Karen McGowan, CFO QualiTech

Karen McGowan, CFO QualiTech

Karen McGowan, CFO at QualiTech, is known for her leadership, fairness, and strong work ethic. Throughout her career, Karen has encountered complex situations and has been able to quickly determine solutions and strategize. Her honest and transparent approach is appreciated and is unflappable under stress. She brings a great mix of curiosity, mentorship and strong technical ability. In leadership roles and as a consultant, Karen is well-respected. Her accomplishments across accounting and finance are wide ranging and have prepared her well for her current CFO role. Her ability to make a difference wherever she goes made Scouts Talent curious to learn more…

If you could try a different job for a day, what would you choose?

I would love to perform with Bruce Springsteen. Just one song. Now, to be fair, the mic would need to be turned off but the Boss and I would put on a show!

What advice would you give someone starting out in your industry?

I would advise them to show up every day with their A game. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t fully understand. Lastly, I would suggest they choose a mentor that they respect and have something in common with.

What is your mantra?

Be kind. You never really know what someone else is going through.

How do you get yourself out of a slump?

When I am struggling, I try to spend time with my son or a good friend. Someone who knows me and who will help me shake it off.

What companies or leaders do you admire?

I admire leaders who are honest and have the best interest of their people at heart.

What has been the biggest shift you’ve noticed in your industry in the last decade?

I have been watching an increased value in working from home. For finance that was not really an option pre-COVID. Finding a balance between meeting the company needs and those of the employee will be critical going forward if finance departments are going to retain talent.

Who has been most instrumental in your career?

From a personal perspective it has to be my son, Jake. He has supported me through many ups and downs and has helped me to keep focus on what really matters. From a business perspective it would be my mother. She taught me accounting and a love of business from an early age.

What is your go-to celebration meal, drink or tradition?

That has definitely changed over the years. It used to be a margarita or a nice red wine. Most recently it has been a sports game or a dinner out. I will take any opportunity to celebrate!


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