THOUGH SHE’S CLEARLY PASSIONATE ABOUT THE NUMBERS THAT DEFINE A BUSINESS’ SUCCESS, DAWN MERKLEY ISN’T YOUR STEREOTYPICAL ACCOUNTANT.
From the time she graduated LeMoyne College in Syracuse with a BS in Accounting and a Tax minor, Dawn knew she’d never quite fit the mold of the conventional accountant.
She kicked off her career with three years in public accounting as an auditor and then tax associate at Coopers & Lybrand, L.L.P. where numbers were the name of the game, before being offered an opportunity at Logical Operations (later Element K).
It was at Logical Operations where Dawn’s role happily expanded. What began as a Business Controller role in the Training Center rapidly expanded into operations, with Dawn overseeing customer service functions, weighing in heavily on systems upgrades, and managing the e-learning Instructor-Led Training program with Barnes & Noble University. Finding she loved considering business developments from both the financial and customer perspectives, Dawn had no qualms about pulling 16-hour days while working both in the Training Center and Finance during part of her tenure at Logical Operations.
In 2008, Dawn’s former boss from Logical Operations had just barely signed a deal with fellow investors to purchase Mackenzie-Childs in Aurora, NY, before he picked up the phone to bring Dawn on board as its Controller and later VP of Finance. Though predominantly an accounting role, Dawn most fondly recalls the crazed days of the annual, four-day Barn Sale, where she interacted heavily with the customers and all fellow co-workers.
Nine years later, Dawn was drawn to the Director of Finance role at Innovative because of the company’s culture and strong focus on its people and clients.
While she and her team of three manage the day-to-day accounting functions at the moment, she’ll undoubtedly expand her role into working with operations and sales to make sure the individual needs of the teams are met so that they can best serve the customer.
A native of the Albany area who’s now called Rochester home for the past 25 years, Dawn met her husband, Jim, at LeMoyne. Married for nearly 20 years, the two live in Fairport with their son, Charlie, and daughter, Abby. When she’s not shuffling kids or equipment around to hockey and baseball games or dance competitions, Dawn enjoys taking her lhasa apso poodle, Easton, for long walks, letting her brain travel elsewhere through books, and vacationing yearly with family and friends on Sanibel Island.
Most often described by others as hard working, dedicated, and organized, Dawn comes from a long line of strong-willed, hard-working women, and is quick to name her mother and grandmother as role models for her incredible work ethic.
It’s Dawn’s work ethic, her time management skills, and her love of digging deep into all aspects of business and its people that is bound to have a positive impact throughout Innovative.
Dawn knows the things worth achieving in life are worth working hard for. It’s solving problems big and small that lights Dawn up, particularly when the solutions enhance the overall customer experience. And it’s what keeps her going, day-in and day-out, as she continuously breaks the mold of the stereotypical accountant.