Awards and Recipients
Financial Executives International (FEI) is the premier association for CFO’s and other
senior financial executives in the United States and Canada.
William K. Phelan
The American Bar Association
William (Bill) Phelan is a highly experienced and well-rounded finance professional. Bill has extensive board experience, both interfacing with boards as management and serving as the chair of both the board and the audit committee of a publicly traded company.
Bill has been a Certified Public Accountant for 35 years. He has extensive experience across all finance disciplines – his greatest strengths being in controllership, treasury, and complex transactions. Throughout his career Bill has consistently demonstrated his critical thinking skills – identifying the key issues of a matter, considering all implications, and then focusing resources for resolution.
Currently Bill serves as the Sr. Associate Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer of the American Bar Association (“ABA”), one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations and the national voice of the legal profession. In addition to finance, Bill is also responsible for Human Resources, Development, Meetings & Travel, and Administrative Services for the ABA. Bill joined the ABA as its CFO in 2013.
Prior to joining the ABA, Bill was with Sears Holdings Corporation (and its predecessor Sears, Roebuck and Co.) for 21 years where he progressed to Senior Vice President – Finance and was responsible for accounting, tax, treasury and insurance activities for the enterprise. He also served as Controller and Chief Accounting Officer for Sears Holdings from May, 2005 until January, 2012 and as acting Chief Financial Officer in 2011. Bill’s career began with Deloitte where he led audit engagements of multibillion-dollar companies and large not-for-profit enterprises.
Bill served on the board, audit committee and compensation committee of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc., a publicly-traded company listed on the NASDAQ from October 2015 to April 2019, and he chaired both the board and audit committee.
Bill graduated from the University of Notre Dame and earned his CPA in 1985. He currently resides in Hoffman Estates, IL where he and his wife Lynn raised four children.