Elizabeth Marker was a successful stay-at-home mom for 20 years, before entering the job market at age 40 as an administrative assistant. Today, she is a finalist for 2017 Financial Executive of the Year for the South Sound having succeeded twice in high-level assignments.

That first position grew, with her employer’s support, into a return to earn a business degree at 48, then advance through CFO to Chief Operations Officer responsibilities, before the local network of clinics was acquired by a national chain. Marker was thrown into job-search mode with her more seasoned approach than many other candidates, but was quite a “find” for her current employer.

“Beth joined (us) as our Controller/Director of Financial Services in July 2016,” writes her nominator and supervisor at Evergreen Eye Center. Despite having 105 employees in six facilities, the $16+ million medical practice had never had any permanent, full-time accounting personnel, so “to say our books were in bad shape … would be an understatement.” 

In the short time since her hiring, Marker’s experience and focus have smoothed the Federal Way-based vision specialist group's revenue cycle and helped it make much progress in growth and profitability.

“I did not choose financial management, it chose me,” says Marker, “but I love it.” Recalling her mentors, she says, “The most important thing I learned was to tackle the difficult things head-on.” And she advises others to “proudly start at the bottom (where) you learn things that upper management has never experienced.”

You can meet Elizabeth Marker and the other 13 finalists for South Sound Financial Executives of the Year on Wednesday, April 26, for a luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. in Historic 1625 Tacoma Place. Tickets are available here.