This is the sixth installment in our ongoing ‘Meet the Parklane Team’ Q&A blog series. In this installment, we introduce you to Ash Gottmers, our Director of Finance.
Whether it’s in the design, fabrication or installation phase of a noise and vibration control project, our Parklane360 service approach has been built around our customers’ needs. But setting the stage for our team to deliver high-quality engineered products and services requires the right internal systems and processes—including on the finance and accounting front.
Ash Gottmers is the person leading that charge at Parklane, developing, refining and optimizing our financial systems and procedures. Having joined our team only recently, Ash is already making his presence felt. He brings unique perspectives from other sectors—including manufacturing and technology—and is applying lessons learned and best practices from past roles to help position Parklane for growth across Canada and the U.S. in the years ahead. In our latest ‘Meet the Parklane Team’ blog, Ash walks us through some of his educational and career highlights, provides an overview of his ongoing volunteer work and explains how a key referral prompted him to consider joining our company.
Team member: Ash Gottmers
Position: Director of Finance
Education: Ash completed his undergraduate degree in business administration (finance) at the University of Windsor. He would go on to earn his designation as a Chartered Professional Accountant.
When he’s away from the office: Ash is a long-time supporter and volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre Wellington, both as a treasurer and board member. He’s passionate about giving back to the community and mentorship. “It’s nice to be able to use my skills for something really meaningful, like using my accounting and finance background to help an organization that does so much good,” he says of his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
When he’s not at the office or volunteering, Ash spends time with his wife and son, tries to find time to play basketball and enjoys exploring new vegan restaurants.
Can you tell us about your professional background?
I don’t have a typical accountant’s background. When I left university, some friends moved to Tokyo to teach English and I followed them, staying two years to teach. I eventually wanted to use my finance degree and came back to Canada to work in the banking and credit sectors, and that’s when I did my CPA, CMA designation. When I first started in credit, the financial crisis had hit in 2008-09 and a lot of companies were struggling, with some going bankrupt. That whole period offered some important lessons in evaluating companies for credit risk and their financial stability.
After that I went to work for a major appliance manufacturer where I worked on different projects, both in accounting and treasury and analyzing product return trends. Later, I moved on to the technology sector and then eventually to Parklane.
What’s your current role on the Parklane team?
I’m the Director of Finance, but my role is really focused on preparing the company for the next stage of growth. We’re currently analyzing every accounting and finance policy and looking for new efficiencies in everything from our budgeting to a new ERP system. That’s important because we’ll need to continuously enhance our finance capabilities as we expand throughout the U.S. At the moment it’s about having the ability to see into the future and predict where we’re going to be as a company, forecasting based on the right financial metrics and anticipating changes to our marketplace, along with the economy as a whole.
How does your prior experience relate to this current role at Parklane?
Those previous positions exposed me to companies across a wide range of industries and helped me understand all aspects of accounting. They also underscored the importance of the finance role, in general, helping me understand how a simple decision can have a huge impact on a company’s future.
Going back further in my career, teaching English overseas taught me the importance of patience and how to communicate effectively. I still enjoy teaching my colleagues or clients about new concepts, only now I get to do it from a financial perspective.
What drew you to Parklane?
The moderator of my CPA program recommended that I take a look at the posting for this role — they thought I’d be a good fit for the company, and Parklane would be a good fit for me — and they were right. I respect them a great deal and am grateful they thought of me when they saw the role come up.
When I met Greg and Matt (Downey, Parklane’s founder and president, respectively), I got excited about having the opportunity to help shape the direction for our finance department and then develop a strategy to optimize our systems and infrastructure. Everything I was told about the company was true. It’s a well-run family business that really cares about hiring team members based on cultural fit. I’ve experienced a variety of workplace cultures in my career and can tell the ones that really walk the walk – Parklane is one of them.
Everyone at Parklane has a voice, they’re listened to and respected. That was very clear from the minute I started working here.
What do you think is the most unique feature of Parklane’s culture?
I would say it’s the collaboration between the different team members and department leaders. We all want to see the company grow, to execute on leadership’s vision for growth and to achieve success together. The core values of the company are inspiring and we’re living them every day. Now part of my job is to tie back goals and KPIs to those values and the wider strategic vision. That’s a really exciting opportunity.
Need to reach a Parklane team member to discuss your noise and vibration control challenges? Contact us now.