Katie Ryalen – Finance and Procurement Manager
Name: Katie Ryalen
Department: Finance and Procurement
Started at CCT: January, 2013
1. What’s your role at Central Counties Tourism? Can you explain what your role entails?
I am the Finance and Procurement Manager at Central Counties Tourism, and my role entails all the accounting and contract management. To most people, numbers and contracts might sound less-than-stimulating, but it’s right up my alley. I’m the kind of person that loves to have everything in its proper place, and numbers are no different. Needless to say my closets and shelves at home are a neat freak’s dream.
2. If you had to describe your job in a hashtag, what would it be?
#IDOTHENUMBERS – (Inspiration Source: Kevin Malone from The Office)
3. Can you describe a success you are most proud of during your time at Central Counties Tourism?
I brought accounting in-house. When I joined, Central Counties Tourism as it is today was in its infancy. Our Executive Director, Chuck Thibeault, had come on board not long before he brought myself and Kelly Ing (Director, Industry Relations) onto the team, so administratively the organization was only beginning to improve processes, one of which was using a third-party bookkeeper. With my previous decade of experience in accounting, I was able to reabsorb this function into the organization so that Central Counties could manage its own finances with much greater efficiency. The end result, in addition to measurable cost-savings, is that financial data can be pulled at a moment’s notice and reporting is much more hands-on, which allows for far greater decision-making capacity and expediency.
4. Where do you do your best thinking?
In a café. I have to admit, there is something about the atmosphere of a good coffee shop that puts me in the mindset to be hyper-productive. The free Wifi is a bonus.
5. What are your favorite snacks?
Tater tots. Not the healthiest of snacks, I know, but my son keeps me from bingeing. They’re his favourite, too, so I can always expect him to snatch about half of what I make for myself.
6. What are some of your passions outside of work?
It might be hard to believe since I’m usually fairly quiet at board meetings and stakeholder events, but I’m a loud-mouth hockey mom. You’ll find me at the rink several times a week hollering from the stands. I am also heavily involved with the organization in which my son plays, the Clarington Recreational Hockey League. I hold the executive positions of Vice President, Administration and Treasurer, and either chair or sit on several committees. It’s a lot of work and a lot of my free time goes to volunteering with the CRHL, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I am also an author and freelance writer outside of Central Counties Tourism. My alter ego, Veronica Bale, is the best-selling author of The Ghosts of Tullybrae House and Shadow, and I am a regular contributor to East of the City Magazine (Metroland Media).
7. What is one thing you do almost every morning?
Groan and throw something at my alarm clock. Everyone has to have a routine, after all.