Marilyn Cleeff joins Presbyterian Foundation as SVP, CFO

June 17, 2020 by Robyn Davis Sekula

Marilyn Cleeff joined the Presbyterian Foundation as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in June 2020.

Ms. Cleeff was attracted to working for the Foundation because of its mission and ministry. She has long had a heart for service, and felt that this position used all of her skills and experience plus met her need to see her values lived out in an organization. “It is amazing to me to work with a team that is so service-oriented and so focused on taking care of people and meeting their needs as they serve the world,” Ms. Cleeff says. “Our senior management meetings start with prayer and devotional time to focus our thoughts and energy on serving Christ, and it’s really beautiful to witness and enjoy.

Marilyn Cleeff

“The mission of the Presbyterian Foundation is an excellent fit for my skill set, with a strong focus on protecting assets for continuing the work of the church far into the future.”

Ms. Cleeff moved from the Chicago area to take the position. The Foundation is located in Jeffersonville, Indiana, across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) headquarters is located in Louisville.

“We are excited to have Marilyn joining our team,” says Tom Taylor, President and CEO, of the Presbyterian Foundation. “This role is a really important position for us and it was crucial to have someone with exemplary qualifications as well as a heart for the ministry that we do. Marilyn was clearly that person, and we’re so pleased she has joined us.”

Job responsibilities

Ms. Cleeff is responsible for all of the Presbyterian Foundation’s fiduciary and financial operations and for helping to determine the best opportunities for innovation and efficiency in the delivery of services.

She will also carry out the fiscal responsibilities of the Foundation President/CEO in that person’s absence. Ms. Cleeff will oversee the controller, the Information Systems department, operations, and all financial matters. Ms. Cleeff will articulate financial policy and results to the PC(USA) at large, General Assembly, Presbyterian Mission Agency, and other key bodies and constituents, fostering an understanding of the Foundation’s positive impact and financial status.

In supervising the controller, Ms. Cleeff will oversee relationships with auditors of the Foundation and its subsidiaries; supervise the proper valuation, custody, and investment of all corporate assets; ensure compliance with all relevant local, state, and federal regulations for tax returns and transactions; collaborate with the President/CEO and General Counsel on risk management and insurance where appropriate. She will provide full support to the Board’s Audit and Compliance Committee.

Ms. Cleeff is also responsible for identifying opportunities for the Foundation’s global Creative Investments and providing appropriate due diligence and monitoring.

Prior experience

Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Cleeff devoted over 25 years to serving as a senior executive and independent consultant to successful organizations providing client services to the financial industry. Ms. Cleeff has a unique and diverse mix of accounting, audit, regulatory and operations experience that has enabled her to serve as a key resource in the development and control of financial reporting systems for broker-dealers, proprietary trading companies, fund advisors, and fund administrators.

Ms. Cleeff was Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of Price Asset Management, LLC, a registered investment adviser, North American Controller of MF Global, Inc. a broker-dealer; Chief Financial Officer of Iowa Grain Company, a futures clearing firm; Director of Treasury for Mizuho Securities, Inc. in Chicago; and Managing Director of Spectrum Global Fund Administration.

Ms. Cleeff holds an EMBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BS in accounting from the University of Illinois. Ms. Cleeff is a CPA and an NFA principal. Ms. Cleeff was on the board of directors of Reading Power, Inc, a non-profit literacy tutoring program, and the Kellogg Executive Women’s Network.

Robyn Davis Sekula is Vice President of Communications and Marketing at the Presbyterian Foundation. She can be reached at (502) 569-5101 or robyn.sekula@presbyterianfoundation.org.