Welcome back to the Meet Our Team Q&A series. My name is Daniela Williams, Project Manager at ISE, and I’ll be asking ISE team members questions to help give insight into what makes us tick.
This time of year "giving" has an added focus at ISE and around the world. In honor of that, today I'm interviewing Tricia Buchholz, ISE's Accounting Manager, and the co-lead of our Philanthropy Committee.
Q. How long have you worked at ISE and what did you do prior?
Tricia: I’ve worked at ISE since January 2018. Right before that I was a contractor for TransAmerica where I was getting my feet wet again in the working world after taking just over a decade off to play with my three kids. Prior to that, I was the controller for a pharmaceutical R&D company in New Jersey and before that, an audit manager in public accounting firms in New Jersey and Calgary, Alberta.
Q. This is your second year on ISE’s Philanthropy Committee. What motivated you to join?
Tricia: I love helping others. I know how fortunate I am. I have never had to worry about going without food and shelter. There have always been Christmas presents under the tree. I’ve always had good health. So many people do worry about these things, and I want to help. I think that I have been able to make a small contribution through my service on the Philanthropy Committee.
Q. Of this year’s philanthropic activities, which have you been the most gratified by?
Tricia: Please don’t make me pick just one! We aim for variety in our activities, hoping that we can include something that everyone at ISE is passionate about. This year we have had a toilet paper/food drive which was exciting to see over 1000 rolls donated. It was also our first year volunteering for Run CRANDIC which is a marathon between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, raising funds for the school districts. It was a cold and foggy Sunday when we worked one of the aid stations but still a lot of fun!
Q. As we head into the holiday season, we’re wrapping up our final Philanthropy Committee drive of the year – our United Way campaign. This always tends to be our biggest event. Why do you think that is?
Tricia: The United Way has a large presence in the community and helps such a variety of causes that it is something that most people want to support. In just Johnson and Washington counties in Iowa, they support over 65 different non-profits ranging from the Arts (eg. Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre) to Education (eg. Junior Achievement and NewBoCo) to Health (eg. CommUnity Crisis Services and Foodbank) and Human Services (eg. Camp Courageous and Shelter House).
For all their fundraising, 84% goes directly to the charities it supports, and only 8% to fundraising and 8% to operating expenses. This far exceeds the national average of 75% for spending on their programs.
Q. What do you do for fun?
Tricia: I have 3 school aged kids who are involved in too many activities so my fun time is consumed mostly by driving them and picking them up from their various activities. In the little free time I do find, you will most likely find me trying to catch part of a football game. Since moving to Iowa, I have become an avid Hawkeye fan so you will find me at the home games with one of my kids (I’m not at all ashamed at trying to manipulate them into loving the game and it seems to be working!). I will also always cheer for my home team of the Edmonton Eskimos, even though they have a hard time winning championships these days.
When football season is over, I enjoy planning vacations almost as much as going on them. So far I’ve made it to 40 states and 8 Canadian provinces. We always have at least one vacation each year that includes a backpacking trip. I love hiking, but could pass on the backpacking piece. But I take one for the team as the hubby and kids love it. Being from Alberta, we tend to head to the mountains each year to hike. In July, we went to British Columbia and hiked the Berg Lake trail.
Are you interested in joining our team? Learn about our current opportunities on our Careers page.