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Kevin Dillon Named One of Houston’s Top CFOs


Kevin Dillon, M.B.A., C.P.A., executive vice president, chief operating and financial officer (COO & CFO) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, was named one of the Houston-area’s top corporate financial professionals May 16 at the “Best CFOs of the Year” awards luncheon.

Kevin Dillon, M.B.A., C.P.A.
The awards, part of Celebrate! Enterprise, the Houston Business Journal’s annual four-day program of business events, honor locally based chief financial officers for outstanding contributions to their organizations.

Dillon was named Best CFO of the Year in the large non-profit category and was one of only nine corporate financial professionals to be recognized during the event at the Wortham Theater, which was sponsored by Marsh.

“This distinguished award from his peers recognizes the tremendous contribution Kevin Dillon has made, and makes every day, to The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston,” said James T. Willerson, M.D., president of the UT Health Science Center and president-elect of Texas Heart Institute. “An outstanding leader and skillful financial manager, Kevin is first and foremost my trusted advisor. We are all very proud of this recognition for Kevin and the distinction it brings to our university.”

Dillon is responsible for financial operations and business processes throughout the health science center, which has a nearly three-quarters of a billion dollar annual operating budget and an estimated $2.5 billion annual economic impact on the Greater Houston area.

“This is really a team award that so many around the health science center have worked hard to achieve,” Dillon said. “I’m very fortunate to work each day with great professionals like Mike Tramonte, Laura Smith, Angela Hintzel, Nancy McNiel and many others who equally deserve this recognition.”

“CFOs are only as good as the support they receive from their president or CEO, and the rest of their organization’s leadership,” Dillon continued. “Dr. Willerson provided me with this opportunity and he and the deans have supported the occasional tough decisions we’ve all had to make, to stay on track financially. I’m indebted to all of them for their leadership.”

Dillon was selected by a panel of five judges for achievements such as leading the financial improvement of the health science center; for his key role in negotiating new agreements for physician services with major teaching hospital affiliates; and for reorganizing and implementing direct, “solid line” reporting relationships to the Office of Finance for all the institution’s administrative/financial leaders throughout the schools and operating units.

Areas of financial health cited in Dillon’s selection as an outstanding financial steward included: returning the organization to a consistently positive operating margin for five-plus years; steady improvement in clinical business operations; new “public/private” clinical joint ventures with for-profit entities; expanding the institution’s borrowing capacity; and managing significant facility expansion projects, such as the “in-process,” $161.5-million Research Park Complex.

“My 9-year-old daughter, Reilly, asked me about this award, and about what CFOs do, generally,” Dillon observed. “The best I could come up with is that CFOs are kind of like Mr. Scott, that no-nonsense chief engineer on the original Star Trek television show. We’re down in the engine room, assessing the capabilities of the ’ship,’ how much fuel it has, how long it can run at ’Warp 5,’ those kinds of things. We’re not the ones to decide where the ship should, boldly, go; that’s up to the Captain — Dr. Willerson; soon, Dr. Kaiser — but it’s an interesting, valuable role, nonetheless.”

Dillon joined the UT Health Science Center staff in 1996, and has served in a variety of financial, business and operational roles. He was promoted to executive vice president, chief operating and financial officer in September 2007, expanding his accountabilities into strategic planning, business development, organizational policy matters, and almost all administrative and business processes.

Dillon has nearly 25 years of professional work experience, including positions with Ernst & Young and Pennzoil-Quaker State. He earned his M.B.A. and bachelor’s degrees from The University of Texas at Austin. He has also attained the Certified Management Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor professional designations.


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