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Forecasting for the Future of Finance While Facing Uncertainty

Brent Davis

Brent Davis

Regional CFO at AdventHealth

Brent Davis, AdventHealth

In uncertain times, it’s even more important to lean into your company’s core values and mission and communicate the positives as much as possible to help alleviate the unpredictability for your workforce.

Quartz Network Executive Correspondent Britt Erler sat down with Brent Davis, Regional CFO of AdventHealth to discuss aligning short and long-term goals with your company mission, vision, and values during times of uncertainty.

Brent shares insight on:

  • The importance of having a strong balance sheet during the COVID era
  • How CFOs can make the best-calculated predictions when working in uncertain times
  • The importance of communication and adaptability in leading a team into the future

Quartz Network: Can you share a bit about yourself and your role with AdventHealth?

Brent Davis: I recently joined AdventHealth and I am a regional CFO within our central Florida division. I have direct responsibility for six facilities and about a billion and a half in revenue.

Quartz Network: With the pandemic bringing such uncertainty, was AdventHealth prepared with strategies in place or was that something that you had to create coming in?

Brent Davis: A lot of the discipline that created our balance sheet historically is still in place. A lot of our relationships and guardrails, and decision making processes are still intact today and going forward. That said, I think there was a lot of reforecasting, reallocating, revisioning what that short term and long-term future would look like in light of a global pandemic.

We started to talk with industry leaders around tourism about what’s going to happen to tourism here in Central Florida as that’s a massive part of our economy. What is unemployment going to look like? What is the election potentially going to do to impact some of our operations? What about Supply Chain availability, both domestically and abroad?

There was just a tremendous amount of legwork that we did across the company to really put together a reforecast to say, where do we think 2020 is going to land, not only financially, but operationally. Then, that turned into capital planning and that turned into strategic planning. And as we go into 21 and future years, we’re continuing to revise those forecasts as we go forward.

Quartz Network: How did AdventHealth remain aligned with their mission, visions, and goals for the company in the face of uncertainty?

Brent Davis: AdventHealth is a mission-based organization, like many. Our response at the inception of the pandemic was really demonstrative of what we promise to the communities we’re blessed to serve. One of those is keeping our people safe and that means keeping our patients safe. So that meant significant investment in personal protective equipment for our caregivers, for the patients that we have coming through the doors and for our clinicians, both internally and externally.

But also, keeping folks financially safe. So protecting jobs, helping people navigate an uncertain time and trying to eliminate as many other stresses and barriers that that we can during that time was critical. It comes at a financial cost, right? We like to think of it as an investment because keeping our team members focused on the work that they do best allows us to really meet the needs of the community in the best way possible.

Going forward, it’s really about communicating. That creates its own set of challenges. It’s an uncertain time, so communicating what we know, and that we continue to care, we continue to lean into our mission, vision, and values is critical as we go forward.

Quartz Network: What advice do you have for leaders to help get them back on track to make sure they’re really staying true to that mission?

Brent Davis: I think each of us shows up to work each day trying to do our best. Staying connected to the reason why we’re with the company we’re with, why we’re in the profession we’re in, is just a good reminder to stay grounded in that. Also, really lean into the challenges celebrate your team’s successes. But I really just want to encourage everyone out there to keep moving ahead and keep doing your best. We’re going to get through this together.

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