This month’s Woman Leader of PECO is Courtney Hathaway, Associate Vice President of Financial Reporting and Accounting. Courtney’s career has been a steady journey of increasing responsibility and success, fueled by her passion for excellence, accounting acumen, strong leadership skills and commitment to learning and growth for both herself and her team.
A Certified Public Accountant with a master’s degree in Accountancy, Courtney began her career at Deloitte & Touche in Boston, where she served a diverse group of clients in a variety of industries, primarily large publicly-traded accelerated SEC filers. She joined Phillips Edison in 2013 as a Fund Controller where she managed the initial accounting for one of the company’s funds during the organization and offering period. She also drafted the fund’s first set of financial statements to be publicly filed with the SEC.
In 2015, Courtney was promoted to Director of Technical Accounting where she was responsible for a variety of PECO’s accounting processes, working closely with both internal staff and external vendors. As part of this role, Courtney took on oversight of the company’s internal audit function and common area maintenance (“CAM”) customer relations team. Under her leadership, these teams implemented an array of structural and process improvements designed to enhance the customer experience during the CAM reconciliation process.
Courtney was promoted to her current role of Associate Vice President of Financial Reporting and Accounting in 2018. In addition to her previous responsibilities, she now also leads PECO’s financial reporting team. Courtney is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the SEC Professionals Group.
We asked Courtney what has helped her on the road to success and what advice she would give to other women hoping to move into leadership roles. Here’s what she shared.
What have been your most important keys to success?
I think my biggest keys to success are that I’m willing to put in whatever work it takes to get the job done – no exceptions. I’ve also been fortunate enough to work with brilliant and driven people throughout my career. I’ve only worked at one other company (Deloitte & Touche) before PECO, and I spent five enjoyable years there. When I decided to leave that first job, one of the hardest things to accept was leaving so many great coworkers behind. I was really impressed by all the people that I interviewed with at PECO, and sure enough, I ended up in a great department working for a fantastic company that hires and retains the best and the brightest. It’s impossible to have success without a great team.
What advice would you give to women striving to move into leadership roles?
My advice for women looking to move into leadership roles is to make your voice heard and your presence known. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be loud or outspoken if that isn’t who you are – it can mean becoming a resource or expert on a given topic, taking on special projects to meet new people and demonstrate your strengths, or speaking up in meetings and not being afraid to share your opinion. Portraying confidence and being somebody that your coworkers can rely on, to me, are important aspects of being a leader. And if that means being outspoken at times – well, that’s fine, too!
What is the best advice you have received from somebody that has helped you in your career?
When I began my career, I was still very much in a college mindset where I thought that working quickly and getting the correct “answers” in my work was how I would be evaluated. At the midpoint of my first year on the job, my manager told me that if I wanted to just get by at work, what I was doing (show up at 9 AM, work at a reasonable pace, have my work be accurate, and clock out at 5 PM) would certainly be sufficient. However, if I wanted to exceed expectations and enjoy the kind of success in my career that he could sense I wanted to enjoy, it was going to take more than knowing the answers and having things come easily to me. It was going to require extra effort, volunteering to take on more work and special projects, and generally being the kind of employee who was willing to give more than 100%. What he was describing was a change in mindset more than anything, and from the moment we had that conversation, I knew which type of employee I wanted to be. I changed my outlook accordingly and I’ve never looked back.
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