Company Spotlight: BDO- Where are your Awards?

While at a meeting held at BDO, the slew of awards from the IOA Corporate 5k in their lobby grabbed our attention. This month’s Company Spotlight is on Melanie Fernandez (MF), Assurance Office Managing Partner at BDO and longtime participant of the IOA Corporate 5k. Melanie has also served on the Board and is the current President of the Track Shack Foundation. 

TSE: How many years have you and your company been participating in the IOA Corporate 5K and what are some of your favorite memories?
MF: Our firm has been participating since 1989 and some of my favorite memories are the parties in our tent after the race and the T-shirt contests.

TSE: We were excited to see the IOA Corporate 5k awards beautifully displayed in the lobby of BDO. Why is it important to you to showcase your firm’s awards?  
MF: Community involvement and being healthy are important to our firm and since the majority of the proceeds from the IOA Corporate 5k are given back to local school and community sports programs through the Track Shack Foundation, this keeps us coming back every year.

TSE: When looking back through the IOA Corporate 5k results, your team annually places in the co-ed, men’s and women’s teams in the accounting industry category. How does friendly competition among colleagues and peers play a factor?
MF: We don’t take ourselves too seriously but we are also very competitive with our peers so this is a fun way to get in shape for a good cause.

TSE: You have won or finished in the top 3 for the CEO category regularly throughout the past few years. Congratulations! How do you focus on both your fitness goals and professional goals? How does your focus on fitness affect others in your office?

MF: Running and staying active has always been a part of my life so I find a way to fit some type of exercise into my daily life because in the long run it makes me happier and more productive in my job. I would hope that others see that no matter how busy you are at work, there is a way to carve out time for yourself. 

TSE: As a UCF graduate, long time Central Florida resident and  President of the Track Shack Foundation, why do you think supporting local charities is important?  
MF: The mission of the Track Shack Foundation is to promote and encourage health and fitness with an emphasis on youth programs. Now, more than ever, youths in our communities are battling serious challenges. It is our feeling that sports and organized athletic programs offer children structure and goals, which are vital to mental and physical development. Unfortunately, many schools have to cut back or even eliminate sports/athletic programs due to lack of funding. It is our intention that through financial support of youth athletic programs throughout the community, we will help sustain these important programs for children. Programs that build self-esteem and confidence, foster healthy and wholesome habits, and develop leadership and cooperation skills.

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