For this week’s Team Spotlight, we speak with Ryan Clayton, VP, Corporate Controller. A natural-born “numbers” man with a passion for the outdoors.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I studied accounting and taxation at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and subsequently obtained my CPA license. I began my career at PwC as an auditor, performing external audits for private, middle-market companies. From there I moved into financial consulting, primarily supporting high-growth, acquisitive organizations with the inherent reporting and integration challenges at key inflection points. I’m very grateful for the opportunities I have had to work alongside so many talented clients and colleagues over the years, as we collectively endured some very challenging (and fun) times.
What motivated you to go into Accounting?
Accounting is central to every aspect of an organization. It is effectively the language of business. I was drawn to the breadth of opportunity Accounting provides; in that it requires a reciprocal relationship with all other functional groups within a business. It affords a great opportunity to be involved in some of the most critical and strategic business decisions.
What are the key responsibilities in your role as the Corporate Controller?
As Corporate Controller, I am responsible for the timely production of accurate financial results, so that decisions-makers can quickly steer business operations.
What is the best career lesson you’ve learned?
I am very lucky to have a number of professional mentors to learn from and emulate. While each mentor brings a varying style and experience, they all have one thing in common; they are people-focused and place helping others ahead of their personal priorities. Their personal success is a byproduct of their mission; not the mission itself. It is important to remember that our lives do not happen in a vacuum, and we are often able to help someone else professionally or personally. I work very hard to stay focused on that point, and to pay forward the incredible help and support I have had over the years.
How do you recharge? What are some of your interests?
One of the downsides to accounting is sitting in a chair staring at a computer. When I’m not working, I spend as much time outdoors as possible—running, hiking, camping, or just chasing the kids around. There’s also something therapeutic about standing over a grill while holding a drink, and cooking meat to perfection.