Leading a Health Revolution – Team Profile: Jane Ross – Senior Director of Finance
Pictured above is Jane with her dog Rocco, enjoying St. Augustine beach.As we surpass a major milestone, our company’s 30th Anniversary, we wanted to celebrate the people that have led us to where we are today. By sharing their stories, their inspirations and lessons learned, we hope to enthuse others to pursue their goals and aspirations, so together we can lead a health revolution that moves the world. This month we are pleased to feature Jane Ross, our Senior Director of Finance!
The Ah-Ha Moment
While in high school, Jane participated in an after-school work program – helping her parents in her father’s medical practice. Her father was an anesthesiologist and her mother ran the office and handled insurance/patient billings. This was Jane’s first taste of finance/accounting and she realized it was a good fit. So, when she started college, naturally she pursued an Accounting degree. She would eventually graduate from St. Leo College in Dade City, Florida with a Bachelor of Accounting and a minor in Business Administration. After graduating, Jane went to work for a CPA and quickly realized that was not at all what she wanted to do, so over the years she took other positions that ranged from Assistant Controller at a beach resort to working for a Financial Advisor. After years of working 10-hour days, she knew she needed a change. It was then that Jane learned of an opening at Corporate Fitness Works and soon she joined the CFW team. While Jane may not have purposely set out to work in the fitness industry, she sure is glad she found her way to Corporate Fitness Works. She says CFW has helped her realize there is more to life than work. And she loves that company founders, Sheila Drohan and Brenda Loube care so much about their team and treat everyone like family. Also, she loves working for a company where the team gives hugs instead of handshakes.
We asked Jane to share a few things about her career journey and success with Corporate Fitness Works. This is what she had to say…
Tell us about a time in your studies or in your career that helped you prepare for the challenges you face in your role today?
I have worked for many different types of businesses from a CPA firm (right out of college and never wanted to ever again!), The Adam’s Mark Resort on Clearwater Beach (I thought it would be fun working at the beach, but learned you just got to work while watching other people have fun on their vacation), also a Financial Advisor and a Medical office. I became a workaholic at these companies always taking on more and more work then working long hours to get it done. CFW has made me realize that there is more to life than work. Although I am still a workaholic, I feel I am not as bad as I once was at working long hours. At CFW I am still learning that there is a Team that will help me complete the monthly financial processes.
What is your #1 motivator? What are you most passionate about in the work that you do?
When someone asks me a question, and I have the opportunity to explain and educate how and why something is done a certain way, I see the light bulb go on in their eyes when they understand. I feel I have helped that person grow in their knowledge and that is a significant motivator for me.
Describe the key steps you took in the path to your career success/career growth that made the greatest impact?
My career in Finance started with helping my mother with the patient billings from my father’s medical practice as an Anesthesiologist. I worked with her in an after-school work program at Lakewood High School. That was my first experience with collections which has become one of my specialties at CFW. My mother was my role model as she knew when to be forgiving and when to be stern not only with myself and my 4 brothers, but when we were collecting payments from the patients. Later in their lives my parent’s owned and operated an apartment complex. She showed the same compassion and understanding, or sternness when needed with the tenants. She was able to run a family and a business, and it seemed that she did it all with the greatest of ease.
How does your role as Senior Director of Finance support Team Leader growth and our business growth?
As CFW has grown, and the Finance Team grown with it, I have worked closely with each member of the team to help them understand the ins and outs of their position. I have made it my mission to always be there when they have questions and work together to find answers and solutions. Cross training has consistently been a goal for our team, so that everyone can help in any of the finance positions when needed. If someone is inundated with work in their area at any point in time, they can get help from any of the other Finance Team Leaders.
How does your role most impact our client’s (and the members we serve) success?
My role works mostly with our client billing and making sure the client is receiving their invoice from CFW in the way and at the time in which they want. Proper invoicing has a significant impact on customer or client satisfaction and supports our reputation as a trusted partner. Working together with our clients and our Senior Account Managers, I help to interpret and follow-up on established payment terms so that expectations are met on both sides.
Share a career highlight.
In the months following CFW’s acquisition of L&T, I wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen. I know many Team Leaders felt the same way. Eventually Christine Hart was hired as Director of Finance and became my immediate supervisor. We didn’t always see eye-to-eye on certain projects, ways to accomplish financial processes, or what Team Leaders duties should be. Yet, we worked extremely well together on combining the two companies Financial Statements into one. The ability to work through our differences and come together to achieve major goals to benefit the company as a whole is a shining example of the CFW team culture. Different ideas and opinions are encouraged and respected. It’s been over 4 years now and we have been able to work together to accomplish many incredible financial goals and have created a Fabulous Finance Team (affectionately named by our Chief Organizational Development Officer, Anthony Scaglione).
If you could share one “value added tip” as Senior Director of Finance for CFW, what would it be?
Work with your team to discover each person’s talents and utilize them to the best of their abilities. We all need to continue to learn and grow in the areas where we are weak. I vow to live that advice, to not be a workaholic and not micromanage my team. Empower Everyone!
Please share an interesting fact about you that you would want our Team and our clients to know about you? This can be career related or personal.
I LOVE dogs!! It was hard to pick just one story, but here is one of my favorites:
Growing up, my family always had a dog. We have had many different breeds like Heinz 57, Cairn Terrier, Doberman, German Shepherd, Chow Chow, Rottweiler and Miniature Schnauzer. When I was in college I lived with my brother, Barry and his wife who had a dog kennel and big red barn with a couple of horses on 2 acres in Brooksville, FL. They bred and raised Rottweilers. I fell in love with the runt of one of the litters. Every time someone came to look at the puppies, I couldn’t watch as I was afraid they would pick the runt.
Finally, my brother offered me the puppy in exchange for working around the kennel. At the time I had a Chow Chow named Sin Sin and she wasn’t exactly happy about sharing me with the new puppy, who I named Rufus. I did obedience training with Sin Sin (the Chow Chow), and we went to trials to obtain a Companion Dog title. Many people at the shows were shocked that I had a Chow Chow in obedience as they aren’t known for following directions or being told what to do!
Later, I trained Rufus (the Rottweiler) in obedience, which was much easier because Rottweilers live to work for their owners. It was also much easier to obtain the Companion Dog title for Rufus. You must go to different shows and get a passing grade at 3 of the shows. Rufus was such a show off that on our last leg of the title, we were in a tie for 2nd place, so we had to have a tie breaker with the other dog. We had to sit our dog, stay and walk to the other side of the show ring then call our dog to come and they had to come and sit in front of you. Then you were to give the command to heel and your dog was to flip around and sit next to you on your left. Rufus was so excited that as I gave the command to heel as he flipped around he jumped up and licked my face before he sat perfectly beside me. We came in 3rd but got the best laugh and applause from the crowd. We also received high scoring Rottweiler at the show and received a beautiful brandy glass with a Rottweiler etched into it. I still have it more than 30 years later.
I also love gardening and my bromeliads. When temperatures are more mild, I love spending time in the yard tending to the garden and spending quality time with my dog, Rocco.Pictured above is Jane with Rufus, winning 3rd place in the Companion Dog title competition. Below are a few of the beautiful blooms from Jane’s garden.