Overcoming Obstacles and Building a Finance Career: Raj Kailasanathan, Pt. II

In Part I of our profile on Raj Kailasanathan, the Director of Finance and Corporate Treasurer at Real Matters, recounted some of his most important early career decisions, explained his views on the value of networking, and offered valuable tips for standing out in a professional setting . This week, we’re taking a more in-depth look at Raj’s insight on mentorship and professional development, the importance of balancing work and home life, and the qualities he seeks when hiring new employees.

Read more


Overcoming Obstacles and Building a Finance Career: Raj Kailasanathan, Pt. I


Raj Kailasanathan, Director of Finance and Corporate Treasurer at Real Matters, explains the keys to his success he discovered as he overcame obstacles to build his finance career – learning the language of numbers, and realizing the value of networking.

As a newcomer from Sri Lanka, early in his career and upon first moving to Canada, Raj Kailasanathan had to overcome a number of challenges early in his career – from the language barrier with which he had to contend, to his initial shortage of professional connections – in order to establish his successful accounting career. Currently the Director of Finance and Corporate Treasurer at Real Matters, Kailasanathan took out some time from his busy schedule to share with us some of the secrets to his success.

Kailasanathan's inspiring story and diverse experiences offers other accounting and finance professionals some important takeaways about the importance of those early career decisions, the advantages of networking aggressively, and what you can do to stand out at work.

Read more


Improvising Your Way to Success

Jim Caltabiano, MBA/CFO, on Improvising Your Way to Success, Pt. II

Improvising Your Way to Success

In the second part of our story on Jim Caltabiano, the Vice-President and CFO of Campbell Company of Canada explains how, after a small “detour,” he found his way back on the path to success.

So you’d left Campbell’s to pursue something different. What was your next opportunity?
With the help of recruiters, I was able to land a position as Senior Director of Business Planning at Whirlpool Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers and marketer of home appliances. The week that I joined Whirlpool, however, also happened to be the week that Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. As a result, the credit markets were freezing up.

Read more


Success

Jim Caltabiano, MBA/CFO, on Improvising Your Way to Success, Pt. I

SuccessJim Caltabiano, Vice-President of Finance and CFO of Campbell Company of Canada, explains how even the best-laid plans can go awry sometimes – and how he refused to let any such setbacks keep him from finding success.

There’s a delicate balance you have to strike in managing your career. On the one hand, it’s important that you consciously and deliberately plan out your career so that you’re not blindly casting about without any real sense of direction or forward progress. At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always telling candidates to look ahead, not to their next job, but to the one after that, so they can lay the groundwork both now, and in their immediately succeeding role, for that ultimate promotion.

Read more


Building Success from Scratch: Greg Twinney, CGA (Pt. II)

In the second part of our story on Greg Twinney, the CFO and COO of Kobo, Inc. — makers of the popular line of e-book readers — describes his experiences as a finance professional in the fast-paced and ever-growing tech industry.

So you’d turned down your company’s offer for you to move to Cuba permanently to oversee their export operation. Where did your career take you next?
Well, after I left Canar [Coach, a bus rental company], I started looking for a new pursuit. To be honest, that was a really strange position for me to be in, just because I’ve been so used to working full tilt all of my life; to this very day, I don’t feel right unless I know I’m giving 110%. So it was weird for me to suddenly have to actually find something to do.

"...I’ve been so used to working full tilt all of my life; to this very day, I don’t feel right unless I know I’m giving 110%."

Read more


Building Success from Scratch: Greg Twinney, CGA (Pt. I)

Greg Twinney, CFO and COO of Kobo, Inc. — the Toronto-based makers of the award-winning Kobo e-book reader — explains how he’s made a career of turning small start-ups into big successes.

Read more


Enterpreneur Accountant Jim Mitrakos ,CFO to COO to President-Pt.2

Read Part 1 of Jim’s Story here

How was it different than working in Audit?
I now had seven different facilities under my purview. That was a big change. At first, I was surprised by how little information was filtering throughout the organization or reaching the people who had to make day-to-day decisions. So I quickly set about creating measurements and information packages that would educate and train our people about what they could control and affect on a daily basis.

Read more


Reach Your Goals

Entrepreneur-Accountant Jim Mitrakos,CFO to COO to President-Pt.1

Reach Your GoalsImagine reaching your career goals at the tender age of twenty-eight – an age when most people are just starting to establish themselves or even identify their goals. Many of us dream about what it would be like to realize our professional ambitions earlier rather than later in our lives. Yet few of us could conceive the kinds of challenges with which Jim Mitrakos found himself faced, as a precocious, twenty-eight year old Vice-President of Finance. Jim’s incredible talent, drive, and willingness to take risks, which have always been the equal of even his most senior peers, have propelled him along a path few have been able to follow – from CFO to COO to President.


Terry Gabriele, CMA, Measuring Success By What Matters (Pt2)

Read Part 1 of Terry Gabriele’s story here

11) How do you measure success for yourself? I believe that I have achieved middling success professionally (smiles). I measure success by my children’s happiness and success. The accomplishments of my kids are probably the biggest measure followed by the type of family we have and the experiences we have shared. We’ve travelled most of the world and we’ve done a lot of the things we wanted to do.

Read more


Terry Gabriele, CMA, Measuring Success By What Matters (Pt.1)

A former professional golfer, Terry Gabriele, CMA, talks about serendipity and the role that it played in advancing his career. What is apparent once you speak to him, however, is that he sets very clear priorities that allow him to take advantage of opportunities.  His first priority is his family. In fact, when asked to define his success, he will speak about his children’s happiness and their successes, rather than his own. To Terry, his hole in one, is the work/life balance that he has achieved. By almost anyone’s definition he has done very well professionally, and yet you get the sense that what he really measures success by has nothing to do with work.

Read more