It was financial executives’ day in the spotlight today as Business Examiner Media hosted its fourth annual Financial Executives of the Year event today at Historic 1625 Tacoma Place.

Fourteen finalists — some of the South Sound’s finest CFOs, comptrollers, vice presidents of finance, treasurers and other high level financial officials — came together to be honored in four categories, ranging from small and mid-size business to large employers to nonprofits and government work. Nominations were received from the candidates’ CEOs, colleagues, and from customers and business partners around the community, with a four-member panel of judges selecting an honoree from each category.

In the nonprofit sector, Sue Horgen, senior director of finance and administration at The Rescue Mission in Tacoma, took home highest honors. Mary Schmidtke, who has enjoyed a long financial career at Pierce County and the Pierce County’s Auditor’s Office, was the winner in the government category.

A.J. Gordon, chief financial officer at Tacoma’s SiteCrafting, won the award in the small company group, while among larger private companies, it was Gareth Floyd of PCS Structural Solutions in Tacoma who took the category.

“So often, I’m viewed as the guy that always says ‘no’ around the office,” laughed Gordon. “It’s kind of nice to get an award showing there’s more to what I do than just not approving expense budgets … I’m honored to be here with (all the honorees).”

“All 14, you have amazing stories,” said Schmidtke upon receiving her award. “How much you’ve impacted your work, communities, your state and in many ways, the nation. I appreciate all the contributions you’ve made to our industry … It’s very humbling to get to be around so many great people.”