Senior manager, private company services, Burr Pilger Mayer, 110 Stony Point Rd., #210, Santa Rosa 95401; 707-524-6520; bpmcpa.com
Residence: Santa Rosa
Professional background: CPA since 1986, worked three years in private industry, public accounting since 1983
Education: Bachelor of English Literature, Uuniversity of California, Santa Barbara; 16 credits towards Masters in Taxation at Golden Gate University
Tell us about yourself and your company: I started work at Andersen & Company in 1997, which was a CPA firm of about 17 employees led by Jim Andersen. In 2009, when we’d grown to about 35 employees, we merged with Burr Pilger Mayer, a firm based in San Francisco that employs about 400 people. Lucky for us, they embraced our little firm up in the North Bay and let us keep our office culture, which was invaluable to maintaining good employees and providing excellent client service, which is always our goal. I started out as a manager, and was promoted to Senior Manager after about two years. I work mostly with small-to-medium size businesses, high net worth individuals, as well as estates and trusts. I’m involved with a large variety of projects, including all types of tax returns, compiled and reviewed financial statements, and a considerable amount of consulting services. My specialty is the construction industry.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?: I just graduated from my first year as a member of Class 29 of Leadership Santa Rosa. Just being accepted to this fabulous program was an accomplishment, since Santa Rosa has a stellar program that is very competitive. It’s an amazing curriculum that exposes its participants to all aspects of the county’s operations in order to understand first hand how the city functions.
Its goal is to foster deeper connections to our communities, and encourage and teach participants to become leaders. It brought us in direct contact with many local leaders in government, business and industry, transportation, planning, agriculture, education, media, health and human services, public safety, and tourism. It was a phenomenal experience promoted by our local Chamber of Commerce and I highly recommend it.
[caption id="attachment_75565" align="alignleft" width="162"] Marie Scherf[/caption]
What is the achievement you are most proud of?: Getting my CPA license, for sure! I was pretty proud of it at the time, but as I work with young people now who are studying for the exam and having difficulty passing it, I realize it was something I’ve been proud of for many years.
Or . . . being voted Best Coach in the North Bay office of our firm. Its gratifying to feel like I’m having a positive impact on steering someone’s career, and that they know I’m working on their behalf to help them achieve their goals, and that they can count on me to be there for them if they ever need support or guidance.
What is your biggest challenge today?: Finding a healthy balance between my professional and personal life has been growing more and more difficult over the last couple of years. The economy was hard on many of our clients, and now that things seem to be picking up, the demands of my work seem harder to manage.
Also, finding and retaining young professional staff is very challenging. We’re so lucky to have Sonoma State close by, which graduates a lot of promising accounting students. But it’s still tough to find young people who have the desire to learn our profession and who want to live in Sonoma County.