Sylvain Beaudry brings a wide range of experience to his new role as chief financial officer of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation, the Soloway JCC and Ottawa Jewish Community School.
Sylvain Beaudry is no stranger to accepting challenges with confidence and professionalism.
“I was impressed with Sylvain from the moment I met him during the interview process,” said Jewish Federation of Ottawa Chair Linda Kerzner. “He had a unique combination of experience and skill sets that stood out from the other candidates. It’s so special to find someone who was a business owner, served in the military, and worked in the charitable world. That range of experience has enabled him to confidently accept any challenge thrown at him – as shown by our experiences with him in this short period of time.”
The chief financial officer (CFO) is responsible for overseeing a staff of seven that collectively supports the financial needs of Federation, the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation, the Soloway Jewish Community Centre and Ottawa Jewish Community School, explained Beaudry, who became the permanent CFO on January 30 after several months as interim CFO following the departure of Shelley Crawford.
“In his short time here, he has demonstrated tremendous financial acumen and management skills. He has made excellent progress automating functions and providing regular reports to managers and boards. He is a pleasure to work with and is a very welcome addition to the team,” said Federation President and CEO Andrea Freedman in announcing Beaudry’s permanent appointment.
Beaudry’s responsibilities include the development and management of effective and streamlined administrative and financial systems, including financial, accounting, administrative and human resources. The CFO is involved in strategic planning, evaluation and professional development initiatives.
“The position is very challenging and rewarding, both professionally and personally,” said Beaudry, who completed his MBA and Chartered Professional Accountant designation, and then his Certified Management Accountant designation in 2006 at the Université du Québec en Outaouais in Gatineau. “It requires having knowledge and expertise in a very large array of needs and requirements of different organizations.”
Beaudry said his main focus in the immediate future is on reviewing the roles and responsibilities of the finance staff, and on streamlining and automation, and technology-enabling systems. He also sees his role as a mentor and coach to the finance department staff.
“My objective is to provide services to our stakeholders at the level they expect; timely, accurately, and in the most cost-efficient way,” he said.
Beaudry served in the Canadian Armed Forces for six years.
“Upon ‘retiring,’ I went back into my hometown, Mont-Laurier in the Laurentians, where I bought my first business,” Beaudry said.
Over the years, he has bought and/or managed various businesses in wide-ranging industries including martial arts, a convenience store, hospitality, property management, auto parts, and industrial hardware. He has also been a Chamber of Commerce director and president of an association of business owners.
Beaudry has held a number of positions in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. He was comptroller for Les Terrasses de la Chaudière; general manager of the University of Ottawa Student Federation (SFUO), where he managed different services and businesses; and director of finance and administration for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).
Most recently, Beaudry was vice-president of finance and operations at United Way Centraide Canada from 2013 to 2017 overseeing the financial affairs of the 108 Canadian United Way organizations.
“Throughout my career as a business owner and manager, and at SFUO and CUPW, I have always been close to the community and its people,” he said. “This aspect is within my DNA and I have missed this over the last few years.”
He said he appreciates the diversity of services offered by Federation, its ties to the community, “the dedication of the people towards helping the vulnerable, and the energy that emerges from the staff and management in the pursuit of their goals and mission.”
In his spare time, Beaudry enjoys spending time with his family – his wife Anie, and daughters Claudia and Alicia – particularly at the cottage. His hobbies include fishing, driving his all-terrain vehicle, martial arts and walking.
Kerzner praised Beaudry’s team-oriented, fun-loving approach.
“He’s a solid team leader, and we are looking forward to a great and successful working relationship,” she said.