Women in Business: Stacey Gilligan, tax manager, Burr Pilger Mayer, Santa Rosa

Stacey Gilligan

Tax manager, Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc.

110 Stony Point Rd., Ste. 210, Santa Rosa 95401; 707-544-4078;

Age: 44

Residence city: Santa Rosa

Professional background: I am a CPA and have been in the accounting industry for more than 20 years. I have been a manager with Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM) for the past five and a half years. Previously, I was self-employed providing bookkeeping and consulting services to various companies along with working as an independent contractor during tax season for Andersen & Company, which merged with BPM in 2009. I received my CPA license in Portland, Ore., where I lived and worked for six years before returning to the Bay Area.

Education: B.S., business administration with an accounting emphasis, Sonoma State University.

Staff: 400

Tell us about yourself and your company: I grew up in San Jose and discovered Sonoma State University when looking into colleges. I knew I wanted to study accounting and SSU was a perfect fit with its great accounting program. After graduating, I moved back to San Jose and worked for a local accounting firm. In 1994, my husband and I moved to Portland, where I worked for a sole proprietor and then a larger local firm. After moving back to California in 2000 with a newborn, I connected with the firm Andersen & Company and began working with the firm during the busy season. This arrangement worked well as a new mother. Once Andersen & Company merged with BPM in 2009, I was hired by BPM as a temp during busy season and then as a manager in 2010. BPM is one of the largest San Francisco Bay Area-based full service accounting and consulting firms with six offices including Santa Rosa and St. Helena. We refer to our delivery model as “big firm know how ... small firm know you.” BPM is committed to the community which gives the employees the opportunity to volunteer in a niche they have a passion for. I feel very fortunate to be a board member of Chop’s Teen Club and a weekly reader at Kid Street Learning Center. I have also been treasurer for the Eiermann Memorial Fund “For Pete’s Sake.”

Words that best describe you: Honest, hard working, dependable.

What is a major accomplishment in the past year or so?: I was honored to receive BPM’s 2014 Values Award for Respect. Our local office has grown tremendously over the last few years and my industry specializations include craft brewers and wineries.

What achievement are you most proud of in your career?: Following in my father and grandfather’s shoes by becoming a CPA and making a successful career of it is what I am proud of.

What is your biggest challenge today?: Balancing home and work life is always a challenge, especially during tax season. It is important to know what the expectations of both the family and company are so that no one is let down.

How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?: The industry is constantly evolving with new technology available to make globalization of the accounting industry that much more effective. I anticipate that the services provided to foreign companies and individuals will expand as technology continues to develop.

As a successful female professional, what have been the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?: Accounting was a male dominated profession when I first started. I was raised in an environment that taught me to be independent, self-sufficient, and able to work as a team. Not having worked for any female partners when first entering the industry, it was important that I had the confidence to do my best to succeed.

What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the work world today?: If you have the opportunity to travel or live in another area, do it. Getting out of your comfort zone and expanding your exposure makes for a well-rounded individual.

Current reading: Post tax season, it can take awhile to pick up a “reading solely for pleasure” book. I am currently reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.

Stress-relievers: Sitting outside with a glass of wine with family and/or friends, reading a book.

Favorite hobbies: Snow skiing and hiking, family trips to Tahoe.

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