Meet the Team: Tara Leonard
written by Maya Guevara 12/11/2020
For this week’s Meet the Team, we are introducing our Financial Controller, Tara! Tara keeps the team afloat and organized, and we are appreciative of all she does. Read more to learn a bit about what she does — in the office and outside of it as well.
An asset to the team
Tara was brought on to the NephōSec team in February of 2020 as our Financial Controller. While she is approaching her one year anniversary with us, she is not new to the world of finance. Tara has been working in finance for 20+, and with that experience comes a wealth of knowledge. She began her journey into finance by becoming a teller. From then she transferred to the call center, moved into operations, went into IRAs, and continued stepping up the ladder.Tara soon became a supervisor of one branch in her company and then began to oversee multiple branches. She describes her progression through the financial space as a natural one. Good with numbers and figures, with a passion for figuring things out, finance came easily to Tara and is something she continues to enjoy.
As Tara explains it, the transition from working at a large company to working with the NephōSec team was exciting. At Nationwide, she worked with accounting departments, conducted research, and oversaw people — here, she does the same thing except instead of overseeing people, she is wearing all the “different hats” and completing tasks herself. Here at NephōSec, Tara makes sure to keep us afloat. Her day-to-day tasks involve balancing the books, paying bills, sending invoices and talking with vendors, and of course, getting on the team for expenses.
One aspect about working at NephōSec that Tara loves is the smallness of the company. At a bigger company, you can feel that you are just one of many. With NephōSec, however, it is easy to feel valued and know that what you are working on directly benefits the team. There is an intimacy within the team as well that makes work fun and enjoyable. Additionally, Tara believes that working for a growing company is exciting. New events, new people, and new products constantly keep people on their toes and in anticipation of what is to come.
Outside of work
When Tara isn’t balancing the books, she can typically be found outside. When her oldest son was in the fifth grade, their family moved onto a farm. With kids in 4H and as a 4H advisor herself, it seemed perfect to move to a house with more land and space. Her kids were able to enjoy the outdoors and learn valuable life skills from keeping up with the farm, so there was never a dull moment in their family. Tara often jokes that she has a crazy zoo crew with all the animals the farm has accumulated over the years. She has a 24-year-old horse named TJ, Norman who is the cow and gentle giant, two ducks named Lenny and Shirley (and their ducklings as well), a rescue dog named Fozzie Bear, and a load of hens that are too many to name and keep straight.
The biggest lesson Tara has learned from her time on the farm is that you have to really love what you do. Keeping up a farm is no easy task. There are daily chores and long-term projects that require constant attention and maintenance. Whereas most people can pick up and leave for vacation, putting cats and dogs in boarding, Tara and her family have to organize other plans — there’s no boarding for cows and hens. Luckily, her son is always ready to step in and help out, but overall, having a farm is a job itself and it is not a job that can be taken lightly.
Tara and her family like to spend time outside not just on the farm, but hiking as well. Their favorite hiking spot is Hocking Hills, and they made sure to go camping and cabining a lot when her son and daughter were growing up. Even when they aren’t hiking at a park, Tara makes sure to go walking every morning with her mom as well. Other than spending time outside, Tara also enjoys reading. Romance novels are her favorite, and she has read many books from Nicholas Sparks.
Tara’s fun fact is that she and Thomas, our CEO, are siblings. In fact, there is an ongoing joke to refer to their parents as “Tara’s parents”. The joke began when Thomas asked Tara a question and she responded with, “Yeah, me and my mom… “. Now, the story is a funny anecdote that gets told whenever a new member joins the team.
The key takeaway? Tara, and all of us at NephōSec, are passionate about what we do.
Come back next week to learn about another of our great team members, or, connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.