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HR in the Car - Episode 20: "You Have To Be Empathetic"

Know what a Mustang Sally moment is? You’re going to love our next guest’s story of Mustang Sally. Along with that, Amy brought our first four legged guest star to the show (Paxton). Listen in as we discuss the impact culture can have on your business as well as the relationships you make with customers. Amy shares how she measures culture when matching her team with her customers and how it creates greater connectivity and partnerships. 

About Amy

Amy Roman is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of NY as well as a Certified M&A Advisor and Certified CultureTalk Partner. She is the founder and owner of Strategic CFO Resources LLC, d/b/a CEFO Advisors. The business was formed in June 2013, with the idea of helping small businesses balance Strategy, Finance, and Culture to achieve optimal results. Amy’s career began as a Staff Accountant for UKW (UHY) in Albany from 1985 through 1990. Amy moved to New York City in the early 90’s and worked for several small and mid‐sized companies in senior financial positions for 20 years. Much of what Amy’s experience was focused on included helping CEOs build value within their firm to achieve their optimal exit valuation. The last 10 years in NYC included working for the portfolio companies of private equity firms. She worked on acquisitions, divestitures, and was brought into organizations as the CFO when facing margin dilution problems, maximizing value for exit as well as similar types of challenges.

While in NY, it became apparent to Amy that being a CFO was rarely a full-time position. Amy found that 20% of her time was spent at the CFO level and the other 80% was spent filling in wherever necessary. When Amy moved back to Albany, she realized she could assist multiple businesses as a fractional CFO. When Amy first opened CEFO Advisors, she worked with up to 6 small businesses at any given time as their fractional CFO. Several of these businesses remain clients today. Today, CEFO Advisors works with over 45 businesses assisting with their accounting operations and CFO Advisory needs. CEFO has a team of 20 individuals who are CFOs, Controllers, Accountants and Bookkeepers. The firm grew 72% between 2020 and 2021 and the compound annual growth rate since 2018 was 56%. Together we share the passion to support small business owners grow their businesses and achieve their dreams. 

Amy S. Roman
Vice President
CEO of CFO Advisors, Inc.


Voiceover: Welcome to HR In the Car with Miriam Dushane and Tom Shin of Alaant Workforce Solutions, where exciting HR professionals and business leaders share laughter, insider stories, and maybe even a few tears about HR in today's world. Buckle up for the best half hour of your week.

Tom Shin: I'm really excited to have Amy Roman on the show today. It's been a long time since our first interaction. I want to say she and I met through SEDC six, seven years ago.

Miriam Dushane: Oh, wow. You've known her that long?

Tom Shin: Yeah.

Miriam Dushane: Okay.

Tom Shin: And so she has so much knowledge and she's one of those people. The first time I met her, I'm like, "I'm scared of her," because she was so knowledgeable and so confident about all things accounting and running businesses and just the amount of information that was coming out in this conversation was just mind-blowing I'm like, "I'm intimidated." But then she reached out to me to grab coffee. I'm like, "All right. I feel okay."

Miriam Dushane: There you go.

Tom Shin: And ever since then, we've had a great relationship and it's going to be a fun conversation to have her on and learn about both... She talked about her dogs and how she got her start.

Miriam Dushane: Yeah, it's a great conversation and I'm excited for everybody here at... So let's listen in.

Tom Shin: So I want to welcome Amy Roman to HR in the Car. Thanks for joining us today, Amy.

Amy Roman: Thank you very much for having me.

Tom Shin: We're so excited. I know you and I have known each other for a bunch of years now, and it seems like, I said this on one of the other episodes, the pandemic just kind of sped things along. There's like a time warp.

Amy Roman: It is a time warp. It's pre-pandemic, post-pandemic is how so many people refer to stuff. And it's true. Absolutely. Different worlds, different-

Miriam Dushane: So many things changed.

Amy Roman: So many things. Yeah, absolutely.

Tom Shin: So Amy, for those that don't know, Amy runs and owns CEFO Advisors out of Saratoga Springs, and we'd love to let you talk about how you started that. What was the reasoning or the passion behind that and where you got to... or how you've gotten here from there?

Amy Roman: Thank you. That, that's a great question. I worked in New York City for 20 years as a senior financial professional for different kinds of companies. The last 10 actually were for companies owned by private equity firms. The entire time I was working as a senior financial professional, I found myself only utilizing my CFO brain 10 to 15% of the time. So as a CFO, I'm also managing HR, I'm managing the accounting teams. And even in larger companies, I was doing... filling in wherever you have to fill in. And then the CFO part is always the first part that gets tackled. But there's so many other things that also have to get tackled.
So when I moved back here 10 years ago, I realized you know what, there's an opportunity for me to be a CFO for a lot of small companies or many small companies because I could compartmentalize each company and just use my CFO thinking power to help them. And there was, there'd be no downtime. Whereas when you're working for a regular company, there's cooler talk, there's come in and complain to the CFO talk kind of stuff. And we don't really have that anymore. And so we're very effective and efficient that way. And I think that's the one thing I really, really love about what we do is that we're effective and efficient.

Miriam Dushane: But I think one of the things that's super interesting about your business, Amy, is it's CEFO.

Amy Roman: Yes.

Miriam Dushane: So it's not just CFO, right? It's including that chief executive officer mindset combined with that chief financial officer mindset, where a lot of times that's lacking in some way or the other. Sometimes it's the CEO side for a small business, sometimes it's the CFO side for that business. Sometimes it's both.

Amy Roman: Right.

Miriam Dushane: Because a lot of times I would imagine you're working with a lot of business owners that are visionaries or they're really good at their business. But you see those commercials on TV where if I just look at those invoices long enough, maybe they'll just disappear. And as CEO, that part still has to happen. So talk a little bit about when you're working with a variety of businesses, and we just talked offline, basically you are working with CanCode Communities, which is an organization that's very important to me. I'm on the board and they have a complex nonprofit, accounting, not system, but how they have to do things because of the grants and the restricted funds and this and that. It makes my head spin because I'm sure there's way too many spreadsheets for someone like me.
But talk a little bit about that and talk about the combining of both of those together, because that does differentiate you from others that might just be performing accounting functions in the marketplace.

Amy Roman: Yeah, exactly. And what's interesting about what we do is that our CFOs are not just... They're not accountants. I mean, they are accountants, but they're not just accountants. They're not just the number cruncher. You remember in the old days with the things on their-

Tom Shin: The sleeve.

Amy Roman: Yeah, the sleeve holders and the abacuses and stuff.

Tom Shin: The visor.

Amy Roman: The visor, yeah.

Miriam Dushane: Well, I think of the visor and the tapping away on the... My best friend's an accountant and she can move on a one of those... What do they call the big chunky-

Amy Roman: 10 key?

Miriam Dushane: Yeah. Holy cow.

Amy Roman: We were taught to do that. And Ian Kanes from UKW made us foot the phone book when we were interns.

Miriam Dushane: What the heck does that mean?

Amy Roman: That means we had to add up the phone numbers. We had to 10-key the phone numbers.

Miriam Dushane: No way.

Amy Roman: That was the first thing we had to do when we started at UKW back in the day.

Miriam Dushane: Shut up. Oh, my God. I mean, I've heard of salespeople opening the phone book and just starting to call people, but I've never heard of using it for training.

Tom Shin: Well, it's funny, now is you run into folks coming into the workforce and you show them one of those keyboards that has the 10... just because they're just used to laptops at this point.

Miriam Dushane: Yeah. What is that?

Tom Shin: You show them the 10 key, they're like, "What is this madness?"

Miriam Dushane: Yeah.

Tom Shin: I'm like, "Oh no, you..." I took typing classes.

Amy Roman: That used to be one of my superpowers back in the day, because I loved going really fast and being accurate.

Miriam Dushane: I'm fascinated by it because it's... I'd love to see you in action.

Tom Shin: I'd like to make the tape move and hear... Right? It's kind of like the old typewriter, hit the swing arm and it goes, "Ding."

Amy Roman: But that's the past. And that was very cutting edge back then. But now things have changed so much. So our CFOs are operationally... They have an operational mindset. They're not just focused on GAAP, generally accepted accounting principles, but they're understanding first and foremost, what is the operation? How does it work? CanCode, whether it's CanCode, or any one of our other clients, profit or non-profit, and what's the best way to manage the business and bring in accounting? Because accounting should not dictate business rules. It should support business rules.

Miriam Dushane: Ah, yes.

Amy Roman: And so very often I see accountants who are kind of new in the workforce or who have always been accountants, not understand that difference. So you really have to get to know the business. And my people, my CFOs, that's the first thing they do, is they understand the business. And because of that, they can do a really great job making changes and bringing efficiencies to all the organizations that we support.

Miriam Dushane: Gotcha.

Amy Roman: I want to tell you where our logo and our name came from though.

Miriam Dushane: Oh, yes.

Tom Shin: Love that.

Amy Roman: This is really a great story. So one of our clients, Casey Toomajian, who is the CEO of Hometown Healthcare in Clifton Park.

Miriam Dushane: Yes.

Amy Roman: Great company. When I first started bringing on staff after I had gone and finished with the solopreneur and realized I needed to build some depth, I said to Theresa Agresta, who was doing our marketing at that time from Allegory Studios and CultureTalk. Said to her that Amy does a really great job bridging the CEO and the CFO.

Amy Roman: So that's where CEFO came from, was Casey's comment about how I was able to bring together those mindsets and really get everybody to communicate on a level playing field and understand what we're all talking about.

Miriam Dushane: Gotcha. And you just reminded me with the CultureTalk, and one of the things that you do as you're onboarding a new client is you put them through the CultureTalk program so that... Well, I'll let you explain it, but there's not a lot of organizations out there that, especially in plain language, number crunching type industry would say, "Before we take you as a client, we have to do this first."

Amy Roman: Yes.

Miriam Dushane: So talk about CultureTalk and how that helps you get to know a business and align yourself with those businesses.

Amy Roman: I believe in CultureTalk wholeheartedly, and I've seen it work and I've seen when you're not using it fails for our business. So everyone that comes to work for CEFO has to do a CultureTalk assessment because we use that information to build teams. I use the CultureTalk assessment, the archetypes. And Tom, you've been-

Miriam Dushane: Tom knows it.

Amy Roman: I use the archetypes to understand and build teams, and it's all about how they communicate with each other. There's certain archetypes that won't work well together. And I understand that.

Tom Shin: Yeah, it's more work.

Amy Roman: It's more work and it's... CultureTalk kind of takes away the confrontational conversations. When you bring it down, if you're struggling with someone and you bring it down to their archetypes and you start understanding what motivates them on their best day and on their worst day, you can then take that information together and have a comfortable conversation about it. And eventually you'll start laughing about it because it takes all that uncomfortableness away. And so we use that with our clients.
When I onboard a new client, I make everyone that works with us take the CultureTalk assessment. And I use that information on our writeup, for our initial client writeup, to say why I feel that this is a good client and why I feel that the team that's assigned to this client is going to work. Now, I will be honest and tell you that for a little while, I allowed that to stray.
We hired a director of operations and she was trying to change the organization in a way that would make it more efficient and make the workload better streamed across the organization. So we got away from using that CultureTalk process in a couple of our situations. And in each one of those situations, I had to make staffing changes. So it's good because it proved that...

Tom Shin: Well, you don't learn that lesson without breaking from it.

Amy Roman: Correct.

Tom Shin: Not that you had to, but you did. And here's the case study of why I need to continue doing a how I was doing it.

Miriam Dushane: Absolutely.

Amy Roman: Exactly. I mean, we had someone that needed to be put into clients to start working. They kind of fit in a selective box because of their archetypes and because of their skillset. Excellent accountant, wonderful person. But I knew when we went to put them in a couple of different clients that they probably wouldn't work out really well. And that's exactly what happened. And when I allow myself to veer from that program, we have less positive results.

Tom Shin: Right. Well, and we talk about with our clients in terms of what's the learning curve, how quickly do you need this person to ramp up? Because there's that base level skill, but there's that people component, the soft skills we talk about quite a bit. But that's a key element is if you're too far off on those archetypes, there's a lot more legwork invested. It can be done, but it's kind of the oil and water kind of thing.

Amy Roman: It is.

Tom Shin: You've got to keep blending it and keep paying more attention to it, and does the hiring manager have that energy and time to spend there?

Amy Roman: Well, there may be some really good accountants out there, but when they have very strong archetypes and in combination, they sometimes-

Tom Shin: The flexibility isn't there.

Amy Roman: ...lack that flexibility. They lack the empathy that is so critical in my business. To be very successful in this business, you have to be empathetic. Every single one of our CFOs and controllers have to have a level of empathy that speaks to their clients. Because being a CEO is hard.

Miriam Dushane: Yes.

Amy Roman: You know that from experience, right? And there are days where it's just beyond you.

Miriam Dushane: Yeah.

Amy Roman: Because you're dealing with so many different things. It's so much better when you have somebody that can relate to what you're talking about and has that empathetic nature about them where they can talk to you about different solutions and helping you through that. And I hire for empathy. When we hire, we look for that person who's empathetic.

Miriam Dushane: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Well, it's funny. And what's interesting about that, Amy, is we all have stereotypes in our brains on accountants, on software developers, on engineers, on sales people, right?

Amy Roman: Yep.

Miriam Dushane: And that's not the right way to think about all of these roles in those positions and the people who fit into them. And just because you're an accountant doesn't mean you don't have a personality and aren't empathetic to clients, to situations. And it just again, goes to show where we are all in the people business.

Amy Roman: We are all in the people business.

Miriam Dushane: You focus on a skillset that relates to numbers, but you're still in the people business.

Amy Roman: Yes.

Miriam Dushane: So yeah, common theme for us.

Tom Shin: We bring that up in a lot of our conversations. And even after we do our recordings for each of these episodes, we're talking about it afterwards, either in the beginning or the end, or even just kind of walking out to the car afterwards.

Miriam Dushane: Absolutely.

Tom Shin: Constantly, it's finding that right match of the people skill that's needed for the role to be successful. And it doesn't mean that they're not a good candidate for X, Y, and Z, it just means they have to be able to bend and shape Play-Doh, right?

Miriam Dushane: Right.

Amy Roman: Yeah, absolutely.

Tom Shin: And you can smell Play-Doh now as I say that, right?

Miriam Dushane: Yeah. So funny. So before you started your business, you said you were a financial professional.

Amy Roman: Yes.

Miriam Dushane: So did you go to school to be a financial professional?

Amy Roman: Yes.

Miriam Dushane: Is that what you always wanted to do? Did you grow up going, "I want to be playing with numbers and working on spreadsheets?" I mean, tell us a little bit about that.

Amy Roman: Well, growing up in a Jewish household, you have three choices. You become a doctor, a lawyer, or a CPA, right?

Miriam Dushane: I actually didn't know that those were the rules, but okay.

Tom Shin: Nope, I know exactly what you're talking about. Yeah.

Amy Roman: I don't know that my dad would agree with me, but we were pushed in a certain direction and I knew I wasn't going to be a doctor because sitting at the dinner table all those nights, listening to my parents talk about what went on, that was-

Miriam Dushane: No way.

Amy Roman: No way.

Tom Shin: Nope.

Amy Roman: So I was battling and trying to decide between being an attorney and an accountant. And I was led by one of my freshman advisors to go the accounting route. Because I started out mid-range and started out to be in business management. And she saw a promise and she just basically shifted me from business management to accounting. But I had taken accounting courses in high school also. And I love the fact that numbers just have to balance in accounting.

Miriam Dushane: They don't lie.

Amy Roman: Yeah, and there's a sense of-

Miriam Dushane: I hate that, by the way.

Amy Roman: It's a sense of accomplishment when your debits and credits balance and your trial balance balances. And nothing throws an accountant off more than when it doesn't. It's easy, if you need that instant gratification, it's a great job to start out with. And then I worked for UKW, which is now UHY for about five and a half, almost six years, between Albany and Manchester, Vermont.
And then I came back to the area and I worked for a couple small companies as a controller and met my husband and moved to New Jersey within a year.

Miriam Dushane: Oh, wow.

Amy Roman: And started working in New York City. My father pretty much disowned me for a little while. Because you're a little Albany girl, and what are you doing down in New York City?

Miriam Dushane: Really?

Amy Roman: Yeah, I mean, he's very old-fashioned. But I did it. My husband would walk me to my office and pick me up and take me to the train for the first couple of years because he knew I was scared. And he was probably the rock of my success initially. He was just there for me all the time and supporting me. He would sit down at Mustang Sally's waiting for me when I had to work late. So he was drinking beer and waiting for me. And I would come down at 7:00 at night and we'd have dinner, and then we'd take the train home. And so it was fun. I mean, I've really enjoyed those early years. And then as I started to really progress within my career, I started to learn different things. Realized I had a thirst and desire for M&A. So I got involved in acquiring companies and selling companies I was working for and bringing on investments. And it was really exciting to me. It's like when you're closing a deal, it's that rush you get, right?

Miriam Dushane: Oh, heck yeah.

Amy Roman: Yeah, it's amazing. And so I got very involved early on in my career, I think I was around 30, 31 when I first did my first sale of a company. And I was like, "Balls on fire," because... You can remove that.

Miriam Dushane: No. That's staying.

Amy Roman: Because when you're in your early 30s, you don't have any fear, right?

Tom Shin: Right.

Amy Roman: You're like, "I've got this, I can do this." And so I was negotiating with an acquirer. I was negotiating about EBITDA add-backs. It was my first time and I was learning this and I was flying with it. And it was such a rush. It really was. And so then I knew I was where I needed to be, and I just kept increasing my skills and working in different types of companies, not really knowing where I was going to end up, but really loving the ride. And then when I moved back here 10 years ago, I was like, "Okay, I'm 50. What am I going to do?" The world is open to me, but, well, at the time I thought no one wanted to hire a 50-year-old accountant. And so I just went out on my own. I jumped again and did it. You can-

Tom Shin: And look where you are now. But all the stuff that you just talked about, we've been talking in a couple episodes ago, we talked about L&D and that practice moment where folks get to try things out. But there's that element where we talk, you know, hear people talk about learned helplessness, but you learn how to talk successfully or how to speak successfully about what you were confident in, what you knew to be true and factual. And again, the numbers don't lie. It's right or it's wrong. And so that confidence just builds and steamrolls and it puts you into this situation where you are now, where 10 years in you're kind of sailing high and running your own ship and calling the shots and putting people in good situations.

Miriam Dushane: But I want to throw out there what she just said about no one wants to hire a 50-year-old accountant and-

Amy Roman: That was my perception.

Miriam Dushane: That is your perception. But your perception was based on fact and reality of things you probably witnessed and experienced at other places. And so my argument to that is, is you're right. I'm not going to say you're not right on that because there are a lot of companies out there that are shortsighted and stupid. But what I'm trying to demonstrate is look at the talent that you Mr. Company have now lost out on because look at all the experience you could have brought to an organization. Look at all of the things that you're doing now that you rightfully so should be benefiting from and being extremely proud of.
But I'm just here to say that companies need to stop thinking that way and have a better mindset about experience.

Amy Roman: They really do.

Miriam Dushane: And stop making assumptions about older generation or older veteran people in the workplace. They may not want what you think they want, they may not need what do you think they need. Interview them. Get to know them because a lot of times they are passing over great experienced people.

Amy Roman: It's true.

Tom Shin: Everybody wants something different at their point in life.

Miriam Dushane: Right.

Amy Roman: There's a common misconception about people my age that we don't know how to use computers. We don't know how to do system integrations and implementations. And I will tell you today that I can run circles around anybody who's younger than I am in those areas and my team can too. I hire and look for people with experience. I look for people that have a lot of different experiences like I do that can bring that information together to best help our clients. And on the first meeting, they're sitting across from the CEO and they're already saying, "Let me ask you a question. What about this? What about that? Well, have you thought about doing it this way?" And so there's tidbits of information that we're constantly providing to our clients in every meeting. And it's because they have that background. And I'm blessed to have the staff that I have. We're now up to, on January 3rd, we'll be up to 20 again.

Miriam Dushane: Woo-hoo.

Amy Roman: Yeah, I know.

Tom Shin: Good number.

Miriam Dushane: I know, I know. It's like, oh, 20, that's a lot of people.

Amy Roman: Thank God for Jen Massey and Integra.

Miriam Dushane: There you go. There you go. I mean, I know exactly how you feel. I feel that way too. So I want to flip the script a little bit, because you've been in the Business Review. They've done some nice pieces on your business and a profile on you. And as we're talking right now, we have a special guest here with us, Mr. Paxton, who is an adorable and amazing, who just did downward doggy, corgi. And so I want you to talk a little bit about the dogs, only because I am a baby and I love animals more than people.

Tom Shin: And her voice changes when she talks to them.

Amy Roman: So does mine.

Miriam Dushane: Yeah, I mean, you saw as soon as soon as Pax walked in, I was like, "Come here baby. Come see me." But you now have five corgis.

Amy Roman: I do.

Miriam Dushane: So talk to me. I think it's fun to talk about and learn other sides of people's personalities and it's not all about Amy, the CEFO owner, business operator and financial professional. I want to learn a little bit more about corgis.

Amy Roman: Okay. Paxton is our oldest. He's nine. He comes to work every day.

Miriam Dushane: Yes, he does.

Amy Roman: He's the only dog allowed in our building.

Miriam Dushane: Oh, wow.

Amy Roman: I told Mr. Ruin that right after COVID, I said, "Listen, I'm under some anxiety and I need to bring my dog to work," because on the days that he's in the office, I am much calmer and happier.

Miriam Dushane: And he is too.

Amy Roman: And so we're all-

Miriam Dushane: His tongue is literally hanging out right now.

Amy Roman: He actually goes out trick or treating in different offices. He either gets cookies, dog cookies, or he gets massages from the chiropractor.

Miriam Dushane: He's no fool.

Amy Roman: They call him in. They love him. He has really lent a comfort around the office. And he comes up to everybody. He's very friendly. He's kind of the glue that's keeping us together through all of these tumultuous times, the COVID and now the upcoming perceived recession and inflation and everything else. He keeps us focused.

Miriam Dushane: I love that.

Amy Roman: But I do have five in total.

Miriam Dushane: Yes, I know you do.

Amy Roman: So we have a baby. We have a little baby. Her name is Derby Rose. She is four and a half months.

Tom Shin: Should be racing at the track this... No.

Amy Roman: Yeah. Well, you know where the name came from, right?

Miriam Dushane: Yeah.

Amy Roman: And she is four and a half months. And she's a bloomer also. She has blue eyes. Beautiful little girl and the sweetest dog I've ever met. And we have Fauci, Dr. Fauci, he is our COVID dog.

Miriam Dushane: Shut up.

Amy Roman: Yep. And Brutus is our camouflage dog. He's got camouflage colors. He's also a Merle with tan points. And then there's Lola, who is actually Paxton's sister from a different litter. So they have the same print parentage.

Miriam Dushane: Oh wow. Her name was Lola, she was a show girl.

Amy Roman: She runs the show, that one. She is... Yeah. So it's quite the pack at my house.

Miriam Dushane: I love it.

Amy Roman: Yeah.

Miriam Dushane: I love it. Talk to us a little bit about... You just mentioned that you, did say join the board for Wellspring?

Amy Roman: I did. I recently was asked to join the board for Wellspring. So I start January 1st. We had orientation. Maggie Franc is amazing. I mean, what she has done for that organization is incredible. The board is made up of a really incredible group of people. And I'm so excited about being able to lend my experience helping them.

Tom Shin: They've got the great new facility there.

Amy Roman: They do.

Tom Shin: Up in Malta, and they've done great things.

Amy Roman: They really have. They really have and their services are so needed. I mean, I was sitting listening to her in awe the other day, and she just really is passionate and knows how to bring programs.

Tom Shin: She's been there a while.

Amy Roman: 20 plus years, I think, right? But it's an amazing program. It's amazing group.

Tom Shin: She's doing amazing work with that community of women in need who have... even women who have children trying to break away from abusive relationships and other situations that just can't do on their own. And so it's a safe haven.

Amy Roman: Yeah, and she finds them shelter, she finds them jobs, she finds them training. And it's not just she. It's she and her whole entire team. But it's an amazing, amazing place. And I urge everyone to go pay her a visit up in Malta at the new facility. They'll show you around and you can't help but be welcomed in and really, really listen to the mission-

Miriam Dushane: And want to be involved and want to be involved.

Amy Roman: And want to be involved. Exactly.

Miriam Dushane: Amazing. As we wrap up today, we ask all of our guests, what is in their roadside assistance kit? What gets them through the day? So if you were to say, "This is my go-to in my roadside assistance kit," what would it be?

Amy Roman: Well, there's a lot of things get me through the day. Obviously we know Pax is one of them. My team. My team at CEFO, these amazing people I think are really my roadside assistance kit. Every single one of them is passionate about small business, is passionate about CEFO and what can we do better, what can we do more of and how can we help our clients. And that is so critical to me in where I am today in life and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I'm turning 60 in February.

Miriam Dushane: Amazing.

Amy Roman: I know. It's crazy.

Miriam Dushane: Congratulations.

Amy Roman: It's just going by so fast. And I want to just continue to build the company and leave it in good shape when I do decide to leave.

Miriam Dushane: Well, I think you're doing an amazing job.

Amy Roman: Thank you.

Miriam Dushane: You are an amazing story. I'm so glad that you're in our region and thank you so much for spending this time with us today. And of course, bringing Pax so I could have a little snuggle in between sessions.

Tom Shin: He's got his tongue to sort of hanging out while he's taking a nap.

Miriam Dushane: He's got his tongue hanging out. We will have lots of pictures on our show notes about Wellspring and the work that Amy's doing. And we have to include pictures of the pack. So please send those to us and we'll get them up.

Amy Roman: I will, I will.

Miriam Dushane: Because I don't know about you, but dog pictures and cat pictures are what I look at on the internet, and I can guarantee you we'll get way more clicks if we've got some dog pictures.

Tom Shin: Very true. Very true.

Miriam Dushane: So let's bring them on. So thank, Amy. Thank you so much.

Amy Roman: Thank you very much for having me.

Tom Shin: Thanks for joining us. So which of the five dogs do you think would be your favorite between Lola and Brutus and Derby Rose and Paxton and Fauci?

Miriam Dushane: Well, I mean, you got to love a good Fauci, right? I mean, come on, he was like the COVID hero. In my mind, he's COVID hero. So Fauci is going to be on there. And then when she said he's on the couch, when he jumps on the couch, she calls him Fauch on the couch. That's awesome. But Lola, come on. I would be singing that song every day. As soon as she said Lola, I couldn't help but burst into song about...

Tom Shin: Yep, I was waiting for the music to come around.

Miriam Dushane: I know, I know. But, okay, so again, this is about people, accounting is about people. Real estate's about people. Technology is about people.

Tom Shin: Yeah, I think that's the big myth about accountants and folks in that financial industry is that they are so lockstep in what they do that they can't entertain anything else. They can't have conversation. And obviously Amy's so chatty. You get talking to her and you get to know her and she has so much knowledge and wants to share. And you can tell she cares about her people and what they think.

Miriam Dushane: Well, she does care about her people. No one implements something like CultureTalk in their organization. And oh, by the way, makes their clients go through it so that they can make a good match so that it's a successful relationship if they don't care. And so she's just a shining example of that. And I love her story. I love how her husband would wait for her outside the office in the city. That's just like, I was like, "Aw".

Tom Shin: Yeah, the Mustang Sally piece just made me laugh.

Miriam Dushane: But again, she was great conversation, lessons that we can all bring back to our offices and our day-to-day work. So she was great.

Tom Shin: Yep. So for more information about Amy Roman, you can read through the show notes on You'll learn about Fauci and the others. And feel free to subscribe for future episodes of HR in the Car. And thanks for listening.