My career has been 17 years of progressive accounting experience. Over the past 14 years, it’s been concentrated in the government.

My first job was as an accountant and controller for a $125 million manufacturer that imported shrimp and seafood from Ecuador and Thailand. I was able to do many things there. I did accounting but also managed the inventory. It was my first job out of college, and I got a lot of experience.

I eventually became an accounting manager at company called Onyx Group, where I progressed to become the chief financial officer.

I was always learning and open to doing new things. My number one priority was to get my job done. But once my job was done, I would ask people if they needed help. I was one of the first ones in and last ones to leave, taking the initiative to do anything that needed to be done to make the business successful.

I really tried to build trust with people. If people trust you and can count on you, those characteristics build strong relationships. People will begin to follow you if you do the right things.

In 2005, something unique happened: The company created an employee stock ownership plan. The purpose of creating the plan was an exit strategy for the majority owner, who was getting ready to retire. That was my first experience with equity participation.

I grew an affinity for it.

We gave employees a copy of our annual budget. We allowed them to vote on the board of directors. I saw the success of how we changed the culture.

We won a number of awards and starting in 2006, the organization, for a period of four years, grew our top and bottom line by more than 20 percent. In 2010, we were one of the nation’s 50 fastest-growing ESOP companies.

Eventually I took a controller position with a small business called Cydecor. The company doubled in size within the year I was there. I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do long-term because I wanted to get back to an organization with employee ownership.

When a new ESOP opportunity came along, I jumped at it. That’s how I ended up at Technomics.

I’ve always felt that employee ownership brings great opportunity for employees of organizations with transparency and equity participation. Employees can fill a bigger part of the organization. Once they understand what’s expected of them, generally employees are more loyal, you see lower turnover, they’re more efficient, they’re more willing to go above and beyond because they’re more than employees, they are equity holders.

Now as chief financial officer, I am looking at building on the positive past performance of Technomics and continuing to offer exceptional service to our clients.

— Interview with Vanessa Small

Thomas E. Oettinger Jr.

Position: Chief financial officer of Technomics, an Arlington employee-owned consulting firm that specializes in weapon system cost analysis.

Career highlights: Chief financial officer, Technomics; controller, Cydecor; chief financial officer, Onyx Group.

Age: 40

Education: BS, Accounting, Spring Hill College.

Personal: Lives in Springfield with wife and two children.