Laura Castrogiovanni, SVA Certified Public Accountants
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Laura Castrogiovanni, director of client operational services, SVA Certified Public Accountants.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
I think managing relationships can be challenging. In my role as the leader of our outsourced accounting service line, managing internal and external expectations can be the most challenging and rewarding part of the job. This role requires my team and I to provide extraordinary customer service to both internal and external clients. We must provide our services within a standard — cost and specifics of how work is handled — to be cost effective and consistent. My goal is to always offer our clients high-quality service at a reasonable cost. Managing multiple relationships and expectations can be challenging in general but they can also be very rewarding. The key is to always be open to learning and growing. Having open and honest conversations about expectations leads to strong communication and creates relationships that have the ability to flourish.
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
I have always looked up to my brother-in-law, Bill Wallace. Throughout the last nearly 30 years, he has always been a mentor to me in both work ethic and family relationships. We have both developed in our careers during this time and when I need to run something past someone, he is the person for me. Bill relies on his faith in a higher power to make good personal and work-related decisions. I am thankful for the relationship we have developed over the years.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
In 2011, I completed my MBA with Cardinal Stritch University while working full-time and raising two middle school kids. I was really stretching myself, but I proved to myself that I could achieve anything. Shortly after completing my degree, my company went through a restructure, resulting in my job being eliminated. I was offered the opportunity to move across the country for a different role. It wasn’t the right time for me or my family. As I sat down with my boss, he encouraged me to look at what I had accomplished and identify other opportunities for myself. I was able to pivot and found meaningful work that allowed me to develop myself even further and take on new challenges.
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Have patience and don’t sweat the small stuff. This continues to be a struggle at times, but I remind myself to breath and establish goals that are achievable to allow myself to see progress and celebrate the wins. I still like to stretch myself, but I am mindful to not overdo it. Balance is very important.
What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
My family and I moved to Dane County in 2007. I have had opportunities to move away, but we have always chosen to stay. I love that we get the best of both worlds — a small town feel but with bigger city advantages. Now that my children are adults, I don’t see us moving away from the area.
Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
I don’t know that I have any secret talents or abilities. I really enjoy baking and entertaining others. I love to share these talents by providing sweet treats to my family, friends, and co-workers.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Dark chocolate, massages, and relaxing on a boat ride.
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