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not great shocks, Lanzer explains. Lanzer’s personal experience with


hard times made him an ardent sup- porter of the Central Virginia Food Bank. “I remember my own roots,” he says. “I was living with my mother, and we were very poor. I know what it’s like to be without.” Lanzer says the most important


action Congress could take would be to repeal or change the Affordable Care Act. “We used to be able to differentiate


our health benefits by employee group. This was done to attract and retain skilled employees. After the ACA, we had to reduce the benefits offered to those groups,” he says. “It had a direct impact on our business, and we started losing our maintenance employees. Similarly, we were challenged to attract new ones. We now pay a higher wage to compensate for the loss in benefits.”


Herding lawyers A financial career can involve a series


of jobs in different types of workplaces. Anna Lenz knows about that. In


Troy, Mich., she oversaw 30 people in the HOST HOST AN ICONIC MEETING MEET EETING TING IN AN UNFORGETTABLE SETTING.


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Lenz


accounting office of Kelly Services, a staffing agency. Lenz moved to the Wash- ington, D.C., area when her husband, Edward, was named general counsel of the American Staffing Association.


Her first job in the Washington area


involved working for an environmental ser- vices firm as a controller on a government contract. Then someone in her neighbor- hood told her husband that an Alexandria firm needed some accounting help. Today, Lenz is chief financial officer


for the Redmon, Peyton & Braswell law firm in Alexandria. For more than 20 years, she has “herded cats,” says manag- ing partner Gant Redmon. That’s his description of handling the finances of the firm’s 18 attorneys. “Sometimes the attorneys think


they know more about accounting than I do,” Lenz says with a laugh. “They are a bunch of good attorneys, but I tell them ‘I know accounting. What you’re doing is not right. Trust me.’ ” Under the firm’s financial system,


each attorney represents a separate profit center. Keeping up with their trial hours, billings, 401(k)s and various fees — standard rate, retainers, referrals, individual client agreements and the rest — can be a challenge. “It’s very detailed. Things can get out


of control quickly,” Lenz says. If keeping up with the numbers


wasn’t enough, Redmon says, Lenz also functions as the firm’s office manager, overseeing everything from the office kitchen to flowers in the reception room to decorations for the holidays. Those duties are not included in


her job description, but Lenz believes that helping to keep everybody happy is important. “You can’t be grumpy,” she says, espe-


cially when it comes to discussions about someone’s paycheck. Lenz says she doesn’t have any spe-


cial requests of Congress — well, maybe one.


“They can send somebody over


to take my job for two weeks, maybe a month,” she jokes. “I think that would be great.”


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