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one firm, many voices // charity johnson


Did you know that Charity Johnson, our Accounting Coordinator, is one of only two people in the Austin office that is an Austin Native? (not a scientific poll, but we think Tom is the only other)

The Austin of today is hardly recognizable to Charity, because of a population that has tripled and a demographic story that continues to revolve around stubborn structural and spatial socioeconomic separations. While the look and feel of Austin has completely changed, she is still connected to the friends she grew up with and still loves Ladybird Lake (fka Town Lake!) and Bartholomew Pool. Charity grew up in a small yellow house on Holly Street not far from the site of the new Austin office. She is the youngest of 5 and has a sister and brother that are twins.

These days Charity’s life revolves around parenting a high schooler, so when she is not coaching her daughter through the angst filled moments of high school, she loves to try new restaurants with friends, enjoys outings on the town with her daughter and travel when possible. Balancing out her love of numbers Charity’s artistry shines with the creation of wigs, nail art, DIY projects and cooking. Keep reading to learn what makes this accounting dynamo tick!

1. How did you decide to pursue your current job/career?
I’ve always done accounting and billing for different industries. I think it’s interesting to see both the similarities and differences within each one. When I found this position in Landscape Architecture, it became instantly appealing to me and I just had to pursue it.

2. What is your job title and role? Describe the things you are responsible for day-to-day and big picture.
I’m currently in the position of Accounting Coordinator. Within this role my largest responsibilities are to process all outgoing payments to vendors, consultants, employee expenses and reconcile company credit card spending.

3. What do you love most about your work?
I love how everything in accounting is connected. There’s always a rewarding feeling when things flow as they should and even if not, there’s always a solution.

4. What is the biggest challenge to your role? Greatest challenge to the profession.
Technology is the biggest challenge in this profession as it is forever changing. My personal challenge will always be to continue learning and evolving.

5. Please list three goals that you currently have your sights on.
I’m currently working on ways to expand my impact and become more involved with front facing initiatives.

6. What accomplishments (in your career or life) have given you a sense of pride and satisfaction?
Pride, I just can’t, it’s never been my thing!

7. How do you define success?
Success is being happy with your work, accomplishing goals and getting positive feedback.

8. How would you like to see your career evolve in the next 1, 3, and 5 years?
As I become more familiar with the industry, I’m thinking between now and the near future I’ll have expanded my knowledge even more by adopting new processes, growing within my role and moving in a positive direction to the next level in my career.

9. What are your three biggest career and leadership strengths?
Throughout my career I’ve been told that my ability to adapt, positive attitude and strong work ethic have made me an asset.

10. What’s your favorite movie line?
“When you find out who you are, you find out what you need.” —Mama Odie, The Princess and the Frog.

11. You have $100 to burn, all your friends are busy, and you have the whole day to yourself, what do you do?
I’d spend the day getting a mani/pedi then catching a movie.

12. What should they teach in school, but don’t?
The true art of “adulting” (hahaha)

13. List the one song (only one) that you play at full volume whenever it comes on the radio.
Chained to The Rhythm – Katy Perry

14. Describe what you were like at age 10.
I loved swimming and writing my own quirky little, short stories.

15. What would surprise people to know about you?
I was born and raised here in Austin.

16. What are two things you know you should know how to do but don’t?
Change a tire and make a camp fire.

17. What makes you say “What was I thinking?” when you look back on your life?
I used to rock a bright orange Wilson’s Leather jacket in high school. Still not sure what I was thinking…smh

18. Who’s someone you look up to as a mentor?
My amazing friend, Natalie. She always shares the most valuable advice.
Also, Tabitha Brown, she’s a vegan and I love her humor and personality/spirituality (I grew up a vegetarian until 13)

19. What motivates and inspires you?
To be better than I was a year ago.

20. What do you do when you’re up against an obstacle or barrier?
Depending on the circumstance, sleep on it and come back to it with a fresh lens.

21. What are two personal habits that have served you well?
I always write down reminders to myself and journal often to help me stay organized in person and in thought.

22. How do you define happiness in your career and life?
When balance is achieved between them.