A new meaning to net income.
Seward is a port city in southcentral Alaska with a population of less than 3,000 people. When you’re born and raised there, you’re really born into a life of loving the ocean. I’m a fourth-generation commercial fisherman turned accountant.
At age 14 I found myself on my dad’s boat fishing alongside my two younger brothers. My first day, we caught almost 100,000 pounds of salmon and nearly tipped the boat over (or at least it felt that way). I thought to myself, “This is a cake walk! I can do this, no problem!” I soon learned that the life of a fisherman entailed 20-hour days and living with stinky crewmembers for two straight months. And I loved every second of it for the next 11 summers.
But I wanted to be one of the first people on my dad’s side of the family to go to college and pursue another interest of mine – business. I dreamed about the day I would get to wear something to work other than XTRATUF boots, fish slime and leggings.
There are some parallels between commercial fishing and public accounting. I think part of the reason I love them both is that they incorporate a fast-paced, thrilling period of hard work. Historically, in the summer – it was all about the fish. Now, in the spring — it’s all about the taxes. I love the grind and focus that both require.
Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Truly, at any moment, your life or someone else’s could be on the line. There’s a level of awareness and responsibility I’ve learned that is critical to being a good teammate. While we’re typically not dealing with life or death at Larson Gross, I still get the honor of being part of a team. I know my colleagues will always have my back and we’re stronger together.