CPA, Audit Manager, Moriarty & Primack, P.C.; Age 31
There are days when sorting out a problem in a client’s accounting is the best part of Rebecca Connolly’s day. There are others when it’s teaching real-world tactics to college students at her alma mater, Elms College, and still others when it’s building forts of pillows and having a mighty Nerf gun battle with her 4-year-old son, as her 4-month-old looks on with glee.
It’s a balancing act, she says, but one she’d never trade.
“I enjoy what I do, and that makes all the difference in the world,” said Connolly, audit manager with Moriarty & Primack in Springfield. But that’s not all there is to the equation: Connolly was one of the youngest people ever promoted to manager within the firm, while at the same time serving as an adjunct professor at Elms.
“I thought I wanted to teach at one time, but I found public accounting, and I love it,” she said. “Now, I love being able to teach what I do and pass on what I’ve learned.”
She also sits on Elms’ Business Department Advisory Committee, helping to guide development of new classroom materials, and volunteers for the college’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education) workshops.
“To me, that is what we should be teaching girls, hands down: there are degrees that lead to STEM professions. I wish someone had brought it up to me even sooner, because I’ve always loved numbers.”
That enthusiasm and mind for numbers serves Connolly well, but also benefits many other aspects of the community. She’s an active civic leader, serving as treasurer for the Springfield Boys and Girls Club’s board of directors, volunteering with Junior Achievement — including as a teacher of JA’s life course “Economics for Success” — and working to promote emerging leaders through her membership with the Mass. Society of CPAs’ Western Mass. chapter.
“I like to be as useful as I can be,” she said. “I like the fun of trying to work out problems, like a puzzle. That’s where my passion is, so I have no problem being on finance committees, giving advice, and helping to find out what it’s going to take to reach certain goals.
“I work with for-profit and nonprofit businesses, both small companies and those with high net worth,” she continued. “So I have a well-rounded view of the business environment, and I can answer a lot of questions.”
And if there are no Nerf wars scheduled, answering that question might even be the best part of Connolly’s day.
— Jaclyn Stevenson
Photography by Leah Martin Photography