Diversity Journal Third Quarter Magazine 2021

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Education: Bachelor of Science summa cum laude, accounting, East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma Company Name: Ernst & Young LLP Industry: Public Accounting Company CEO: Carmine Di Sibio Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 300,000 Your Location (if different from above): Tulsa, Oklahoma Words you live by: Be curious, adventurous, and brave; Be kind, grateful and positive; Embrace the adventure of change; Create your own fun; Have wonder for the world; Determination and work ethic almost always win; The team/family is always more powerful and important than the individual. Who is your personal hero? My 5x great-grandfather Wabaunsee for leadership in unimaginable circumstances What book are you reading? Sooley by John Grisham and Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek What was your first job: Student employee at East Central University Foundation, Inc. Favorite charity: The University of Oklahoma Foundation, Inc. Interests: Reading, traveling, attending sporting events, gardening, and my two toy fox terriers Family: Parents, George and Lyndall; brother, Alan; and Toy Fox Terriers Riley (age 11) and Macy (age 9)

The Inestimable Value of Grit and Tenacity Over time, I have come to believe that grit and tenacity are the secret ingredients in success, however you may define it. I see it every day in my work in public accounting, a demanding career. Client service done right requires exceptional responsiveness, which often means long hours on a moment’s notice. A relatively small number of the people who begin careers in the field remain in the field long term. Interestingly, their decision to leave is not due to a lack of technical ability. When I reflect on my own life, these characteristics are not only the keys to my career success, but I believe, the reason for my very existence. I was born unexpectedly on an August summer day less than fifteen minutes after my mom arrived at the hospital, before my dad could park the car and enter the building. With me weighing in at 2 pounds, 13 ounces, my parents 38

2021 Third Quarter

were advised to not get overly confident when assessing how I was doing; there were too many uncertainties, especially in the early days, for babies born at a rural hospital three months early. However, my determination to live was strong. I am certain the characteristic comes from my family—whether it is nurture or nature, I am not sure. I suspect it is both. My grandparents, Abe and Floyce Christian and G.C. and Ethel Holloway grew up in an era in Oklahoma where resources were short. My Grandpa Holloway, from whom my Potawatomi heritage comes, was a sharecropper. My Pappaw Christian was forced to quit school at only 12 years of age to run the family farm after his dad passed away. Only one of my grandparents was able to finish high school. My mom was the first in either family to finish college, declaring her intent as a child while

picking cotton on a particularly hot day. My pappaw was proud to make sure she achieved her dream. This background undoubtedly had an impact on my parents and the way they raised my brother, Alan, and me. We were taught to work hard, always do our best, never give up, and value education. I became an accountant and my brother, an attorney. In my work and life today, when I feel strongly that something should be done or an outcome obtained, I analyze, strategize, regroup, and try again until the result is achieved. It often involves courage, resolve, strength of character, and determination—that is to say, grit and tenacity. It is a powerful combination. The views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of Ernst & Young LLP or other members of the global EY organization.



Anita L. Holloway