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RSP Architects, Ltd.
Search for Chief Financial Officer

The Organization

Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, RSP Architects is a leading architecture and planning firm, providing architectural design services; tenant improvement and workspace strategies; master planning; interior design; gaming layouts; facility management analytics; asset management; facility planning; and experience design. RSP serves a broad spectrum of clients and marquee brands across the retail, hospitality, corporate, government, healthcare, education, institutional, tribal gaming and science and technology industries.

Boasting an impressive reputation and strong history of growth, RSP has 450 employees and approximately $80MM in revenue. Building Design+Construction ranked RSP #37 nationally amongst the largest architecture/engineering (AE) firms, as featured in the 2018 Giants 300 Report. The Firm is employee-owned and operates nationally and internationally with additional offices in Baltimore, MD; Phoenix, Arizona; Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX; Rochester, MN; Miami, FL; and Bangalore, India.

Core Values & Mission

RSP’s core values and mission serve as the “true North” for the firm and its employees:

  • Spirit: The quality of our work and workplace are a manifestation of our spirit. The spark of our creativity, the warmth of our camaraderie, and the energy of our efforts are the heart of our life as a firm. We extend this spirit freely to all.
  • Excellence: Excellence is a process, not a destination. We are dedicated to the continual improvement of all that we do. We are committed to ongoing honest evaluation of ourselves and our work, which is the key toward excellence.
  • Vision: We look to the future with the insights gained from our past and present. We embrace change and accept the challenge of shaping our future to meet tomorrow’s needs. We strive for innovative vision derived from perceptive foresight. We pursue our vision with discernment, determination and care.
  • Respect: We see our work as a team effort, enhanced by our support and respect for each other. We acknowledge and value the diversity of contributions that enable our success. We are receptive to ideas of others and acknowledge different approaches to work and life beyond work. We are committed to open and honest dealings with each other as the path to mutual respect, accountability, and lifelong learning.
  • Integrity: We will not compromise our values. We are honest, respectful, fair, trustworthy, and sincere in what we say and in what we do.
  • Stewardship: We strive to care for and wisely use all that is entrusted to us: our relationships, time, money, influence, talents, and environment. We seek to create lasting value in what we do. We are committed to sharing what we have with others and improving the world around us.

For more information about RSP Architects please visit:

Position Summary

Due to the planned retirement of its long-tenured Controller and to significant and profitable growth of the Firm, RSP is seeking a strategic finance leader and has elevated the finance function to Chief Financial Officer (CFO). This newly created CFO position has responsibility for leadership and oversight of the accounting and finance team as well as direct, hands-on financial planning and analysis for the Firm. The CFO is responsible for developing financial and business strategies in support of the Firm’s leadership and Board of Directors to improve profitability, shareholder value and competitive position. The CFO will join the Firm at an exciting pivotal point and help to complete its transition to a full ESOP structure, as well as shift the overall finance function to be a strategic asset.

Reports to:

President/CEO/Principal, Dave Norback

Direct Reports (4):

Assistant Controller
Accounting Manager
Payroll Administrator
Executive Assistant

Total Team:


Other Key Relationships:

Board of Directors (5):

  • President/CEO/Principal, Dave Norback (Minneapolis)
  • Principal, Jon Buggy (Minneapolis & Rochester)
  • Principal, Steve Fautsch (Minneapolis)
  • Principal, Bob Lucius (Minneapolis)
  • Principal, Joe Tyndall (Tempe)

Additional Advisors to the Board (5)

Position Location:

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Serve as a strategic partner to the Board of Directors and other Principals by providing thought leadership and input regarding relevant financial considerations, serving as an objective evaluator and offering a unique, finance-oriented perspective.
  • Manage traditional financial aspects of strategic initiatives, and provide advice and support to evaluate potential options with regard to the business in its entirety.
  • Stay abreast of relevant industry and economic trends that could impact the business and make recommendations accordingly.
  • Serve as a thought leader for enterprise risk management.
  • Assume leadership for evaluating and executing all M&A opportunities identified by the Board, and with Board involvement provide leadership and support for integration.
  • Manage external advisory relationships, including auditors, bankers and tax advisors, and work closely with other external service providers.
  • Make recommendations to Firm Management concerning the effective selection and use of financial systems to enhance efficiency and maximize profitability.

Financial Planning and Analysis and Reporting

  • Develop short and long-range financial strategies to support the growth of the business.
  • Provide leadership and oversight to the firm’s annual budgeting processes.
  • Develop and regularly monitor key financial metrics for reporting, measuring, evaluation of results, and identification of trends.
  • Present financial analyses, reports, results and other information to Senior Leadership and the Board of Directors.
  • Lead monthly and quarterly forecasting processes.
  • Build organizational capacity to support educated business decisions and guide corporate strategy through forecasting.
  • Develop strategic and operational ideas for improvements, including project management and adoption of best practices.

Accounting and Control

  • Provide oversight to the Firm’s general accounting functions.  Ensure that the accounting needs of the Firm are anticipated, planned for and met.
  • Oversee all accounting operations, including project accounting (in partnership with project managers), payroll and accounts payable.
  • Design, develop, implement and maintain a strong system of internal controls.
  • Oversee all internal control activities and financial and accounting policies, ensuring requirements are defined and fulfilled and encouraging continuous improvement to achieve best practice and proactively meet business needs.
  • Ensure regulatory compliance to the standards set forth by US-GAAP and IFRS as well as those mandated for ESOPs and federal contractors.
  • Provide leadership in development of the annual external audit plans and coordinate external audits for RSP.

Treasury and Tax

  • Help to ensure the availability of adequate capital and liquidity to meet current needs and plan for future needs through development and maintenance of sound capital structure.
  • Effectively manage short-terms funds and establish favorable financing arrangements for short and long-term borrowing.
  • Partner effectively with the banking community, periodically reviewing and negotiating terms of financing.
  • Oversee cash flow and set corporate policies that meet the needs of the business.
  • Provide leadership to the Tax planning and preparation for local and federal, ensuring the necessary resources are in place to analyze, prepare and file returns in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Ensure the support of prudent and effective investment of firm assets.

People Leadership

  • Effectively recruit, develop and retain a high performing team to meet short and long-term business needs.
  • Set expectations and manage performance of the team, providing regular coaching, feedback and accountability to ensure that individual and organizational goals are met.
  • Leverage strengths of team members and clarify/realign the department structure, roles and responsibilities to support the continued success of the Firm.
  • Utilize and leverage external resources as needed to provide the necessary technical and functional expertise to support the business.
  • Promote teamwork and collaboration across RSP by coordinating and communicating across the Organization, ensuring well-orchestrated work efforts.

Leadership Competencies

As a leader at RSP Architects the Chief Financial Officer is expected to demonstrate the following leadership competencies:


Thinks broadly and has the ability to effectively chart a new strategic direction. Surveys the market and considers macro-level trends. Sees the business holistically rather than in silos. Prioritizes the organization’s interests above individual interests. Understands and accounts for long-term implications in planning and decision-making.

Functional Expertise

Demonstrates highly developed finance and accounting knowledge and leadership. Stays abreast of trends and regulatory changes, and appropriately disseminates knowledge throughout the organization. Translates organizational strategies and objectives into timely, accurate and actionable plans.  Ensures that decision making is supported by cogent, accurate reports and analyses.  Models the ability to translate complex financial concepts for non-financial audiences.

Integrity & Trust

Demonstrates a well-honed sense of judgment, and the highest levels of discretion and prudence. Adheres to the Firm’s core values and principles.  Is widely trusted. Actively pursues excellence, professionalism and continuous improvement.  Owns mistakes and seeks to learn from them.

Collaboration & Teamwork

Relates well with people at all levels.  Builds support and trust among peers and key stakeholders. Brings together different perspectives to create win-win solutions. Models excellence, positivity and collegiality. Creates a strong team atmosphere in which people work collaboratively to produce outstanding results.

Growth Orientation

Understands and manages the risks involved in leading transformation in a growth organization.  Is appropriately hands-on, and directs the organization to achieve results and prioritize effectively.

Seasoned Judgment

Applies broad knowledge and seasoned experience when addressing complex issues; recognizes interrelationships among issues and identifies the implications for other parts of the business; takes all critical information into account when making decisions; makes timely tough decisions; challenges status quo thinking and assumptions.

Ideal Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will be a dynamic and strategic finance leader with a minimum of 12 to 15 years’ of progressive experience in senior-level finance roles. This person will bring strong financial and business acumen, ideally gained in professional services in an organization(s) of similar size (>$80MM revenue, >400 employees) and in a multi-site environment.

A strong foundational proficiency in all financial operations, including financial planning and analysis, banking relationships, accounting, budgeting, expense control, audit, tax, cash management, accounts payable, billing, accounts receivable, collections and systems is required. The ideal candidate will have experience balancing big picture strategic leadership with driving business execution and day-to-day operations. A history of instilling financial rigor and discipline is critical. This person will be a strategic business partner and possess a track record of developing and implementing financial strategies that support the achievement of business objectives.

Experience in an ESOP structured entity and knowledge of SARs (stock appreciation rights) is considered a plus, as is mergers and acquisitions experience. Experience working with a governing board is also preferred. An understanding of the nuances of the AEC industry coupled with a passion for the industry is relevant. International experience is helpful, as is familiarity with project-based accounting.

The ideal candidate will be a curious, diplomatic, patient and proactive change agent with executive presence and the ability to educate and instill confidence in others. This executive will be confident without being arrogant, adaptable and comfortable with ambiguity and will enjoy building business processes to support profitable growth. A forward thinking, innovative, outside of the box thinker with the ability to provide a long-range strategic perspective is desired. A continuous improvement mentality is critical.

The successful candidate will have high EQ and well-developed interpersonal skills with the ability to work collaboratively and develop chemistry with an eclectic and creative group of people. An enthusiastic and high-energy professional who will help to leverage the organizational brilliance and entrepreneurial power of RSP’s talent is important. Over time this person will come to be a model of RSP culture.

This person will be a highly transparent communicator with a direct style, and an ability to effectively articulate and translate facts and figures and make clearly stated and understandable recommendations. The ability to effect change through collaboration, influence and in a spirit of partnership will be key. This leader will be decisive and approachable with a demonstrated ability to build successful relationships across all levels of an organization.

A Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, or related field is required. CPA designation strongly preferred. MBA or other advanced degree also preferred. The highest ethical standards are expected.

Libby Carrier Doran

Theresa Michel