Alumna in the Spotlight
Emily Cannon (ACCT, 2009; MAcc, 2010), CPA, began her career as a staff accountant at McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks, & Co. in Macon. After earning her CPA designation, she became a senior accountant, a position she held until leaving the world of audit to join Coastal Electric Cooperative. Her work auditing electric cooperatives prepared Emily for the CFO/ VP of finance and accounting role at Coastal. She has now taken on the leadership of the member services function and is vice president of corporate services. In addition to her normal duties, Emily has taken the challenge of starting Coastal’s wholly owned subsidiary, Coastal Fiber, to help bridge the gap of broadband service in unserved and underserved areas of the Cooperative’s service territory.
Adapting to new obligations as her career has progressed has been very challenging. As auditor, Emily learned to operate on the road. When she joined Coastal, Emily had to learn to be on the other side of the audit and to propel her organization forward with technology. “Cleaning up messes” caused by changes in Coastal’s finance and leadership functions was hard work but made her a better CPA, employee, and leader. Emily credits Parker College’s strong faculty, collaborative environment, and relevant curriculum with preparing her with the knowledge and skills she needed to be successful. Thanks to Parker College, Emily was well prepared to consult with colleagues at every level and to contribute meaningfully to her organization from the start of her career. Robert “Bob” Jackson, assistant professor emeritus of accounting, and Gloria Stuart, senior lecturer of accounting, along with a social involving a terrible round of putt-putt steered her decision to obtain her CPA designation. Emily says she “was blessed have many other teachers who cared for me well beyond the classroom walls and rooted for my success.”
But, Emily did not spend all her time at Georgia Southern in the classroom! She competed for Miss Georgia Southern and took Honors English classes. She was active in Kappa Kappa Gamma, Beta Alpha Psi, Gamma Beta Phi, Golden Ke.y and other leadership and service organizations. Throughout her career, Emily has striven to uphold the expectations of community service through Kappa Kappa Gamma’s House Corporation at Georgia Southern and the Richmond Hill Bryan County Chamber of Commerce executive board of directors with a few other organizations mixed in. “A healthy dose of grit and the right network have helped me though every challenge. I am able to call on former classmates, colleagues, mentors, and a nationwide network of folks who do the same thing I do day in and day out. Their experience and advice are invaluable,” Emily states. She encourages everyone to “cultivate a network that you can go to for help, guidance, inspiration, and support. Whether you need to gain knowledge or bounce around ideas, you will always have someone in your corner.”
In the future, Emily wishes to emulate her father, who was a lifetime learner. She also hopes to continue to grow in all aspects of her life. In the meantime, she and her husband, Ronny (ACCT, 2008), enjoy spending time on the water, returning to Statesboro to attend baseball and football games, competing in half marathons, and facilitating group fitness activities in their neighborhood—and being bossed around by their black lab, Tucker.
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