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July Team Spotlight: Meet James Kenney

I grew up in different areas around the U.S. due to my parent’s military service, but most of my time was spent in San Diego, California. After graduating from Ridgeview High School in 2002, I joined the U.S. Navy and served 2 terms before pursuing my college education. Originally, I was studying Computer Science due to my background in IT from the Navy but ended up switching majors to Accounting. The reason I chose Accounting is that I enjoy being a detective and problem solver.

I’m a professional musician, I’ve been playing guitar for 20+ years and have recorded professionally and toured the U.S. Most of my time after work is spent writing music & working with my bandmates on band related things. Other than the band stuff I spend time with my girlfriend or hang with other friends and we go out to bars or watch TV and discuss random topics.

I originally interned with Jennifer Barnes at Pro Back Office while I was a Senior at SDSU.  From there after graduation, I started as a full-time Staff Accountant. After 2 years at PBO, I moved to Portland to support my family and pursued my CPA License. While working on my license I worked as a seasonal tax preparer for a CPA firm. After a year of being in Portland, I reached out to Jennifer for some professional advice on CPA work.  She asked me if I wanted to work at Optima.  And that's how I'm back in San Diego.

My official title with Optima Office is Senior Accounting Consultant. My favorite aspect of the company is the flexibility and the variety of clients that are brought in. I prefer the company culture here because it’s laid back and casual but also very business-minded and professional.

Favorite Quote “If you want to be a part of the greatest, you have to be the greatest yourself” – Busta Rhymes.


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