Elizabeth Williams and Melissa Pennypacker moved throughout childhood, adolescence, and their teens together, but they didn’t expect to work at the same company as adults.
The two grew up in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania and met as toddlers in nursery school—they remained close friends in the years following, but a slight divergence in interests was clear from early on.
“I roped Elizabeth into my dance group, and we had a recital where everybody had to put on their shirt what they wanted to be when they grew up. And so, you had all these girls write ‘dancer’ or ‘astronaut’, and Elizabeth put ‘actuary’,” Melissa recalled.
Following high school, Elizabeth went for her dance recital dream and became an actuarial science major at Temple University. However, it quickly became clear that the field wasn’t quite the right fit. When asked about what drew her to accounting, Elizabeth said, “I liked the math part about [actuarial science], but I didn’t like what I was calculating. I had exposure to accounting from my now-husband as well as from my father, and the more I learned about it, the more I thought it was something I could like. When I got into the program, I ended up loving it.” When graduation rolled around, she accepted a position as an auditor with a public accounting firm in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.
Melissa, on the other hand, had different goals. Her extroverted nature led her to pursue business with a concentration in human resources at Shippensburg University. When she accepted an internship in the recruiting sector as an undergraduate, she fell in love and decided to pursue it full-time as a career. After approximately five years primarily working as a recruiter, Melissa pivoted to a role in human resources management with a large healthcare network in the Philadelphia area, where she would remain for a decade.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth began craving a shift from public accounting. When a former colleague reached out to her about an opening at Your Part-Time Controller, LLC, she knew that she had to take a chance and apply. Through her earlier experience auditing nonprofit organizations, and a recommendation submitted through YPTC’s staff referral program, she officially joined the company as an Associate in 2010 and the rest, as they say, was history.
“As an accountant, a lot of people think that we’re just pushing numbers and profit, and it can be a little draining of a position. But accounting for nonprofits with YPTC is not like that. It’s turned my passion for math and numbers into something that can make a difference in the world,” Elizabeth reflected.
While there have been several changes for Elizabeth in the last almost twelve years, like getting married and having two children, she has always felt supported and able to explore her various interests outside of client work, one of which was recruiting. While working with YPTC’s Talent Acquisition team, it dawned on Elizabeth that her friend, Melissa, would also be a fantastic fit. When an opportunity finally presented itself, Elizabeth took advantage of YPTC’s robust referral program and made the connection.
It just so happened at the time Elizabeth contacted her, Melissa was at somewhat of a crossroads.
“The ten years at my previous job were very formative and I enjoyed most of them. But, the recruiting part of my role was limited, and I realized this is what I loved most about it. I was so happy to hear that there could be an opportunity for me at YPTC. I had also had some experience working with a nonprofit dance organization in Harrisburg, which helped me understand the struggles that nonprofits went through and the joys of working with them. So, I looked into YPTC, and Elizabeth had been with the recruiting team long enough to give me a rundown of what that specifically was all about, and I fell in love,” Melissa said.
Melissa advanced through the interview process, proving what Elizabeth already knew to be true—she would be a great fit at YPTC. In October 2021, when Melissa accepted the Talent Acquisition Coordinator role, she and Elizabeth started a new, shared chapter with a celebratory dinner of steak and lobster.
Though she’s only been here for a few months, Melissa is already making her mark at YPTC with a recent promotion to Referral and Talent Acquisition Specialist. “It’s refreshing because the organization speaks for itself with what we do and the impact we make in the community. We attract the right people, and because of that, we’re growing, and I’m pumped,” Melissa remarked on her experience thus far and what she most looks forward to.
Elizabeth echoed, “When I started, the team was so much smaller, so it has changed a lot. I’ve been so appreciative that the core values, the things that make YPTC special, have remained despite our growth, and I’m excited to see that upheld as we continue to grow.”
Now, the pair has plans for a future together at YPTC. However, having your lifelong best friend as a colleague isn’t without its unique challenges. Elizabeth can’t seem to break the habit of referring to Melissa by her childhood nickname on calls. The two laugh it off and agree that in terms of problems to have, it certainly isn’t a bad one.
Your Part-Time Controller, LLC is currently hiring nationwide. If you are an accounting professional looking to use your skills for good, contact us today or apply now. We can’t wait to meet you!