Many accountants prefer to manage a company’s finances from the comfort of an office, but Maria Mejia is not that kind of person. Instead, the CFO of Ulterra Drilling Techniques LP travels throughout the world to visit employees in the field and gain a more holistic, on-the-ground perspective of the company she leads. “It gives me the pulse of the organization,” she says. “I don’t think we can run the company effectively from a spreadsheet, so I try to get out there as much as I can.”
Mejia must be doing something right. Since she joined Ulterra in 2010, the company’s annual revenue has ballooned to about $400 million from about $100 million. The number of employees has grown to about 600 from 120. And under Mejia’s financial leadership, Ulterra has become the largest drill bit producer in the U.S., outpacing its larger competitors. “We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs. There was a massive downturn from the end of 2014 to the end of 2016 that set us a little bit back in terms of overall numbers, but we used that time to continue to focus on the customers and doing things differently so we could gain their trust and grow quickly out of the downturn. And we did. We have significantly outpaced the market since that last downturn. It’s been challenging, but a lot of fun.”
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