The Kansas City Business Journal has named Sherri Lohe, Chief Financial Officer of KVC Health Systems, a nonprofit known nationally for its mental health and child welfare leadership, as a 2022 CFO of the Year. Lohe and the 15 other honorees were selected from an applicant pool representing the top tier of CFOs in the Kansas City area. The 16 chosen professionals — eight each from the for-profit and nonprofit sectors — represent the best in financial management and have proven themselves invaluable to the organizations they work for. The CFO of the Year Awards luncheon was held Friday, July 15 at Lowes Kansas City Hotel.
Lohe has been with KVC Health Systems for 8 years, and was named KVC’s Chief Financial Officer in January 2020, just two months before the COVID pandemic began. In her role, Lohe manages the finances for one of Kansas City’s largest private employers with 796 local employees, out of a total of 1,600 employees nationwide.
KVC Health Systems is a family of private, nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations that strengthen families, prevent child abuse and neglect, and help people achieve mental health wellness. Its subsidiaries include KVC Kansas, KVC Hospitals, KVC Missouri, KVC Nebraska, KVC Kentucky, KVC West Virginia and the KVC Foundation. The organization also provides research, training, consultation, and child welfare system transformation through its KVC Institute for Health Systems Innovation.
The KVC team positively impacts the lives of over 60,000 children and families each year. Through its professionals and hundreds of supporters such as foster and adoptive families, KVC cares for thousands of children in foster care due to abuse, neglect or other serious family challenges. KVC also provides children’s mental health and psychiatric treatment to youth experiencing depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, and other mental and behavioral health needs.
Lohe’s Successes at KVC Health Systems
This complex, in-demand service array for children and families requires a dynamic, competent financial leader. “Sherri is the CFO that CEOs dream of having on their team,” said Jason Hooper, President and CEO. “She brings expertise that has transformed the quality of our finance team, shows kindness toward her colleagues at all levels, and has a heart that’s deeply invested in our mission of helping children and families.”
Lohe, along with the rest of the KVC Executive Team, quickly rose to the challenges created by the pandemic. “The last two years have been an all-hands-on-deck effort to quickly adjust budgets and secure emergency funding for certain programs,” said Lohe. “Our greatest success has been to not only to continue providing child welfare and mental health services, but to preserve the jobs of hundreds of social workers, therapists, family support workers, and other helping professionals who do vital work in the lives of vulnerable children and families.”
Due to the KVC team’s success in adapting budgets and quickly securing pandemic-related federal and state funding, including the KVC Foundation team’s work to secure private philanthropic funding, KVC did not lay off, furlough, or terminate any employees due to the pandemic despite significant financial impacts.
Lohe contributes to KVC’s growth by staying focused on the organization’s financial health strategic plan, allowing innovative growth in what KVC does very well: helping families in crisis to overcome complex challenges and remain safely together.
She has also evolved the agency’s annual planning into an integrated process where strategy leads budgeting, creating clarity, visibility, and confidence around the services provided by KVC’s Shared Services administrative teams (HR, Accounting, Marketing, IT, etc.) to eight distinct subsidiaries.
Reflecting on Challenges and This Honor
When asked about the uniquely challenging aspects of her job, Lohe mentions the constant change. “In child welfare and mental health, you must continually innovate and elevate outcomes for children and families. The work never stops, slows down or stagnates. This is driven partly by our KVC values; we always raise the bar. But it’s also driven by state variations in contracts, grants, and value-based healthcare payment models. For example, innovation is needed as the U.S. shifts toward safely preventing the need for foster care. Innovation is needed as nonprofits like KVC work to be catalysts in ending the urgent suicide epidemic. And innovation is needed each time we expedite research into practice to better serve children and families. We’re part of a constantly changing behavioral health and child welfare landscape.”
Lohe is humbled by the honor of being named a CFO of the Year, and is quick to credit her success to not only herself, but also to the amazing KVC Executive Team and employees who surround her. She says her heart is in KVC’s mission through and through. “When your heart is fully invested in a mission like ours — to make sure every child and adult is safe and connected to people who care about them — then you do better in your role, which in my case is ensuring our financial success.”
Outside of work, Lohe enjoys spending time with family. “My son is 22 and graduating soon from Mizzou. My daughter is 12 and plays competitive volleyball, which takes our family on weekend trips as far away as Florida.”
Read more about the KCBJ’s 2022 CFO of the Year honorees here, and read Sherri Lohe’s profile. You can also see photos from the 2022 CFO of the Year Awards luncheon.
Learn more about KVC Health Systems, including how to connect with our child and family services or how to become a supporter or team member, at www.kvc.org.