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2020 Dynamic Dozen Top Financial Officer: Amber Riddle

Chief Financial Officer, Little Sunshine's Enterprises Inc.

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Amber Riddle, chief financial officer at Little Sunshine’s Enterprises Inc., believes that although increasing net revenue has much to do with cutting costs and opening new locations, it has even more to do with providing quality education and care.

“We very much are strong believers in if we do right, we will be successful. So, as long as we’re taking care of our families and we’re serving them with integrity and transparency,” she says, “then we will see the financial reward for that.”

During her time as CFO, Riddle has led the company to new financial heights. The company ranked No. 1,950 on last year’s nationwide Inc. 5000 list for fast growth and No. 185 on the inaugural Inc. 5000 Series: Midwest list.

Riddle isn’t constantly behind a desk crunching numbers. She participates in meetings with not just top executives but also teachers, to glean ideas about ways the company can continue to grow.

“If we see a problem, we fix it, and we implement something new and we move on,” Riddle says. “If we see something that works fine but could possibly be better, we make those changes. It really empowers me to just always be on the lookout for improvement and ways we can continue to build and grow our company at every level.”

The data backs Riddle’s efforts. Since she joined the leadership team in 2016, revenue has increased by more than 150%. Within six months into her initial role as director of finance and human resources, she began the extensive transition of moving accounting efforts to an in-house function from a third-party CPA.

Riddle also reviews new site locations for the company. It’s up to her to rigorously vet a potential location’s viability based on factors such as demographics, competitors and wage analyses, cost of living indicators and local tax research. During her four years of working at Little Sunshine’s Enterprises, the number of locations expanded to 25 from 13, with four more sites currently under construction. She manages the company’s multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio and all property and business insurance and taxes for those properties.

“I’ve always been someone who enjoys looking at the big picture and looking at how things work together and finding solutions,” she says. “Accounting and finance, in general, encompasses every little piece of the organization and how it fits together.”

Despite her own accomplishments, she places more focus on the company’s achievements as a whole.

“I am really proud of all of the work that we do, not just me, but collectively,” Riddle says.

“I am proud of the way that we serve our families. I am extremely proud of the culture we’ve built for our employees. I think that that is one of the main things that really sets us apart, not only from other competitors in the industry specifically but just other organizations in general.”

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