Born: Dubuque, Iowa and lives in La Motte, Iowa.
Family/Pets: My parents are Rick & Heidi Balk and I have two brothers and sister in laws. I also have a nephew Beau and a niece Quinn.
Hobbies: I enjoy watching movies/TV shows, spending time with my family, the Chicago Cubs, country music, and I enjoy watching Supercross/Motocross.
Why did you want to become an Emerging Leader: I wanted to become an Emerging Leader because I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to improve on the current leadership skills I feel I have and work on skills that I lack or struggle with currently.
Something that would surprise others: I don’t know if there is something however, a lot of times people are shocked at how big of a Chicago Cubs fan I am and how much I enjoy watching them play.
Something you want to do before you die: I want to go to Ireland.
Passion that gets you fired up: I would say my family is something that keeps me going. I don’t want to ever disappoint or let them down in anything I do personal or professional. I want to make sure I’m there for them when or if needed. And while in the back of my head, I know I have always wanted to make them proud of the things I do. Family First!!
Someone you admire: My parents. I have the joy of admiring them in our personal and professional lives. Personally, I admire how anytime our family has ever had a set back in life they always taught us how to rally around each other and get through it. They have always been so strong in the face of challenges and have passed that on to their kids. Professionally, they have passed along so many of my valued traits and I wouldn’t be where I am without them. They both have always had an amazing work ethic. My mother has taught me to speak my mind when needed, which I’m still working on. My father has taught me that you can’t expect those around you to do anything you have or wouldn’t do yourself. They both have taught me “Respect is not given based on a title; it is earned based on someone’s actions” and they both live that every day.
Definition of happiness: Doing things you love and surrounding yourself with a strong support system. If you love what you do and have people around you that support and care about you, you can find true happiness. Success doesn’t lead to happiness, happiness leads to success, either in your personal or professional life.
Personal motto: “It is what it is” is a motto that I try to incorporate into my life. Sometimes you can’t control everything that happens, which is difficult for me because I’m a tad bit of a control freak, but sometimes things are just going to happen and you need to do your best to make the best of it and just remember “It is what it is.”
Proud accomplishment: I’m proud of being the 1st recipient of the Dorothy McGrath The Sky is the Limit Award for the motorcycle dealerships!
Piece of advice for others: My boss at the accounting firm once told me, when I was concerned with not getting my CPA (Certified Public Accountant) designation, not to worry. He told me that all the designations, degrees, and certifications can mean nothing if you don’t have the work ethic., the ability to learn, and apply that knowledge to the real world or the work you are doing. It changed how I viewed my job at his company and still to this day I try to remember those words when a challenge gets thrown my way that may be out of the scope of my normal jobs.
First job you had: Dubuque Harley Dealership (Wilwert’s) started at age 15 as a receptionist & Motorclothes Associate. Love the place since I’m still here just moved around to various positions till, I landed in the position I really enjoy – dealing with numbers.
What has your job looks like so far: Started at Wilwert’s when I was 15, working various positions through high school – MotorClothes, Receptionist, Parts, and Service Writing. When I started college, the business got sold, but I continued working there, but moved into an admin/accounting position dealing mostly with inventory. Stayed there through college and graduation, but also got a part time job working at a small CPA firm doing payroll, bookkeeping, and some taxes. Continued with both jobs and through another buyout, McGrath took over in 2015. In 2017, I left the public accounting world to take on more responsibilities with McGrath by doing the accounting for our PowerSports store. Currently Assistant Corporate Office Manager; our office handles most of the accounting and administrative responsibilities for the four Powersports dealerships.
What do you hope to achieve at McGrath: I enjoy working in the powersports industry and I am grateful for the opportunity to combine my love of this industry with accounting. I just want to continue to do my best everyday and grow my skill set and knowledge in the business.