Staff Spotlight: Cindy Ruth, Finance Manager and Facilitator of Fun

This week we celebrated our 20 year anniversary at the Centre. As one of the Centre’s longest serving employees, how has your role at the Centre evolved since you were first hired?
My job has certainly evolved over the years but has always encompassed the core finance activities for the Centre and financial reporting to our stakeholders. In recent years, I have also been responsible for Human Resources. This is very different work and has provided me with opportunities to enhance my knowledge and skills. This current workload is a rather rare combination of duties but in small organizations there is often the need to wear many hats. I love being a generalist in both of these areas because of the variety of tasks and responsibilities.

You’ve helped our clients understand the importance of bookkeeping. What tip do you have for new entrepreneurs?
From the moment they formulate their business idea, new entrepreneurs should be thinking about their financial systems. My advice would be to have an accountant or another capable person review and/or set up the new system. It really isn’t good enough to just hold on to all those receipts, invoices, bank statements etc. while promising to enter them at a later time. Not only is the bookkeeping system essential but it should be a top priority to enter the information into the system in a timely way. There will be government agencies, customers, suppliers, and employees all looking for information. Just as crucial is the need for the new entrepreneur to have all of this financial information to guide them in making a multitude of decisions for their business.

As the facilitator of many of the in-house staff activities, why do you think it is important for businesses to build office culture?
Office cultures emerge with or without anyone’s attention so I think it is important to affect that culture positively whenever you can. All of the people here have a passion for the work of the Women’s Enterprise Centre. Just yesterday the staff was gathered together and the comment was made about how we really are a team. That doesn’t just happen and much time and effort has gone into hiring people who fit well with the organization and each other. We enjoy a variety of benefits including flexible work hours and regularly build comradery through Health and Wellness activities or staff events. I find my work rewarding and pleasurable and it is in large part due to the culture here.

What would you rather: Mandatory potlucks every day, or mandatory staff cheer-session every morning?
Hmmm, I love potluck but I’ll have to go with mandatory cheer sessions every morning. That would be quite effortless yet effective in putting a positive spin on the day. We have great potluck lunches at the Centre but I think when you are dealing with volunteer activities you have to be sure that your volunteers don’t burn out. Potluck every day would soon feel like work but a simple Hip Hip Hooray to start the day sounds like a lot of fun.

What question should we ask the next featured staff member?
What is an activity you do to wind down and combat stress?