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On the Record with Rose: Kami Ragsdale

image of Brightspot Chief Financial Officer Kami Ragsdale

Kami has been working for Brightspot since January 2017.

This month, Rose continued her series of sit downs with Kami Ragsdale, Brightspot Chief Financial Officer. Kami joined Brightspot, formerly Perfect Sense, in 2017 and has played a critical role in guiding the company's expansion. During the conversation, Kami discussed the future of Brightspot and the origin of her interest in finance, and much more.

Where did you work prior to Brightspot? What brought you here?
I worked at Invision, another software and services company, which made products for media companies. In 2016, a New York based company, MediaOcean, bought Invision and my team was no longer needed. I had worked previously with Alfred, David, and Lisa at AOL and reached out to see if there was an opportunity for my team to join Brightspot. This was at the same time that Brightspot was preparing to take its first investment from Carrick and they were looking to hire a CFO so the timing was perfect!

Can you tell me more about your role at Brightspot?
As CFO, I am responsible for all of our finances and ensuring that we stay on track. I prepare budgets and forecasts to predict revenue, determine how much to charge our clients, and plan our spending. We look at these numbers and update them weekly, and depending on performance, make adjustments on spending. I also manage our banking relationship to figure out new ways to access capital so that we can continue to invest in our company. Lastly, I oversee all of our payroll, benefits, bills, and invoicing.

What excites you about the future of our company?
I get excited about the opportunities we have to grow because our product is applicable to any industry and almost any size company, and every company needs a website. We also recently began investing in sales and marketing, which offers us even more opportunities to grow the business.

What traits or characteristics are important to making you successful at your job?
Being a good people person who is able to work well with others, as well as being detail oriented are most important.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I enjoy being able to help the executive team run the business better by providing them with information that empowers them to make the best business decisions.

What inspired you to pursue a career in finance?
I took an accounting course in high school and loved it. From then on, I knew I wanted to go into accounting. I started my career as a public accountant working for a big firm and from there moved to working for private companies and shifted my focus from accounting to finance.

Besides the people, what is your favorite part of working for Brightspot?
I love the business. It's fun to be part of a company with a great product and great clients. We have so much potential to grow.

What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of the office?
Watching my son play sports, especially baseball, and my daughter dance are my favorite. I love to run, but I don't get to do that as often as I'd like. I also love traveling with my family.

What is the last movie you saw? Would you recommend it?
Avatar. It was really good and I would definitely recommend it. We actually took our kids to Disney World over spring break and went on the Avatar ride. It makes you feel like you are in the movie.

If you could be any animal, which animal would you be and why?
I would probably be a dog because people love having dogs as their pets and it could be a good companion to someone.

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