EMBA Student Spotlight: Cohort 17's Christine Tonn, CFO - Cure 4 The Kids
Christine Tonn (Cohort 17) is a self-proclaimed Disneyland addict. “Disneyland has been our family’s weekend get-away for more than 20 years,” said Tonn. So, it comes as no surprise that, when Tonn needed a break from her hectic schedule as CFO for Cure 4 The Kids Foundation and her role as a UNLV EMBA student, she gathered-up her seven-year-old twins and 12-year-old daughter and headed for the Magic Kingdom. “My husband and children have been so supportive since I started the EMBA program nine months ago. They deserved a little down-time as much as me!”
Tonn is proof that juggling work, life and school is possible with “good time management and encouragement from family, co-workers and your UNLV EMBA fellow cohort members,” Tonn said. All of which Tonn has in abundance.
At work, Tonn’s quest for an advanced degree, business-acumen growth and accomplishments have been praised by the organization’s CEO with comments such as “Christine has been working so hard on furthering her education. She has identified so many areas [within the organization] for improved efficiencies and has really taken on the task of growing her direct reports into leaders.”
Tonn chose to pursue her EMBA “to be the best I can be at my job,” she said. “The program is definitely helping me achieve that goal and is exceeding my expectations. It has given me the confidence to raise my own expectations – to dream big. The sky is the limit.” Her hard work has not gone unnoticed; Tonn was recently named Financial Executive of the Year in the ‘Services-Other’ category by Financial Executives International.
“I think a huge advantage to the UNLV EMBA program is that you’re with other experienced executives. It's a remarkable network of people who you can learn from and work with during the program.” Tonn said she has been impressed by the dedication and discipline of her classmates. “The varied backgrounds and perspectives have enabled the group to address their projects with diversity of thought. Spending 18 months with the same group of people going through the same experiences forms a bond of mutual respect and support.”
Tonn comments that she is grateful that the UNLV EMBA curriculum emphasizes strategy, innovation, and execution – “areas that are especially essential for the growth of nonprofit organizations. Agencies that develop short- and long-term strategic plans, and are agile in their implementation of initiatives, respond better to the needs of the community."
Known among her colleagues and friends as a numbers person, Tonn is a registered CPA. She began her accounting career after obtaining her Bachelors’ degree in Business Administration with a major in accounting from Kent State. She has worked for public accounting firms specializing in nonprofits and health care delivery organizations. In 2008 she began consulting with Cure 4 The Kids Foundation and became the organization’s CFO in April 2012. Tonn is responsible for leadership and direction of the accounting and billing departments for the nonprofit, whose mission is to advance cures and means of prevention for catastrophic pediatric diseases. She has also served as treasurer of Women’s Resource Medical Center of Southern Nevada since 2010, a nonprofit that provides counseling and material services to woman in crisis pregnancies.
Tonn’s advice for other professionals considering Executive MBA programs - "Your organization is a business that deserves, and can benefit from, the leadership and expertise you gain through the UNLV Executive MBA program. It’s a win/win for you, your organization and for the community."