08 Mar 2018

Manager – Assurance
Chandler office

CLEARR value embodied: LEADERSHIP


“I never thought of myself as a leader, but afterwards, people around me said they saw it right from the start. This training changed the way I saw myself.”


Caroline’s father wanted his only daughter to go to university. “He loved being a mechanic, but he regretted not having had the chance to continue his schooling. I was Daddy’s girl and I followed him everywhere. When I asked him how to do an oil change for example, he would say No. He didn’t want me learning about car mechanics; he was afraid that I would take an interest and miss out on a profession with more to offer.”

In September 2004, when she was 19 years old, Caroline left her parents’ home in Grande-Rivière, Gaspé, to live in an apartment in Rimouski and begin her Bachelor of Accounting at UQAR. “Three weeks after the start of the semester, the unthinkable happened: my cousin came to tell me that my father had died in an ATV accident while on a hunting trip. My whole world was turned upside down.”

Caroline had to deal with this terrible loss while being there for her mother, who was deaf from birth and who had depended on her husband for several aspects of daily life. “She asked me to put my studies on hold to come back home and live with her. I understood her of course, but I was torn between being by her side or continuing my studies, especially since it had been something really important in my father’s eyes. If I gave them up, it would have been like disappointing him.”

“So I contacted each of my professors to say that I would study on my own at home and would only come in to the university for exams. They agreed. However, one said that he did not see how I would succeed, teaching myself in this way. But lo and behold, I got an A+ in his subject!”

Caroline joined the Chandler office team in 2009, after having worked for about two years in Rimouski. “I was very happy to come back to Grande-Rivière and to be able to work only 15 minutes from there. I bought our family home and my husband and I renovated it so that my mother could safely live with us, in her own apartment in the basement. Then the following year was one of happy news: I received my CPA designation and I found out that I was pregnant with twins.”

Unknown leadership

Caroline explains, “My 12 colleagues and I make up one large family. Some have been here for 35, 40 years! We share in each other’s joys and when someone is going through a difficult time, we are all saddened but united.”

As team leader, work ambiance is very important to her. “We take our work seriously, while having fun. The juniors who leave this office are sad to go! Work shouldn’t be a burden. I do all that I can so that my team enjoys every day. People often tell me that I’m always smiling.”

In 2016, Caroline had a revelation whilst participating in a training session in Québec City. “The evaluations, as well as the instructor’s comments, made me aware of my leadership style, which is not conventional or hierarchical. I never thought of myself as a leader, but afterwards, people around me said they saw it right from the start. This training changed the way I saw myself and had a positive impact on my career as a potential successor for the Chandler office leadership.”

Caroline adds with her light laughter, “Here, I can count on Richard Chrétien, our partner, to encourage me to take on new challenges. It’s because of him that I continue to grow. I close my eyes, take a deep breath and charge!”

Does Caroline have a special project or dream that she would like to make happen? “For now, I’ve got all I want, and above all else, I feel so privileged to be surrounded by such wonderful people, at work and in my family. I want to continue fully enjoying life and seizing all opportunities that come my way.”