Leslie Gunn is our Vice President of Finance and Accounting and has been with FaverGray from the very beginning in 2005.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My family is very important to me; I have 2 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I visit them as often as possible in Ft Collins, CO, or Lexington, KY. I came to Jacksonville from Louisville, KY, where my ex and I raised our 2 children. As a child, I moved around a lot – Birmingham, AL, Lake Geneva WI, Gifford, IL, Champaign, IL, Louisville, KY. My family landed in tiny Campbellsville, KY when I entered 7th grade and I graduated from Campbellsville High School. Moved away to attend the University of Illinois as an engineering, architecture, and math major. When I got married we moved to Louisville and I finished college at the University of Louisville.
What is your education/certification background?
Graduated summa cum laude from the University of Louisville with a BSBA in Accounting. I held my Kentucky CPA license until after I realized I would not be moving back for a while (in about 2010).
Tell us about some of your previous work experience.
I managed restaurants as a “kid” in my late teens/early 20s. After college, I worked as a CPA at 2 different regional public accounting firms specializing in construction and high-income clients. I worked in both tax and audit before becoming Controller for a local GC / Developer / Architect. We built both luxury homes and commercial properties (offices and retail centers, apartments) and developed residential neighborhoods with amenities such as golf courses, clubhouses, and green spaces. I joined a different developer, Aslan Ventures, in Louisville as Controller in 2003.
Why did you join the FaverGray Team?
At Aslan, the owner partnered with Jim and Keith to form FaverGray. I came to Jacksonville to help them get the company started.
How would you summarize what you do?
I oversee and manage the accounting, audit, tax, finance, HR, payroll, and administrative functions of the companies. I create solutions to problems and issues that can be resolved through my functional responsibilities. I am the caretaker of corporate assets.
What does your typical day look like?
“Much of my day is spent resolving problems or answering questions about procedures or policies I am tasked with overseeing. I also review and prepare the general ledgers and financial statements for the companies. I work with bankers, auditors, and insurers to manage the business aspects of the company. There is no “typical day,” and I have learned that I should not expect that; I will only be disappointed if I do.”In a few words, describe what you/your team does for FaverGray.
What do you look forward to at work?
“I feel a sense of pride when I complete a large project or solve or prevent a difficult problem. I also enjoy the people I work with.
How would you describe our company culture?
At FaverGray, employees know their jobs and get their work done without tremendous (horrendous?) oversight. It takes a group of intelligent, driven, and focused people to do that. We all work individually, and as a group to get the job done and to help each other as we need to.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a career in construction?
I can’t speak directly about construction. But construction accounting is both challenging and rewarding. Don’t let someone tell you it is easy, because it isn’t. And it requires dedication and perseverance. If you are looking for a 9-5 job, this is not it. If you are looking for something to give yourself a sense of pride and accomplishment, and to know that you are doing a job not a lot of people can be successful at, consider this. You will use creativity, intelligence, logic, and reason every day. Believe it or not, no two days are alike.
How do you define success?
Happiness and peace within yourself and in your life. There are many levels of success; consider that no one can be a success at everything and recognize that which will make you happy and at peace. Don’t try to be someone else’s version of yourself.
Who inspires you?
I model myself after my grandparents. They were well-respected in the community for both their business acumen and their loving and caring attitude toward others.
What do you do for fun/hobbies?
I like to read, write, paint, dance, listen to good music, and garden. I also like to ride bikes in beautiful settings (I like Ft Clinch in Amelia Island, for example) and paddleboard (where I won’t get killed by the waves).
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I would have been a professional ballerina, except for a serious car accident as a teen.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
I can do anything I set my mind to.