(St. Louis, MO, October 11, 2022) KAI Enterprises proudly announces the promotion of KAI Vice President of Finance Shawn Lewinski, CPA to Chief Financial Officer and KAI Controller Amanda Schwane, MSA to Vice President of Finance & Controller. They will also be serving in these roles for sister firm The UP Companies (UPCO).
In their new positions, Lewinski and Schwane will oversee the finance and accounting functions for both KAI and UPCO, with a focus on aligning talent, functions and processes that provide best class services to internal operating customers, ownership groups, external stakeholders, partners and customers.
Lewinski and Schwane both joined KAI in December 2021. Lewinski has nearly 25 years of finance and accounting experience, having previously worked for large privately held firms, public companies and Big Four audit and tax firms. He has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
“When Amanda and I joined KAI, we talked with leadership a lot about the Shared Services concept for finance. We formulated a plan and merging UPCO Finance with KAI Finance is the next step in the process,” said Lewinski. “Once fully integrated and functional, the Shared Services model will enable us to efficiently support growth across both organizations. I’m really excited to see what the combined team can accomplish.”
Schwane has nearly 12 years of accounting experience. Prior to KAI, she held accounting positions at Scottrade Inc., MasterCard International, Centene Corporation and EGA America Inc. She has a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a minor in Accounting from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a master’s in Accounting from Maryville University.
“When we get everything up and running full-speed, we will have even better controls with our intercompany and sister company billing and a complete dashboard to see cross-company tracking and real-time, budget-to-cost comparisons,” said Schwane. “We are excited about KAI and UPCO’s future because with the proper accounting infrastructure in place, much more is possible to achieve than we ever thought was possible.”
The recent retirement of UPCO CFO Rick Stemler created an opportunity for KAI and UPCO leadership to implement its vision for shared accounting services sooner than expected.
“Our accounting team has done amazing work for KAI over the past six months. Under the leadership of Shawn and Amanda, we have performed a historic turnaround of our books, systems and team. All these corrections and improvements have allowed our leadership team to make sound timely decisions,” said KAI and UPCO CEO Michael B. Kennedy. “This is an exciting time in the evolution of our companies and a real opportunity to step up, focus on teamwork and technical excellence, and live the process.”
When Kennedy and his partners conceived The UP Companies (which includes Power UP Electrical Contractors, Square UP Builders and Hustle UP Laborers) in 2010, they envisioned a ‘co-op’ model of design and construction that would benefit from a formal and informal association with KAI, which offers architecture, engineering and general contracting services. Several months ago, Kennedy and the KAI leadership team made significant changes and investment in the KAI accounting and finance group. Part of this move was made with an eye toward organizing and integrating a full-service accounting team to align with leadership’s original vision.
“Our businesses at both The UP Companies and KAI have grown significantly and become infinitely more complex and geographically diverse in recent years. It was time to take the next step towards realizing our goals for shared support services and address the complexities and new challenges that both growing companies face today,” said UPCO President Brian Arnold.