Greg is an Accountant & Deacon
Deacon Greg Papineau returns to the podcast to talk about his many passions including helping people as both a deacon and an accountant, as well as golfing, and his family! Greg gives us an update on how he has been encouraging his team at the office to participate in outdoor events participating in the USGA Senior Open!
• Meeting other deacons who are also accountants
• Baptizing his granddaughters
• Participating in a new men’s group
• What it means to be a deacon
• How Greg’s passion goes hand-in-hand with being a deacon and an accountant
• Being the Chair of the Scoring Division for the USGA Senior Open
• How Greg connects with his co-workers in the office
• Meeting Rudy Ruettiger
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Welcome to Episode 220 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday edition. This is john Garrett. Each Friday I follow up with a guest who’s been on the show a few years ago to hear what’s new with their passions outside of work and also hear how this message has impacted them since we last talked.
I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book is being published very soon. It’ll be available on Amazon and a few other websites. So check out whatsyourand.com for all the details, or sign up for my exclusive list and you’ll be the first to know. Please don’t forget to hit Subscribe so you don’t miss any of the future episodes because I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week.
This Follow-Up Friday is no different with my guest, Greg Papineau. He’s the Director of Audit and Assurance at BiggsKofford in Colorado Springs, and now he’s with me here today in his office in Colorado Springs.
Greg, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Greg: Oh, John, it’s great to be here. It’s good to see you again.
John: Oh, absolutely, man. This is so awesome to be in your office and hanging out and go to lunch together. Yes. So thanks, man.
Greg: Yeah, you got to see a little bit of Colorado Springs, the Broadmoor, and tour the city.
John: Yeah. It was really great. But maybe before we did that, I should have done the rapid-fire questions just to make sure.
Greg: That’s fine. Go for it.
John: Here we go. Here we go. If you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones?
Greg: Game of Thrones.
John: Okay, okay. What’s a typical breakfast?
Greg: A green smoothie.
John: Wow, like kale green?
Greg: Yeah, like kale green with spinach, lettuce, avocado, mint.
John: So anything green?
Greg: Anything green.
John: Nice. I like it. Okay, awesome and healthy.
Greg: And healthy.
John: Good for you, man. More jeans or khakis?
John: Khakis. Okay. All right.
Greg: Actually, shorts.
John: Shorts. Khaki shorts.
Greg: Shorts and flip flops.
John: There you go. There you go. Cats or dogs?
John: Dogs, nice. How about if you had to choose brownie or ice cream?
Greg: Ice cream.
John: Ice cream. Good answer, man. Good answer. Favorite sports team?
Greg: Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.
John: Oh, interesting choices.
Greg: I lived in Seattle for all my life until I moved to Colorado, and my wife converted me to a Broncos fan. So when the Broncos and Seahawks played in the Super Bowl a couple years back, I couldn’t lose.
John: That’s tough. Right, exactly.
Greg: I couldn’t lose.
John: Exactly. And the last one, this is maybe the most important one, toilet paper, roll over or under?
Greg: I used to didn’t care then I started seeing that over all the time, so now it’s over. You’re taking off the roll too when it’s over.
John: You flip it around. Nice. That’s awesome. So last time we talked, Episode 43, you were a deacon in the Catholic Church which is so unique. I don’t know. Have you come across any other CPA/deacons?
Greg: A couple of them.
Greg: I had a client in Denver who on their finance council is a CPA, and he’s also a deacon with the Catholic Church. Their organization is a Catholic organizations.
John: Oh, that’s awesome.
Greg: The Augustine Institute but —
John: So there are more.
Greg: There are more. There are more of us crazy guys.
John: Sounds like we need to get that person on the podcast, but until then, it’s you, man. It’s all you. So you’re still doing that and still actively involved in the church.
Greg: Oh, yeah, very active. You know, just for the refresher, I was ordained in June of 2011 as a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church. And so it is permanent, something I can’t change. I basically, as I say, as a deacon, we can marry, bury and baptize. So most fun thing I’ve done the last couple of years, I’ve had a chance to baptize my three granddaughters.
Greg: That was the best.
John: That’s really cool.
Greg: They’re now seven, five, and almost three. So the five-year-old and the three-year-old, I baptized since the last time we talked.
John: That’s fantastic.
Greg: That’s just great. And you get a chance to witness marriages, preside at wakes and funerals, and then you serve at mass. But primarily, it’s just ministry service. You get to go out and meet people out in the outer fringes of our parish, go to people who are homebound, maybe because they’re sick or they had a surgery and they couldn’t make it to church. So we’ll go visit them, bring communion to them or just to come visit.
John: That’s awesome, man.
Greg: One of the most fun things I do now is I have a men’s group that meets every Friday morning. So we meet at six o’clock in the morning. Time for men to get together and talk. I mean kind of a novel concept, men to talk about their feelings, but we try to get men to do that and so I do that. I just love doing it. It’s been the passion of my life.
John: But it’s great, man.
Greg: Things that give me joy in life and gets me up every day.
John: Yeah, this translates to your career. I know we talked about it before, but your level of service is way more than what mine was when I was a CPA, that’s for sure.
Greg: All of us accountants, a lot of us like to sit at our office desk a lot, but I think this is really a profession of serving people. You need to enjoy doing that. And so really deacon is a derivative of a Greek word called diakonos which means servant.
John: Oh, there you go.
Greg: It’s really fit into my lifestyle becoming a deacon, but being a deacon really complements me as a CPA because I love serving people. I love helping people. And that’s what makes this profession a lot of fun, as you and I talked about today. Just going out there helping people and helping them achieve their goals and building relationships with people.
John: Yeah, that go way deeper than just the numbers and the financial statements.
Greg: Way deeper than the numbers, yeah. And that could be golf to drinking fine wine to sharing a good meal, and maybe it’s just getting together for a nice lunch and asking people what’s going on in their lives. That’s the fun part. What’s new in your life? I always ask my clients that question all the time. So just to find out more what’s going on and how I can connect with that.
John: Plus, then maybe you can be steps ahead and serving them as the trusted advisor that everyone wants to be is you’re actually an advisor because you’re like, “Oh, well, if that’s what you want to do, then you might want to know that there’s these tax implications” or whatever it is. We want to buy a house in Europe. It’s like, oh, well, here’s how this is going to matter.
John: And that way then you can actually care for them above and beyond just what do you need right now?
Greg: Well, I think that’s the whole role of a CPA is you want to be that trusted advisor, and they want you to help come alongside them and give them advice. That’s what they pay you for. They pay you for advice. They don’t pay you because you do a tax return. My tax return looks just like the same as anybody else’s tax return does, but it’s the advice you have and the advice you give them and how you help them to achieve their goals. And understanding what they’re passionate about helps you to hopefully help them at the same time.
John: Yeah, absolutely.
Greg: Whether that’s been from a tax perspective, from a consulting perspective, whatever the case might be.
John: Yeah, or just caring.
Greg: And just caring.
John: Just caring about you as a person, which is awesome.
Greg: I think it brings the clients back, at least it has for me.
John: Just looking around your office too, clearly golf is also a passion of yours. There are some giant framed pictures of beautiful golf course that I thought was Ireland but apparently is Colorado.
Greg: Yeah, it’s up in the northeast corner of Colorado with the top hundred golf course in the world that I play and a member of. I just got back there from this past weekend, and it’s a lot of fun. Golf is something I’m very passionate about. In fact, last summer in 2018, we got the USGA Senior Open here at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, I was the chair of the scoring division.
John: Wow, that’s intense.
Greg: That was intense.
John: Like that’s all of it.
Greg: That’s all of it. All the scoring. So you think of all the leaderboards that are around the golf course, all the walking scores, there were lasers set up so they can measure distances to the hole, how long a drive was. There were standard bearers. They’re the guys that walk along behind the groups here with the names and what their score was.
John: You’re in charge of all of that?
Greg: I’m in charge of all the scoring.
John: Oh, my Lord.
Greg: That was a great event. Started Monday morning at six o’clock and ended Sunday night about eight o’clock.
John: And you had zero sleep in between there.
Greg: It felt like that. But that was a great event. It was a great community event here in Colorado Springs.
John: That’s awesome.
Greg: And took the week off and did a little community service. And didn’t take a vacation day for that. I don’t know if I should tell everybody that. I did code it on my time sheet as community service.
John: Yeah. But it’s a passion of yours. So it’s not even like, I mean, it’s super fun exponentially.
Greg: It was so much fun.
John: That’s awesome.
Greg: I had a buddy mine from Oregon came out here to help me. It happened the very first day. I met a guy, he was trying to find the 10th tee in the 10th tee at the Broadmoor is way out on the other end of the property. So I gave him a ride out. I was talking to him about that. He knew people I knew in Des Moines, Iowa.
Greg: Yeah, amazing. Another guy talked to his son and found out he was a wine broker in Atlanta, Georgia. During the competition, he walks over to me says, “My son says, you’re a wine guy.” We started talking about wine as we’re walking down another fairway.
John: Those are good friends to have, man.
Greg: It was great. The senior players are much more approachable and much less intense. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some intense guys that are out there, but for a lot of them out there, it’s a second career for them.
John: Yeah, they’re just having fun.
Greg: Yeah, in fact, one guy played. I went to shake his hand. He didn’t shake my hand. He gave me a big hug.
Greg: So it was great. It was fun.
John: That’s cool, man.
Greg: It’s a fun way to meet a lot of people.
John: Yeah, but also to be a part of USGA Senior Open, that’s a big deal.
Greg: It was impressive. We had a Senior Open at the Broadmoor in 2008 and then a Women’s Open in 2011. I was in charge for walking scores. But this time, I was in charge of all the scoring and so that was fun.
John: That’s really cool.
Greg: A free access to everything and walking out of any place I wanted to. That was fun. But that wasn’t the most important thing. We had some great players. I got to pitch with John Smoltz.
John: Oh, there you go.
Greg: He qualified in playing the Senior Open.
John: That’s cool.
Greg: That was cool.
John: Yeah, yeah. And it’s one of those things where you don’t even think that that’s a job until somebody messes up and then it’s like, ah. You have nothing to gain and everything to lose which is probably very similar to being an auditor.
Greg: Yep, exactly.
John: Nobody even knows who the auditor is and then all of a sudden, a big thing hits and it’s like, ah, shoot. That’s really cool, though, man. That’s it awesome thing.
Greg: It was a fun week. It was a great week. The weather was incredible. It was hot. But we had to keep all the volunteers well hydrated. And some of the volunteers up on the scoreboards, we had to make sure they had water. All the numbers are up there. All the names were all rubber. We have a meeting every day and one time they requested we go get some gloves. So we had to go to Home Depot to get gloves. All the letters and all the numbers were just hot. They couldn’t handle.
John: Yeah, because there’s so much sun here in Colorado too.
John: Yeah, and so is this idea of sharing passions outside of work something that you’ve seen more of since you were on the podcast, or is anything different?
Greg: It is. I think it’s very important. I think people need to have a life outside of work, number one. And I know as a firm we work really hard to try to get people involved in outside activities.
John: Right, just out of the out of the office.
Greg: Oh, get out of the office. In fact, we have a team meeting once a month. We have a different team member that leads the meeting and usually put some photos or videos up on the screen to talk about themselves, their families, what they do outside of work, not to do with inside of work, who their kids are, their dogs or cats or animals, what their passions are.
John: That’s huge. Do you find that that leads to some conversation or at least a different context of who that person is?
Greg: Well, we hope it does. Maybe not all the time. We’re accountants, nevertheless. But I think it does lead to some conversation, at least you can try to have a connection with people. Living in Colorado Springs, it’s a very outdoors place. People are actively involved in the outdoors, and so we promote that. And so when people do things, we try to celebrate that as a firm. We had one lady that worked here, and her husband was an Olympic athlete. And he qualified for the finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase. That was in Rio de Janeiro. So at the end of the team meeting, it was coming on live. So we stayed and watched him race his race right on television. So when he came back in the States, we all congratulated him and congratulated her, asked how were the Olympics, did you have fun, and just a nice passion in that regard.
John: Yeah, yeah, because you hired the whole person. Clearly, her husband being an Olympic athlete is a big piece of who she is as a person.
Greg: Oh, it’s unbelievable. We have a manager here whose son is probably one of the top cross-country high schoolers in the nation. His son went back to Florida and won the National High School cross-country championships for high school as a freshman. So he came back and taken videos of it. We all sat around and watched the video. He was commentating. But we tried to get into what he’s doing and send some text to him during the day of the race. “Hey, Eric, do a great job.” It’s just fun to just get engaged in other people’s lives.
John: It’s just fun. It makes work more enjoyable.
Greg: More enjoyable. And then when the kids come in, I was always high fiving them. How are you guys doing? How’s racing going? How’s your training going? Whatever the case might be, we can always have a connection with the family members as well, I think not only with the team members but with the family members. It’s so important to understand the kids and get to know them as well.
John: Yeah, that’s such a big piece of who they are.
Greg: Exactly. You get outside of work, work is important and what we do is important, it helps our clients financially, but there’s more to life than tax returns and financial statements and all the things that go along with what we’re doing. But same point in time, you need to have a fun time and you need to enjoy your job. I always say, get jazzed up, come to work every day.
John: People are typically more jazzed up about the outside of work than the inside of work, stereotypically.
Greg: They are, but they enjoy coming to work more when they know the people inside care for them, without a doubt.
John: Exactly. If you can talk about those outside of work things inside work, now you’re equally jazzed. You can bring that stuff inside. You can have those conversations. You can watch the videos. You can follow up question, like how’s that going? Because then it shows people that you care about them as a person.
Greg: Oh, without a doubt. You talk about golf, even during the Masters week, we got computers have the Masters going on internally all the time. I walk over, “Who’s leading? What happened?” It’s not like, “What are you guys doing? Get back to work.” We’re all trying to, no. People are working hard and everybody knows they got to get the job done, but we’re trying to have fun at the same time.
John: Provided the outputs there, then yeah, then that’s great. So do you have any words of encouragement for people listening that think, I mean, you’re a deacon in a Catholic Church, which clearly no business school told me to go do that. I went to Notre Dame, for crying out loud. So you would think if anywhere did —
Greg: There was a few clergy running around there.
John: Right. But any words of encouragement to anyone listening that has a passion that they think is unrelated to their career?
Greg: Well, pursue it, number one, then do it 110%. Don’t do it half-heartedly in what you’re doing, but pursue it. And then don’t be afraid to talk about it. Share your passions with your teammates, with your coworkers, with your clients. You never know by sharing that with other people what impact that could have with them, whatever that might be, whatever your passion is. Maybe they have the same interest that you do, and therefore, all of a sudden, you’re now connected with them in a different way besides the numbers.
John: Because that’s the thing that we forget is clients also have passions that are outside of their work. So just talking about them about law or accounting or engineering or IT or whatever your career is, yeah, that’s great, but you can connect —
Greg: Well, it’s about building relationships in this profession. If I build relationships, you got to have some things in common with people and having a passion outside of work and connecting with other people regarding that helps build that relationship.
John: Yeah, I love that.
Greg: And that’s what makes it fun. This profession is all about is helping people and having a good time doing it.
John: That’s it, and you’re nailing both. I think you’re doing great, and that’s cool to see it in person and to be here at the big Skofford office and hang out. Before I bring this in for a landing, it’s only fair that I rudely rapid-fire question to you right out of the gate. So you can fire away at me. I’m ready. Here we go. And I have to look you in the eye as I answer, so I’m extra nervous.
Greg: All right, what’s your favorite color?
John: Favorite color, blue.
Greg: Okay, what’s your favorite movie?
John: Favorite movie? I would probably have to say Dumb and Dumber is a pretty good movie. It’s very well written and absolutely hilarious. And you can watch at any point in the movie and be just fine. So that’s always a pick me up, or Rudy if you want me to cry.
Greg: I think you asked me that question three years ago, what movie makes you cry? My first response was Rudy.
John: Yeah, Rudy is immediate. But I’ll watch that movie all day.
Greg: Actually, every day.
John: Oh, yeah. The real Rudy.
Greg: The real Rudy. A lot of big people that I know here in Colorado Springs were at Notre Dame went to college with him and were his fraternity brothers.
John: Yeah, he’s a very persistent individual.
Greg: Yeah, exactly. What kind of car do you drive?
John: What kind of car do I drive? So we have an Audi A3.
Greg: Okay, do you ski?
John: Snowboard. So fun fact on that, I hadn’t done anything on the snow since I was in third grade and that was in Ohio. So those are hills. Those aren’t mountains. And so I skateboarded a little bit in like late elementary school. So I was like, “All right, I’m going to try snowboarding.” So I hadn’t done anything since third grade until two years ago when I moved here. So now I’m snowboarding. I’m actually okay. I’m actually not embarrassing. So that’s good. I haven’t hurt myself or anyone else, more importantly.
Greg: So left foot or right foot forward?
John: Left foot forward.
Greg: What do they call that? Freaky?
John: No, no, I’m the regular whatever it’s called. Not goofy. I think goofy is the other one.
Greg: The either one, is that what it is?
John: But either way, I think just looking at me, you were like, it’s got to be freaky.
Greg: I see. So I don’t snowboard.
John: Right, right. So that’s awesome, man. Well, thanks so much, Greg, for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”? This was so much fun.
Greg: Awesome. Thank you, John. I enjoyed it very much.
John: Very cool. And everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Greg in action or maybe connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourandnd.com. All the links are there. And while you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture.
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