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Rossmoor gets new chief financial officer

Tom Hand wants to focus on budget forecasting

By Sam Richards

Staff writer

(May 5): While the ongoing work to replace GRF’s Jenark accounting and property-management software system will remain a priority for new GRF Chief Financial Officer Tom Hand, he’s also got another project that he hopes to start once he settles in.

“I want to start more formalized future budget forecasting,” said Hand, whose first day on the job in Rossmoor was April 24. “We’re almost at full staffing, which should make (forecasting) more possible.”

At the same time, he acknowledged that the unforeseen events that hurt golf course revenue, or lengthy COVID-related shutdowns, can lay waste to forecasts.

“It’s a balance, making predictions and dealing with the unpredictable,” said Hand, who succeeds Joel Lesser, who left Rossmoor in early April after two years as Rossmoor’s CFO.

He said his top priority is clearly defined.

CFO Tom Hand

“My biggest job as CFO is to protect the assets of the organization,” Hand said in an interview. “I want to help everyone make this a better place.”

That, he said, involves making sure Rossmoor’s finances are as stable as conditions allow, and planning ahead as effectively as possible for those times when conditions aren’t so great.

Hand arrives in Rossmoor fresh off a 10-year stint as a financial consultant, working for two companies during that time, as well as doing some consulting work independently. Previously, he had worked in the financial departments within automotive, high-tech, transportation and health care companies, as well as with nonprofit groups. Altogether, he said, he has 32 years’ experience working in finance and accounting.

Hand said he was ready to step away from the consulting way of life, where he moved from assignment to assignment helping companies “abate serious issues,” to a more stable situation – in this case, a new one.

“ ‘Retirement living’ is a new industry for me, and it’s a big challenge for me,” he said. “I had heard of Rossmoor, but until I came here, I didn’t realize how big it is.”

He understands that the amenities over which GRF presides, and the physical setting of Rossmoor itself, are two key attractions to Rossmoor, and that maintaining them is the best way to serve residents here.

Hand is a Detroit native, which he said may help explain his love of collectible cars. He owns nine of them, including a rare 1983 Oldsmobile Toronado convertible, one of only 200 built, that he drove up to his Mutual Operations Department (MOD) office last week. And with two of his three children now graduated from college, “I may be able to afford to do more of that now.”

Last week, Hand was still meeting people, preparing for his first GRF Board meeting, learning the ropes and getting accustomed to Rossmoor. He had not been on board long enough last week to have done a thorough review of GRF’s books, but he said he expects to do that shortly.

But he liked what he’d seen after less than two days on the job.

“Everyone’s been great,” he said. “This is a job that won’t go away, and it’s one I want to retire from.”