Senior Leader Spotlight: Carmen Wilson

Today’s Senior Leader Spotlight is an interview with Carmen Wilson, Director of Finance at Center for Human Services (CHS).

How long have you been involved with CHS?

I will have been working at CHS for three years next month.

How did you first get involved with CHS?

I previously had a career in public accounting, but I knew it was time for me to look for something new. I took some time off and then at the same time that I was looking for something new, CHS was looking for a new Director of Finance. It was really good timing so I knew it wasn’t an accident.

What does your role as Director of Finance entail?

I oversee the Finance Department. We are responsible for preparing bills that go outside of CHS, we handle cash management, accounts payable, payroll, as well as planning and monitoring the budget. We have to be organized and stay on top of things because we cannot be late. We are responsible for showing funders that we are trustworthy and that we are using their money in a way that they want us to use it. We have had zero findings in our audits for the past five years and we are very proud of that.

What is your favorite thing about working at CHS?

The people who work here live the values on the wall. You can see it in the work that we do, and I have a lot of respect and appreciation for that.

Which of our CHS core values is most important to you and why?

Integrity because it encompasses a lot of our other values. In finance, you need to be truthful, you say what you mean and you mean what you say. You can’t have a small deviation with integrity; you either have it or you don’t. If you intentionally mislead someone, you’ve lost your integrity.

Who is someone that inspires you to be a leader?

Different strong women who can lead, but do it with care, compassion, style and character. My parents always told me that I could do anything and to never limit myself just because I was a girl. My mom always had lots of integrity, she was a leader in our house. The many strong women I’ve worked with who lead with style, character and smarts proved that you don’t have limits. As a woman, you can do it. You can do things with compassion. I’m inspired by women who are leaders and do it their own way.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is more than just being the person out in front; it’s being the person in the group that encourages the group to keep going and decide what we need to do. A leader is up in the front of a group and within it at the same time.

To learn more about our Finance Department visit: http://www.centerforhumanservices.org/who-we-are/departments/finance/