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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
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Lori J Wirsching

CFO

raSmith, Inc.

Location: Waukesha, WI

Founded: 1978

Industry: Civil Engineering and Survey Services

In her role as chief financial officer, Lori J. Wirsching aims to model the right work ethic and set the right example for her team and the entire workforce at raSmith, Inc.

“A great leader leads by example,” she said. “You can’t expect others to give their all and care about what they do if you are not passionate about what you do and your own contributions. You are lifted up by lifting up others and valuing the people that you work with. The more that you trust others, the more they will want to excel in what they do.”

raSmith is a multidisciplinary engineering consulting firm with locations in Wisconsin, Illinois and California, specializing in civil engineering, structural engineering and land surveying. “We are creative problem solvers who provide services on private sector projects across the United States and public sector projects across the state of Wisconsin,” the company said. “Our areas of specialization include site planning and design, structural engineering, cold-formed steel design, municipal engineering, transportation engineering, traffic engineering, land surveying, ecological services, landscape architecture, 3D laser scanning, unmanned aircraft systems, construction services and geographic information systems.”

Wirsching was hired in 2016 as raSmith’s controller to help lead the accounting department in the company’s transition from a family business to a midsize consulting firm. Within a few years, Wirsching rebuilt raSmith’s accounting department, teaching staff new skills and bringing new employees on board. Her leadership helped the firm pay off debt, implement financial controls and rebuild its balance sheet, the company said. Wirsching rose to join the company’s three-person executive team as chief financial officer.

In her current role, Wirsching is responsible for raSmith’s commercial financial institution relationships and ensuring the company is up to date with its debt obligations. She ensures the company has access to cash and a line of credit while making sure all federal and state corporate tax obligations are met.

Within five years, raSmith aims to grow from 220 employees to 330, with revenue of more than $50 million per year, up from current levels of approximately $30 million. The company is looking to expand in the southeastern U.S., particularly Florida or Georgia, while growing its footprint in Illinois and California.

During Wirsching’s six years with raSmith, revenue has grown from just over $20 million to $30 million while profits have more than doubled during that same time period, even with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“By helping to get the firm’s financial house in order, raSmith now has the ability to acquire other firms, hire talented individuals, make significant investments in technology and not have to worry about a deep recession wiping out a large portion of the firm,” the company said.

Presented by:

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Did you know?

Lori is on the board of directors for a not-for-profit called “The Sophal Project”. The organization works to raise funds to help an orphanage in Cambodia. The organization helps the orphanage, not just with food and living essentials, but by paying for teachers that teach the kids outside of their normal school hours in classrooms at the orphanage. The kids are learning, on average, 10-12 hours per day so that they are able to pass college admittance exams that allow them to better themselves and their communities. The orphanage went from having some of their students pass the entrance exams each year to now having 100% of the students pass most years. Lori had the opportunity to visit the orphanage a few years ago, bringing suitcases of clothing and essentials and learning about the students and connecting with them individually.

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