Each year, the Idaho Business Review (IBR) honors exceptional financial stewards who are considered the very best in banking, corporate, investment, and other professional financial fields. This award is earned by scoring elements of leadership, mentorship, achievements, community leadership and community service. Those who score highest become the year’s recipients across Idaho. In 2018, Thomas Cuisine’s CFO, Shannon Stith received this well-deserved recognition, and now in 2019, she’s received her second nomination through IBR for Woman of the Year. Below is an Idaho Business Review article that gives brief insight to Shannon’s hard-working and giving spirit. As an instrumental member of Thomas Cuisine, Shannon leads in a way that provides expertise and foresight to build financial structure that supports and encourages growth. We are so pleased and proud to have her as a leader at Thomas Cuisine.
Get to Know Shannon
By Shannon Brennan | Idaho Business Review, 2018 Excellence in Finance | pg 21 | Full list of IBR Excellence in Finance recipients
Instilled with a hard work ethic growing up in a small Wisconsin town, Shannon Stith began pushing herself to reach her goals at a young age. While she may not have always known a career in finance was in her future, when she moved that direction in college, it was not a difficult shift.
“Finance and accounting came naturally to me, so when I moved to a school that didn’t have my original major, I switched to a focus in finance,” Stith says.
This change suited Stith as she found her footing in a career path that she was not only good at but also enjoyed.
“I was fortunate enough to attend Boise State University and be part of classes with professors that had a passion for the world of finance that encouraged me to do more with the degree,” Stith says. “Later, I was fortunate enough to be guided by a supervisor to obtain my CPA in order to bolster my career opportunities.”
Stith has worked her way up throughout her career and is now Chief Financial Officer at Thomas Cuisine Management. The company launched in 1986 with a goal to improve the quality of hospital food. Today, Meridian-based Thomas Cuisine Management provides service across the U.S. to hospitals, as well as clients from corporations, retirement communities, event centers, colleges and universities.
Stith’s journey, like most, has had its fair share of obstacles.
For Stith, the two biggest have been age and gender.
“When I first started my career, it was challenging when walking into a room for the first few times, and I was the only person under the age of 40 and usually the only female,” Stith says. “Although being the only female in the room has not changed significantly over my 15-year career in finance, age has become easier. I find that with the multi-generational workforce, individuals that are older or younger than I am are more accepting and open to seeing me at the table.”
Stith’s personal philosophy is to give back to the community as much as she can through personal and professional endeavors. This philosophy has led her to not only donate to a plethora of scholarships but also create one herself.
“I grew up in a family of educators, which has driven my desire of continuous learning.” Stith says. “I think that my personal scholarship and those to which my husband and I donate help individuals access sports camps and colleges that maybe they would not otherwise be able to attend.”
While this philosophy guides Stith’s personal and professional endeavors, her commitment to transparency in her leadership position at Thomas Cuisine is another guiding force.
“My belief is that transparency helps to get things done efficiently and effectively,” Stith says. “Through transparent leadership – being available and discussing successes and challenges – teams are more accurate in work product, cohesive, authentic, and trusting.”