USF’s Gard Named a 2022 Chicago CFO of the Year Awards Program Finalist

Joliet, Ill. – Congratulations are extended to Julee Gard, Vice President for Administration and Finance at the University of St. Francis (USF), on being named one of six Finalists in the Large Not-For-Profit Company category of the 2022 Annual Chicago CFO of the Year Awards Program hosted by the Chicago Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI). The 2022 Chicago CFO of the Year Awards Program, which will take place on Tuesday, November 1, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, will recognize Finalists and one Winner in each of the following categories: Public Company, Large Private Company, Mid-Size Private Company, Small Private Company, Large Not-For-Profit Company, and Mid-Sized Not-For-Profit Company. While she is the focus of this recognition, Gard is quick to redirect that attention to where and with whom she works every day. “I am honored and humbled to be named a Finalist in the 11th Annual Chicago CFO of the Year Awards.  I am incredibly fortunate to be doing work that I love at the University of St. Francis – an organization whose mission and core values ring true to me. None of this would be possible without the group of talented professionals I am fortunate to call my team at USF,” Gard said. “Wintrust is exceptionally proud to partner with Julee Gard and the entire Team at the University of St. Francis. Julee’s dedication, diligence, and integrity in her work are evident in everything she does, making her an integral part of the ongoing success at the University. The nomination for CFO of the Year is well-deserved, as the Bank recognizes Julee’s strong values, work ethic & decision-making capabilities that help define her as an impactful leader in the USF community,” said Wintrust Senior Vice President Erinn Siegel from Wintrust, who helped lead the nomination effort. “Julee is, quite simply, one of the most talented, capable servant-leaders that I have encountered in over 35 years of working in industry (for-profit) and academia (nonprofit).  She is incredibly competent – both technically and inter-personally – and precisely the type of leader that higher education, in general, and USF, in particular, need in the 21st century,” said USF President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D. “This is a wonderful affirmation of our most important financial partners’ faith in and respect for Julee. Just being nominated was honor enough, but for Julee to be named a Finalist is simply incredible. The Awards Program ceremony is set for early November, but she’s already ‘won’ in Wintrust and USF’s eyes,” Johnson added. About Julee Gard Julee Gard is the Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL.  Serving in this role since 2016, Julee is the senior administrator responsible for Finance, Treasury Operations, Human Resources, Grant Administration, Facility Operations, Security, and Risk Management. She started her career as an auditor in Deloitte’s Minneapolis and Los Angeles offices.  After public accounting, she worked in the insurance, consulting, telecommunication, professional services, social services, and manufacturing industries focusing on finance, risk management, budgeting/forecasting, and business process improvements.  Her technical accounting expertise earned her the unofficial title of “Julee GAAP” while working in the global controllership department at Accenture.  Julee has previously held Chief Financial Officer positions at Little Friends, Inc. in Naperville, IL, and Spectrum Technologies in Aurora, IL. Julee is a regular co-presenter of “Financial Fundamentals for Presidents” at the Council of Independent College’s annual New Presidents Program.  She has also presented on improving higher education budgeting and financial reporting processes at the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) and the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities (AFCU) conferences. She holds a B.A. in Accounting and M.B.A. from University of St. Thomas and is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and an Associate in Risk Management.  She is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania where her research is focused on the financial health and viability of small, private universities.   Julee is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Society for Human Resources Management.  Julee volunteers as a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Valley Chapter of the Red Cross and as a pianist at her local parish.  She, her husband, and their three college-aged children live in Naperville.
Julee A. Gard
About FEI and FEI Chicago Financial Executives International (FEI) is the premier association for CFO’s and other senior financial executives in the United States and Canada. The Chicago Chapter of FEI has 300 members representing some of Chicago’s iconic and most well-known organizations. Members of the Chicago chapter have access to unparalleled educational opportunities, monthly dinner meetings featuring thought leaders providing innovative and provocative ideas about finance and economics. Visit for more information. : : The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose. # # #