The 12th Floor: Meet Joan from the Toronto Office
Our third post in the series features Intermediate Accountant Joan Hogan. Hello, Joan!
What’s your role here at the Agency? And how do you describe your job to others?
I’m one of the accountants on the Finance Team! I work in one of our offices generating invoices for our sponsors and then checking to make sure we receive payment. Also, I check the Lavin Inc. bank accounts and post all incoming payments and cheques. Checks and balances—that’s what I do! And these are just a few aspects of the job.
What’s your favourite part about the job?
My favourite task is investigative accounting. From time to time, we receive money from a sponsor and it will have a different name on the cheque than what we have on the contract. That’s when I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and look for clues to solve “The Mystery of the Unknown Payee.” Great satisfaction comes from solving the puzzle!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you come to work here? What were you doing before?
I came to Lavin in 2008, filling the role of receptionist. I was told it was “a receptionist plus” position. As I found out, it surely was, and I enjoyed learning the new skills of the accounting dimension of the position. Needless to say, there were days when I thought “what have I got myself into!” But I persevered and was glad I did, and I enjoyed the challenge.
I came from a job I had been doing for 12 years. So I was pretty comfortable and confident in that role. As my kids call it, I was “The Church Lady” (for any of you SNL fans), or a parish secretary, for the Archdiocese of Toronto, first at my parish church (Canadian Martyrs) and then at The Newman Centre, which is the Catholic Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto. It’s located right in the centre of the St. George Campus—a beautiful old heritage building, formerly the home of the Massey family, and very rich in history.
In July 2014 I was promoted to Intermediate Accountant here at Lavin. It was a challenging time in the finance department, but with a strong team of committed people we pulled through. Again, learning new accounting skills was exhilarating and I relished working the brain more thoroughly again.
Are there any highlights of your time here that you’d like to share?
One of the highlights of my time at Lavin is getting promoted to my current position. It was an unexpected but welcome surprise. And I was ready for the challenge of learning new skills. Some may think accounting is boring, but it’s not to me! Give me a spreadsheet any day!
Another highlight is something I worked on in December, and that was being on the planning team for Senior Events Coordinator Katie Thomson’s retirement celebration. This was a historical moment here at Lavin: Katie is the first retiree!
Do any of our speakers speak on topics close to your interests, passions, commitments in particular?
A couple of books I have enjoyed are Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison—it’s quite an insightful account of Asperger’s. I also enjoyed The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton for some financial investment understanding.
Speakers I would be interested in seeing are Arlene Dickinson, Drew Dudley, Vijay Gupta, and Rick Mercer, to name a few.
That concludes our third 12th Floor conversation! To begin the search for the ideal keynote speaker for your next event, get familiar with Lavin’s philosophy through our FAQ section, search our roster by idea—innovation, leadership, economics, politics, and dozens more—or scan through a list of our latest, most exciting keynote speakers.