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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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Jan 25, 2017

Jon Chudy did something he had always dreamed about since he was a kid -- play professional baseball. While his pro pitching career was short-lived, those skills he developed from years of playing baseball have translated directly to his accounting career. Not only that, but the fact he played baseball even helped him land the job!

In this episode, we talk about being a teammate, managing a rigorous schedule and mental toughness all helped him get through his first Busy Season. It helps that Jon feels comfortable where he works, which means he's able to communicate with everyone and makes the bonds between coworkers even stronger.

Jon Chuddy works as an Accountant for Keith Boyer, CPA LLC. Prior to that he was a Professional Baseball Player for the Fargo Moorhead RedHawks.

He graduated from Pace University – Lubin School of Business with Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting/Finance.

Jan 23, 2017

The Green Apple Podcast is going to start doing weekly "Green Apple Slices", where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments will be released each Monday, so don't miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or Stitcher.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a Wall Street Journal article, "How to Build Instant Rapport in an Interview: Small talk can have a big impact on the outcome; tips from bartenders and comedians" by Sue Shellenbarger.

Jan 19, 2017

Rebecca Kelley grew up taking one big family trip a year — to Mexico every Spring Break. Since then, she has visited a total of 14 countries, even studying abroad in India while she was in college. She’s hiked in Inca trails to Machu Picchu in Peru and hiked the Alps in Switzerland, all while working hard to become a Partner at EKS&H. She feels that these trips allow her to totally disconnect so she returns with a fresh perspective.

In this episode, we talk about how it’s important to find a place that shares similar values as you. If you feel supported by the culture then you’re more likely to share, making work more fun and relationships more meaningful. A lot of us feel the pressure to know everything when we start, especially at a larger firm, so it’s up to management to tell them it’s okay to ask questions and feel a little vulnerable. In the end, Rebecca says, “It’s not about the accounting… it’s about the people.”

Rebecca Kelley is a Partner at EKS&H, where she’s spent her entire accounting career.

She received her BS in Accounting from the University of Denver.

Jan 11, 2017

Scott Usher’s first theater audition was for a background role in South Pacific. When the Director found out he knew all the songs, he was immediately cast. Since then, he hasn’t looked back, doing 1-2 performances a year — one time even acting opposite his wife. Scott says, “If you’re committed to doing what it takes to do the work, you’ll put the work first when it has to be first. Otherwise, you should be doing your hobby.”

In this episode, we talk about how his Bachelor of Arts degree combined with his theater experience has really helped him in the business world. At the very least, Scott feels that he is now much more open to conversations with both coworkers and clients, realizing that work can be very high stress so we need to lighten up when we can. He is the living example of someone that can indeed pursue their passions and have a successful business career.

Scott Usher is a CPA and a principal with the Seattle-based firm of Bader Martin.

He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Washington and his Masters of Science in Taxation from Golden Gate University.

Jan 4, 2017

Holly DeVito and her husband started remodeling houses several years ago on a whim as they wanted to update the house they were living in. A few houses later, they are now finishing up a farmhouse project — made even more challenging since they did it while they were also living there. She really enjoys having a vision and seeing it come together. Holly said there are many skills that have translated directly to her work, including patience, project management, budgeting and most importantly, dealing with chaos.

In this episode, we talk about how she first kept her hobbies separate from work early in her career. Now, she has clients talking to her about their farms and other remodeling projects. She didn’t realize how much it actually happened until we talked at the Quickbooks Connect Conference a few months ago. I really like how she approaches clients and coworkers for lifetime relationships, not just transactional ones.

Holly DeVito is the Founder and CEO of Sum of All Numbers, a bookkeeping and payroll services firm. Prior to that, she was the CFO at The American Red Cross.

She studied International Business Management at Brigham Young University – Hawaii and Utah State University.

Dec 28, 2016

Rachel Fisch really enjoys singing. And she happens to be really good at it as well. So much so that she was the director of a choir and sang a duet for her church's Christmas service. If you're lucky, she might also break out the chorus of a song mid-conversation if you happen to say a word that triggers it.

In this episode, we talk about her transition from bookkeeping business to owner to Senior Manager at Deloitte Canada. There happens to be a Partner in the office who also enjoys singing, so she's been able to make a connection right away with her new coworkers. Once she started delivering CPE, she realized how similar it was to being a Choir Director -- there's a wide variety of people at different levels that all need to understand the same information.

Rachel Fisch is currently working at Deloitte Canada as a Senior Manager in Accounting. Prior to that, she was the owner of FischBooks, a bookkeeping services firm.

She attended Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and later Assiniboine Community College. She is also a Quickbooks Online Certified ProAdvisor.

Dec 21, 2016

Brad Moore served in the Canadian Special Forces and has used this experience every day in his corporate career, especially as a CEO. His military training taught him to move toward activity and face challenges head on, letting specialists do what they do best to accomplish the mission.

In this episode, we talk about how he teaches parts of his military training, breaking things down into a series of tasks and instilling the idea of being accountable to each other. Taking a little time to show them the fundamentals gives the team confidence to overcome any obstacle together. In his words, "anyone can be developed if the right mechanisms are in place."

Bradley Moore is the CEO of Fundamental Applications Corp., which designs, develops, markets and acquires innovative mobile applications for college students. Prior to that, he was sales management with Eastman Kodak Company and a few internet companies.

He holds an MBA from Royal Roads University.

Dec 14, 2016

Dawn Brolin is all about having fun, especially in the office. Whether it’s nerf guns or shooting hoops outside, she is right there in the center of it all, which is pretty unique considering she’s the CEO. In her words, “If money is what drives you then you’ve got it all wrong.”

In this episode, we talk about how having fun at work has led to increased productivity, better morale and stronger connections at work. In fact, her clients are even drawn to the fact that Team Brolin can serve their needs despite not being focused on work all the time.

Dawn Brolin is a CPA, MSA, and  Managing Member of Powerful Accounting. She has been named One of the Most Powerful Women in Accounting for 5 Years Running.

She has her Masters in Accounting from Eastern Connecticut University, where she scored the winning run for the softball team’s national championship.

Dec 7, 2016

Bailey Smith’s is best summed up by her twitter byline which reads, “Accounting is her trade, music is her passion.” Going to a Vertical Horizon concert in 2000 reignited her passion for live music, causing her to set a goal to attend more live concerts and to learn to play the bass guitar. Years later, she is now friends with the band, regularly attends live concerts (tracked in an Excel spreadsheet) and is taking lessons on her bass guitar. She’s even the Treasurer for Friends of Levitt Pavilion in Denver which is helping build a new music venue downtown.

In this episode, we talk about how she’s a naturally shy person, so it took her some time to open up to coworkers and clients. She soon learned the importance of sharing and, just as importantly, asking others to share as well. While most of us are very busy and just focused on getting the work done so we can go home, it’s important to take a few minutes to develop those connections.

Bailey Smith is the owner of Sopris Accounting Solutions, an accounting/bookkeeping/consulting firm. Prior to this, she worked in public accounting for EKS&H.

She attended the University of Denver where she received both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Accounting.

Nov 30, 2016

Several years ago, Jen Gardner saw a flyer for learning roller derby basic skills. She thought she might enjoy it because she grew up figure skating and tried her hand at hockey in college but couldn't quite master the puck handling. After a few roller derby lessons, it was clear she was a natural and now she's a regular player on Mob Squad in the Providence Roller Derby League.

In this episode, we talk about how letting professionalism win turns you into a stock photo. Like many of us, Jen was reluctant to share her roller derby passion with coworkers and clients because of the firm culture and how she felt others would judge her. A combination of moving to a different company and being more experienced with her work, she found that as she started talking about her hobbies more, people started to open up as well and stronger relationships were formed. So much so that the owner of her current firm has attended some of her roller derby bouts!

Jen Gardner is the Corporate Controller at The Copley Consulting Group. Prior to that, she worked in public accounting and then in a company’s Internal Audit Department.

She is a graduate of The University of Rhode Island with her M.S. in Accounting.

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