The School of Management congratulates alumna Michelle Goff, BBA ’83, the CFO and senior vice president of R.L. Polk & Co., for being awarded CFO of the Year – large private company by Crain’s Detroit Business.
Goff received her BBA from UM-Flint in 1983 before continuing her education on the Ann Arbor campus. Since receiving her MBA in 1986, she has held a number of senior finance positions for large companies.
In her role as CFO and senior vice president of R.L. Polk & Co., Michelle Goff oversees more than 70 employees and a $19 million dollar budget. Her team is responsible for mapping out the future of the company’s financial operations, including risk-management, securities, real estate, insurance, taxes, accounting, assets, banking, credit, and treasury activities.
The Crain’s Detroit Business decision to award Goff the CFO of the Year recognition stems largely from insights she provided Polk in 2009, and the leadership role she flourished in when actions were taken based on those same insights.
In 2007, R.L. Polk & Co. invested an undisclosed sum to acquire a substantial stake in RoadToData, a Swiss automotive price and specifications data supplier with operations in 10 countries. Soon after the acquisition, Polk found itself dumping cash into RoadToData when the auto industry nearly collapsed during the economic recession. With profitability projections sliding into the distant future, Goff and other senior executives called for divestiture and a refocus on Polk’s core operations.
Although there were a variety of viewpoints amongst Polk leadership team on which direction was the best option for the future, the difficult decision was made, and Goff was called on to conduct the financial and legal aspects of the RoadToData closure in 2009. “It was a great decision in hindsight,” said Goff, as Polk’s profitability from core operations increased 31 percent between 2009 and 2013, and projects to perform even higher in 2014.
R.L. Polk & Co. assembles comprehensive automotive sales and forecasting data. The company also provides vehicle recall services for auto manufacturers, presents annual awards and has a diversity marketing services arm. In 2012, Polk generated $401 million in revenue.