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Girard School of Business

Karen Cambray ’88

Karen Cambray, chief financial officer at Cartera Commerce in Lexington, was named Boston Business Journal’s 2014 CFO of the Year in the mid-size private company category. She credits her success to her mentors throughout her 27-year career. And when Girard School Dean Mark Cordano asked her to become a judge for the graduate-level Marketing Analysis and Decision-Making class case competition, she quickly agreed.

“I have been trying to give back and mentor up-and-coming professionals. This seemed like a good opportunity to do that,” said Cambray, an accounting major who began her career at Arthur Andersen and has served as CFO for three high-tech companies.

Three teams reached the final round of the case competition, in which they were asked to focus on struggling retailer JCPenney’s troubles, analyzing a case study and proposing new strategies. A $1,500 prize was at stake. Nine teams presented to a faculty panel in the first round. Cambray and two other alumni, also senior-level professionals, judged the final round.

Cambray said, as a judge, she sought three qualities in the presentations: thoughtful analysis, thinking outside the box, and strong communication skills. She wanted to see if each team could “communicate their conclusions and reasons in a clear, concise, articulate way.”

All three teams impressed her. Their presentations demonstrated good thought, critical analysis and were well prepared.

“The program seems to be preparing the students for real-life business situations, so I was impressed with that as well,” she said.

  • Karen Cambray ’88 CFO at Cartera Communications
    Karen Cambray ’88 CFO at Cartera Communications