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Jodi Bauman, Manager of Project Accounting, joined Walker in 1999. She has been growing into her manager role ever since she was hired. Jodi has developed her skills and continued her education and training to better herself and career year after year. We are wrapping up our first year of Walker Headlights with her at the forefront. We welcome you to get to know more about Jodi through our one on one sit-down interview with the accounting guru:

Q: You are the perfect choice for the final Walker Headlights of 2015, this has been an incredible year for you! Congratulations on all your accomplishments, to give the readers an idea can you let us in on your top highlights from this year?

A: 2015 will always stand out in my mind. It was the year I decided to take charge and get healthy. Our accounting department was refreshed and recharged with the addition of our new CFO, Jim Orchard, and I took on more of a leadership role – I became more involved as a manager with the hiring of two new Project Accountants. I joined a fitness class and completed a 100-pushup challenge that took me about 8 weeks to train for. I ran my first 5k ever. I’ve never been a runner, so this was a huge accomplishment. All around, I feel like a new and improved Jodi.

Q: In your managing role you were faced with acquiring new talent in the project accounting department, seems your due diligence has paid off with some great new additions! What advice do you have for others faced with filling positions and going through the hiring process?

A: Think outside the box! I wasn’t getting many resumes or at least not ones that were a good fit for the position, so I started searching for candidates instead. I began with LinkedIn by doing a free one month subscription to LinkedIn Premium. If I found someone I was interested in, I would send them a message. I also went on and searched resumes based on qualifications. I changed my job ad a few times too, this refreshed the feed and allowed me to move up the list to reach prospects. I also changed the job title to get new hits.

Jim was a big influence with the hiring process, he changed my view of the process. My priorities for a candidate are completely different than when I first started looking. An emphasis is put on the interaction I had with the candidates after the initial interviews and I cannot stress enough the importance of a Thank You letter to follow!

Project Accounting

Q: 2015 was your year to get fit, what lifestyle changes were you able to make?

A: The biggest change was I started working out on a regular basis, about 3 times a week. When the New Year came I tried a new fitness class in my town after coming across a Facebook page for a women only workout group. The group promoted challenges such as the Beachbody challenge, plank challenge, and the 100 push-up challenge, all which I completed!

Q: Working professionals have little free time for fitting in workouts or meal planning, what are your best tips to them that could fit into their hectic daily schedules?

A: You have to make time! I usually get up at 4:30-5:00 in the morning which allows me to fit in a quick 20-30 minute workout before I get ready for work. It really depends on how much time I have, but I always look at it as something is better than nothing.

Q: You constantly surprise your fellow team members in the Elgin office, even stumping every table at the annual Christmas party with a Jeopardy question about riding motor/dirt bikes; how did a quiet gal from accounting get into something so rowdy?

A: Growing up as a kid, I always wanted a go-kart and I never got one. My husband, Brian, loves motorcycles or maybe it is anything with an engine! We have owned everything from street bikes, dirt bikes, 4-wheelers, wave runners, jet skis, snowmobiles, go-karts, to a Porsche 944. We currently have 3 dirt bikes (two that are ridable and the third one should be built by next riding season), 2 street bikes, and a snowmobile. In our spare time, we load up the dirt bikes on a Sunday and will go riding at a local riding park for the day.


Q: Got any other surprising facts about yourself for us?

A: I am avid about rescuing pets! My first was BeBop, a Pomeranian, then came another Pomeranian named Peanut. Chipmunk the cat found us as a kitten abandoned in my husband’s truck. Now Patchie who came from a local rescue last year when she was 3. We enjoy them being a part of our lives  – Patchie gives the cat a good chase, then retreats to her bed in our master bedroom (seen below) every evening and we wouldn’t have it any other way!


Q: We know you’re big on charity work, which is a quality we love! What influenced you to be so philanthropic and what attracts you to consistently give back?

A: I got started about 8 years ago when I come home from our annual Walker Ladies Gift Exchange and my husband commented ’what do we need all that stuff for?’ and encouraged me to “adopt a family” that could actually use the gifts. The next day I called the local Salvation Army, it’s that easy! There is always someone who is in a less fortunate circumstance than yourself and if you have the means to give back, you should. Giving to others makes you feel like you’re making a difference, especially during the holiday season. 

**This is what Jodi and her team of Walker elves were able to put together for a family this year – check it out!**

Q: Thanks for being an inspiration, you are definitely changing the typecast of a typical accountant – we look forward to seeing what you will do in the future, do you have any goals for 2016 in the works that you’re willing to share with us?

A: A professional goal would be to continue to develop our accounting team and take advantage of newer features in Deltek. I am hoping to speak at the Deltek conference in 2016.

I am also working on attaining my Group Fitness Certification, so I can start teaching fitness classes in my spare time. With this certificate I would also like to promote a healthier work lifestyle within Walker, starting by launching monthly challenges in our Elgin office and hopefully expanding out to the other branches.Dirtbike 1

Thank you, Jodi – we wish you continued success in the New Year!

You can reach out to say Happy New Year or see if you can get in on the challenges with Jodi HERE.