Nora O’Brien — Our Wizard behind the curtain

23 Dec 2019

As Avinode Group Americas Finance and Operations Director, you can count on Nora O’Brien to always tell it like it is, keep an eagle’s eye on the details of every project, and tackle to-do lists like they’ve never been tackled before.

What goes on in the space of a day as the Finance and Operations Director? 

On the finance side, it’s everything from accurate revenue recognition and reporting, treasury management, compliance, bookkeeping, payroll and transactional processing. All the while, looking through a strategic lens to understand if and how we can optimize our processes in our daily routines workflows. 

No day is the same! The operations side, is a sort of catch-all at times: anything from a leaky AC unit in the server closet, to in-office plant selection. It’s all the little things that usually go unnoticed, until we run out! So, making sure we have all the things we need to nurture the company culture for the employees here. Coffee is a great example, we better not run out of it! 

What’s the common thread running through these tasks?

It’s about the group, the core values, the mission, and how I can make it happen. For example, sustainability is a common passion. So last year we partnered with the Frost Science Museum to plant non-invasive plant species on a local key. It was an enjoyable event with an additional bonus of saving the key from future environmental damage. It takes a lot of planning to make those things happen, but worth planning for the passion of the company and the enjoyment of the office teams.

There is a lot that happens in the background that most don’t realize. Preparing for successful Noder Events and projects alike; big and small, can start months if not years in advance of actualization. It is a proactive role, anticipating needs and expectations well in advance to be successful. 

“Stepping up” is one of the Noder values and clearly you embody that. Which other Noder values do you resonate with? 

I resonate a lot with the value of communication flowing freely. Communicating freely both to my team and with my supervisors helps us get the facts and feelings out so we can make better decisions and maintain successful continuity in our work. 

Relationships Matter is another strong core value for me. I strongly believe great professional relationships make great results. I am certain to introduce myself and further get to know the people that help me get the job done! That could be anyone from a painter to the plumber, key cutter to Tax Accountant! 

How about your own personal values or mottos? What are words you live and work by? 

I keep two on my monitor, which have been with me not just for this job, but for many of them. The first and foremost is “Let It Be.” As much as I end up taking care of things, I do that sometimes to my own demise and end up doing way too much sometimes. 

The other note I keep has “ESC” written on it. For me this means “Every Step Counts”. I work in the details department. In finance, especially, every single detail counts.  Other people might have an easier time glossing over things, saying “oh this doesn’t matter.” But for me, a lot matters. At the end of the day it all matters, and every step closer to the goal is important. 

Keep reading