After working for the Community Action Agency of Butte County for the past three years, Chief Financial Officer Tara Campbell is moving onto the next step in her professional journey. We will miss her and she leaves behind an impact that will help us for years to come.The unique opportunity to move into a family business is one she couldn’t turn down. “I'm moving onto the next best thing in my life, but I will always support CAA. I'm sad to leave, but I'm excited about what the future holds, as well, ” she said.
Tara came into her time with Butte CAA already familiar and fond of the organization from having a mother who had worked for us. In fact, when the controller position became available, it was her mother that encouraged her to apply.
Tara’s time as CFO has positively impacted our ability to serve the community during two of the most major natural disasters in Butte Counties history; the Oroville Dam Crisis and the Camp Fire. During the fire, it was her work streamlining and maximizing efficiencies that enabled the agency to allocate and maximize the large volume of financial donations and resources. The event of the potential dam collapse, surprisingly, brought with it her favorite memory while at Butte CAA.
“When that [the dam] went, everybody evacuated, and the food bank that CAA runs is right in the Flats in Oroville - in the evacuation zone. Of course, when you're evacuating people is when you need things from the food banks the most. There were a group of us that volunteered and connected with the CHP and were let through the blockade to go back into Oroville to get the food. It was a weird experience. ...But at the same time, it was really very neat to see the amount of people that were saying, ‘Yes, the dam might go, but we'd rather go get the food and help people out while we can.’ ” Tara recalled.
Tara brought her passion into the office as well. According to CEO, Tom Tenorio, Tara lead the finance department to maintain and increase its efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Nonprofit fund accounting is highly complex considering the many different rules that must be followed to be accountable to federal, state, local and private funding sources. With Tara, we passed the highest auditing standards imposed. However, Tara says she can’t take all the credit.
“It's not mine. It's seeing how the staff that I have in the fiscal office have really, really matured and stepped up over the last two years, that they were always skilled, but it was nice to see them recognize their own skills and gain some confidence and learn new things. I'm really proud of the way that the fiscal staff has developed. We put a lot of work into building the individuals and cross training so that people know more than the one skill they started with.”
When asked about what will stay with her from her time as Butte CAA CFO, she said,
“The importance of the community. I may not be working at CAA, but I will never truly leave CAA, I think. I suspect that I will be back volunteering because what CAA is, is completely devoted to community in a way that you rarely see. I really appreciate that focus, that desire to help wherever needed, however it's needed, and the can-do attitude. So many nonprofits are focused on one specific thing and they're good at it. They're really good with kids or with housing or whatever their thing is, but CAA is willing to look at the gaps and see what's missing and how they can help. I really love that attitude of, if somebody is not doing it, we'll figure it out.”
We will miss Tara and are so thankful for her time and work here with us that allows the CAA to be more financially stable and able to serve better than ever. Best wishes on her future endeavors and we will hold her to that volunteering suggestion.