TEAM MOM – Women in Business Awards
AND THE WINNERS ARE … Ernst’s Anderson is Big Winner in OC Accounting Shakeup
By CHRIS CZIBORR
Sarah “Sally” Anderson, managing partner of the Orange County office of Ernst & Young LLP, has grabbed the plums in Arthur Andersen LLP’s local shakeout.
Two weeks ago, her Irvine office capped a handful of wins by landing the biggest Andersen defection in OC,Newport Beach-based Health Care Property Investors Inc., which counted a market value of $2.3 billion as of last week.
Before that, Anderson’s office lured Santa Ana-based college operator Corinthian Colleges Inc., Newport Beach homebuilder Capital Pacific Holdings Inc. and Riverside-based recreational vehicle maker Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.
“We’ve certainly picked up more than our fair share of the Andersen fallout,” she said.
The wins haven’t gone unnoticed. Anderson said a colleague in Los Angeles recently talked with two people from a rival Big Five firm who said Ernst “is just cleaning our clock in Orange County.”
“The worst part is,” they said, “our male managing partner is so upset that a woman’s kicking his butt.”
Anderson is the only female managing partner of a Big Five firm in OC. She runs the second-largest audit and tax practices here with 385 employees, behind Deloitte & Touche LLP in Costa Mesa.
“I was only the second female managing partner in our firm,” she said.
Anderson was one of five honorees at the Business Journal’s eighth annual Women in Business Awards luncheon May 22 at the Hyatt Regency Irvine.
Things have changed a lot since 1973, Anderson said, when she started at the Boston office of Peat Marwick International, now KPMG LLP.
“When I started there were very few women graduating from college in business, so the challenges were very obvious then,” Anderson said. “Now around 50% of people we hire each year are female.”
But Anderson, one of four female managing partners at Ernst, said her firm still is far from having an even split between men and women partners.
“We’re constantly working on programs to try to keep good women within the profession,” she said. “But it’s obviously a very demanding profession and it requires a lot of hours. So there are a lot of women that opt not to stay with public accounting as soon they start their families.”
Anderson herself took time off early in her career to raise her daughter.
Her accounting career began after graduating with a bachelor’s in business administration from Boston’s Northeastern University. Anderson said she always was fascinated with business and “was good at math.”
But Anderson said she didn’t have a lot of financial inspiration to draw from,her father was headwaiter at Boston’s Ritz-Carlton and her mother was a schoolteacher. She took five years to get her degree, interning every other semester with the Internal Revenue Service.
Upon graduation, Anderson worked at Peat Marwick in Boston for four years. The firm transferred her to the OC office where she worked for another four years before getting married and moving to Temecula. There she became a stay-at-home mom for a few years.
“It was impossible to commute to OC back then,” she said. “There was no highway 15.”
In the 1980s, Ernst & Whinny,a predecessor to Ernst & Young,bought a local practice in Riverside, hiring Anderson as a senior manager in 1984.
She became an Ernst partner in 1987. She was named managing partner of the Riverside office in 1998.
In 2000, Anderson was tapped to manage the OC practice. She also oversees the Riverside practice after it combined with the OC office.
Anderson is divorced and lives in Newport Coast. Her former husband also is an accountant. She has a daughter, Maddy, 16, who’s attending boarding school at Vivian Webb School in Claremont.
Anderson, who calls herself the “team mom” at Ernst, faced a big family challenge earlier this year when Maddy had a brain tumor removed.
Maddy returned to school last month, but only after staying in bed around the clock from February to the time of the operation in April.
During a presentation at school, Maddy said she wanted to be an accountant like her parents. When the teacher asked her what accountants do, Anderson said her daughter’s reply was: “They work a lot.”
Maddy now is leaning toward science and medicine as possible career paths, Anderson said.
Anderson is on the board of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, where she chairs the corporate development campaign. She also sits on the Chief Executive Roundtable at the University of California, Irvine.
While Ernst has gained from rival Andersen’s troubles, the firm has felt its share of fallout.
Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged that Ernst violated rules to keep accountants independent from the companies they audit by entering into a business venture with Pleasanton-based People-Soft Inc.
The charges don’t affect the Irvine office, Anderson said.
“The whole industry is on high alert,I think now our credibility is being questioned as a profession every time we turn around,” she said. “I do think that Arthur Andersen is a challenge right now,regulatory bodies like the SEC are making tighter rules for disclosures.”
Anderson said she sees the industry’s fix in stronger auditing committees that can buffer against conflicts on the consulting side.
“Having companies strengthen their audit committees with external independent accountants hired and fired by the audit committee,as opposed to management,will strengthen control over audits,” she said. “That way, accountants aren’t influenced by management in their decisions.”
President, Chief Executive,
Spirit Silkscreens Inc., Irvine
When Kim Herbert decided on an art major in college, her mother warned she’d never get a job and would end up as a starving artist.
For a while, Herbert thought her mother might be right. After school, she struggled to find her place in business.
Then she signed up for an Orange Coast College silk screening class. When the instructor said he made money silk screening T-shirts, she was sold.
“I loved it,” she said. “I got so excited about starting a silk screening business. I didn’t finish the class projects. The instructor failed me.”
What resulted from that one class was Spirit Silkscreens Inc.
Launched in 1983 with a plywood printing frame, $20,000 in savings and four employees, Spirit Silkscreens has grown from a tiny business to one with $23 million in 2001 revenue and more than 200 employees.
“We had a great year in 2001,” Herbert said.
That wasn’t easy in a year of economic downturn worsened by the September terrorist attacks. But Herbert said the biggest challenge last year was finding financing for growth.
The company’s client list includes names such as Guess? Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and In-N-Out Burgers. It ranked No. 6 among the 100 top-volume U.S. screen printers by trade publication Impressions, with 13.3 million units produced in 2000. That was up 20% from 1999. A new ranking, due out this month, is expected to list Spirit among the top five.
Spirit Silkscreens has become more than a T-shirt printer, adding T-shirt making and packaging.
By July, the company expects to launch its first global venture,a plant in Mexico City. Herbert said she expects to expand from 20 employees at first to 250 people in Mexico in the next five years.
Herbert calls her company a “big small company” to reflect the side-by-side management style she employs. She said she urges participation and lets workers know they’re appreciated. Some have been with her for 20 years.
Disneyland President Cynthia Harriss, who has worked with Herbert on behalf of the Laguna Playhouse, said Herbert has been able to grow her business by understanding fashion, anticipating trends and finding new ways to offer her products and services.
“The attitude that most effectively continues to help drive Kim’s success is never feeling completely secure,” Harriss said.
Herbert said doing things that scare her provide the best sense of accomplishment.
“I get the greatest reward from facing fear,” she said.
Herbert lost her sister to breast cancer in 1996. That led her to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, where she planned to “volunteer a little bit” by redesigning the T-shirt for the 1997 race. She ended up co-chairing the event and helped raise $900,000 for breast cancer research,double the original goal.
She donates T-shirts to other nonprofits and community groups such as the March of Dimes, Irvine’s planned Pretend City children’s museum and Newport Harbor High fundraising programs.
And she is past president of the Laguna Playhouse and sits on the executive committee.
“Kim is exceedingly generous to the Laguna Playhouse,” said Richard Stein, executive director.
“She has joie de vivre,she works hard and she plays hard.”
Herbert has beaten her mother’s early prediction that she’d be a starving artist. She’s even launched a solo jewelry business, Wild Heart.
Her advice to budding entrepreneurs? “Do what you love and the money will follow.”
Executive Director, Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center
Kathy McCarrell has a master’s in social work. But she said she learned about fighting child abuse the hard way,on the job with the Orange County Child Protective Services Department.
“In the ’80s, child abuse wasn’t part of the (college) curriculum,” McCarrell said. “It took me a year to learn.”
But once McCarrell got involved, she said she knew it would be her life’s work.
“It became my passion,” she said. “There’s no denying it changes you.”
Later, she became program director for the Harbor-UCLA Child Sexual Abuse Crisis Center. In 1994, she was recruited to the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center, where she has gained national recognition for her programs.
“She’s the perfect CEO,” said Steven Forry, director of development for the center. “She’s organized. She has vision. She’s driven. And she creates a wonderful working environment. Kathy’s the reason I’m here. You can grow with a good leader.”
When McCarrell took over the center, it served 200 families and 450 children. In 2001, it served more than 26,000 children in 9,700 families. In the past year, it has logged 18,000 volunteer service hours and more than $1 million in donated goods. It’s now the largest child abuse prevention program in OC dedicated to reducing child abuse and neglect and to improving parent-child ties.
Among the programs McCarrell developed is Teen Voices/Teen Choices, which sends teen parents into the community to help deter teen pregnancy. The program has been featured on CNN Headline News and in Time magazine.
Another is an Adopt-a-Social-Worker program that teams local religious, business and service groups with social workers to provide aid for OC’s abused and poor children. In the past year, this program has gained the support of 110 groups and $1 million in household goods for needy families.
“I’ve worked in fundraising for 10 years, and she’s one of the best,” Forry said.
McCarrell also has been key in reducing the incidence of child abuse in OC from a high of 45,129 reported cases in 1994 to about 25,000 in 2001.
Nevertheless, 2001 was a tough year for the Child Abuse Prevention Center, McCarrell said.
“The economic downturn led to a downturn in corporate and individual donations. Even county contracts are at risk (of reduction),” she said.
McCarrell said she runs lean,the $2.7 million fiscal year operating budget uses 11% of its funds for administration, including the center’s 55 employees, she said.
A regular on local and national TV and radio, McCarrell also is on the faculty of Chapman University and California State University, Los Angeles. She’s an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California and California State University, Long Beach. She also teaches at the Orange County and Los Angeles police academies.
To maintain a balance, McCarrell said she gets out of town periodically. The getaway for her 42nd birthday was more challenging than most: she rode a Jet Ski to Catalina and back in the same day.
“I wasn’t thinking about work then,” she said.
Vice President, Finance, MGE UPS Systems Inc., Americas Region, Costa Mesa
Costa Mesa-based MGE UPS Systems Inc., part of the French maker of uninterruptible power supply systems, got hit with a double-whammy last year,the technology downturn and Sept. 11.
For fiscal year 2000, MGE was cruising: it generated $270 million in revenue,an 80% increase,largely on the back of the Internet and telecommunications boom. During that time, Helen Hogle helped MGE Americas finance its own expansion, managing growth from its operating cash flow when the home office declined to provide expansion funding.
A year later, the bottom fell out of those sectors. In North America, the financial challenge of weathering the downturn fell on the shoulders of Hogle. The expectation was that the market would recover in six months.
Then came Sept. 11, and a dozen clients were impacted by the terrorist attacks, including the Pentagon and World Trade Center clients Merrill Lynch & Co. and bond firm Cantor Fitzgerald.
Now, recovery isn’t forecast until next year. But MGE Americas is holding its own.
Gretchen Valentine, a partner in the Irvine office of Ernst & Young who met Hogle a year ago, said Hogle has been “instrumental” in keeping the company on an even keel through difficult times. She did that, Valentine said, by cutting costs and keeping a close eye on day-to-day developments.
“She’s incredibly capable,” Valentine said.
Called “Lady Di” by colleagues for her always gracious manner, the University of California, Santa Barbara graduate has set the tone for her co-workers.
“Life is only what you make of it and your attitude to approaching change and new situations will either be effective or ineffective, depending on this attitude,” she said. “This (attitude) will allow me to continue to grow, educate and handle the obstacles and roadblocks that lay ahead.”
Struck with the herpes simplex virus in childhood, Hogle lost her hearing in both ears. She credits her rise in the corporate world to strong mentors who helped her work around her hearing loss.
She started her career as a staff accountant with Kenneth Leventhal & Co. in 1987, the first step on a path to increasing financial responsibility in a series of positions that led eventually to MGE. At MGE, she was first appointed controller and quickly moved up to vice president of finance.
Her goal is to be named chief financial officer, be appointed to a board seat to turn MGE into a company focused on financial results instead of sales. Her mentor at the company, Chief Executive Dave Petratis, is in her corner, Valentine said.
Other goals are more personal: Hogle wants to earn an executive business degree from Pepperdine University and hopes to have experimental surgery that could restore part of her hearing.
A balanced life is important to Hogle, who is married and is a triathlon-style athlete. She also is devoted to her horse, Kincade, and dog, Jack.
“It’s important to me that my actions mirror my goals and that these goals will be met because of my drive and initiative,” she said. “I believe that my success in work balance, ethics and willingness to work hard to achieve goals will net a positive presence in the business community.”
Judy B. Rosener
Professor, Graduate School of Management, University of California, Irvine
If there’s anyone familiar with the glass ceiling, it’s Judy Rosener. She also has proved to be among the best at breaking through it.
Rosener launched her career in education and public service at a time when others eye early retirement. She since has gained renown in public policy, cultural diversity and women’s issues. Business Woman’s magazine called her “one of the world’s leading experts on women in management.”
And all of it has come after age 50,a time when many workers today lose their jobs to younger,and cheaper,workers.
When Rosener graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1951, she did the expected thing: she got married and had children. But in the mid-1960s, when a founding professor of UCI wondered at a dinner party whether the university could teach middle-aged women anything, she decided to go back to school.
She earned her master’s in 1968 and began teaching at UCI Extension. She sat on the board of KCET and served on the California Coastal Commission. But, she was told, if she wanted to be a professor, she’d need a doctorate.
So she went back to school again, earning her Ph.D. at age 50 in 1979 from the Center for Politics and Economics at the Claremont Graduate University.
It was there, she said, that she became fascinated with the exercise of power and wondered if it played a part in why women couldn’t get ahead.
That was the catalyst that propelled her to the forefront of research on men and women at work that has made her name almost a household word today.
Rosener teaches, conducts research, develops curriculum and is the public face and cheerleader for UCI in many forums. Her current research studies include new ways to compensate middle and upper managers and the increasing use of corporate advisory boards.
She broke into the publishing ranks with her breakthrough article, “Ways Women Lead,” published in the Harvard Business Review in 1990 and later authored trend-setting books on employee diversity and women in the workplace.
“Ways Women Lead” was chosen as one of 20 “most outstanding” Harvard Business Review articles of the 1990s.
Subsequently, she authored “America’s Competitive Secret: Women Managers,” published in 1995 and the first book to make a business case for promoting women in the corporate world.
Rosener believes that women learn through shared experiences to share power and information, be comfortable with ambiguity, to be problem-solvers and to think holistically.
“These are precisely the skills needed in today’s uncertain work environment,” she said.
It’s also the topic of a new book she is co-authoring that offers a new theory about women as decision-makers in times of uncertainty.
Rosener also believes women in positions of power have a responsibility to help others,something she does tirelessly.
She has served on numerous county and state boards and given workshops and talks to countless community groups. She has served the university through academic committees and made presentations to a long list of UCI and UC groups. And she has helped students and faculty members resolve immigration and other workplace problems and assisted job-seekers in making connections in the corporate world.
Students give her high marks, crediting her with a new perspective on the role of business and government and praising her ability to stimulate heated discussions.
Rosener is a respected speaker who has keynoted professional conferences in six countries. She was a speaker at a U.K.-U.S. summit in London and the only U.S. speaker at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during a Chinese-U.S. summit in 1999. For five years, she wrote a column in the business section of the Los Angeles Times and was a commentator of the award-winning PBS program “Life and Times” for two years. She also writes periodic columns for the Business Journal.
Asked to provide one piece of advice to all women, she said, “Remember that success is never final and failure is never fatal.”