PMG Employee Spotlight with Sonya T.
Sonya is in her 6th year with PMG, currently working as the Accounting Manager.
I grew up in South St. Paul. Things changed with my family when I was 17. While everyone moved out of state, I stayed in Minnesota. I’ve been on my own ever since. I had my daughter when I was still young (19) and I had to grow up really fast. After that I worked a variety of odd jobs for years. I got married, then divorced, and finally decided to go back to school in my late 20s. That’s how I found my way into accounting which eventually led me here.
What are your main responsibilities in your position?
As the Accounting Manager, I directly manage and oversee the payroll and billing for our team. I’m the main point of contact for accounting questions from both internal and external sources. I also directly oversee all payables and receivables. In addition, I do a lot with end of month reporting and general clean up (of the books). I handle a lot of one-off projects that aren’t “regular” day-to-day tasks. I work alongside other departments for improving and refining current processes as well.
How did you learn about the opportunity with PMG?
I started in 2014. It was kind of a department of one at that time. They were ready to grow and couldn’t find the right person to work with our CFO. I came in as a Staff Accountant and I’ve been here ever since. Now we’re a 5-person department and it’s been really exciting and fulfilling to get to grow personally and professionally, from Staff Accountant to Senior Accountant and now Accounting Manager, while PMG and our Accounting department has grown too!
What do you like most about your job?
I’m never bored. While we have the same tasks to do each week (e.g. process payroll, billing, collections), it is never the same every week. There’s always a new twist to keep things interesting. I really like working with numbers, so I’ve never really disliked any of my accounting jobs. I like that my work in this department lets me work with pretty much every PMG department. It gives me the opportunity to learn a lot and it keeps things interesting. My role creates opportunities to accomplish things that allow me to get the kind of satisfaction that lets me really feel proud of myself every day too. I love that, knowing that I’m good at what I do! That helps me to assist other teams and coworkers to assist them with their roles as well.
What do you like most about working for PMG?
The things PMG does for their employees and the way they treat them! They take care of us. Nothing ever goes unrecognized. They give credit where credit is due. They don’t just appreciate employees, they also SHOW it. In the modern working world, that’s important. It’s awesome that PMG does that, whether it’s employee appreciation events, awards or other forms of recognition. The summer and winter company parties are pretty great too. PMG also supports us in pursuing a great work-life balance. Every employee at PMG had the opportunity to work remotely, long before COVID hit. When my personal life changed, and I chose to move to Florida and they fully supported my transition to a fully remote role. That was a great feeling! I also have the utmost respect for our senior leadership team and their support of our team. This is my forever job. I’m not going anywhere!
What advice would you give to a recent new hire at PMG?
Always be open to thinking outside of the box. While we have processes and procedures in place that are proven out, and they work, that doesn’t mean they can’t be improved or that you can’t be the one to improve them. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake either. The best workers are the ones that can make a mistake AND learn from it. I’m proof of that.
What did you do before coming to PMG?
I did a lot of different things before getting into accounting. I jumped from one job to another whenever I had the opportunity to learn more or stretch myself. The most interesting job I ever had was processing film at Qualex. You put a can of film on a machine that stripped it and loaded it on a light proof reel. Then we’d take them over to the developing department. Pretty much any Kodak film dropped off at any store in the area came to us and we made the magic happen. Then it went back to the customers as memories they’d have for life. It wasn’t going to be what I did for the rest of my life but it was really interesting.
What are some hobbies you do in your free time?
I enjoy going on cruises and vacationing. I like bowling and bingo and live music. I love the beach and the water, anything that gets me sunburned really. I also like to do crossword puzzles, read, and have a nice glass of Gray Goose occasionally (laughs). Since I’ve relocated to Florida, I’ve found I really like doing new things to learn the area and meet new people. Another thing I’ve come to love since moving is Sunday Funday during football season. I’m definitely not a Buccaneers fan just because I’m in Florida now. It’s even more fun to put on my Viking gear to go somewhere to watch the game and support my team, when I’m not necessarily the most common fan there, than it was when I was still in Minnesota.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?
My very first cruise in 2018. Three friends and I went on a Caribbean cruise. We hit the Grand Cayman Islands, Mexico, and some other places. It was phenomenal! Also, it was the first time I took a full, week-long vacation since I started at PMG. And, it was the first time I’d been completely disconnected from everything since I first got a smartphone. Great moments, great memories, great fun…I loved that trip.
What celebrity/inspirational person do you admire the most?
Some of the young people in my life talked me into getting a TikTok account recently. I’ve found some people on there that are all about spreading positivity and I LOVE that! It’s something I’ve needed since the pandemic so when I go to their stuff I always smile. Some of my favorites are eddudez, JT_Laybourne, and scottdhenry.
What did you want to be when growing up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian. I’ve always loved animals and I thought that would be great. As I got older, I realized I’d have to go to as much school as doctors do. That seemed like too much work at the time. Then I took an accounting course in high school and fell in love with numbers. Eventually I ended up doing 8 years of night school anyway, while working full time, to get where I am now. Life is funny like that.
You’re happiest when…
I am in the water, or at the beach, with a drink in hand and music in the air. Alone or with friends, that is my happy place.
What’s your favorite restaurant and the must order there?
Since the COVID pandemic hit it’s really any place that supports Door Dash. I’m a wing girl. And spinach artichoke dip! But my go-to place is the local bowling alley. I’m comfortable going there by myself, even as a person new to the area, and I like that. Pretty much anywhere I go here has a table on the beach where I can watch the sun set over the Gulf. That’s what I moved to Florida for so they’re all good really.
What animal best describes you at work?
According to DeAnn (our CFO), I’m a bulldog because of the collections work I have to do for us, but I don’t know about that. I’d say a cougar and not just because of my age! I feel they’re fearless animals and they get what they go after regardless of what it takes.