10 Qs with Rhysie Nance
Director of Finance and
Accounting for AshBritt
1. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?
6. HAVE YOU READ A RECENT ARTICLE OR BOOK THAT INSPIRED YOU?
I started out in college at Vanderbilt University as a Political Science. After college, D.C. was calling, so I decided to pursue a career there. I served on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs where I helped to provide analysis of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. After working on Capitol Hill, I wanted to try the government relations side of politics, which is how I ended working for AshBritt. The main focus of my job was sharing AshBritt’s capabilities with local, state, and federal elected officials. After a while, I was fortunate enough to go back to graduate school at the University of Texas and get a Masters in Accounting. I'm now back with AshBritt as the Director of Finance and Accounting.
I've been focusing more on getting settled into my new life in South Florida, so I haven't been reading too many work-related books. I do love staying informed on politics and news though!
7. HOW DO YOU STAY ENGAGED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY?
Since I am new again to South Florida, I have been taking the time to really dive deeper into networking within my community. I am working on growing my network and becoming a part of the emergency management community once again. Many people outside the emergency management community aren’t familiar with the important role AshBritt plays, so I always think it is beneficial to network and discuss the vital capabilities we can provide.
2. WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
A project I'm most proud of was when I helped AshBritt's recruit more small, minority, and disabled-veteran businesses for our response efforts in natural disasters. AshBritt is capable of expanding rapidly in the event of an emergency, so working with people and businesses of the affected communities can be beneficial in a response mission while also helping give back to the local community.
I'm actually a huge political junkie! I could read about news and politics 24/7. Politics was my first passion in college, so I really enjoy staying up to date on the issues.
9. ANY TIPS FOR WORK/LIFE BALANCE?
3. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE A ROADBLOCK FOR WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY?
I always tell people that work-life balance probably doesn’t look like it does in your head. To me, balance can be different things at different points of your life. Balance can be working 80 hours a week – potentially to accomplish a particular goal or working towards a promotion. Other times, balance may mean leaving work at 4:30 to make a weekly tennis lesson or take your daughter to dance practice. There is no perfect work/life balance. It is all about your priorities in your current stage of life.
A roadblock for women in the industry would have to be the fact that it is unexpected to see women in our field. This has traditionally been a male dominated industry, so women have to work together as a community to continue to promote the capabilities of each other in this industry. Recently, I've seen women begin to have more prominent voices in our field so the change is happening.
10. SHARE YOUR BEST CAREER ADVICE.
4. SHARE A HOT TOPIC OR TREND IN YOUR FIELD!
My dad always said, "You can always make the decision to do something else.” I think that advice has always helped me be able to make big career changes even when they feel overwhelming. Just because you have committed to a particular path doesn’t mean that path can’t change.
After my first position with AshBritt as the Director of Government Relations, I decided to go back to graduate school. This meant I had to step away from the emergency management industry, but now that I'm back as the Director of Finance and Accounting, I'm excited to work in this space of emergency management and see how the industry has evolved.
I have two. My first piece of advice is to be willing to be a fly on the wall and absorb everything that is said to you or to others. Sometimes it is ok just to listen and learn. This is a time for reflection and educating yourself further if the topic is new or complex. However, the other side to this is not being afraid to give your opinion, advice, or thoughts when you do have something to input! You never know how others are looking at a situation, and your thoughts or ideas may be the missing piece in the conversation.