The Green Apple Podcast: don't let professionalism suffocate your personality

“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. We discuss how these passions continue to impact their career in surprising ways.
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The Green Apple Podcast: don't let professionalism suffocate your personality



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Jul 14, 2016

Joe Fleenor is crazy about triathlons. He only started participating in them seven years ago but all of his coworkers and clients know this is one of his passions. Running was boring, so he needed three sports rolled up into one so it could help keep his attention.

In this episode, we talk about how if he didn’t bring his personal life to the workspace, he’d be miserable. He’s seen too many people get disgruntled by letting professionalism consume them, so be proactive. Simply sharing his passion has lead to deeper relationships because getting to know each other better means a deeper level of trust.

Joe Fleenor is the Director of Events & Client Relations for The Rainmaker Companies. Prior to this, he planned tournaments for the United States Tennis Association. He’s also very active in planning triathlons, including the River Bluff Triathlon in a few weeks.

He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in Education and Sports Management.

Jul 6, 2016

Looking at Mary Yetto, it might not be obvious that she loves to be outdoors. She’s an avid hunter and also a veteran kickball player, both of which have helped her create stronger connections both in the office and with clients. Being an ethical hunter and using patience are skills that directly translated over to her auditing career.

In this episode, we talk about how much pressure if on the managers to create a corporate culture that encourages sharing of hobbies and passions to increase employee engagement. Every new staff person needs to know that their manager is there for them and is supportive of everyone having an interest outside of work. Mary also believes that the biggest barrier to not sharing is yourself.

Mary Yetto works as an Assurance Manager for BDO. Prior to that, she worked at KPMG, then Hartman, Leito, and Bolt (who later merged with BDO).

She is a graduate of Texas Tech University, with her Master of Science in Accounting.

Jun 28, 2016

Evan Hackel loves skiing. So much so that he says it's more than a passion -- it's an addiction. He averages 60-80 days on the slopes each season, skiing all over the world. In addition to being a successful businessman who has started more than 10 companies in his career, Evan is also the Head Coach for the Mexican Freestyle Ski Team.

In this episode, Evan talks about how learning to ski is similar to learning how to run a successful business. The most important thing is to know how to stop safely so you can go full speed ahead, rather than using the snow plow technique that many skiiers and business leaders use. And I love how says that life is more than just business, so have a passion about something outside of work.

Evan Hackel is the Founder and Principal of Ingage Consulting, a consulting firm headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts. He is also the author of the book Ingaging Leadership.

He is a graduate of Boston College - Wallace E. Carroll Graduate School of Management.

Jun 22, 2016

When Edie Gardner turned 40, she set a goal to have an experience in all 50 states over the next ten years. Mission accomplished! The stories she shares from driving through the snowy mountains in Colorado, to visiting Cracker Barrel in Tennessee, to Mount Rushmore, all helped her create stronger relationships with her clients.

In this episode, we talk about how important bucket lists are and how it gave her a sense of purpose -- while also remembering to enjoy the journey. She talks about how the best employees are those that have passions they use to enrich their jobs. This makes work more enjoyable and gives you something to look forward to.

Edie Gardner is a CPA and counselor who can audit your financials and then ask you how you feel about the numbers. She's had careers in public and private accounting and social work but is now a stay-at-home mom with a new business of storybookkeeping which is part accounting, part counseling, part organization of papers, and part creation of bucket lists for living a truly happy life. .

Edie graduated from the University of Santa Clara with a BS in Accounting. She later received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California.

Jun 15, 2016

Jen started juggling in middle school and hasn’t stopped since, now teaching corporate audiences to be more balanced and productive. She took the balancing act literally as she spent several years performing juggling shows at night while working as a structural engineer in New York City.

You can catch Jen as she tours nationally as a speaker, educator and host that has been on The Late Show with David Letterman, ABC News, Fox, Huffington Post Live, Good Day Sacramento, Good Day Philadelphia, Off-Broadway and TEDx stages — and now, the Green Apple Podcast.

Jen Slaw worked as a structural engineer in NYC for 6 years until she quit to become a professional juggler. She serves as the director of Juggling Life, a non-profit with a mission to engage, inspire & emotionally heal ill & disadvantaged youth through interactive juggling and performing arts programs.

She was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated from Swarthmore College with degrees in Art & Engineering.

Jun 8, 2016

Ruth Ross learned how to play poker at age 10 from her father. Little did she realize that it would give her the skills to develop into a Human Resources executive. Combined with her love of travel, she’s played poker all over the world — from Las Vegas to Monte Carlo.

In this episode, Ruth talks about how poker gives her the ability to work on her “gut instinct” to read others, which is often very useful in dealing with office issues. She parallels employee engagement with poker, saying that we’re each dealt a hand at work and we need to decide whether to fold or go “all in”.

Ruth is an engagement evangelist, speaker, and author at R Squared Resources. She wrote the book “Coming Alive: The Journey to Reengage Your Life and Career”. Prior to this, Ruth spent 30 years as a Human Resources professional, working her way up to Executive Vice President.

She graduated from Syracuse University with a BS in Human Development and Business. She later went on to get her MS in Counseling from Northeastern University.

Jun 1, 2016

Kelly Richmond Pope is on a mission to show what an accountant is not. She’s shattering the stereotype of an accounting professor by continuously looking for new ways to keep students engaged by learning with different media. Her latest project is a feature documentary All the Queens Horses about the largest municipal fraud in U.S. history.

In this episode we talk about how important it is to tell stories to make your point stick with the listener, whether that’s accounting students or audit clients. Kelly also brings up how important it is to always bring your best self to work, which means not hiding your hobbies or passions. Be sure to stay to the end because we have a lot of laughs during the “Get to know Kelly” rapid fire questions.

Kelly Richmond Pope currently teaches forensic accounting at DePaul University in Chicago and is the founder of Helios Digital Learning. She is also a fraud filmmaker, entrepreneur, and self-proclaimed educational evangelist.

She received her Ph.D. in accounting from Virginia Tech University.

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.

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