James Wilson, executive director and chief financial officer, Finance and Acquisition Center, has been named CFO of the Year for 2020 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. Wilson was honored for his excellence in providing the critical financial oversight needed to operate an innovative science-focused organization dedicated to maintaining U.S. energy independence, improving the environment and developing technologies to produce affordable and abundant energy.
The CFO of the Year Awards honor financial professionals in western Pennsylvania for outstanding performance as financial stewards. Wilson and this year’s honorees, representing a diverse mix of corporate and not-for-profit organizations, will be recognized at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19. Click here for more information about this virtual event and to review the list of award winners.
Wilson’s responsibilities include implementing cost-saving efficiencies and financial management improvements to support NETL’s research portfolio, which consists of more than 900 projects and activities, with a total award value that exceeds $6 billion and private sector cost-sharing of more than $3 billion.
“Jim upholds the strong standards and ethics required to provide exemplary financial stewardship and ensure the prudent use of federal tax dollars to advance NETL research. For this reason and many more, he is a most deserving recipient of this recognition,” said NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D.
Jeffrey Steich, associate director, Budget and Analysis, who works with Wilson at NETL’s Pittsburgh site, noted that Wilson oversees multiple responsibilities across the organization. That versatility has been useful in the past year as Wilson handled duties in the additional role of acting deputy director and chief operating officer for the Laboratory Operations Center.
“Wearing multiple hats, Jim has proven that he has the leadership skills to help keep NETL on track to complete research that’s crucial to meeting our nation’s energy needs,” Steich said.
In his expanded role, Wilson took on oversight of major construction projects and NETL planning to address safety issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Steich explained that Wilson was instrumental in quickly obtaining $3 million in funding for the Lab through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which allowed engineers, scientists and other staff to work from home without falling behind on priority projects. While a limited number of essential staff have remained on-site, most NETL employees have been able to telework using secure technology.
“The talent and expertise of our staff is NETL’s greatest resource. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Jim would go out of his way to make sure that resource is protected,” Steich said.
Wilson has served as NETL’s CFO for seven years. He has more than 30 years of management and finance experience in the energy industry. Wilson earned his undergraduate degree in accounting at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe and his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.
NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that produces technological solutions for America’s energy challenges. From developing creative innovations and efficient energy systems that make coal more competitive, to advancing technologies that enhance oil and natural gas extraction and transmission processes, NETL research is providing breakthroughs and discoveries that support domestic energy initiatives, stimulate a growing economy, and improve the health, safety and security of all Americans. Highly skilled men and women at NETL’s sites in Albany, Oregon; Anchorage, Alaska; Houston, Texas; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania conduct a broad range of research activities that support DOE’s mission to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States.