Meet the Team: Christie Kent, Our Newest Addition
We at SirsiDynix are very excited about our newest member of the executive team, Christie Kent. Christie came on board in May and is now acting as our Chief Financial Officer. To celebrate the addition to our team, we want to take this opportunity to introduce you to Christie and tell a bit of her story.
|Name||Christie Lipkie Kent|
|Family||Married 14 years; daughter 8, son 10|
|Hobbies||Hiking, skiing, mountain biking; on the Sweet 'n Low women's biking team|
|Geography||Grew up in Woodridge, IL; went to school in Iowa City and Chicago; worked in Atlanta, Charlotte, and San Francisco; lives with family in Park City, UT|
|Bookshelf||Last book read: Life Reimagined by Barbara Bradley Haggerty; loves classic literature—Russian, Jane Austen; a general fan of well-written literature including historical fiction and exciting contemporary like Gone Girl|
|Education||Bachelor’s in business from University of Iowa
MBA with an emphasis in finance and accounting from University of Chicago
Christie grew up outside of Chicago in the small town of Woodridge, Illinois. She began her education in Iowa City at the University of Iowa. As a young woman, she chose U of I because it had a good business school and would allow her to strike out on her own, as she didn’t know anyone else there. Before she had even begun her undergrad degree, Christie had determined she would study business. By the end of her first year of business school she had chosen her emphasis: finance.
“I think of myself as being very analytical and I like to solve problems,” said Christie. “After taking my first year of basic business courses, it was very clear to me that finance would be a perfect fit.”
Following her undergrad, Christie worked as a consultant for Anderson Consulting (presently known as Accenture) doing computer programming and creating financial planning systems for Delta Airlines. She picked up coding quickly and after a year she was asked to join the technical team. After three years with Anderson, Christie decided to re-route her career and went back to school for a Master’s degree.
This time, Christie chose to head back to Illinois to attend the University of Chicago. The U of C is home to the Booth School of Business, a school Christie (and Forbes) considers one of the best business schools in the nation. Christie earned her MBA in accounting and finance—emphasis on the finance, as that is her primary area of interest.
Following her MBA, Christie filled a number of important leadership positions. She first took her analytical expertise to Banc of America Securities where she led the team as a VP. After a few years she shifted from her work in investment banking to join MacFarlane Partners as a VP of Corporate Finance. Christie provided financial leadership at MacFarlane, helping to create growth and establish plans for the company’s future. It was in her next position as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis at Advanced MD that Christie met Sheridan Richey, our SirsiDynix Chief Technology Officer. At the time, Sheridan was leading the Advanced MD team in AJAX-style application development. It was her working relationship with Sheridan that would eventually introduce Christie to SirsiDynix. But before Christie ever set her sights on SirsiDynix, she first chose to work for herself for a time. She stepped away from Advance MD to start her own firm, Lipkie Consulting, where she provided financial and strategic guidance to corporations.
Through each stage of her career, Christie and her husband have been raising their two children in Park City, Utah. Christie has a son, 10, and daughter, 8. Christie says one of the coolest things about her family is that her children are best friends. On family trips or just hanging out, they are always together.
Christie and her family love Utah, and Park City in particular. When considering where they would raise their kids, Christie and her husband decided they wanted to live here. They love the family values of the area and are big fans of the outdoors. The Kent family likes to go hiking and skiing together. Christie is hoping to get her kids into mountain biking, as she is an avid biker herself. Even Lizzie, the family dog, loves the great outdoors, though she tends to get herself into trouble. Lizzie likes to wander away from home to go hunting. Sometimes she comes home with a small prize, but other times the skunks and porcupines get the better of her. “Four run-ins each!” Christie reports. And she would know, because she’s the one who takes care of Lizzie every time the skunks or porcupines win.
No stranger to pursuing her own adventures, when Christie learned SirsiDynix was seeking a new Chief Financial Officer, she was very interested. The executive team determined several months ago that they wanted to bring a CFO on board and began searching for someone who would be a good fit. They wanted a CFO with excellent financial management experience and someone who would be comfortable within the culture of the company. The current executive team is a strong and balanced group that collaborates well together. One of the greatest concerns about adding a new team member was that the new addition would contribute to the team’s camaraderie and collaborative flow. After meeting with Christie they knew she would be an excellent fit. She joined the team in May.
The executive team chose Christie for her expertise and for being a leader they felt would fit well within the company, but why did Christie choose SirsiDynix?
“One of the main reasons I took the job,” Christie said, “was the existing leadership at the company. I had worked with Sheridan before and as I got to know the other executives at SirsiDynix, I saw a passion in them for the company and for the industry. Just sincere interest and vision of where this company was going…In addition to the leaders, I also met several members of the finance team and was thoroughly impressed by them and knew that it was a team I could work with.”
Christie has been with SirsiDynix for three months now and has been enjoying her time with the finance team. “I really enjoy the people I’m working with every single day. The people I’ve met have been so friendly and welcoming—and they all really do have a passion for the product they are producing and for their customers.”
Now that Christie has had a little time to settle in and get a feel for SirsiDynix, we asked her if she has any goals for the future. “As the finance leader,” she said, “I want to make sure we are financially doing the best thing for our investors, our employees, and most of all our customers.” We think this is an excellent goal and are excited to follow Christie’s lead.