the work of his predecessor.
“First I’m trying to learn the role,” said Monzu. “When you get into a new role you try to learn it. Pretty much I’m keeping up what David was working on.”
Boone said that’s exactly what he hoped for when he named Monzu interim CFO.
“One of the things I hope is that he is able to keep Trevecca on the path and trajectory that was under David Caldwell,” said Boone. “He’s performing excellently. I shudder to think where we would be without him.”