Amy Blaz Named Chief Financial Officer

As she shifts from her role as university controller to chief financial officer, Amy Blaz is prepared to maintain the existing momentum laid out by her predecessor.

By Cherie Suonvieri ’15, content specialist

November 08, 2018 | 5 p.m.

Amy Blaz Named Chief Financial Officer

Amy Blaz, Chief Financial Officer

After Amy Blaz’s first interview for the university controller position at Bethel, she joked about how she couldn’t possibly take the job because the commute across the metro from her home in Lakeville would be awful. “But each time I was asked to come back for the next interview, I felt God nudging me, telling me this is where I belonged,” she says.

Blaz, who served two years as Bethel’s university controller was recently appointed as the next chief financial officer, succeeding Pat Brooke, who will retire on November 30. The overlapping time will allow for a smooth transition from one CFO to the next.

Blaz steps into this new role with 15 years of experience as a controller and as an accountant in a variety of industries. She is a Certified Management Accountant with a Master of Business Administration. And in the two years she’s been at Bethel, she’s left administration and colleagues with positive impressions.  

“Amy has significantly improved processes, procedures, and productivity in her area. Our audit firm sings her praises,” President Jay Barnes says, having observed her work over the past two years. “She has the ability to spot a problem, design and implement effective improvements, and to see the strategic advantages of new approaches to effective management.”

Looking forward, Blaz is excited about continuing the work that has been started, in regard to financial planning, fiscal discipline, and planning for the Bethel’s success. “That is one of the main reasons I wanted to pursue the position when it was discussed with me,” Blaz says. “I didn’t want to lose the momentum that has been building.”

According to Blaz, one of the challenges Bethel presently faces is that its endowment is smaller compared to other schools of similar size—a challenge she plans to address. “Pat has been a big advocate of growing our endowment, and I will continue that advocacy,” she says. “A larger endowment will allow us to decrease our unfunded financial aid and keep Bethel affordable.”

Brooke is nothing but confident in Blaz, calling her the best hire of his career. “She has fantastic accounting skills, and she also has a strong general business sense,” he says. “What has really impressed me is her ability to step into an area she is unfamiliar with, learn it, and start resolving problems and improving process in surprisingly little time. Amy is an excellent addition to the Bethel leadership team.”