Ventura County native Emma Grossman has found a way to use her interest in finance to serve the most vulnerable people in her community.
The 33-year-old Oak Park resident, who began her career in auditing and taxation for national CPA firms in Los Angeles, now serves as the chief financial officer of St. John’s Regional Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital Camarillo.
“I always had it in me to think of others before myself,” she said, adding that her mother, father, sister, grandfather, and uncle are all physicians. “What attracted me to St. John’s and away from the traditional business environment was really being able to make a difference in our community and in our patients’ lives.”
The transition was a successful one, according to the West Ventura County Business Alliance, which this month named her Young Professional of the Year.
As CFO, Grossman leads the company’s financial reporting efforts while managing resources and staffing, the latter being one of her favorite parts of the job.
“The most rewarding part is No. 1 mentorship—watching individuals grow and develop into their successful selves,” she said. “The other piece for me is hearing the patients’ stories. That’s what keeps us going after long days.”
Barry Wolfman, president, and CEO of St. John’s, said Grossman has surpassed all expectations.
“While the pandemic has presented some of the most significant challenges for healthcare and society, Emma has handled it gracefully,” he said. “At a time when resources were not abundant, she and her team consistently went above and beyond to ensure the hospital and community were more than equipped to navigate a surge in patients.”
He describes Grossman as a natural-born leader who prioritizes kindness.
“As a Ventura County native, Emma approaches every project and initiative with one common goal—caring for the community,” he said.
Grossman, who grew up in Westlake Village, became a licensed certified public accountant in 2014 after earning her bachelor’s degree in business studies from New Jersey’s Drew University and her master’s degree in accounting from USC.
She started her career in the healthcare industry as a controller at Los Robles Regional Medical Center, but realized she had loftier ambitions.
“I decided my career goal was really to become a CFO,” Grossman said. “I strive to gather enough business acumen to be that trusted advisor in a company . . . and I felt the CFO role was dynamic and really pushed the envelope.”
Still, she found her work in the healthcare industry fulfilling, which is why she was thrilled when she learned about the job opening at St. John’s in late 2020.
Grossman, who was recognized Aug. 18 at the business alliance’s annual Oxnard Community and Business Awards, said she was honored to simply be nominated.
“I was incredibly humbled, considering the fact that there are so many talented professionals, particularly in Oxnard, below the age of 40 who are doing huge things for our community,” she said. “I try to leave every place and every person I’ve interacted with hopefully a little better off.”
The CFO’s advice to other young professionals?
“Work hard, be patient and relentlessly pursue your goals,” Grossman said.