Our office has a well-deserved reputation for being a fun place to work – and it’s all because of the people! I interviewed our Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) team so you can get to know the women behind the money at Zen Planner. Without further adieu: the first installment in our new “Meet Our…” series.
Who are you?
N: I’m Nicole Kennedy (at right, in teal) – I’m the Director of Finance. I’ve been here for two and a half years. I started as Controller and then moved to Director about six months ago
M: I’m Meg Heinz (at left, in black); I’ve been here almost two years. I’m our Operations and Analytics Manager and Payment Processing Product Manager,and I’m in FP&A with Nicole.
What’s the difference between Controller and Director of Finance – how did your job change?
N: Nothing technically changed; I still do basically everything I did before, but the Controller side of the business is much more back-office accounting. Director of Finance encompasses both. Accounting and finance go hand in hand, but financial strategy is more of my focus now, and in the future, someone will do more of the accounting side of things.
What did you do before Zen Planner?
N: I started my career in public accounting. I did audit for a large private real estate company in New York, and I moved to a publicly held real estate company and did their SEC reporting. I moved back to Denver and did financial operations for a mining company; I was helping field people understand their business profitability for each of their segments.
M: I was also in public accounting here in Denver and my largest client was a telecommunications company. Other than that, I had a few nonprofits and a few smaller manufacturing companies.
What do you like to do outside of the office?
N: I love to travel, both domestically and internationally, and obviously I like to stay active – hiking, skiing, or working out, yoga, spin, stuff like that. I also love to spend time with my friends and my dog, Pepper.
M: I like to play with my dogs, take them hiking and do anything outside, and I like to work out – I’ve played soccer my whole life, so any competitive sport is my jam. Creatively, I like to do house projects and DIY stuff, even smaller craft stuff.
How do you like to sweat?
M: If I don’t sweat when I work out I feel like I didn’t work out.
N: I like to try new things. Boutique fitness is such a thing right now, and Fitwall or other new up-and-coming modalities – I love to try those.
What do you order at Starbucks?
M: Right now? It changes with the season!
N: Meg and (Senior Marketing Manager) Kinnick got me hooked on matcha, so I’ll order a Venti ice water with three scoops of matcha, which is a good Chinese green tea. It’s crazy strong. It’s awesome. Or a cold brew in the summer.
M: She stole mine, that’s exactly what I had!
N: But you like the sweet cream cold brew.
M: Yeah but with half the sweet cream because otherwise it’s too sweet.
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
M: I was big into dance and dance competitions when I was little, and I was always the smallest because I didn’t grow until high school. I was the top of the pyramid for the big finale of this jazz recital, and a girl that was supposed to be my backup got freaked out and ran offstage and I fell backwards – like, feet in the air. My dad has a picture of it.
If you could design a billboard, what would it say and where would you put it?
N: “We’re all just fancy monkeys. Stay curious.” I would want it in every major city to remind people to keep learning and exploring.
You’re going out this Friday night. Where will you eat dinner, what movie will you see, and what will you bring with you into the movie?
M: Anything Mexican food, with margaritas; I’ll bring beer in my purse; and anything funny or action. If it’s a horror movie, I’ll have nightmares forever.
N: I’d say Italian or oysters; I would bring mini Reeses peanut butter cups and a Coke Icee into the movie. And action movies are my favorite – drama and action.
Stay tuned to our blog to get to know more about other team members at Zen Planner!
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