Hello – I’m Stephanie Conzelman, stakeholder engagement director with Land Betterment. As Land Betterment continues to expand how it helps communities which have been negatively impacted by abandoned fossil fuel operations, our team continues to grow. Recently, I met up with our newly appointed ekō Solutions CFO, Amanda Kruse. In this most recent Fireside Chat, Amanda shared with me why she originally joined, ekō’s parent company, Land Betterment and why it is so exciting to work with the team. This is a quick read which enables us learn a little more about Amanda’s background and her enthusiasm for the Company’s work.
Q: What intrigued you most about joining Land Betterment?
A: Land Betterment is focused on fostering positive impact through upcycling former coal mining sites to create sustainable community development and job creation. I chose to work for Land Betterment because they are helping people across the United States of America and that is really important to me. Land Betterment is continually looking for ways to find solutions to problems in our country. I could have joined other companies and utilized my financial controller skills for less impactful companies, but at the end of the day, there would have been little fulfilment outside of my daily job duties. Here at Land Betterment, I enjoy what I do and know that the Company is continually finding innovative ways to help others.
Q: Can you tell us a little about what got you interested in business and accounting?
A: Absolutely! At a young age, my parents taught me how to count, the value of a dollar and hard work. They owned a small automotive repair business. Every day I watched how hard they worked and ultimately how their dedication paid off because their business was successful for years. In high school, I thought I wanted to become a nurse because I wanted to help people and give back. Well, it turned out not to be my thing. I shadowed a nurse for the day and unfortunately passed out multiple times. So it was time to find another path for my future. Shortly thereafter, I started working at a mortgage company in document preparation for loan closings. I loved being in the office environment and learned so much during that time. I applied to Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Kelley School of Business and declared my majors in accounting and finance and have never looked back. It was a great fit!
Q: Were there any particular experiences in your prior work experience that prepared you for your role at Land Betterment?
A: After graduating from IUPUI Kelley School of Business, I started working for a top regional accounting firm, Blue & Co. There I worked with small to medium sized business clients in the areas of audit and a small bit of tax work. I quickly started working toward my CPA license and received that within the first year or so. I worked in public accounting for about 6 years when I made the switch and became a financial controller at a top-tier golf and country club. There I handled all aspects of the accounting functions as well as overseeing HR, payroll, and IT support. These work experiences prepared me for my role at Land Betterment.
Q: You were recently promoted to CFO of the ekō Solutions Housing division. Can you share with us what you are looking forward to most as you tackle this new role?
A: I am very excited about becoming CFO of ekō Solutions! Not only do I get to work with a great team, but I am also able to continue expanding my skill set! In my role as Land Betterment’s Controller, I have worked under Kirk Taylor which has been an amazing experience as I have been able to learn so much under his guidance. In my new role with ekō Solutions, I am looking forward to helping this division of Land Betterment scale and expand. The opportunities are endless, and I can’t wait to see what is next. It will be a fun ride!
Q: Land Betterment was founded by a team of enthusiastic entrepreneurs. What is it like to work in this environment daily?
A: It is amazing! I love learning from all of them. Every day they are full of new and innovative ideas. But it’s not only their ideas that are exciting but their ability to put those ideas into action with the multitude of sustainable business lines they are working on at any given time. It keeps my days interesting and exciting thinking about all of the new possibilities. It is a wonderful place to work!
About ekō Solutions
ekō Solutions, a Land Betterment Company, uses innovative ecological structures to replace legacy inefficient and ineffective methods of living, growing and working. We provide durable structures which are affordable to operate, inhabit while also maintaining the ability to be utilized in a mobile environment. ekō structures are designed to be high quality, durable and affordable to inhabit from 1- 10 years. The sustainable craftsmanship of our structures is what separates us from the alternatives. For more information visit ekosolutionsllc.com and connect with ekō Solutions on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Land Betterment Corporation
Land Betterment Corporation, an Indiana Benefit Corporation and Pending B-Corp, is an environmental solutions company focused on fostering a positive impact through upcycling former coal mining sites to create sustainable community development and job creation. The Company utilizes a complete solution-based lifecycle program to restore and rehabilitate the environment and revitalize communities in need of change and opportunity. Land Betterment accomplishes this by identifying un-reclaimed, run-down and neglected coal mining sites, fixing the environment through reclamation and remediation, and then repurposing the land to support a sustainable business that serves the community. Land Betterment firmly believes that with real solutions it is possible for restoration of impacted areas to live side-by-side long term employment, while building sustainable and safe surroundings for communities and our planet. For more information visit landbetterment.com or connect with the Company on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other important factors that could cause the Company’s actual results, performance, or achievements or industry results to differ materially from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Land Betterment Corporation’s control. The words “believes”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “would”, “could”, “continue”, “seeks”, “anticipates”, “plans”, “expects”, “intends”, “estimates”, or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such identifying words. Any forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date of this release. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or supplement any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. The Company cannot assure you that the projected results or events will be achieved.
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Chief Governance Officer, Corporate Finance
Stakeholder Engagement Director