Community-Focused CFO Pays it Forward

With more than 15 years of comprehensive business and financial services experience, Ellen Grantham, ’96, is well aware of the challenges of being a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). She aims to avoid being a “CF-no,” trying her best to say “not yet” or “yes” and ensuring that when she does say no, it is followed by an explanation.

As CFO of K4Connect, a Raleigh-based mission-centered technology company that works to improve the lives of older adults and those living with disabilities, Grantham strives to be an asset to all members of her company, keeping in mind that a startup is not for those who are unable to take risks.

“No day is the same at a startup company,” said Grantham. “I spend most of my time negotiating with vendors, creating forecasts, creating new accounting and HR policies, and providing guidance for customer agreements.”

She enjoys working for a company with a strong mission and a desire to do good in the world. “It inspires me to do my best work every day in order to make the company successful by helping older adults live simpler, healthier, and happier lives,” said Grantham.

Her responsibilities include creating a financial roadmap for the company to follow and then subsequently align around. “I believe in the mantra of ‘what gets measured, gets done.’ We measure our progress in financial and non-financial metrics that I create and maintain,” said Grantham.

Grantham says it’s hard to imagine what comes next now that she has reached a C-suite position. “My challenge to myself for the next five years is to ensure more women in my company are in leadership roles. I can do this through our HR policies and also through mentorship of our women leaders.”

Her desire to help other women succeed has led Grantham to return to Meredith as a mock interview facilitator, where she is able to mentor young women and encourage them in their career pursuits.

Grantham describes herself as a lifelong learner. “I enjoy learning new things and I’m always open to learning from and teaching those who work for me.” Grantham was named CFO of the Year in 2016 by Triangle Business Journal when she was CFO of WebAssign.

This eagerness to learn helped her grow into a confident person during her time at Meredith. As a high school student, Grantham describes herself as someone who was more introspective than outgoing. But Meredith helped her find her own voice.

“I felt like I could be me. Meredith allowed me to grow as a person and believe that I could be anything I chose to be.”

Melyssa Allen

News Director
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(919) 760-8087
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