S&ME, Inc., an employee-owned engineering firm with national reach, announced that Meredith Keyes, CPA, has joined the firm’s Raleigh office as chief financial officer (CFO). In her role, Keyes will provide critical financial and operational leadership to the chief executive officer, executive leadership team and business unit directors across the firm to prioritize financial focus and align them with the overall growth strategy. Additionally, Keyes will oversee the development and evaluation of short and long-term strategic financial objectives.

As the first major hire under newly appointed chief executive officer and president Matt Ryan, Keyes brings a unique strategic planning and consulting eye to the role. Her proven success in financial management, treasury, tax, and mergers and acquisitions has been recognized by the Triangle Business Journal, naming her CFO of the Year in 2015.

“Meredith has a strategic mindset,” said Matt Ryan, S&ME president and chief executive officer. “With a background in public accounting, consulting, construction, and life sciences, she’s always looking around the corner from a financial and business operations standpoint. Her experience spans multiple industries and for a constantly evolving firm like S&ME, that is a huge benefit to our internal team as well as our clients.”

Most recently, Keyes served as the North American chief financial officer of Chiltern International, a global contract research organization. In this role, Keyes led the North American operations through multiple mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, Keyes designed new processes, systems, and implemented new technology solutions to solve issues impacting bottom-line performance.

Prior to that role, Keyes was chief financial officer of The Bobbitt Group, Inc., a design-build commercial general contracting firm. Keyes moved the company forward by enhancing the company’s project forecasting capabilities and treasury management.  Additionally, during her time there, she implemented the required financial teams, functions and policies, as well as orchestrated cultural changes across all levels to accommodate the operational shift.

“The culture, passion and dedication that comes with joining an employee-owned firm is what I look forward to most,” said Keyes. “As CFO, I’m excited to help our team achieve success across all sectors through strategic planning and continued growth.”

Keyes holds a master’s degree in accounting and a bachelor’s degree in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.