Meet a Member: Jack Kolmansberger

Jack Kolmansberger Headshot

JUST THE FACTS

  • Name: Jack Kolmansberger
  • Title:  Chief Growth Officer
  • Years of Experience: 27
  • College Name & Degree(s): Villanova University, B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing Concentration
  • Firm Name:  Herbein + Company, Inc.
  • Firm City & State: Reading, PA (HQ – 13 offices from NJ to the Philippines)
  • Firm Size: 300 team members, $52 million
  • Email Address: [email protected]
  • Professional Memberships: Association for Accounting Marketing
  • Community Involvement: Ethan’s Hope for Humanity, former President of Media Youth Center, former co-Treasurer of Penncrest Band Parents Association
  • Twitter Handle: @jmkolmansberger
  • LinkedIn Profile:  www.linkedin.com/in/jackkolmansberger/

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

  • What types of DEI strategies does your firm employ?
  • Horizon is our main initiative to increase DEI awareness and is supported by three core focus groups: HWomen RISE, Mosaic, and NextGen. These focus groups bring together team members who share a common identity, characteristics, and interests. They enhance team member engagement and support our mission, vision, and values. HWomen RISE is to help facilitate education and awareness as well as create and adapt programs and policies that support Herbein women in achieving their professional development and advancement goals and objectives. Mosaic is focused on promoting a workplace that recognizes, supports, and advances the multicultural diversity of our team members. NextGen facilitates education and the creation/adaptation of programs that support team members under 40 in achieving their professional development and advancement goals and objectives. NextGen’s major areas of interest will be networking, community, and team building.
  • How has this impacted your employee engagement?
    • While our progress hasn’t been linear, Horizon has helped to provide a roadmap for our DEI journey. The leaders of each area are empowered to develop and deliver appropriate programs including webinars, team-building activities, newsletters, etc.  We have focused some corporate giving to directly align with our DEI program.
  • What is the structure of your marketing department?
    • Amy Klatt is our CMO, and her team includes a communications director, marketing supervisors, marketing coordinators, and operational support.  On the Growth side, we have a 2-person data team, a proposal specialist, and a business development executive (this will be a new position to start in May).
  • What have you learned the hard way in terms of DEI?
    • It’s a sensitive subject. A gut reaction for some people is to immediately go to self-comparisons – ‘yes, they faced this issue, but I faced this issue and overcame obstacles…’  It’s not a better/worse or easier/harder equation, it’s just that we are all different.
  • What is a “must know” for accounting marketers who are just starting their DEI initiatives?
    • To make any impact, you need support from the leaders.  Passion alone is not enough to be successful.  Also, authenticity is critical – don’t pretend to believe in something for the sake of appearances.
  • What are your special skills or what is something people may not know about you?
    • I often claim that I can build anything or jump over anything.  My kids point out that neither claim is true, but I’m not afraid to fail or fall.
  • What is the biggest benefit you receive from your AAM membership or what effect has AAM had on your career?
    • It’s not hyperbole to say that AAM defined a career for me.  My first accounting marketing position was my third job after college.  Whatever I was marketing didn’t feel particularly important at the time.  However, AAM instilled great aspirations in me to be the best I could be.  How can you not see the AAM-MAAs or hear a marketer of the year’s accomplishments and not challenge yourself to excel?  And the people are empathetic, helpful, and knowledgeable.  Don’t be shy in AAM!
  • Share one marketing tip.
    • Throughout my career, I’ve had co-workers where every project felt transactional.  Marketing is a people function – find people who are open to working via relationships, and you’ll be so much more successful.  A lot of times we try to fit everyone into the same marketing plan, but realistically, one-third of your firm will be engaged, and one-third will be skeptics/critics. Work with that top and middle group to get them excited about growth and marketing, and everyone will win.
  • What do you feel is the biggest issue facing accounting marketers today?
    • The biggest issue is the convergence of resource shortages, AI, and the push to advisory services. Firms that can align on these issues will thrive, those that cannot will be forced to merge up.
  • What would you be doing if you had not become a marketer?
    • I realized at age 29 that the Major Leagues or the National Hockey League were probably not realistic. So I’d go with the childhood dream of owning a deli and making memories for people similar to those I experienced growing up and riding bikes to the deli with friends.
  • What is the biggest project you are working on right now?
    • Our team is focused on enhancing our technology stack.  We have ambitious growth goals, and what worked with a 100-person firm isn’t going to work in the next 3-5 years.
  • If you had an unlimited budget, what is one thing you would implement immediately?
    • Client experience is certainly the next frontier for so many firms like Herbein.  I’m looking forward to throwing significant resources into CX.
  • What books have you read recently that you feel would be beneficial to other AAM members?
    • As part of our office renovation, I needed to clean out my office which spurred some re-reading:
      • Disciplined Dreaming – Josh Linkner;  this was gifted to me by Lauren Clemmer so it holds a close place in my heart while also showing how to break down walls that shield innovation.
      • You Are Remarkable – Mike Jones (look for his red sneakers at Summits), David Cosand, and Dr. J.J. Watson;  this one helped me develop a new pricing vision for 1040s, and I felt a brush-up was in order.
      • A Peacock in the Land of Penguins – B.J. Gallagher and Warren H. Schmidt;  this is a short read that I picked up again after discussion on AAM’s DEI Committee.  This provides insight into how diversity works/doesn’t work in a concise and easily digestible format.
      • Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin;  full disclosure, I haven’t re-read this one yet, but there is no better account of Abraham Lincoln’s leadership.
Posted in