Nora Crouch is often described as a problem solver and connector of dots. As a professional who likes to be presented with new challenges and to make a difference, she has time and again proven herself as the perfect board candidate.
Her career experiences and responsibilities have grown over the years, which have made her an effective leader and a skillful financial subject matter expert.
We set up a series of conversations with Nora, to better understand her vision.
Nora, you have previously described yourself as a ‘financial chameleon’. Tell us more about the diversity of your expertise in the market and how that contributes to your value as a board member.
“When I first described myself as a financial chameleon, it was the diversity of my career experiences that came to mind and how my career path has evolved based upon the opportunities and challenges I have been presented.
“Over the course of my 35+ year career, I worked across a number of financial disciplines and industries which is quite unique for someone whose early career was very specialized. Like most undergraduate accounting majors of my generation, my first job out of college was as an audit staff member with one of the “Big 8” accounting firms. However, I had the good fortune to work with and for a number of people who took an interest in me and my development. Others often saw a skill or a talent that I may not have seen on my own. They encouraged me to take career risks by accepting tasks and roles that often others did not want or that others may have been unprepared to accept.
“By taking on those risks and accepting those challenges, I was able to master a number of financial disciplines during my career including audit, tax, SEC reporting, treasury, risk management, capital planning, accounting policy and external audit oversight. I was also able to develop deep knowledge and experience across several different industries including insurance, fund management, private equity investing, manufacturing, retail, and media/television production. And my executive experience allowed me to lead various strategic initiatives including mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, and turnarounds.
“While the broad and deep base of technical knowledge that my experience as a ‘financial chameleon’ brings to a board is important, I believe it’s the personal characteristics that I developed because of those experiences that are more valuable as a board member. I am a person who rises to the occasion, leading when necessary and following others when not; I am a person who is motivated by challenge and sees opportunities at times when others do not; I am a person who has learned to create value by ‘doing different things’ and ultimately by ‘doing things differently’; and I am a person who benefitted from the help of others and I am committed to paying that forward by serving as mentor and sponsor for those who are currently rising through the ranks.”
Great talking to you, Nora. Thanks for sharing.