Bidding Farewell to our retiring CFO, Cindy Gustafson
After six years of service, a host of accomplishments, and as a member of Washington STEM’s beginning team, we want to bid farewell to Cindy Gustafson as she retires as Chief Financial Officer. Cindy has been with Washington STEM since day one and has helped steward our organization with her keen insight, financial expertise, and a deep commitment to equity in STEM education. Over the course of Cindy’s forty-two year career, she has been a pioneer and advocate for women in STEM
When Cindy entered the workforce, there simply weren’t many women in the finance world. From day one, Cindy saw the potential in herself and the women around her to not only contribute to the STEM fields, but to excel and lead. During her time at Washington STEM, Cindy has modeled those attributes and has served as a mentor to many on our staff and to many more outside of our organization. When the opportunity presents itself to share her knowledge, Cindy never hesitated.
“I’ve always viewed education as a critical part of meaningful change in our society. From breaking the cycle of poverty, to creating solutions to the world’s biggest problems, education is key in equipping our young people for success. Knowledge has the power to transform.”
During her time at Washington STEM, Cindy speaks fondly of how much she has enjoyed learning about our state and the amazing communities that make Washington what it is.
“I believe that Washingtonians are so innovative and our educational institutions are world class. Every time I got the chance to talk with people in these diverse communities, I saw eager young minds reaching for opportunity. I know that the work we do at Washington STEM is helping bridge the gaps in that opportunity to the students who need it most. I couldn’t be prouder of the work that we’ve accomplished and the work Washington STEM will continue to do.
As Cindy prepares for life in retirement, she had a few words of wisdom to share with students who are considering STEM and finance as career options.
“I’ve loved the role of CFO and the world of finance. Some may not believe it as first, but through math and finance, you’re able to see more than you can imagine. Not only do you get to see how an entire organization works, but you get to see how all of the pieces, departments, and functions all fit together. But what’s really special is the ability to see the past and the future. Finance and math really do allow you see years into the future using data, projections, and analysis. So, if someone’s interested in time-travel, they should look into finance and math.”
As Cindy makes her leave, she says she’s most looking forward to time with family and friends. Not to mention enjoying some jazz music, movies, and a good book. But just because she’s retiring, doesn’t mean her work stops. After a brief period of rest, Cindy is looking forward to some hands-on volunteering with schools in the Seattle area.