To say that emi CFO Cindy Wigfield was born into the business world would not be an exaggeration. As the daughter of a business owner, Cindy spent her early years not at home with a babysitter or getting dropped off at daycare…
“As a child, my ‘daycare’ was my family’s flower shop, gardens, and greenhouses,” she says.
Those early years helped create Cindy’s work ethic and familiarity with some aspects of the green industry. She learned how small businesses work, and just how many roles you can play, often at one time. She would later spend some time as a waitress while pursuing her bachelor’s in Office Administration and working as a manager at a printing company, which added to her skill set.
“Waitressing teaches you how to be of service to people,” she says.
Now in her 33rd year with emi, Cindy has a hard time counting all the hats she wears. But she loves every one of them.
“My mornings can start at 5:30 am to hit the treadmill, or I hit the snooze button until 6:15 a.m.,” she says of a typical day. “I like to be at the office before 8 a.m.”
Her morning can’t start without her cup of coffee. She then checks LMN business software to see who is doing what that day and calculate what was finished the day before. She may then move on to overseeing payroll, billing, accounts payable, hiring, or ordering plant materials. Cindy also handles all contract renewals, insurance, pension, and banking tasks. Though she now has two office administrators – one is dedicated to HR tasks and the other handles billing – Cindy works in a supervisory role for all of it.
“I actually design the beds and the monument signs for our buildings,” she says of one of her more creative tasks. “And the rest of my time is spent doing whatever needs to be done.”
She says that at this point in her career, being able to let go is a challenge for her.
“After 33 years, emi is such a part of who I am,” she admits. “I fear that I will forget to share all I have learned with my son and his team, so sometimes I am a little intense. I hope to see myself in more of a mentor role in five years – still here, but maybe working from home or, better yet, in my camper staring at the red rocks in Moab.”
When that happens, she knows the business – and emi’s clients – will remain in good hands.
“No one will work harder for you than the employees at emi. Being of service to our clients is our mission,” she says. “I am always amazed and extremely grateful for what our employees accomplish. I cry at every talk I give to the teams. Their dedication and resilience are awe-inspiring. In the early years, I would help by weeding beds and picking up trash. When on the properties, I had the opportunity to get to know our clients and would often visit their facilities. Our clients have been so amazing.”
Her days at emi are busy, though she definitely makes sure she has time for fun.
“I’m an avid reader and enjoy working in my gardens,” she says. “I’m also an organizer – I actually enjoy putzing around my house, cleaning out drawers and closets. I am generally a hermit!”
But not always. She’s also up for adventure.
“I learned how to ride a Harley in my 40s, and traveling through Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Florida, and the Great Smoky Mountains changed my life,” she says. “I will forever be grateful to my husband for those adventures.”
She’s used these trips to fuel a new hobby of hers: collecting Native American jewelry. It’s a perfect fit for her too as turquoise is her favorite color.
“I began collecting this jewelry in tiny towns out west,” she says. “I have such beautiful pieces of jewelry that have stories or a town connected to them.”
She and her husband also enjoy a very specific set of adventures at home.
My husband, Ed, and I are enamored with four young humans … our grandchildren,” she says, which include a 10-year-old grandson and three granddaughters, aged eight, seven, and six. “ I have become a Lego Master with them and my basement has all of our creations. I used to read to them and now they read to me. There’s nothing better than that!”
So next time you call the office and get Cindy on the phone, you know who to thank for the 30+ years of dedication to the family business!
We appreciate you Cindy!