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Chris Miklich, Chief Financial Officer

Chris Miklich

Chief Financial Officer

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My ultimate goal as Chief Financial Officer is always to do what’s best for the company. I want to continue to move the company forward by driving profitability and growth and developing a strong team.

I’ve been very fortunate to have been given countless opportunities since I joined Swagelok in 2001, just one year after graduating from John Carroll University with a degree in finance. I held various roles in the finance department—accounts payable, accounts receivable, financial reporting, cost accounting, treasury—as I moved through an unofficial rotational program. I learned so much about the department and the organization during this time.

When the tax / treasury manager position became available, I was offered the opportunity. It was definitely a stretch assignment for me, and I was scared to death, but it turned out to be one of the most important experiences of my career. While in that role, I came to understand that if you continue to work hard, listen to others, seek to understand, and have a good team around you, you can achieve success. That experience gave me the confidence to move forward, and I soon went on to become the assistant treasurer.

In 2013, I left the organization to explore a new experience. Other than my first six months out of college, when I worked at a computer consulting firm, it was my first taste of life outside of Swagelok. I was the director of tax, treasury, risk management, and insurance at a manufacturing company that was owned by a private equity firm. Working in a business that operated on the opposite end of the spectrum gave me a different perspective that I wouldn’t necessarily have had at Swagelok.

I returned to Swagelok in 2015 as director of tax, and within a couple of months, I was named treasurer and director of tax—with responsibility for risk management and insurance. But I still had more to learn, and my next move was a different type of stretch assignment; as director of operational accounting, I got some great insight to the operations side of the business. I returned to my position as treasurer before being named to my current role.

Now it’s important for me to pay it forward and help create opportunities for my team to grow, develop, and succeed.

As a leader, it’s important to know your team and understand how to best support them; I don’t think everyone wants to be led in the same way. For example, there are people who like more hands-on management and those who want more autonomy. My ability to adjust my approach—I don’t apply a single leadership style to the collective group—helps me and my team.

I do my best to lead by example, and I’m always willing to listen to others’ perspectives. Over my career, I’ve learned to synthesize information and ask those questions that can help shape ideas and set direction, and I like to think I encourage my team to think a little bit differently as well.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my two daughters, who keep me extremely busy. I try to support them as much as possible in everything they do—from schoolwork to sports to theater. I’m also an avid sports fan; I love Cleveland sports, Ohio State, and all sports in general.

I’m proud to serve as a trustee for the Swagelok Foundation as well as on the board of First Tee of Cleveland, which teaches children life skills and values through the game of golf. First Tee also offers some other great programs that aren’t related to golf. One particular leadership-focused program helps teenage girls explore topics such as communication, self-confidence, and goal setting to inspire them to lead themselves and to lead others. As a sports fan and a father of daughters, this organization is a perfect fit for me.