Q&A with Cheri Olson, Americas Controller
Where did you begin your career?
I started with Ulterra 14 years ago, very soon after the acquisition of United Diamond in Canada. I had previously worked for a small drilling company that used United Diamond bits, so it was a natural progression for me to move into a manufacturing and rental company in the same industry. Ulterra was a larger company than my prior employer with greater growth opportunities and an exciting challenge for me as I was just beginning my management career and education path.
How have you grown and changed with the company over the years?
During my first years at Ulterra there was a tremendous amount of change that came with the acquisition of United Diamond. Working through the integration helped me significantly grow as a leader to help mitigate change and implementation within the organization. I feel like this helped me be successful in future projects with the Ulterra International group integration.
Another major project I was a part of was a process improvement focus group, in which a few different department members came together to discuss and decide on a current problem to work through and improve. This is where the process behind the “U-Valet” concept came to life and was implemented globally. Essentially, this process more closely ties in repair expenses to earned revenue within the reporting period for more effective management reporting.
Through the past few years, I have had the opportunity to work with many of our international groups. This has given me so much connection and understanding of the different needs and challenges each of us face, as well as recognize the amazing similarities throughout the Ulterra world. I love being able to experience the cultures, see the amazing beauty of so many of the countries we operate it, and build personal connections and friendships with the Ulterra team.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Although I would have never though when I was little that I wanted to grow up to be an accountant, I do love structure and dependability. On the other hand, I crave challenge and excitement. So honestly, it’s the perfect fit for me. No one ever thinks of excitement when they think accounting, but believe me, when you balance a particularly hard workbook – EXCITEMENT!
Ulterra has always been challenging and always changing. We are not the same little company I started with 14 years ago and can’t even fathom the enormous success and growth we have had in these years when I look back. This is what keeps me going and excited about every day. There is always a new challenge and opportunity. We are constantly growing and developing and striving to better ourselves. This kind of drive for success is what I love about Ulterra.
What do you like most about working at Ulterra?
The company I started with years ago was small, very Mom and Pop type organization, and we all had a connection. Although Ulterra is no longer that small group, we still all have a close relationship. The culture of teamwork throughout all Ulterra is deep, the success we have all seen of the company reflects this teamwork.
A lot of companies say their people matter, Ulterra says this but also shows this. The opportunities Ulterra provides for growth and career development gives us all the endless potential to grow both professionally and personally. The community and teamwork of Ulterra provides the support and mentorship to utilize to accomplish what we set out to do.
What are your favorite memories at Ulterra?
Impact Mission to Kenya
Well of course the Impact Mission to Africa will forever be one of my favorite memories. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience Africa and to give back in a meaningful way that would not have been possible without Ulterra. It was amazing to build these memories and experiences with the other Ulterra staff on the trip. I still laugh when I think about how a group of us all from different departments, different countries, and some of us who had never met, still instinctively knew where and when to meet before and after dinner. We just all migrated together like second nature. Fun times and fierce competitive Uno games nightly.
A few months ago, our accounting group was at a conference in Phoenix. The hotel put on a Goat Yoga session in the morning, so a group of us attempted yoga.. We ended up mostly playing with the goats and laughing until it hurt! It was a great memory and one I won’t forget – an unforgettable team building experience. You really get to know one another when a goat is jumping from one person’s back to the next.
What are your other passions?
I love being out in nature, I spend a lot of the summertime camping, hiking and ATV riding – and in the wintertime, it’s either on our sleds or ATV.