Sally Mainquist, MNCPA Public Service Award recipient

Committed to giving back

by Alicia Pack, MNCPA membership marketing coordinator | November 2018 Footnote

Editor's note: Updated Oct. 30, 2018

Enriching lives isn't something that Sally Mainquist does as a CPA, it's part of the fabric of her being.

Just weeks ago, Mainquist walked with 40 Team Veritae members and raised nearly $18,000 for the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer's. It wasn't her first walk, and it won't be her last.

"Something I really want to do is help find a cure for Alzheimer's," said Mainquist, whose mother and aunt both developed the degenerative disease; both have since passed.

When Mainquist and Kris Larson co-founded Veritae Group, LLC, an executive staffing firm for financial and accounting professionals, the two set out to create a culture and commitment to giving back at their organization.

"Veritae has a giving philosophy," Mainquist said. "At least one-third of the bottom line goes to charities and employees."

Last year, Veritae gave 40 percent.

Another way the company gives back is through the Veritae CFO Forum, which brings C-suite female professionals together to network and support the community.

Mainquist also sits on a number of boards, including the Alzheimer's Association Minnesota-North Dakota chapter, the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital Philanthropy board, and the University of St. Thomas Center for Ethical Business Cultures.

For Mainquist, giving back doesn't stop with only organizations.

Recently, Mainquist met Ruth Faalele, a single mother of two living in Australia, through a CPA friend. Faalele spent 10 years in night school, worked days and eventually became a corporate accountant. When Faalele's son received a full football scholarship to attend the University of Minnesota, she desperately wanted to keep her family together and move to the Twin Cities. She needed a job to secure a visa and make the move, but after applying for numerous positions, Faalele didn't have any offers.

That's where Mainquist comes in.

When she heard Faalele's story, Mainquist knew she had to help and made it her quest to secure Faalele a job in the Twin Cities. Mainquist shared Faalele's resume and story to her accounting network, culminating in the Star Tribune writing a story about the job hunt. In the meantime, Mainquist opened her home to the family of three for a week.

But it took a personal connection -- where Mainquist thrives -- to finally find a happy ending.

At a lunch with a potential Alzheimer's Association board member, Mainquist shared Faalele's story, and the person knew of a company searching for someone familiar with Australian tax laws and accounting. Faalele is now living and working in the Twin Cities.

These continued commitments to giving back to both the profession and the community are only a few of the reasons why Mainquist is a recipient of the 2018 MNCPA Public Service Award.

What you may not know about Sally Mainquist

  • The top songs on her playlist are by Ed Sheeran and Pink.
  • She has a Post-it on her computer with a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that says, "Do something that scares you every day."
  • Her favorite show is "The Young and the Restless." She started watching it in high school with her dad. They continued to watch it and, when he had a stroke and couldn't speak well, they talked about the show on the phone.
  • The oddest item on her desk is a special Time magazine edition, "The Science of Alzheimer's."