James Hensel, CVA, CFA
Chief Financial Officer
James Hensel brings more than a decade of financial management leadership to PenChecks, where he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s accounting and financial activities. In his previous position, James served as CFO and led the accounting and finance department for TargetSolutions.com, the leading provider of online education for first responders. He has also served as a partner for Donnelly Hensel & Associates LLC, and as principle for Tatum LLC, where he performed business valuation analysis. As Director of Finance and Accounting for Nik Software, which offers digital photography solutions, James led the accounting functions for both the headquarters, located in San Diego, and the subsidiary, located in Germany, while providing reporting and analysis to Nikon Inc., a Japanese minority shareholder. Earlier in his career, he worked as a financial auditor for McGladrey & Pullen, LLP, an international CPA firm serving mid-market companies.
A former U.S. Marine who served his country for seven years, James holds a B.S. in accounting and a M.S. in corporate finance, with both degrees earned at San Diego State University. He is also a CFA® charterholder.
A former U.S. Marine with a M.S. degree in corporate finance, James is also a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) As CFO for PenChecks Trust, he brings far more to the table than just proven financial acumen. James also has a strong service orientation, and for that reason is tasked with overseeing the financial and human resources functions at PenChecks – a unique combination of responsibilities for a dedicated “number cruncher.”
In this dual role, James sees himself as a problem solver and provider of services to other PenChecks Trust departments and clients. On the numbers side, this starts with making sure the president, board of directors and management team understand the financial health of the business and ways to improve it. James also works to make internal data more visible so managers can make better-informed decisions to improve efficiencies and deliver better service to clients. His efforts in this area include the development of custom dashboards and other tools that make it easy for managers to access the data they need.
Happy Employees = Happy Customers
Believing that happy employees lead to happy customers, James regularly uses employee surveys to obtain an accurate reading of the “human health” of the company. He employs suggestion boxes and other tools to encourage employee engagement, and recently began using SurveyMonkey to take the pulse of how clients feel about PenChecks Trust.
James also believes in leveraging technology platforms to help people do their jobs more effectively. He introduced an HR software technology to formalize the onboarding and offboarding processes for new and departing employees. As a result, managers can more effectively orient new employees while ensuring that all HR procedures are followed when employees exit the company.
James also led the way in introducing performance management best practices to ensure managers track and measure the right metrics. This helps company President Peter Preovolos operationalize his vision throughout the organization by making sure employees know what management expects from them.
A Noble Service
James believes that reuniting people with their retirement money, one of PenChecks Trust’s core services, is a noble endeavor.
“People appreciate it when they learn that we have their money, we protected it, and we’re going to distribute it to them,” he says. “I also like working for PenChecks because it’s a growing company where you’re given real responsibility and given the resources to get it done. Our president is building a strong management team to take the company to the next level, and I like being a part of that growth.”
Away from the job, James enjoys a very active lifestyle. He loves to swim, bike and run, and regularly participates in triathlons from sprints to Half-Ironmans. He also enjoys daily walks with his dog, and traveling to the East Coast several times a year to visit family. A loyal San Diego State University alumnus, James has held Aztec basketball season tickets for 15 years, and is a huge fan of former Aztec standout Kawhi Leonard, who now plays with the NBA San Antonio Spurs.
Meet the Team:
> Peter Preovolos, APA, RIA, AIFA, PPC / President and CEO
> Spiro Preovolos / President
> James Hensel, CPA, CVA, CFA / Chief Financial Officer
> Mike McWherter, JD / Chief Compliance Officer
> Kevin D. Smallen / Chief Information Officer
> Bryan Pruden, MBA / Chief Operating Officer
> Wendy Henderson / Vice President / Director of Operations
> Scott Okrasinski / Vice President/National Sales Director
> Steve Wagoner / Vice President of Institutional Sales
> Tom Drosky / West Regional Vice President
> Mark Russell / Eastern Regional Director
> Chip Davis / Southern Regional Director
> Paul Kociuruba / Central Regional Director
> Laurie Kemp / South Central Regional Director