Meet the Team: Gina Berg
This installment of Meet the Team features Gina Berg, Walsworth’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Gina’s work has a significant impact on the firm’s current business operations, and she has been a driving force behind many changes at Walsworth over the past several years.
“My favorite part of the job is helping to effectuate positive change,” she said. “The firm is just heading in a great direction.”
Gina said she was “bred” for a career in business. As a teenager, she worked for her mother, a CPA. “My mother had me filing documents and making copies before I was old enough to work to make extra money,” she said. “Along the way, she would teach accounting and about how businesses are run.”
Gina earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting from the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University. And while she was initially resistant to focusing her studies on accounting, Gina said she was glad she chose the specialty because “accounting is one of those subjects where you can do almost anything if you really embrace it. There were a lot of doors that opened up for me because of that.”
Gina joined Walsworth two and a half years ago as Chief Financial Officer. However, the firm quickly realized that her responsibilities extended beyond accounting and finance functions, and appointed her to Chief Operating Officer in addition to Chief Financial Officer to reflect her duties more accurately.
In addition to working with the Managing Partner and Steering Committee, Gina works closely with the administrative and IT staff to improve efficiencies and systems at Walsworth to better serve the firm and its clients. “Everyone has such an important role regardless of your title. We spend more hours working than we do waking hours at home with our families. It’s important to feel like you’re heard. I believe this has helped the leadership as I will speak up for those who are unable to, so decisions are made with everyone in mind.”
Gina’s holistic approach to the firm’s operations stems from her experience as a business consultant and working with firms from a variety of industries, and providing guidance on mission-critical issues ranging from maximizing profitability to employee retention.
“Every decision you make affects somebody,” she said. “And it will trickle down into their life and their career, and even down to their dinner table. So, if you make a change that affects someone’s job, that’s a major decision and should never be taken lightly.”
What’s your favorite movie or TV series?
We have been watching a ton of movies from the 80’s and 90’s. Watching some of those movies makes you remember your days in junior high school or high school. It brings those good, rooted, nostalgic feelings back.
What is your favorite genre of music?
Definitely country music. Country is always on in my household. Depending on your mood, you can always find something in country that will match. And I love the stories in the music.
What is your favorite quote or phrase?
On most days, it’s “just keep swimming.” I feel like in life, if you just keep moving, you will succeed. I would say that almost everything in my life is living by that. I’m making little changes along the way and hope I end up where it makes me happiest and makes everyone around me their happiest.
What do you find most rewarding and satisfying about your career
Being able to look at individual situations and try to make someone’s day better. That’s where I take my joy. Seeing the business do better based on the decisions that we’ve made, and making the best decisions so everyone wins along the way.
If you could instantly become an expert at something, what would it be?
Probably playing the guitar. I have taken classes, but I can’t play anything. It’s one of those things you have to do over and over again, and that’s the hard part. I have a guitar sitting in my living room, and I took it on vacation, but never took it out of the bag. I know I can learn how to play. I just have to sit down and stick with it.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
Like so many great thinkers and entrepreneurs, I am dyslexic. Most respond to this by asking how I could work with numbers in accounting. To me, that shows their true lack of understanding of what dyslexia is. It basically means that I’m a very visual learner. As Richard Branson said, “Out in the real world, my dyslexia became my massive advantage: it helped me to think creatively and laterally, and see solutions where others saw problems.” At this point in my life, that is exactly as I see it as well. As most will tell you, I am great at explaining things and showing examples. That is rooted in how I see things. I certainly had struggles, but I was fortunate to have had a great tutor who really understood how to teach me different skill sets to maximize.