November 2011

An interview with Ned Maher

Beaumont_house_NedQ. When did you start working at Beaumont House?

A. I joined ASBMB in the spring of 1994.

Q. What was your position when you first arrived at Beaumont House?

A. I was hired as the controller of ASBMB and tasked with developing internal accounting systems and controls. Prior to my hiring, most of the accounting functions were handled by an outside contractor, and an outside bookkeeper prepared monthly financial statements for the executive officer.

Q. How was a typical day different back then?

A. The society was much smaller in both staff size and programs and activities. Since a lot of my duties were designing and developing new systems, there was a lot more daily interaction and discussions with the executive officer and staff.

Q. In your early years with ASBMB, did you know you’d still be around at this point?

A. I really did not, but overall, my employment at ASBMB has been a great experience. My position with ASBMB has changed a lot over the years, and the society has been very flexible with work hours and duties. I have been the primary parent – Mr. Mom – for my three children, and my employment at ASBMB provided me with the flexibility to raise my children and still have a challenging and rewarding career. I have always worked part time at ASBMB, anywhere from 15 to 25 hours a week. As the number of ASBMB publications and programs continued to grow, the controller position also grew to the point that it could not be done on a part-time basis. The executive staff and I discussed the society’s needs and determined that a full-time controller was necessary and began the search for a good candidate. After the new controller was hired, I was asked to continue to work with the society and accounting staff on a more limited basis of approximately 15 hours a week. I am still here and look forward to continuing to work with the society as it continues to grow and meet the needs of its members.

Q. How have you seen technology and modernization affect your job?

A. When I was first hired at ASBMB, they were just implementing their first societywide computer network and standardizing programs across departments. Up to this point, the society still did much of the record keeping manually, and the various computer applications that were in use were not interconnected. Now ASBMB has an integrated enterprise system that tracks membership and meeting information and transactions in real time, making the information available to all staff as necessary. The society has also made great use of the Internet, and many member transactions, including membership renewal and meeting registration, are now done completely online.

Q. What was your favorite room at Beaumont House?

A. I may have the distinction of having worked in more rooms at Beaumont House than any other employee. I worked in eight different rooms over the years, but my favorite by far was the study. It was a beautiful room with mahogany walls and a fireplace. It had high ceilings and two sets of French doors that opened to a garden in the rear of the house. I could open the doors in the spring and hear the birds and smell the flowers and grass.

Q. What did you dislike most about Beaumont House?

A. The FASEB campus is a little isolated, and Beaumont House was further isolated in the corner of the campus, so at times you felt disconnected from the other societies on campus. It was also difficult to go out for lunch or even to get gas on the way home, as not much is close to the FASEB campus.

Q. How would you describe the culture of ASBMB? And how do you think that culture was influenced by its environment (the house and campus)?

A. ASBMB has a very open culture, and I think this was fostered by our time at Beaumont, where many of us shared offices (bedrooms) and everyone was either just across the hall or up the stairs. Much as a house with a large family would be, people were always coming or going up the stairs, so you could count on seeing most of the staff on any given day as you went up or down the grand staircase.

Q. Is there anything about the old location that you really miss?

A. I miss the beautiful grounds and also seeing the members of the FASEB building and grounds staff who kept it that way.

Q. How has the move changed the way you work?

A. The move really has not changed the way I work. I think the closeness we felt at Beaumont is still with us in our new modern office, and I hope and expect that that will not change.


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