Nature-lover, Marisa, decided to apply nature's principles of symmetry to a career in accounting. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, "nature can offer insight into topics such as keeping up with quickly changing markets, cooperating with peers and fostering resilience – all of which are relevant to organisations, especially to entrepreneurial organisations."

Marisa began working at Barnard in 2017. Her colleagues describe her as being a down-to-earth, no-frills, precise, and 'very Afrikaans' accountant. "To me, the greatest thing about Barnard is having a management team that values family life and always cares about their employees. I always feel there is an opportunity for personal growth," Marisa adds. She counts Jan Lötter's joining the firm as CFO as the highlight of her work at Barnard. "I enjoy working in the background, with Jan leading our internal meetings and being the leader. He helps our team understand the firm's rhythms and growth stages so that we have the opportunity to work hard and give life to the plans put forward."

Barnard is a Strength-based organisation. Marisa's CliftonStrengths® are a part of what makes her such a valued member of the team.

  • Marisa leads with the Responsibility strength. She takes ownership of what she says she will do. She is also committed to values like honesty and loyalty.
  • Marisa's Harmony strength speaks to her need to look for consensus. She doesn't enjoy conflict and would much rather look for areas of agreement.
  • The Achiever strength speaks to Marisa's keen ability to work hard. She possesses a great deal of stamina and takes and takes immense satisfaction in being busy and productive.
  • With her Arranger strength, Marisa can organise! "I wanted to be an accountant from a very young age," says Marisa. "I like to get things in order, then analyse reports to see the end-product of my work. That's how I know I am in the right profession. Plus, I get to help the attorneys with their maths," she laughs.
  • The final of Marisa's top 5 strengths is the Restorative strength, which ties in perfectly with her Arranger strength. She is incredibly adept at dealing with problems. She is good at dealing with problems and coming up with strong solutions.

Marisa's vision of Barnard's future is that the firm will open branches in other provinces. Except, we all know what the vision really means: There must be a branch in Nelspruit, near the Kruger National Park – so she can get her fill of Africa's natural wonders!

Marisa, you are valued and appreciated here at the 'Barnyard'. We hope that you have a wonderful birthday!