When it comes to running a successful business, making sure the wheels turn in a collaborative and coordinated way is crucial. It requires effort, communication and commitment, and often there is one steadfast hand that works tirelessly behind the scenes, gently guiding the process. At McConachie Stedman, that person is Practice Manager, Karen Gramenz.
Joining the ranks 13 years ago, Karen had barely had a chance to catch her breath after graduating her senior year of high school. It was 2005 and while Tom Cruise was famously jumping on Oprah’s couch, Rove was cleaning up at the Logies and Destiny’s Child was calling it quits, Karen was hitting the launch button on her career.
When interviewing at the firm, Karen recalls former firm Receptionist, Charmaine Schilling and former Human Resource Manager, Scott Hancock quizzing her and afterwards offering her the position. She of course accepted and a few weeks later rocked up to the steps of 619 Ruthven Street to clock on for her first day. It was a Monday morning, just six days before Christmas. Karen remembers the intense nervous feeling she felt, despite the quiet, Christmas lull present in the office and recalls spending most of her first day in training mode learning the ropes.
More than a decade later, Karen’s professional journey has taken her on a number of twists and turns. From general office support to reception to client services, Karen has worked across several facets of the business. During her time with the firm, she has become a qualified Justice of the Peace, completed a Diploma of Accounting and a Certificate IV in Small Business Management, and developed a thorough understanding of the systems and processes that support the inner-workings of the business.
In 2012, Karen accepted the role of practice manager, working alongside firm directors to manage the day-to-day operations of the firm. A role structured with a varied workload, Karen admits that it is often the unconventional tasks that she enjoys the most. From event planning to interior design and even putting together flat-pack furniture, Karen has tried her hand briefly at many professions over the course of her role.
Last year in 2017, Karen relocated to Brisbane. Despite her move to a new city, she continues to work with the firm managing operations remotely and travelling to the office in Toowoomba regularly. This has been a great challenge for Karen, as well as a learning experience for the firm as the fast-paced change in our industry and technology makes having staff working from remote locations more prominent.
Karen is currently completing a Diploma in Leadership and Management and with a long career in front of her, she looks forward to supporting the firm to grow and prosper into the future, and hopes the scope of her role will continue to evolve and be the complementary glue that helps bond everything together.