Protea Conversations The Protea Family

Protea Conversations: The Protea Family

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high-quality outsourced accounting at an affordable price. Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the workforce after taking time off to start a family. This allowed Protea to attract extremely talented individuals who were previously overlooked.  Protea strives to represent people from all backgrounds and provide an environment for them to grow and succeed in a setting that provides the flexibility and acceptance of who they are as people.

We selected the name Protea because is the national flower of South Africa and is a symbol of our connection. The Protea flower has become an ornamental flower because of this striking beauty and is included in arrangements and bouquets as a symbol of courage or daring to be better or a sign of positive transformation.

Protea Conversations in 2023 will focus on positive transformation and representation from all backgrounds. We are broadening our Conversations with the hope that these conversations will continue to create a forum to discuss the experiences, opportunities, and challenges leaders face, and how we can build a more diverse, inclusive, and successful environment for everyone.

In February 2023 we reached out to members of The Protea Family, specifically the Account Managers at Protea Financial, to get their feedback on one of the most important leadership questions we ask.

The spotlight question for this month is “What is the best piece of advice you have ever received that has helped you in your success?

This is a question about the foundation of someone’s success. We are influenced by early learning, and we all have something that sticks with us and helps us define who we are and what we want out of our careers.

Some Members of The Protea Family

Ashley Kniffin Senior Account Manager

Ashley Kniffin

“The work will still be there tomorrow.” I was new to the work-from-home gig and was so focused on getting through everything on my plate each day and was stressing about it if I didn’t. So, learning when to ‘put the pencil down’ has molded me to become the most efficient worker during the day and focused on family time in the evenings. Resting and returning to give your best tends to produce the best results.

Candice Stevens Senior Account Manager

Candice Stevens

No good deed goes unpunished.

This might sound negative, and yes it is a sardonic commentary that focus on how kindness can back fire, but strip it away from that and understand that your time is precious. Being more deliberate with your time and focusing your key tasks where you can add value is way more important to your growth and the growth of those around you. Learn to delegate. Learn to say no. Learn to set boundaries.

Putting value on your own time will set you up for success.

Megan Nelms Senior Account Manager

Megan Nelms

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Being prepared and working hard has set me up for success. Putting the effort and working wisely will always lead to good things.

Brendan Lane Account Manager

Brendan Lane

The best advice I’ve received is that there is no substitute for hard work and putting in the time to get better at anything you do. It related to my career in basketball and has translated to everything else in life.

Hard work has allowed me to continue to be successful in my post basketball career.

Jennifer Sahouria Pangle Account Manager

Jennifer Sahouria

Don’t look at a mistake as a downfall, look at it as growth, no one grows from easy.

Everyone is going to make mistakes, but true strength is shown by the way you react to these mistakes. Bounce back stronger than before and your career will move on the upwards trajectory you are hoping for.

Jose Portillo Account Manager

Jose Portillo

The best advice I received was to be honest with yourself. This piece of advice is good advice for all aspects of your life. I find if I am coming up short on certain task, the only way for me to improve is firstly admitting that this is a short fall. Once you admit the truth to yourself you can then work on a plan to improve and set out a process to progress. It can be tough to tell yourself you need to be better, but once you do it, you are providing yourself with permission to be better

.Wylie Warner Account Manager

Wylie Warner

The best advice I received was from my dad.  Whenever things were going particularly poorly in life or work, dad would say ‘World one, Wylie zero’.  I don’t know what he thought it meant, but to me, I was reminded the short-term problem was not the end, but just the current score.  With that I could refocus on the future rather than the present which seemed unfair, a problem, or failure.  It seemed to lessen the present difficulty knowing it would not be this way forever.  A strange thing, I don’t even know if it was intended to be advice but it helps me keep moving forward and keep improving.

As a thank you to our interview and Protea’s commitment to more diverse and inclusive leaders, Protea will donate to Canine Companions ( Canine Companions is leading the service dog industry so their clients and their dogs can live with greater independence. They provide service dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities and facility dogs to professionals working in healthcare, criminal justice and educational settings. Since our founding in 1975, our dogs and all follow-up services are provided at no cost to our clients.

Independence shouldn’t be limited to those who look or live a certain way. Disability reaches all races, classes and backgrounds, and Canine Companions will too. Clients come to Canine Companions because of our reputation, the quality of our dogs, the experience of our training staff and the desire to lead life with greater independence. We are committed to providing services to all qualified clients. 

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