Before Allison Gardner took the helm as a practice director in the Consulting area, she worked as a TGRP consultant herself, focusing on accounting system implementations for companies of varying sizes. Now charged with building and overseeing the system implementations vertical, Allison is excited to help companies become more efficient and effective. Meet our puzzle-loving multi-tasker and learn what she’s got in store for the Consulting practice at TGRP.
Where are you from originally?
I joke that I’m a Colorado native and a transplant. I was born here but we moved when I was two years old due to my dad’s career in the Air Force. I have lived in the D.C./Virginia area, and all throughout Europe.
So, a military brat!
Yes! By the time I graduated college, I’d been to 16 different schools. I attended two high schools in Virginia and finished up at St. John’s International School in Belgium before returning to Virginia for college.
Where did you go to college?
I started at Lynchburg College as a math major, but I quickly realized that theoretical numbers and ideas weren’t my passion. One of my math professors asked if I’d ever thought about accounting. It was exactly what I wanted to do: work with concrete numbers and solve complex problems. Lynchburg College didn’t offer an accounting major, so I had to transfer as a junior. I ended up at the University of Denver because my parents knew they’d retire to Colorado and my mom graduated from the Colorado Women’s College at DU.
What’s your pre-TGRP professional background?
After I got my B.S. in Accounting from DU in 2005, I worked for CollegeInvest rather than go the public accounting route. After that, I went to First Data Corporation as an accounting manager until they relocated their headquarters to Atlanta in 2010. Then, I worked for Local Insight Media, which went through a few name changes and was Vivial for the majority of my time there. It’s a client experience platform product.
What brought you to TGRP Solutions in 2021?
When Vivial was in bankruptcy, I got to know one of our consultants very well—she’s now a TGRP consultant. After almost 12 years at Vivial, I was ready for a change and a new challenge and I was introduced to Jim Lockhart, our managing director of consulting, and when a consulting opportunity came up, I was excited to try it.
You’ve just recently taken on the Practice Director role—how did that come to be?
I’m very much a people person and Mark and others at TGRP noticed that! They wanted someone to help expand our consulting offerings through different verticals. I’ve done a lot of system implementation work, so that is likely where I’ll focus my efforts. I love helping companies connect the dots through an ERP system.
What’s your silly-but-real job title?
When you’re not at work, where would we find you?
Carting my young kids around, skiing, golfing with my husband, or probably doing a puzzle. I love a challenging puzzle!
What’s your favorite thing to do when you have a day all to yourself?
I’d definitely do something outside, whether that’s play golf, go for a hike, or go to the zoo or park.
What are you passionate about?
My family. My dad’s career exposed my brothers and me to the world so I hope to do more travel with my children. As they get older, I want to show them the world and give them a little bit of that hunger for knowledge about different cultures, foods and people. At work, I’m very passionate about showing clients that process improvement can make such a difference for them.
Any little-known facts about you?
I’m fluent in French due to living in Belgium during my childhood.
Words to live by?
Be kind. People will always remember your kindness.
How would your coworkers describe you?
Probably goofy, unafraid to embarrass myself for the benefit of others’ laughter, and hopefully diligent. I know how to dial it in too and get serious when there’s a job to be done!
Where do you predict TGRP will be 5-10 years from now?
I think TGRP is building a solid name for itself as we build our bench and develop several teams of consultants to fulfill any accounting or finance needs. I’m excited to be part of it.