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Optima Team Spotlight: Mark Wegrzyn

Braedon Stern

Meet Mark Wegrzyn, our Employee Spotlight this month! As a consulting CFO, Mark is known for his wide range of experience, along with his diverse skill set, quality-driven work, easy-going demeanor, and excellent communication skills. He especially excels at identifying problems, gathering data researching best practices, and using the data to advocate and propose a solution, which drives an implementation to properly address the need. Mark earned his Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Illinois State University. Join us as we delve into 10 insightful questions to get to know Mark better!

1. What initially drew you to Optima and the industry?

The consulting industry is a unique channel through which I can utilize and share multiple decades worth of very diverse experiences with clients that can truly benefit from them.  It’s rewarding to know you can help others.

2. What do you feel is the most important trend or development in the accounting industry right now?

There are a handful.  Remote work and Digital Transformation:  Accountants now rely on cloud-based software and virtual collaboration tools to perform their duties efficiently and securely, leading to changes in work culture and processes.  Audits oftentimes are done entirely remotely.  Technology Integration: Automation, artificial intelligence, and blockchain are revolutionizing how accounting tasks are performed. This trend is altering job roles and requiring accountants to develop new skills in data analysis and interpretation.  Data Security and Privacy: With the increasing amount of financial data being stored digitally, the importance of data security and privacy in accounting practices has grown significantly. Accountants must be vigilant in safeguarding sensitive information from cyber threats and ensuring compliance with regulations.  Talent Management and Succession Planning: With the retirement of baby boomers and the emergence of younger generations in the workforce, accounting firms face challenges in talent management and succession planning.

3. If you won $1 million, what would you do with it?

Ha, this category should add a “zero”, as sadly $ 1 million does not seem as much as it once did!  Don’t forget, about half of it goes to Uncle Sam!  Make it $10 million, and I would retire with a country club membership and continue to chill.  In this crazy real estate world, I would perhaps help my newlywed children get started on a home.

4. What does a perfect day for you look like?

I am all about work/life balance, so an honest day’s work is followed by time spent with loved ones.  On weekends or free days, be outdoors as much as possible, stay active, and do things yourself if you can.  Golf and the beach are bonuses for me.  Oh, and there is always a game of interest on TV or radio playing in the background.

5. What's your favorite quote?

There are a couple:

“Don’t spend more than you make”

“Treat others the way you want to be treated – with kindness and respect”

6. What advice would you give to someone starting in your field?

Explore and volunteer for as many new experiences as you can take on.  Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges, that’s why it is called learning! Odds are you are better than you think – you can do it!  Also, be a good mentor for others.

7. What’s your favorite way to relax after a busy day at work?

If perhaps over simplistic – just Chill! Re-connect with my wife, look after the family, and appreciate all the good things.  If it’s a Friday, have a pizza and open a bottle of wine!

8. What was your dream job as a child?

Initially, it was becoming an underwater film movie photographer.  I even became a certified scuba diver and purchased a camera.  It appeared exciting, fun, adventurous, and very unique.  Like many sports-minded kids, I had some cycles of becoming a professional athlete, but even that did not seem as mystical and wild as the underwater world.

9. What is one skill every person should have?

The ability to listen and comprehend - ok that’s two.  Good listening skills are a building block that leads to meaningful and more positive changes.

10. What makes you feel most fulfilled?

The already mentioned “Balance” in life.  A little work, a little play, emotional and financial stability, health, faith, love, and family!  Simple, uncomplicated, and limit the stress.

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