Prior to joining Enviva in 2017, Beth worked at Protiviti for over thirteen years, most recently as an Associate Director. Enviva is a leading global energy company specializing in sustainable wood bioenergy. They are the world’s largest producer of sustainable wood pellets, which provide a low-carbon, renewable alternative to fossil fuels. As Internal Audit Director, Beth also works with two other Protiviti alumni on her internal audit team.
What are some of your key responsibilities as Director of Internal Audit at Enviva?
Enviva went public 5 years ago under the JOBS Act so we have been preparing for 2020 when our first 404b audit would occur… although, little did we know, NONE of us were really prepared for 2020! We had to build the controls library, create process flows, help process owners understand control evidence requirements, and perform walkthroughs and periodic testing. Our first 404b audit with our external auditors, EY, is currently under way and much coordination is necessary to bring auditors together on internal controls and coordinating with process owners.
What did you learn at Protiviti that that has contributed to your success today?
Two things come to mind:
- Importance of attitude. I try to approach work with a good attitude. It is one of the criteria I look for in candidates I interview. Someone who will roll up their sleeves and contribute to the team. I would rather have someone on the team who has a good attitude and is willing to learn, rather than someone who thinks they know everything.
- Importance of culture. I started with Protiviti in San Francisco and had privilege of leading the internal audit function for Robert Half. As part of that role, I got to visit most of the Protiviti offices around the world. What amazed me was how uniform the culture was throughout the organization. Protiviti’s founders did such a great job of integrating Protiviti’s values seamlessly throughout the global organization, not just in each office, but each person I met and worked with truly embodied those values as well. At many organizations, company values are just something printed on the walls or in recruiting literature. At Protiviti, it was embedded within the organization and how each person acted and supported their colleagues and clients on a daily basis. It’s a testament to Protiviti’s founders as well as to each person within the organization who has worked to uphold those values and pass them on to the next “generation”. This really enforced the importance of culture to me.
You and your husband recently rescued a lab and are also parents to 2 other labs. Can you tell us about how your love for labs started?
My love of labs started about 15 years ago. Friends of mine had labs and I bonded with one. Their temperament is easy going and they’re just happy to go along with you anywhere. We are lucky to have two brothers, a 7 year old and a 2 year old in addition to the lab we rescued just over a year ago.
What advice do you have for people who are interested in rescuing animals but don’t know where to begin?
If you are looking to adopt, start with a critical self-assessment. Figure out what your lifestyle and commitment is and find a dog with temperament and energy level that suits you. Do a risk assessment of yourself! Don’t base your decision on the cuteness of a dog (although my dogs are darn cute, if I do say so myself). Do the research and look at rescue organizations as well.
Read the recently published article: “Emaciated Dog Rescued By Alexandria Family, In Recovery”.
Pam Verick, who nominated you for our spotlight, sees you as a champion for women in Internal Audit. What advice do you have for others to become a champion in their career/industry?
One of the most important things you can do for your career, is to find a good mentor. It doesn’t have to be a female mentor but find someone who is willing to take the time to invest in you. When I transferred to DC, I was one of 3 women on the management team in the Tyson’s Corner office and was the only female on the management team for a while after that. I was privileged to mentor some great women while I was there and made real connections. I keep in touch with many of them, and they continue to do great things, both at Protiviti and elsewhere. Being able to show them a constant reference point and as I hope they felt supported, I certainly also got a lot out of it.
Surrounding yourself with people that support you and that you support is so important, recognizing that the goal is for everyone to do better… and with that, the company does better. I once received a thank you note from a consultant, thanking me for being a positive role model. Prior to that, I hadn’t realized how much I had impacted her, much less to the extent that she took the time to write a hand-written thank you note. You make an impact to many by being a good leader, so take the time to always lead with integrity.
Beth received her Bachelors in Business Administration and Accounting from Boston College and earned her MBA from St. Mary’s College of California. During her accomplished career, she has also worked for American President Lines, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Ocular Sciences.
She lives in Metro DC area with her husband David and step-daughter Avery.
Learn more about Enviva: https://www.envivabiomass.com/ (they’re growing and hiring!)