My Job at E-Dak

Coming to E-Dak, for me, meant leaving a comfortable "big-six" accounting
position to work for a 30-person start-up. It was a tremendous gamble, but my
choice came down to whether I wanted to continue performing repetitive audits or
face new challenges at E-Dak Dynamics, and in the process help to change the

Working for E-Dak places me at the epicenter of one of the world\'s most dynamic
industries: telecommunications/ networking. Although I knew little about E-
Dak\'s domain of fiber-optics, I felt strongly that my fate rested in the
trenches of Silicon Valley, in an industry where only the paranoid survive, at a
company with a business model in defiance of Moore\'s Law. At the time the term
\'information superhighway\' hadn\'t been coined yet, but it would soon become our
driving focus, as data traffic over long-haul networks skyrocketed and the
world\'s telecommunications providers increased their investment in high-capacity
fiber-optics. With an innovative product line that provides pavement for the
information highway, E-Dak quenches an unending and growing thirst for bandwidth.

For me E-Dak has meant working at the fourth fastest growing company in Silicon
Valley, with $500 thousand of revenue exploding to over $60 million in four
short years. It has also meant playing a role in the information revolution.

E-Dak gives me a broad business perspective. It\'s relatively small size
facilitates a close interaction with department heads. If had I stayed in
public accounting or gone to a larger corporation, I would not have earned the
same breadth of experience, most likely being limited to working within a single
division or with a handful of accounts. At E-Dak my scope encompasses all
aspects of accounting and finance across the entire enterprise. My reports show
the "big picture" and are used extensively by senior management as a map to
chart company progress and plot future growth.

A start-up firm gives me the opportunity to deal with a wide variety of issues.
From its infancy, I have had the chance to help shape E-Dak\'s growth strategy.
Once proving myself to management, I was given challenges beyond the realm of
debits and credits, including managing a short-term investment portfolio,
implementing an information system, establishing a German joint venture, and
financing a real estate deal. I derive much pleasure in overcoming each new
challenge and cherish the knowledge and experience gained in each endeavor.

E-Dak has allowed me to develop working relationships with a premium community
of finance and accounting professionals. I\'ve gained insight into how
accounting firm partners manage audit teams, how top-caliber investment bankers
perform valuations, how banking officers approve funding requests, and how tax
attorneys structure cross-border transactions. Additionally, the contacts I\'ve
made are invaluable to my career development. International exposure is
imperative to success in today\'s integrated global economy and I\'ve also found
it to be very enjoyable. Enriching business travels with the CEO to Ireland,
France, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, and China have allowed me to visit museums
and other places of interest, to talk with locals, and to observe other cultures.

My direct supervisor, the CEO of E-Dak, fosters a set of values that reflects a
confidence in, concern for, and desire for open communication with me and every
other employee. In offering us new challenges she gives her staff the
opportunity to professionally evolve. If an employee is faced with financial
difficulty, she assists them with personal funds. All of this encourages a
sense of nurturing and belonging. E-Dak employees share the same vision, work
as a team, and care for each other like family.

A common downside of family controlled companies is the tendency toward nepotism.
Employees learn to become wary of an "untouchable" group of staff and feel they
must continually consider the political implications in dealing with them. I
applaud the good natured intentions of a business owner to aid relatives, but at
some stage in the growth of an enterprise, nepotism needs to be restricted. At
E-Dak, if I were promoted to senior management position, I would have
accounting launch a new measurement program which, if effectively implemented,
can give managers objective feedback on employee performance and subsequently,
cultivate a new management culture. In a position of greater authority I would
continue to address this issue by emphasizing a clear body of employee standards
and measurements.

Category: Biographies