Introducing Juan Buitrago, the Vice President of Financial Accounting at JSG. Juan has been with JSG for a little over a year-and-a-half and has already made a tremendous impact within the company. We sat down with him to get to know him a little better and ask him about his role at JSG. Here’s what he had to say.
You have a very strong financial background. Tell us a little about your career and your transition to Johnson Service Group.
While I was in university in Colombia, I worked for my father’s company. I started by walking around the office and bringing coffee to the workers. I worked my way into the warehouse and eventually worked for the finance and operations departments. While finishing up my Economics degree, I became the General Manager of a Pediatric clinic in Colombia. I worked there for almost three years, where I gained experience managing payroll, building banking relationships, and preparing financial statements.
I then moved to the United States to pursue my MBA at the University of Hartford. After I graduated, I moved back to Colombia in 1998 and accepted a position as the Head of the Treasury Department at Ajover-Daniel. There, I was responsible for everything from cash management to bank relations and foreign exchanges. I then accepted a position as a Trader, where I was responsible for developing trading models using technical and fundamental analysis for hedging and speculation. I then worked as a Financial Consultant for a brief period before moving to Canada to work for CDI Professional Services in 2003.
At CDI, I started working as a Financial Analyst – General Accountant and eventually worked my way up to the Vice President of Finance in May 2010. After almost 13 years and some structural changes, I left CDI and began working at Impellam PLC as a corporate Controller before joining the JSG family.
You’ve been working in the financial world for over twenty years. What have been some of the biggest changes you have seen throughout your career?
Some of the biggest changes I’ve seen throughout my career are companies becoming savvier. Using technology to implement better systems and improve integrations has allowed companies to streamline their financial processes. As a result of improved processes, businesses gain better insight into their operations, and thus, can find areas of improvement.
JSG continues to diversify and grow year over year. Where do you see JSG going in the next five years?
In the next five years, JSG will continue to grow. As a company, we will continue to build more structure amongst our 30 offices across the nation and Canada to incorporate better systems and processes. Right now, there’s a big emphasis on upgrading our financial systems. This will allow us to develop a better understanding of our operations, and thus, allow us to build a more controlled environment and increase the productivity of the company.
We will also be more selective with the business we take on. We want to take on smart business that will allow us to diversify and continue our year-over-year growth, and at the same time, increase profitablity.