Who: Susan Kaplan of Boca Raton in September joined the accounting firm Fiske and Co. in Plantation, filling the newly created position of marketing and human resources director. She held the same position at Daszkal Bolton in Boca Raton.
Experience: Before moving to Florida, I worked in the fashion industry, including design and manufacturing as well as sales and retail, all for big brands such as Macy's, Tiffany's, Phillips Van Heusen, Calvin Klein (menswear), Yves St. Laurent (menswear). Since moving to Florida, I have worked as a sales manager for Laura Ashley, Jacobson's, and owned the Teen Express boutiques Teen Heaven and Fashion Queen. I was with Daszkal Bolton for five years before moving to Fiske and Co.
Education: Fashion Institute of Technology, degree in applied sciences; New York University, non-degree studies in business administration and marketing; Florida Atlantic University, certificate in human resources management.
Community: Active member of both the Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale chambers of commerce. Past chair of the Boca Raton Chamber Ambassadors, member of the Boca Raton YMCA's human resources committee, member of the Association of Accounting Marketing and recently served on its membership committee.
On the job
Why the move: Fiske and Co. was recently named one of the "50 Fastest Growing Companies" by the South Florida Business Journal and needed to add to their management team. My expertise in both human resources and marketing was an ideal fit for them.
Social media has impacted all aspects of business, especially human resources and marketing as it relates to your firm's brand and your own personal brand. There is a very competitive landscape in the South Florida accounting industry, and you need to interact in a more engaged and dynamic way with your team and your clients, as well as with prospects and future recruits. It has necessitated the development of new communication skills for professionals like myself. You can't run or hide from social media anymore. Instead you need to embrace it and use it to share your firm's culture and expertise.
Professional challenge: Learning to "tweet" in 140 characters or less.
Challenge facing your company: Remaining independent in the M&A (mergers and acquisitions) environment currently engulfing the accounting industry.
Industry challenge: Attracting and retaining top talent in an industry known for its stressful environment, workload compression and ever-changing legislation and regulation. And then, making it friendlier to women and minorities, with more opportunities at the top.
Professional satisfaction: To watch team members not only meet, but exceed your expectations over the years. Most people can spot talent when it is already developed. I enjoy finding that recruit who is a "diamond in the rough" and then helping to give them the tools and resources to grow and blossom into an amazing professional and begin to climb up the corporate ladder.
Favorite place to do business outside the office: At a Boca Raton or Fort Lauderdale chamber event. There you have an immediate connection with the people in the room, get to network with current friends, and always end up making new ones at every venue. Connections count online, but real relationships are more important than ever in today's business environment.
Advice to young professionals: Don't ever turn your nose up at an Internship, and once you are hired find a mentor fast!
Industry wisdom: It's not just enough to have great ideas anymore — you need an action plan.
On the side
Hobby: Outdoor sports: running, biking, swimming
Travel: The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va., to speak at a conference
Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Ckent@tribune.com or 954-356-4662, Google+ and Twitter @mindingyourbiz