Vern grew up in rural Washington state near a fishing town, in a house on a beach, overlooking part of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. He graduated from the same high school as his father and grandfather. Vern then graduated from Western Washington University and promptly moved to southern California, where he met his wife and lived for ten years before moving to Loveland in 1994. The youngest of his three kids is the only Colorado native in the family. Riverside is the first non-manufacturing job Vern has held. As the CFO, he is responsible for financial reporting, financial planning, banking relationships, risk management and everything else financial. Vern received his CMA (certified management accountant) certification 10 years ago and is now working on a follow-on CSCA (certified in strategy and competitive analysis) certification. He will sit for the exam in March.
Vern and his family enjoy vacationing in Mexico, usually Playa del Carmen & Puerto Vallarta, and quick trips to Las Vegas in the winter to catch a little warmth.
1. What three traits describe you?
b.) Patient, able to defer gratification
c.) Numbers oriented (I have a spreadsheet for everything)
2. What are you most excited or passionate about in your career?
Making a business succeed through strategy and planning.
3. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
Right out of college, I took a job at a tax-preparer shop in Oxnard, CA. On the first day, I realized the owner was running a scam to get as many customers through the shop by getting them unreal (and fraudulent) refunds. I guess he had been doing this for a couple of years. He developed a blue-collar (oil rigs) clientele. The word had spread of the near 100% refunds and the lines were out the door. I quit at the end of the day. All the clients got audited and the owner went to jail a year later.
4. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I probably be building a real estate investment business by flipping houses.
5. Who lives in your house (people, pets, etc.)?
My wife, Laura and her five cats (not mine!). My son, Kevin is still living with us and saving money to buy a house.
6. Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
While I was in college, I fished commercially in Alaska on a salmon seine boat.
7. What was your favorite subject in school and why?
Economics. It just made the world make sense to me.
8. What kind of music do you listen to?
I can listen to most classic rock and country music. I really like big band music as well.
9. You can only eat the same three foods for the rest of your life. What are they?
Qdoba burritos, grilled elk steaks and apple pie.
10. Tell us about your most unique travel experience.
Piloting my brother’s 38 ft. dive boat from Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska.
11. Name a food item you wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.
Lutefisk. I grew up in a town with great Scandinavian heritage.
12. What movie could you watch over and over? Why?
The Perfect Storm. I can relate to it pretty well with my fishing experience.
13. Tell me about your best friend.
Mick is my best friend. We were roommates in college. He has stayed true to his values since day one and is a successful businessman owning the same sound production/reinforcement business since we were roommates.
14. Who would play you in a movie about your life? What would be the title of that movie?
Robert De Niro. “The Greatest Fisherman who ever Lived”.
15. Tell us about your best live performance experience.
I was a drummer. I met some guys on college who wanted me to play in their band. They were complete hacks but had a lot of stage charisma. They got a gig to play at some outdoor event on campus. I agreed to do it but did it with a paper bag over my head as “the unknown drummer”. It ended up being a successful, fun and funny gig.
16. If you could choose one amenity to add to the workplace, what would it be?
Personal, free tech support available all the time.