Gerry O'Toole

Director of Financial Operations
Office of the Vice President for Finance
Award presented by 
Tony Sharon

The individuals we are honoring in the Serving the Client category have distinguished themselves—not just for their skill and ingenuity in meeting their clients’ needs—but in anticipating those needs.

The first person we’re honoring in this category “has customer service in his DNA,” his colleagues say.  His name is Gerry O’Toole, and he is Director of Financial Operations in the office of the Vice President for Finance. Accounts payable, payroll, merchant services, procurement, travel and card services—Gerry oversees it all.

As you might imagine, MIT’s payroll is exceptionally complex. We have varying faculty and student appointments, summer session salaries, employees who are considered employees but don’t have regular salaries, and the list goes on. Gerry O’Toole understands and welcomes the challenge of such complexities. For him, complicated systems are, at root, about the people who are served by them. And those systems must be changed, when they fail to serve.

Gerry has led or implemented broad changes in how we all do business—including the appointment process redesign, travel policy, and Buy2Pay, just to name a few. All required extensive collaboration across campus. As one of his coworker’s said, “Gerry has truly fostered a collaborative environment where the members of the community feel heard and want to partner with VPF.”

Another coworker of Gerry’s shared, “One of his key areas of focus has been how to serve each individual of the MIT community better. Everything he does and says is guided by this principle. Gerry truly believes that our purpose is to improve the lives of those at MIT who are changing the world on a daily basis.”