Steven Rios has been operating at the intersection of finance and manufacturing for fifteen years, working his way up from his first in-house position as a staff accountant at American manufacturer Olin Corporation to his current role as director of finance at Pharma Tech Industries. But in the past year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the business landscape, Rios has been forced to rethink and recalibrate.
Rios laid the foundation for his career in finance in 2003. Having already earned an associate’s degree from James H. Faulkner State Community College, he enrolled at the University of South Alabama and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in just two years. He soon found a position at Bizzell, Neff & Galloway, a Florida-based CPA firm that focuses on providing financial and consulting services to both individuals and business owners.
In 2006, Rios’s talent caught the eye of the Olin Corporation. There, his knack for variance analysis and process improvement proved to be very advantageous to the company—after working as a staff accountant for just over a year, Rios was promoted to project scheduler, project accountant, and eventually to senior accountant.
After leaving Olin in June 2012, Rios spent nearly five years expanding his knowledge of corporate finance. As a lead specialist at ThyssenKrupp, a German multinational conglomerate renowned for its industrial solutions, materials services, and steel production, Rios proved his ability to support a company operating at a global scale. Later, as a cost accounting manager at Heatcraft Worldwide Refrigeration, he cultivated a specialized knowledge of a niche area of the manufacturing industry.
Since joining Pharma Tech in 2016, Rios has put every one of his skills to good use, first as a plant controller, later as a controller at the company’s headquarters in Athens, Georgia, and now in his role as director. A leader in the manufacturing industry, Pharma Tech has worked with prominent health and wellness brands for nearly fifty years. Today, the company produces a wide variety of topical powders, inhalation devices, medical devices and supplies, and other products that target complex conditions such as high cholesterol and diabetes.
Despite the variety of its offerings, Pharma Tech retains its focus on quality. Over the years, the company has been recognized numerous times for its business and technical excellence—indeed, in 2011 alone, the company received both Perrigo’s Supplier Excellence Award and Life Science Leader’s “CMO” Leadership Award and was also named as a finalist for the Cox Family Enterprise Center’s Family Business of the Year award.
Since taking on the position of director of finance in May 2020, Rios has been working to ensure that the company maintains this reputation. He and the other members of the Pharma Tech executive leadership team have been working to identify areas of growth, opportunity, and improvement. According to Rios, the leadership team plans to institute new financial structures within the company in addition to bolstering Pharma Tech’s national construction projects.
But all of these plans, Rios emphasizes, have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a supplier of critically needed medical devices and supplies, Pharma Tech has had a responsibility to continue operating throughout the pandemic. But in order for that to happen, Rios points out, things had to change.
Every individual working in a Pharma Tech facility required appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Some facilities had to pivot due to the increased demand for certain medical products, meaning that the company also had to update its overall strategy. Rios himself had to support the company through these changes while learning the ins and outs of his new position.
But Rios—and his entire team at Pharma Tech—have adapted. By focusing on the company’s key values of integrity, stewardship, humility, optimism, and working together, they have found a way forward.
Rios particularly emphasizes the importance of the last value, noting that he has made it a point to understand and work with business leaders across all functions. To his mind, working with people with different backgrounds and different areas of expertise is not a challenge but a joy—especially when it means making a true impact on the nation’s well-being.
Creating opportunities is what we’re all about. CliftonLarsonAllen would like to congratulate Steven Rios of Pharma Tech Industries for his exceptional leadership and the opportunities he creates for his community. Congratulations on your success!