BH Executive Q&A Series: Dusty Thomas, CFO | Live BH

BH Executive Q&A Series: Dusty Thomas, CFO

January 31, 2024 |

Starting this month, we’re launching the BH Executive Q&A Series, featuring members of our wildly awesome Executive Team. They’ll be sharing thoughts on their role, their career, and the direction of the company in their own words.

First up…we have Dusty Thomas, CFA, CAIA, Chief Financial Officer.

What is the biggest challenge you’re currently facing? How will you overcome it?

Two things come to mind. The first is related to the capital markets and investment opportunities. Rental housing still has long-term tailwinds behind it, but capital formation has been facing some headwinds with the pace of movement in interest rates. Overcoming those headwinds and executing on good investment opportunities is a challenge. Additionally, I am learning a new role. While I have a long history with BH (nearly 8 years), I have a lot to learn as I transition from Managing Director of Capital Markets and Investor Relations to CFO.

To overcome capital markets’ headwinds, we have to stay diligent and patient. We are seeing partners and competitors adjust to this new environment and they are facing real challenges – some for the first time. Our advantage is this is not our first cycle, and we have a great operating platform. If we stay patient and diligent, we should find investment opportunities in the stresses of the overall market.

When it comes to my new role, I must also be patient. Our teams in place are fantastic. I can’t be in a rush to learn everything at once. Patience will be key in wrapping my arms around the full financial function.

What is something you are most proud of working for BH?

One of my first major projects at BH was to aggregate, organize, and analyze BH’s investment track record. While a lot of evidence showed we had a strong track record, it had never been completely organized in a way that could provide concrete evidence. This project took several months to complete, but the final output has been well received by the market, and the original file is updated every quarter.

What is your favorite BH value, and why?

Do business the right way. Too often, companies get into trouble for cutting corners when trying to do things that are good for the company but maybe harmful to its employees, customers, or investors. However, doing the right thing is better for everyone in the long term. I am incredibly proud to work for a company that truly focuses on doing things the right way and that focuses on the long-term benefits of those decisions.

What “keeps you up at night”?

I can’t think of any recurring items that keep me awake at night. There are certainly occasional issues that cause me to lose sleep and worry. Honestly, I am more often kept up at night when we have a great opportunity or initiative that we are working on, and I am too excited and deep in thought about it.

What helps you sleep at night? (In other words, what things help you handle the everyday challenges of your position?).

It is helpful to remind myself of the talented people at all levels of the organization. Delegating duties was something I struggled with early at BH (that was one way to lose a lot of sleep), and I made a personal effort to improve my delegating and bring team members along for growth. Now I sleep like a baby knowing we have such competent teams throughout the organization.

What do you like to do in your free time to relax?

As for hobbies, I like to fish and try to get out on our boat regularly during the summer. I shoot sporting clays and will travel to the Iowa State Shoot and the NC Regional shoot this summer. After our son took a major interest in gaming, my wife and I organized an esports club for third graders and fifth graders in our community. We host weekly meetings to help the kids learn the value of teamwork and perseverance through gaming in a similar way to how they would learn by participating in traditional sports. When I am not doing those things, I am probably reading or listening to a podcast.