Robert I. Barocas (D)

Stamford Board of Finance

Sr. Director GE Corporate Finance / Fordham Univ. Gabelli Business School Entrepreneurship Instructor / SWPCA Board Member & Chair Finance Committee
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As an experience Corporate Finance Business-Technology Leader, I will apply my record conceiving, guiding, and implementing commercial growth & operational cost-out strategic transformational change initiatives to benefit our city. $50M of efficiencies and $250M in net new revenue has been achieved as 3-time CxO direct report @ world-class organizations (GE, AXA, WPP plc and JPMorganChase).

As Board Member & Chair for the Finance Committee in the City of Stamford, leading the fiscal policy for its Water Treatment $25M operation, I have partnered cross-functional to bring new thinking from outside of civil norms, to receive AA rated revenue bond funding to use to develop and deploy towards mid-to-long term strategic plans to modernize the infrastructure while being more eco-friendly. Our audits have been flawless year-on-year, the WPCA has a fortress balance-sheet, and, we have maintained user water rates & tactfully improved infrastructure.

I also volunteered my expertise to help the mayor’s cabinet and the executive leadership (across all functions) to modernize the internal financial operations across the city through new cloud-based Enterprise Resource planning (ERP) technologies which have been assessed and recommended to the BOF for implementation.

As a Fordham University Gabelli Business School graduate in Finance & Entrepreneur Instructor at both MBA and undergraduate levels, I bring new innovative ideas and proven methods to test/implement incrementally. I have launched successful profitable commercial business ventures utilizing the lean start-up method (by Eric Reis, NY times best seller) also applied to organization such as GE globally to use continuous innovation to create radically successful departments, divisions, and entire businesses.
As a proud parent of 2 Stamford school system children, I understand the potential the system has. My daughter graduated valedictorian from Stamford High School now graduating Yale University to pursue a law degree to serve as federal public defender. My son received 4 fiscally enticing offers to serve as collegiate athlete following graduation from Trinity High School.

My educational priority and aligned with Caroline’s vision is to not loose residents who fear the Stamford high school system and to provide a compelling alternative to the Stamford private schools. Significant revenue opportunity costs are at risk from this churn and from redirection of funds to private institutions. In addition, the lottery approach to both the elementary and middle magnet schools also result in fearful parents that move out or send their children to private schools if they do not win admission for their children.

I will work across and within all pillars to foster new thinking and test and rebuild the approach currently in place to address these challenges while making high quality education the #1 priority for the city and its parents given Education consumes the largest share of tax revenue. There are prudent techniques successfully used in private sector business and private education to fund infrastructure improvements without tax increases which I would explore to raise capital necessary for school building safety and facility extensions.
The most significant fiscal challenge facing our city is the degree of outside tax revenue needed to fund CAPEX initiatives, pension liabilities and a high degree of 3rd party private contracts consuming our precious dollars. We need to lay the foundation for a new and more productive means to operate through prudent yet proven fiscal management.

This will involve transforming the agencies policies, upskilling its workforce, and modernizing the technologies to run more like a successful business by applying the same rigor that has created the world class organizations for which I have been a part of. This will involve significant commitment to a supportive organization change management agenda methodically applied based on largest payback returns to serve the residents, their families and yield highly productive and satisfied City employees more optimally.