How Tasha Bury Became the First Female Chief Financial Officer at SICK
In 2020, history was made at SICK USA when Tasha Bury was announced as the first female to sit on the North American Management Board. She joined the organization as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on April 6, 2020. SICK has been and is on a growth trajectory, and it needed unique skills to scale to the next level. Meanwhile, Tasha was open to new challenges where she would be able to leverage her leadership experiences and tenacity, but also have the opportunity to grow both professionally and personally.
“I was really excited about the opportunity. I knew I would be stretched going into the role,” Tasha said. In her new role, she would be leading finance, accounting, human resources, information technology, and legal.
Tasha’s Journey to CFO
But Tasha Bury’s journey to become the CFO at SICK includes a number of hurdles, job progressions, and moving to multiple cities. However, through it all, she prevailed with hard work, ambition, and following a mantra of “courage does not come without fear.”
A move to Minnesota was the fourth state-to-state move for Tasha, her husband, and their three beautiful children in seven years. Tasha is originally from a small Illinois community with a tightknit family where she learned the value of integrity, perseverance, and character. These learnings helped her through significant challenges faced early in life.
Tasha graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. Of the roughly 450 students, she was one of three to achieve two degrees.
Tasha’s career started at Anheuser-Busch (AB) as an intern while working on her undergraduate studies in 2003. She held various positions at AB each with increasing levels of responsibility. She took on roles with little to no experience, but was always up for the challenge. Her last role was in the Revenue Management department where she learned to manage pricing, revenue, and margin management.
Tasha truly became passionate about finance in 2009.
Adding Up to a Love for Finance
“If you had asked me back in college, if I wanted to work in finance, I’d have said no,” Tasha said. “My early introduction to the subject did not ignite a passion in me. I really planned to leverage my CIS degree instead. I learned early it is okay to change your mind.”
In 2013 and after several roles at AB, Tasha’s family moved to Bixby, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa where she would work as a Finance Business Partner for one of Hilti, Inc.’s commercial sales organization.
“This was the first time I had moved away from my family and it did not come without struggles,” Tasha said. “We moved my oldest daughter in her eighth grade year and she struggled to integrate into the new environment.”
Despite this challenge, Tasha and her family prevailed and continued to thrive in this new environment. In 2017, Tasha earned her license as a Certified Management Accountant.
“I believe in continuous education. This additional training prepared me for my last role Hilti where I would have international accounting and indirect procurement responsibilities,” said Tasha.
In this role, she had to build out a bilingual team to support the six additional legal entities in Latin America. With the additional countries to support and the Accounts Receivables team members, her department expanded to just under 40.
During her three years in that role, Tasha traveled to 10 Countries: England, Spain, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Mexico, Chile, Panama, and Brazil.
“My family and I endured so much constant change in such a small amount of time. My oldest daughter was frustrated with us on every move, but later reflected how she wouldn’t change it even if she could,” she said. “She believed it helped better prepare her for her future. My husband has been my number one supporter. I would not be where I am today without him.”
Joining SICK’s North American Management Board
At the beginning of 2020, the SICK Management Board put together several priorities; one in particular was Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). This priority would be quite new to many. With the announcement of Tasha as the CFO, the organization knew the management was serious about DEI as a priority. Not only was Tasha the first female on the management board, she is also the youngest with a couple decades between her and the majority of her peers.
With some experience and training in Diversity and Inclusion, Tasha eagerly volunteered to be the executive sponsor for the new journey SICK was headed on. In fall 2020, the management board went offsite with the assistance of a consultant and two HR team members to start the DEI framework. Fast-forward to the present, DEI workshops are being rolled out to the management board’s team and all leaders at SICK.
“Onboarding in 2020 and during a pandemic was challenging for me personally and professionally. However, I am proud to say SICK grew their revenue line in high single digits and delivered strong profits,” said Tasha. “In my short time, I have been able to bring rigor and transparency to finance, improve meeting content and cadence, and help my team navigate challenges and make changes to support growth. The company is off to another great start. On top of growing the DEI mindset, the SICK global organization is working on their SICK Beyond Borders Strategy. I am excited for my company’s future.”
Looking back on Her Journey
When Tasha reflects back on her career, she recognizes that the values instilled during her childhood continue to help her throughout her career – from continuing her education in a master’s program to expanding her family all while navigating from one job to the next.
“If I could give advice to anyone, it would be to be open to opportunity. Having jobs in different areas provides you a lot of breadth,” Tasha said. “There is more than one way to get where you want to be in your career.”
Despite the challenges and hurdles it took to get where Tasha is, she’s excited for the future at SICK and sees bright things ahead.
“Right now, we are in a special time. The manufacturing and logistics sectors are undergoing a digital transformation. Those companies with sound culture and strategy will prevail. I am here with my SICK unified team to make this happen,” Tasha said.