Santa Rosa CPA Kerri Berry of Linkenheimer wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award
Responsibilities with your company: Lots - besides helping clients achieve success, helping staff succeed in their jobs, and general administrative duties. I'm also part of the development team. As part of this team, I'm able to work closely with everyone in our office and help each person develop plans to meet personal goals and help define firm goals - long term and short term.
In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?
We're all part of a team - if the team succeeds, I succeed - really just thinking about others before myself, in actions and decisions.
Years with company: 5
Length of time in current position: 8 months
Number of companywide employees: 25
Number who report to you: 20
Greatest professional accomplishment: Becoming a partner was a great accomplishment, but I tend to focus on the smaller accomplishments that keep me going all year - being able to explain a new concept to a staff person or feeling that shift when working with a client from being only their “CPA” to a becoming one of their trusted advisers. These accomplishments let me see the impact on those around me, and keep me motivated in my career.
Greatest professional challenge: Accounting is a great career, and one of the reasons that I enjoy it so much is because while concepts may be similar from client to client, really each project is different, and laws and regulations are always changing - so there is constant learning. While this is an exciting aspect it is also a challenge!
Best advice received: Early on I was told to “work myself out of a job.” This is the best advice I've received because it meant that not only do I need to be proficient, but I needed to help make sure those around me were constantly learning and growing.
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: Being promoted to partner.
What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?
Linkenheimer is consistently focused on our company culture - keeping our team motivated, energized and positive leads to success with our clients and with each other. One way we do this by doing regular team building activities - our last was during our tax season kick off - a cooking class.
Education: Associates degree at Santa Rosa Junior College. Bachelor's degree in business administration, concentration in accounting, and minor in economics from Sonoma State University.
Community/nonprofit activities: St John's CYO Girls Basketball Coach Room parent for 4th and 6th grade at Alexander Valley School Regular volunteer activities through Linkenheimer
Mentor/admired businessperson: Always motivated by success stories of those who started from scratch - but at present my admiration extends to my other partners who all bring something different to the table, and make me strive to improve.
Typical day at the office: There is never a typical day it is ever changing, full of phone calls, meetings, training, and then getting some actual work done!
Best place to work outside of your office: In my backyard enjoying some fresh air and listening to the creek.
Hobbies: You mean besides attending kids sports! Really anything outdoors to get disconnected- camping with the family, hiking, lots of projects at home!
What you wanted to be when you grew up: Veterinarian to work with animals or teacher so I could write on chalkboards!
First job: My first job was working at Farmers Insurance when I was 16 doing administrative work.
Social media you most use: Facebook
Favorite book: I always seem to be reading two or three books at any moment - so favorites tend to change. Anything by Barbara Kingsolver is always a winner.
Favorite movie: Probably the one movie I could watch again and again is “The Notebook”
Favorite App: None
Favorite after-work drink: Vodka soda with lime!
Last vacation: Nicaragua/Costa Rica in January. Our office did an eye care mission in Nicaragua which I was lucky enough to participate in, then we were able to spend a week with the rest of the office and our families in Costa Rica.
What does your mom or dad brag most about you?
They probably brag most about their grandkids! So I guess they're bragging that I'm a good parent.