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July 2007
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The Scoop on FEWnet
 
The Scoop on FEWnet

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"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in; their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within."
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Greetings, FEWnet friends! We hope this summer has been a safe and enjoyable one so far. We appreciate all of you who were able to join us for our annual FEWnet celebration in June. Both Kaye O'Leary, CFO of Buca, Inc., and Pam Knous, CFO of Supervalu and Twin Cities Chair of the Go Red Campaign, delivered memorable keynote addresses on leading with strength and courage - a perfect fit for our FEWnet community and this month's Member Spotlight! A perfect evening of networking was rounded out by a silent auction raising money in support of Go Red's mission of reducing heart disease in women. A special thank you to both of this year's winners, Deb Schoneman and Teresa Ranallo. Thank you to all who participated.

Did you enjoy the conversations that were started at this summer's event and are you looking for similar opportunities for connection? Our monthly small groups are a vibrant, growing part of FEWnet and we encourage you to contact Melissa Mlakar at mmlakar@certespros.com if you would like to get more involved.

Kind regards,
Sally Mainquist, President and CEO
Certes Financial Pros


FEWnet Member Spotlight
 
FEWnet Member Spotlight

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"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
- Anais Nin

Norma Porter

Norma Porter is the Vice President of Finance for DeCare Dental, the management company for Minnesota's largest dental benefits administrator. With a mission to help ensure that all Minnesotans have access to a wide range of affordable dental plans, this leading brand serves over 8,300 Minnesota-based purchasing groups with more than 3.2 million members nationwide.

With solid roots in Urbandale, Iowa, Norma chose Luther College in Decorah as the place to earn her B.A. in Accounting and Mathematics. She later got her start at Deloitte Haskins & Sells before joining DeCare Dental as an Accounting Manager. The ability to develop skills in line with company growth has been her greatest accomplishment in an impressive tenure that spans nearly two decades.

In her current role, Norma oversees cash management, investment oversight, risk management, billing, and accounts receivable. She also acts as the liaison with rating agencies. With an infectious spirit and an obvious love for what she does, we could see quickly why she is the "go to" person for special projects. Between leveraging business partnerships and preparing two daughters for camp, we were pleased to find a moment to talk about how opportunities to stretch one's talents and overcoming an introverted nature can lead to great professional and personal success.


Table Talk
 
Table Talk

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Discover what our FEWnet small groups are talking about.

  • Company supported networking groups for women are on the rise.
  • Ma'am, put the BlackBerry down and your head up.
  • (Working with) "Kids these days!"
  • Tips on determining fair and competitive salaries in today's hot market.
  • Flexible work arrangements - an improvement or the demise of productivity?


What FEWnet Members are Reading
 
Title - What Members are Reading

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If you're tired of living the "deferred-life plan;" the traditional mindset of working hard until retirement age and only then, taking time to fully enjoy the fruits of your labor, we encourage you to use The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss as impetus to start living life large instead of postponing what brings you most joy. Deemed a "must read" by an impressive list of C-level executives, inventors, and entrepreneurs of all ages, we found this month's "Member Read" to be a better resource for tapping into the minds of our Millenial staff members and children. Either way, it's quite a ride!

With a secondary title being, "Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich," we weren't sure what we would find between its covers. What we found was a cleverly written, at times brash, and completely enjoyable roadmap for helping overworked employees and entrepreneurs put their lives in perspective and focus on the important things in life.


Karen's Corner
 
Karen's Corner

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The Tortoise and the Hare

I have a friend who believes in weaving through traffic. It is so downright scary that I have to cover my eyes. She takes ridiculous risks but it feels like progress to her. That would make her the hare in Aesop's famous fable. I am a right lane driver, and yes, that would make me the tortoise.

This famous story from our childhood has relevance to the business world too. Public companies, our old role models, are moving at lighting speed due to media scrutiny. That makes for some very scary hares in my eyes. If one analyst says the company's SG&A is too high, BOOM! Almost the next day, there is a downsizing in the company headquarters. I challenge us to question whether moving that fast will really get us to the finish line first.


Announcements
 
Announcements

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Kaizen Breakthrough Experience Workshop

Experience the dramatic bottom-line improvement and new manufacturing and process efficiencies you can achieve and sustain as a member of a Kaizen - a system of continuous improvement that was created in Japan following World War II. You will learn: 1. How to use Kaizen to rapidly eliminate waste and generate dramatic improvement and cost savings - through your own hands-on implementation in an actual manufacturing or business process. 2.LeanSigma, the revolutionary process that combines Lean and Six Sigma into a single, coordinated initiative - and how Kaizen is a critical part of this process.

Sponsor: TBM LeanSigma Institute & Foldcraft Company
When: August 6 - August 10, 2007; 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Location: Foldcraft Company
Kenyon, MN
507-789-5111

Cost: $3450.00 single; $2950 for groups of 3 or more

To Register: Click here for more information or call Mike Zsitnyar at 800-438-5535 x823


FEWnet Members on the Move
 
Title - On the Move

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Jen Bradway has been promoted to Director of Financial Analysis at Secure Computing. Congratulations, Jen!

Linda Peterson has been promoted to Finance Manager at Medtronic. Way to go, Linda!

Jennifer Mukhtiar has recently accepted the position of Director of Finance at M. A. Mortenson Company. Best wishes to Jennifer in her new role!

Liz Wagner and her husband, Dave, welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Virginia Rose, into their family on April 23. All the best to the Wagner family!

Karen Reynolds is now the Executive Director at Gray Plant Mooty. Best wishes, Karen!

Julie Gasper is now the Controller at Renewable Power and Light, following a contracting role at the same company through Certes Financial Pros. Congratulations, Julie!

Jennifer Facciani has recently accepted the position of Director of Finance, Planning & Analysis at M. A. Mortenson Company. Warm wishes to Jennifer!


Perm Candidates / Long-Term Contractors
 
Long-Term Contractors / Perm Candidates

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Certes Financial Pros is a financial placement firm specializing in providing professionals to Twin Cities' companies needing project, interim staffing, and permanent hiring support. Whether you have a temp or temp to perm need, Certes Contract is here to help with a wide variety of high level professionals to ease your team's workload.

The Perm Placement Network by Certes connects financial professionals with permanent positions in the Twin Cities while providing companies with highly qualified, screened candidates at all levels of accounting and finance. To explore this or other opportunities, visit us today!

Do you have an immediate need? Check out our current available lists and give us a call.

Long-Term Contractors Available

Perm Placement Candidates for Hire


Certes Financial Pros.
Your bridge to a better life.


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