Timothy Draftz is a Partner with the largest Chief Financial Officer firm in the US, B2B CFO. He personally serves business owners in KC and the surrounding communities while making his home in Atchison, Kansas. Here’s some other great insight into Tim.
Phyllis – Well to start is it Tim or Timothy? And, will you tell us a little about your childhood?
Tim – I prefer Tim. I didn’t always call Kansas home. I grew up an inner-city kid in Chicago. In my neighborhood, I knew where every gangway lead, which fences were safe to jump and which had a dog behind it. We lived in a walk-up apartment with a single space heater for warmth. My elementary years were a 10-minute walk to the famous Gold Coast and Lincoln Park Zoo on the north side of Chicago. Just a short walk away, I could see how the other side lived. My dad was a blue-collar worker who believed, as he explained, in spending money on his children’s education and life experiences rather than things. At a time when $2 would buy almost half a tank of gas, my dad would leave that money on the dining room table with specific instructions; it was for my brother’s and my art lessons. I remember him saying that it better be used for that and not a treat at the local five and dime! Every Wednesday afternoon for five years, my brother Kevin and I walked two miles to art lessons at the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Dad may not have had a high school education, but he instinctively knew what type of knowledge was needed to be successful and he had a significant impact on my drive and ambition. I was the first person in my extended family to attend and graduate college, and because of my art lessons, I look at business issues differently than most accountants… bigger picture… I can dissect a problem into smaller more manageable sections and then reconstruct them into a more holistic answer, just like creating an art composition or drawing.
Phyllis – What brought you to Kansas?
Tim – Atchison is a long way from Chicago both physically and culturally. I had the unique opportunity to run a manufacturing plant which isn’t an offer many finance executives get. I have a strong background in Lean Manufacturing and Theory of Constraints (how to optimize bottlenecks, to put it simply). Since it was a start-up situation which might not work, I was looking to move to a community with options available. Since I grew up in Chicago, where an hour commute was normal, I looked for a community within an hour commute of the most cities. Atchison fit the bill.
Phyllis – That explains the physical location, but Atchison is nothing like Chicago culturally.
Tim – That’s for sure. The thing that caught our attention, my wife Susan and I, was Benedictine College. It was the first thing that came up when we Googled ‘Atchison’. We liked the idea of a college town and the educational/social opportunities that go with it. We saw it had a vibrant Catholic community with four parishes, a Benedictine Abbey, and a Benedictine Monastery; amazing for a town of ten thousand. One of my eight children had expressed an interest in the Benedictine monastic life so this looked like a bonus to us.
Phyllis – The pendant you are wearing is unusual. Would you tell me about it?
Tim – I don’t make much of an effort to hide my faith, but I don’t speak about it unless asked. Thanks for asking. Actually, I wear a crucifix and not a cross. The difference is that a crucifix is a cross with the corpus of Jesus on it, sort of a Catholic thing. This one is a Benedictine Crucifix with the Medal of Saint Benedict at the center which makes it so unique. I wear it remind myself that I am a Benedictine Oblate.
Phyllis – Okay, what’s that?
Tim – The short answer is ‘someone who wants to be a monk without leaving their day job’. It’s hard to imagine me as a monk since I have eight kids. The real answer is ‘a Christian man/woman who seeks a closer relationship with Christ by following the Rule of Benedict to the best of their ability’. One of the unique things about Benedictine Oblates is that we are associated with a specific Abbey or Monastery. I’m an Oblate of St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, Kansas. Daily, I try to pray morning and evening prayer, read the suggested reading of the Rule for that day, read a passage from the Bible or other spiritual reading, and see Christ in everyone I meet. Of course, there is a lot more to it than that. It helps to keep me grounded and focused on what I believe is truly important in life.
Phyllis – What’s the best thing that ever happened to you?
Tim – That’s easy, Susan agreeing to be my bride. We will celebrate our 37th anniversary this September. Susan has stood by me and encouraged me in everything I have done. We have created and raised eight wonderful individuals; her doing the hard work in every way there. I love my children and we have wonderful, raucous, story-telling family get-togethers. The best times, though, are when Susan and I are together just enjoying each other’s company. I am a rich man because of her in all the important things in life.