Staff Spotlight: Megan Zug

Our Geneva Global team members have different backgrounds, life experiences, interests, and expertise – but we share a dedication to collaboration, innovation, equity, and integrity – all in the name of delivering excellent client service and furthering our goal to change the way we think about philanthropy. To top it off, our team is made up of genuinely nice humans who are a joy to work with – both in the office and over Zoom. We’re excited to share today’s staff spotlight feature: Megan Zug, Finance Director.

How did your career journey lead you to Geneva Global?

For nearly ten years prior to joining Geneva Global, I served as the Corporate Controller for a fin-tech company. I oversaw finance and accounting functions, including day-to-day operations, developing and monitoring internal controls, and financial reporting for the public company. Prior to that, I was an auditor with a public accounting firm, where I served a broad range of clients, including professional services, manufacturing, health care, non-profit, and other industries.

When I decided to make a change in 2018, I sought out a workplace culture that aligned with my values of integrity, connectedness, equality, duty, and learning. I found all those things in Geneva Global and have spent the last three-plus years working to achieve professional success by:

  • Contributing to Geneva Global’s goals and helping make positive impacts for our clients; and
  • Working directly with Karen Robinson, our CFO/COO and my boss. I hold Karen in high regard and have learned so much from her example and coaching.

 How has your role at Geneva Global evolved?

I have worked with my team over the last three-plus years to improve our processes so we can meet the increasingly diverse needs of our clients, philanthropic endeavors, and internal operations, especially since Geneva Global was acquired by Global Impact in 2019. I’ve worked to build an organizational climate within the finance and accounting group that promotes collaboration and commitment by providing learning and growth opportunities for employees while consistently raising performance expectations. I also joined our senior leadership and have enjoyed working with colleagues across the enterprise to provide strategic direction for the company.

What fulfills you most about your role?

I love discovering ways to connect people, leveraging each person’s uniqueness to achieve shared goals. At Geneva Global that looks like:

  • Supporting colleagues so they can focus on what they do best – helping charitable programs thrive and philanthropic efforts succeed; and
  • Passionately coaching ambitious accountants to help them achieve their goals – professional and/or personal.

Every day I wake up excited to work with my colleagues at Geneva Global. Finance, accounting, and HR/operational colleagues often call each other “Rock Star” and there’s a small rock we passed around to each other pre-COVID. Each person is a Rock Star, so together we are “The Band!”

How has your field changed over the last few years?

New accounting rules have been established to increase transparency and consistency in financial reporting, such as for revenues and leasing obligations. We also use technology more and more for transaction processing and dissecting and aggregating financial information for analyses, which creates opportunities to better apply what we learn.

What are you most excited about for the future in your field?

Accounting is a continuously evolving field. I’ve found that those of us who work in it are always seeking to improve and strengthen processes. There’s always more to learn about and improve upon.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in your field?

I have three pieces of advice:

  1. Work with people who love to learn – they are the best teachers.
  2. Read The Go-Giver, by Bob Burg and John David Mann.
  3. Always do the right thing, even when it’s hard – you’ll sleep better!

What are you reading right now?

I’m re-reading The Color Purple by Alice Walker, for our upcoming book club discussion in celebration of Women’s History Month. I first saw the movie in 1991 and have loved the piece of work since then. I later read the book as an undergrad at West Chester University.

Expecting my first child in 1991, the main character Celie struck me with her absolute, selfless love for her children. More than anything, I wanted to be like Celie as a parent. I have kept Celie and Whoopi Goldberg, who portrayed Celie in the movie, close to my heart ever since.

Where do you get your news?

WHYY 90.9 FM (Philadelphia), including news and entertainment from NPR, APM, BBC, etc. plays from a clock-radio in my kitchen every day.

How has your work-from-home journey been? Any tips or tricks?

Pre-COVID, Geneva accounting staff worked primarily in the office. Shifting to 100% remote work challenged us in many ways, especially because many processes included in-person tasks – signing checks, banking, mail-based bills, team conversations, in-office scanners and printers, etc. Our team rose to the challenge and has made many improvements to our processes, technologies, and communications to make working from home easier.

On a personal level, working from home was hard at first. My first workspace looked into my backyard, which I enjoyed a bit too much and found it hard to stay focused sometimes. It seemed to take more energy for me to produce less than I did pre-COVID.

I felt discouraged and guilty so I decided to do something about it and figure out what would work best to optimize my new normal working from home. I moved my home workspace to a smaller room that I only use for work and brought home an adjustable standing desk, a comfortable chair, and bigger monitor from Geneva Global’s office.

Reinforcing everyday work-from-home routines has helped, too, including re-arranging some meetings, having early morning commitments, and committing to not do chores during work hours. I found that my productivity bounced back and continues to rise. I appreciate the opportunity to work from home and help keep my colleagues safe and healthy.

For more information about Megan and to meet the rest of our team, please click here.