“Getting to Know” is a series that tells the story of the talented people who make up the KleenMark team. Today we’re getting to know Trina Keller who is the Vice President of Finance for KleenMark. She combines her experience working with everyone from start-ups to one of the best CPA firms in the world to help make our finance department innovative, fun, and empowering.
Can you tell us a little bit about your career path before coming to KleenMark?
I was most recently a Senior Manager at Grant Thornton, a large, international independent audit, tax and advisory firm, up until 2009 when I left to work on my own and stay at home part-time.
A few months ago I had an opportunity to assist KleenMark in a temporary capacity with no intention of staying here on a full-time basis. However, as I got to know the organization better, it became clear that KleenMark was an organization that I could see myself contributing to long-term.
I have been fortunate to have a wide range of experiences over my 25 year career with roughly half of that time working in public accounting and the other half with private industry or self employed. I have worked on both coasts and in companies ranging in size from early stage venture backed companies to Fortune 100 companies.
“…family owned businesses are one of the best fits for me – I enjoy and respect the boot-strap approach that must happen for those companies to be successful…”
Being in public accounting allowed me access to literally hundreds of companies. That, combined with my naturally inquisitive nature and my private company experience, have taught me that family owned businesses are one of the best fits for me – I enjoy and respect the boot-strap approach that must happen for those companies to be successful, and I enjoy working with owners to build wealth for their families and their employees.
Do you have any accomplishments from your previous position that you’re especially proud of?
I have a variety of accomplishments I’m proud of in my career. A few that stick out to me are re-engineering an accounting and finance department for a $20MM company; being promoted to partner at a local CPA firm in Northern California; leading a work-out situation for a hotel management company, including successful exits for 8 out of 9 distressed hotels.
What are your biggest strengths? How do you hope to make an impact at KleenMark?
Some of my biggest strengths include strategic and entrepreneurial thinking, leadership, communication, and strong analytical skills.I also love new things and challenges, both of which I see in abundance here at KleenMark. Those qualities mean that I am excellent at getting things started, which is why I’m excited about the role of helping KleenMark with growth through acquisition as well as organic.
Plus, my depth of skill and experience in accounting and infrastructure will allow me to quickly navigate incorporating new systems as needed to accommodate growth and execute leadership’s vision.
Above: Tim Waldsmith, KleenMark COO, has a little fun during Trina’s photo shoot
Can you share a little bit with us about how you plan to approach running the finance and accounting department?
I would say my management style is hands-off. I believe in working very closely with my team to set mutually agreed upon goals and then I get out of the way and let them perform.
However, once they have been empowered, I am pretty strict on holding individuals accountable for achieving the goals they have agreed on. Ultimately I believe in treating people with respect and integrity, and expect the same in return.
“I believe in working very closely with my team to set mutually agreed upon goals and then I get out of the way and let them perform.”
Finally onto some fun facts. Where did you go to college, what is your degree?
I graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a BS in Accounting and the New College of California, with a MA in Environmental Entrepreneurship.
Can you talk a little bit about your life outside of work?
I’m married with 2 step children; Nicholas (23) and Ally (25); and a dog named Jezzie who is a 13 year old Australian Shepherd mix .
Do you have any hobbies or other fun facts about yourself to share?
In my free time some of my favorite hobbies are golfing, cake decorating, rubber stamping, gardening and travel.
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