Tracey Ruiz of Novato's Martz Accountancy wins 2019 Latino Business Leadership Awards
Tracey Ruiz, MBA
Professional Background: Firm Administrator, Martz Accountancy Corporation – 2013 to current
Freelance Writer/Editor Marin Patch online news
Local Programming Manager, North Bay for Comcast Cable
Freelance television technical director for live sports broadcasts
Education: Bachelor of Art’s in broadcast communications, San Francisco State University; bachelor of science in business management, San Francisco State University; MBA strategic leadership, Dominican University of California, San Rafael; paralegal certificate, Sonoma State University; and human resources certificate, Sonoma State University
Tell us our story and that of your organization: I am an officer of a tax firm in Novato with my husband Tom Martz, CPA.
Tom has thirty-five years of experience in taxation.
In 2013, he decided to break from a larger tax firm and start a boutique company with an emphasis on trust and estate taxation, Martz Accountancy Corporation.
I was transitioning out of my career in media and joined Tom’s firm during start up. My initial responsibilities were to find Class A office space in Novato that was conveniently located for a San Rafael client base. We selected a space near one of the most identifiable locations in Novato, the Vintage Oaks/Costco Mall.
I was involved in all aspects of lease negotiation, client transfer, employee selection, and all start up administration for the new firm. I worked with the contractor and vendors for build out and oversaw development of the company’s logo and branding materials.
As the company approaches its six-year anniversary, its success is evident by long-time client retention and new client acquisition.
As the firm administrator, my position has expanded to include integrating large blocks of new clients from retiring CPAs, while continuing to provide quality and personalized service to existing clients.
On the surface, the accounting and tax industry appears very different from my former career in media. But they have three major similarities that appeal to me. They are deadline-driven team environments where we are all focused on doing our best work for our clients.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year you would like to share?
In February 2019, the City of Novato received a letter from an attorney, alleging racially polarized voting in Novato. To avoid costly litigation, the city voted to shift to district elections and had 90 days to develop a district map for the entire city.
Citizens were allowed to provide input and submit map drafts. I spent over 80 hours within a three-week period to develop three alternative maps and a spreadsheet for the city council to compare and evaluate all of the maps submitted.
I shared my drafts on social media for citywide input and allowed the use of my drafts as a base for other citizen-drafted maps.
My map was selected in a 5-0 vote by the city council from a field of 22 maps, including five maps drafted by the consultant’s team. The November 2019 election will be the first use of the new district map.
I’m proud to have created a map that I believe will lead to more diversity and Latino participation on the city council. However, increased Latino leadership in local government requires a district approach to the city’s commissions and citizen’s boards, where experience and collaboration skills are developed.