Alumna Hires Accounting Graduates to Support Community and University

DSC_3350Tracy O’Neill serves not only as Chief Administrative Officer at Kerkering Barberio & Co. (KB), but also as an advocate for building a strong community of locally trained professionals.

After earning her degree in Management from USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) in 1990, O’Neill earned her MBA from Nova Southeastern University and has spent the last 20 years in human resources and professional management. Since joining KB in 2000, O’Neill’s comprehensive knowledge of the public accounting industry has positioned her to oversee the firm’s operations, including human resources, practice growth, marketing, insurance and risk management.

Under her management, the firm was ranked as one of the Top 200 Accounting Firms in the nation by INSIDE Public Accounting, named one of the Best Accounting Firms for Women by the American Society of Women Accountants and American Woman’s Society of CPAs, and certified as a Sarasota County Green Business Partner.

In addition to these notable achievements, the firm has another feature: a staff built up of USF Sarasota-Manatee graduates.

O’Neill is a strong believer in hiring USFSM-trained accountants. “We rely on the accounting program at this campus to help provide us with good candidates for our firm,” said O’Neill. “We recognize and value the resource that USF Sarasota-Manatee is to the local business community.”

Professionally, O’Neill has supported USFSM in many capacities. She is currently serving on the Community Leadership Council, the College of Business Advisory Board and the USFSM Strategic Planning Committee. In 2014, she co-chaired USFSM’s signature fundraising event, Brunch on the Bay.

“As a member of these committees, I see the incredible things going on at this campus,” said O’Neill. “USFSM faculty and leadership strive to ensure that the curriculum is current and relevant to the world in which we live.”

O’Neill’s relationship with USF Sarasota-Manatee has now come full circle. As a student, she received her education from USFSM that helped position her in the local business environment. As a professional, she has partnered with this campus to meet Kerkering Barberio’s staffing needs. As an alumna and community advocate, she has participated in current and future campus plans and given back through committee involvement. “For all of these relationships with USF Sarasota-Manatee, I am truly grateful and proud to be an alum,” said O’Neill.

In fact, she admits to wanting to return to USFSM and retake certain courses. “If I could, I would tell current students to really take advantage of where they are,” she said, “Dig in and learn from the classes that you take. Explore and try to understand how classroom knowledge will be applied in your future career. Take part in campus life—get involved in a group, use the beautiful facilities. But most importantly, don’t let your experience at USFSM be a blur or something you ‘get through’—enjoy the moment in life!”