The Green Apple Podcast: there's life beyond the cubicle

“Recovering CPA” John Garrett talks with professionals who are shattering the stereotype by being known at work for a hobby or passion. Accountants, consultants, lawyers and other professionals are doing some really cool things after they leave the office -- things that impact their careers in surprising ways.
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The Green Apple Podcast: there's life beyond the cubicle




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Now displaying: 2016
May 25, 2016

Rebecca Berneck likes to go fast. Really fast. Land speed record holder fast. All on a vintage motorcycle. And when she’s not doing that, Rebecca road races competitively throughout the country.

In this episode, we talk about how she’s incorporated this into her business at Officeheads — from her website pictures to the quotes on her office walls. When talking with clients, she parallels their companies to her motorcycle racing team (pit crew, coach, mechanic, etc.) to show that it’s best not to do it all yourself.

Rebecca is the founder and “Big Head” of Officeheads, providing financial management and strategic coaching to small creative and professional service companies. Prior to starting her business, she spent 15 years as the business manager at RNW Consulting, a boutique strategic management consulting firm in Chicago.

She enrolled at Mankato State University but only put in one year. In lieu of getting a formal higher education, Rebecca jumped in to learn on the job.

Rebecca’s links

May 11, 2016

Christine trains her way to better connections

This year, Christine DeAngelis will complete a half marathon and several obstacle course races, including the Bone Frog Challenge and Spartan Trifecta. Those names alone intimidate me enough to not even want to sign up. But Christine is going to do them all as part of her newfound appreciation for fitness and healthy living after having her daughter a few years ago.

In this episode, we talk about how there are always little points of connection that come up in conversation, you just have to look for them. We also discuss how talking about her races not only provides a point of connection with others but also holds her more accountable to push further.

Christine DeAngelis is the President and CEO of Epiphany Consulting Group, where she helps companies grow by providing outsourced CFO and Controller services. Prior to that, she spent several years in both public accounting and industry. She is a graduate of the AICPA Leadership Academy, was voted one of New Hampshire's Top 10 Young Professionals to Watch and was recognized as one of New Hampshire's 40 Under 40 Young Professionals earlier this year and was even an adjunct professor of Accounting at Southern New Hampshire University.

Christine has a BS in Accounting from the University of New Hampshire and an MSA from Southern New Hampshire University, after which she served as an Adjunct Professor for two years.

May 4, 2016

Kristen views client connections through a different lens

Kristen Rampe is a very busy woman. When she's not running her own consulting firm, she's shuttling her twin boys around and finding free time to pursue her creative side through art of all kinds: photography, painting, drawing, and improv. This provides some balance that she craves after many hours of accounting and consulting work.

We talk about how non-work conversations give depth to relationships, both in the office and with clients. She was reluctant to talk about her art because she didn't feel confident enough to share it at work but turned to other shared experiences like the office co-ed softball team to create stronger connections.

Kristen Rampe is the founder of Kristen Rampe Consulting, where she shows CPA and professional services firms how to use soft skills to get higher profitability.

She graduated from Butler University with a BS in Accounting. While there, she studied abroad at the University of Tasmania.

Apr 27, 2016

Ron clowns his way tobetter business relationships


When he isn’t writing a children’s book, grilling some deliciouspork chops or being a clown in Denver’s Distinguished ClownBrigade, Ron Seigneur is a highly regarded business valuationexpert. In this episode, we talk about how much accounting hasbecome a people-based business, so having hobbies and passionsoutside of work really helps develop those connections.

As Partner, he also looks for people with hobbies and passionsbecause these well-rounded individuals are probably also better atwriting and speaking to clients. Having all the technical knowledgewon’t get you far when you want to generate business.

Ron is a Partner with Seigneur Gustafson LLP in Denver, CO. Heis past chair of the AICPA Accredited in Business Valuationcommittee and NACVA’s Professional Standards Board. He is anadjunct professor at the University of Denver College of Law wherehe teaches leadership and management for law firms.

Ron holds a BA in Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Managementfrom Michigan State University and an MBA in Accounting andCorporate Policy from the University of Michigan.

Apr 21, 2016

Rick is a real court jester


Rick Roberts manages to keep a busy comedy schedule while also being a Partner in a law firm. He’s performed at Caroline’s Comedy Club in New York City as well as Mohegan Sun and several theaters in Connecticut. He regrets not starting sooner because it has been a huge complement to his law career.

In this episode, Rick says that all firms want to have intellectually stimulated staff so why not encourage that? He admits most professional jobs are all-consuming so it’s easy to get into a routine of passive entertainment, like going home and watching television, instead of actively pursuing a passion.


Rick is a partner at Nuzzo & Roberts, a 22 lawyer firm in Cheshire CT, focused on trial work defending people and companies who get sued.

He graduated from Binghamton University and SUNY Buffalo Law School and is now listed in Connecticut and New England Super Lawyers.

John talks with

Rick Roberts




Other pictures of Rick

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Rick on stage at a show in Connecticut.


Rick acting out one of his jokes.


Getting some big laughs at a theater.


Rick’s links

Apr 13, 2016

Megan barbecues up some great coworker relationships

In 2010, Megan Varani and her husband Brian began participating in BBQ competitions in several different states. Just six short years later, they opened Mookie’s BBQ Restaurant and also have a catering business in Northern Virginia.

All of this was made possible thanks to EY leadership giving her the flexibility to get the work done with taking many Fridays off to travel to competitions. She talks about how her sharing provided another connection point with clients and coworkers. And by her sharing more about the BBQ competitions and restaurant, it encouraged others to also open up about their passions.

Megan is an Executive Director with EY in the DC Metro office, focusing on Assurance Financial Services clients. She’s spent the last 14 years with EY. Prior to that, she was an Audit Staff with Arthur Andersen prior to being merged into EY.

Megan graduated from Marietta College with a BA in Accounting and a minor in Leadership Studies.

Apr 6, 2016

Misty makes the workplace her stage


When she was growing up, Misty was so shy she used to hide behind her parents in family pictures. That all changed after taking an acting class. Now she regularly acts and directs theater shows while also working in business development in the accounting industry. Thank goodness we didn’t arm wrestle because CPA Practice Advisor named Misty as one of the Most Powerful Women in Accounting.

In this episode, we laugh. A lot. And then Misty talks about how when she began to open up at work, she stopped “acting” and became herself. And how something as simple her team’s daily 10-minute walks creates lasting connections.


Misty is the VP of Business Development at CPA Academy, where she continues to follow her great passion for helping companies and sole proprietors grow to their fullest potential. She also spends time as the co-founder of The Theater of Marketing, a creative marketing business.

Misty has a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University-East Bay.

John talks with

Misty Megia




Other pictures of Misty

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Misty, the Director, poses after opening night.


Misty poses with Mathew Wiener, Tony Hawk, and Trevor Noah.


Misty performing in “All Shook Up”.


Misty’s links

Mar 30, 2016

MB’s stained glass projects make for colorful client relationships


Several years ago, a friend invited MB (Mary Beth) to a stained glass workshop and now she can’t stop. And when the stained glass studio made the move to QuickBooks, you better believe they called MB first. So her passion led directly to a new client that she still has today.

In this episode, MB talks about how people sense when you’re not being true to yourself. When they sense this, it makes them not want to interact with you which could really hinder your ability to serve your clients well.


MB does QuickBooks consulting and training, having trained more than 12,000 QuickBooks users and accounts. Prior to this, she had a full-time tax and accounting practice. She is a CPA, CITP and Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Dayton and an MS in Taxation from the University of New Haven.

John talks with

MB Raimondi




Other pictures of MB

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MB poses with Brad Smith, President & CEO of Intuit.


Teaching a QuickBooks workshop at the Scaling New Heights Conference.


MB’s favorite stained glass project.


MB’s links


Mar 23, 2016

Clients enjoy that John is a modern day George Plimpton


John Choe has played an inning of professional and he’s also tried out with an NHL team. And you better believe that clients and coworkers gravitate toward these stories, especially in the sports-obsessed stock picking world. One client compared John to George Plimpton, famous for his “participatory journalism”, where he would do an activity once and then write about it.

In this episode, he talks about how he used the skills he developed in the office to open the door to these professional sports opportunities and how it’s greatly increased his relationships at work. And if you’re in a place that doesn’t encourage this, you can still find a small group of the right people to do so.


John is a Security Analyst with FinArc Investments and responsible for researching, analyzing, and recommending stocks to the investment committee. Previously, he held research analyst positions at Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management, Inc. and State Street Global Advisors.

John earned a Bachelor of Science degree in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

John talks with

John Choe




Other pictures of John

(click to enlarge)


John getting ready to make his professional baseball debut.


John gets an at-bat for the CornBelters in Bloomington-Normal, IL.


John tries out for goalie for the NHL’s Florida Panthers.


John’s links

Mar 17, 2016

Jim races his way to better coworker relationships


Jim Fahey, or “Captain Noncharge” as he’s been called, has a lot of hobbies — competitive Scrabble, fly fishing, visiting Major League Baseball stadiums, driving remote control cars and autocross. He’d be enough to fill three episodes but we crammed it all into this episode. And the next time I visit Ohio, I’m going to get a test ride in Jim’s Toyota MR2.

Jim talks about a really cool activity he’s doing every month with the staff at HBK to help reinforce the Green Apple message.


Jim Fahey is the Chief Learning Officer at HBK CPAs & Consultants. He has many years of CPA firm experience working in human resources, recruiting, training and development, technology and practice management — working for everything from a small local firm, then a regional firm and now a Top100 national firm.  This broad experience helps him understand the unique needs of the staff.

Jim obtained his bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Human Resources from the University of Akron.



Other pictures of Jim

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Jim attends an Autocross event with his HBK co-worker Rob.


There are many things hanging in Jim’s office, including this Scrabble board.


Jim’s Toyota MR2.


Jim’s links

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