Preparation of the FY18 Budget, software needs and business processes are just a few of the items that Ann Wilson is balancing as she settles into her new role as director of finance for the David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI), located on the NC Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis.
Wilson joined DHMRI over the summer and brings over 30 years of financial experience to the job. Throughout her career she’s learned there is one central truth.
“If there is no money, there is no mission,” she stated. “Every entity has to be able to make payroll, pay the bills and keep the doors open so we have to have a business model that can support the science. That’s my job − to help provide for the scientists so they can succeed.”
Her expertise is critical to the DHMRI’s next phase of growth where the institutes’ biomarker discovery and method development services are being translated into scientific products. The combination of services and products will expand the DHMRI’s ability to collaborate with academic and industrial scientists at the NCRC and around the world.
“We are at the point where we are going to be developing products unique to our organization,” Wilson said. “The business analysis that supports that kind of initiative is crucial.”
A Career in the Numbers
Originally from Albemarle, NC, Wilson now lives in Concord. She started her career in Winston-Salem, at a multi-national accounting firm after graduating from Wake Forest University in the early 1980s. She has since served as finance director for Rowan and Cabarrus counties as well as Mecklenburg County’s behavioral health services.
She worked as CFO for both Fisher Corp, a manufactured housing company in Richfield, NC, and Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare, now Cardinal Innovations Healthcare. She ran a consulting firm for nine years helping people start behavioral health care companies and assisting them with cost reports, billing and Medicaid compliance. Along the way, she earned an MBA from Pfeiffer University and became a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).
Moved by the Mission
She learned of the job opening at the DHMRI and immediately applied. “I saw this opening, and it sounded like me,” she commented.
In her first few weeks, she’s been impressed with the sense of mission. “They are all doing their best to make headway in the research. It translates into better lives for people worldwide,” she said. “In my mind, the mission boils down to trying to feed the hungry, heal the sick and keep people well. Who would not want to be part of that?”