Annette Welsh-Kastner | Chief Financial Officer
What do you love about your career?
Every day is different and I learn something new either in my role or about myself. I have been lucky to have the opportunity to work with some amazing people over the years, develop some top teams, and welcome new challenges and evolution. Much of my pride in myself comes from my work ethic and business accomplishments.
Tell us about something that is inspirationally important to you.
Tomorrow is a new day. Making mistakes is part of life. Saying “no” is ok. Not everyone will like you. Strength comes from within. Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional – having a big heart and is sign of strength.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career?
Make sure you choose a career because you love what you do and the people you do it with. In doing so, your job becomes a passion and is fun versus a means to an end. Work smarter, not harder. Avoid setting yourself up for failure by over promising and under delivering.
What advice have you received that has helped you in your career?:
I’ve had some great bosses and mentors over the years. One of my first bosses preached “surround yourself with good people and you will be successful”. Another was always very direct (which took some getting used to) but ultimately I appreciated as I was always getting feedback – good and bad – with no sugar, which helped me grow quickly. And ALWAYS lead by example – try to stay out of the weeds, but also know when you or your team need to roll up your sleeves.
Where have you grown the most in your career?
The most growth I’ve had is in my most challenging and rewarding career as “Mom” to my three boys. I was very much a “command and control” parent (and with my husband, and at work). However, over the years I have learned not everything will be perfect, take care of what you can, and do your best. For the rest, “let go and let god” trusting in your higher power and in the leadership you’ve given to pave the remainder of the way.
What does “success” mean to you?
Success is having the means to provide for, as well as time to spend making memories with my family. Also, having the means to help support my parents and ensure my boys are set so they don’t have to work as hard as I felt I needed to. And MOST IMPORTANT, having great friends to enjoy life and laughter with.
What makes a good role model? Have you had one that has made an impact in your life/career?
I’ve had many role models in my life, most of whom have been strong women. My Grandmother was the first female postmaster in Illinois and one of the first in the US. My Mother ran a cement and excavation company in the 80’s and was one of the only women in the industry doing so on her own after my father passed away, while raising two young children. These ladies taught me the importance of hard work, perseverance, and that I could blaze whatever trail I chose.
What are the things that have helped you excel in your life/career?
Always bring your A game and put forth your best efforts. Make sure you build a strong team. Stay connected with friends you make throughout your career and try to be in the right place at the right time! AND behind every successful person is a great partner – my husband is a true partner and does a ton at home and with the boys affording me the time as well as support I need to focus on my career.
Any additional thoughts that came to mind that you would like to share?
In order to succeed, you have failures along the way. Don’t let your failures deter or define you!