Meet Tracy Taylor, AEDC’s new Finance Director! Tracy Taylor, better known by friends as Tracy Rae, is a third-generation Arcata High School graduate and Humboldt State University Alumni with a degree in Business Administration. However, Tracy is not just your typical accountant–she’s jumped out of planes and she’s even competed in the World Series of Poker. Tracy is a fascinating woman with a wanderlust for the world.
Tell us about your new role at AEDC!
Well, I'm the Director of Finance and basically all things financial. I’m responsible for keeping the cash straight, keeping track of all the different loans and bank accounts we have, monitoring those balances, budgeting, keeping the money separated as necessary for contracts and law, as well as closings, quarter-end, and year-end reporting.
What was your past work experience at CalPoly Humboldt and how will that impact how you approach your work as Director of Finance?
I was an accountant for seven years there and I was in charge of cash on behalf of the university. I did daily cash reporting and huge monthly reconciliations. I also did what's called fund accounting, which is also applicable to what I do here at AEDC.
What aspects of being an accountant do you love the most?
I find that accounting can be challenging and rewarding. For example, when things don't balance and then you find what's off. Seeing everything come together and wrapping it up in a bow at the end of the period always feels very thrilling!
Speaking of thrilling, we’ve heard a rumor that you have an adventurous side! Tell us about the time you went skydiving??
I LOVE to travel. One of the times that I went over to Maui, my friend was already over there and we had decided we really want to go skydiving. Well, they don’t have it on Maui. So, the day after I arrived, we had plane tickets to Oahu and a rental car. Then we drove to this place where you could go skydiving and you’re not guaranteed you can actually do it because it might be too windy or whatever, but we took a roll of the dice.
Anyway, we got to do it and I was strapped to this big, buff man, and I was happy with that. When we got on the plane, I was really excited and volunteered to go first. I was so jazzed about it. You know, some people are kind of apprehensive, but I was like “I’ll go first.” It was wonderful. It was great. I mean, you couldn’t take the smile off my face for quite a while.
Any other claims to fame?
I have competed in the World Series of Poker. I was at a tournament at Blue Lake Casino and I won the tournament outright, which resulted in a trip to the World Series of Poker’s Women’s Event in Las Vegas! It was 2006 and it not only paid for the seat at the World Series of Poker but also my airfare and all that, so it was a lot of fun.
How long have you lived in Humboldt County? What do you love about living here?
I am a lifelong Humboldt County resident, and a third-generation Arcata high school graduate. My great grandparents came over here from Italy in the early 1900s. So, my grandparents, my parents, my brother, and I have all been born and raised here. And now, there's a fourth generation, with my niece. I love it here, and I love the beauty here. I like to travel a lot but when I travel, I come back and I always have a new appreciation for Humboldt, no matter where I was or how gorgeous it was, Humboldt is a beautiful place.
***Please note that parts of this interview were copied from a Cal Poly Humboldt publication.