Behind the Numbers: Summer Cogar

[This is part of our ongoing blog series, “Behind the Numbers,” during which I talk to various individuals in the profession and shine a little light on what they are like when they sign out of the accounting cloud.]

In this Behind the Numbers profile, I spoke with Summer Cogar, a 32 year-old Corporate Controller for R.G. Barry Brands in Columbus, Ohio. She leads cross-functional teams in various complex due diligence and integration activities related to potential acquisitions. Summer was born and raised in Ohio and lives there with her husband and two children.

How did you meet your husband?
I met him in college. I went to Wright State University and he played football at the University of Finley, but we actually met at Bowling Green. It was Halloween weekend and we met at a Halloween party. This is going to sound very cliché, but we just had a really deep connection the first night. We talked for hours and felt so connected to each other that we did the long distance thing for two years. Now we’ve been married for nine years and have a four-year-old daughter and one-year-old son.

Since your husband played football, are you huge football fans?
We really like college football. When you live in Columbus, you have to be an Ohio state fan. We like some basketball too.

How did you get into the accounting profession?
I have always had a talent with numbers. It’s always come really easy for me and I was able to see the story behind the numbers. It just seemed right to use my natural talent. At one of my previous jobs, I was given the opportunity to serve in a leadership role, and realized I have a passion for developing others and helping them achieve their goals.

What are some community activities you’re involved in?
I recently joined the Women’s Initiative Committee for the Ohio Society of CPAs, which is focused on empowering women to achieve their goals and own definition of success. This is something I’m very passionate about and working with the committee feeds my soul and spirit. I also volunteer with United Way’s Women’s Leadership program. The program is all about empowering others by giving them the tools to create the life they want to create.

By helping others realize they have a chance to make choices and push life the way they want it to go, I start to feel that inside me as well and I have a renewed desire to seek my own goals. My husband has been very supportive in that. Without him, my career path and the extra work I do would not be possible. It’s important to have the support of people surrounding you that will help you achieve your goals. I’m lucky enough to have that in my personal life and I try to pay it forward as much as I can.

When you’re not in the office or helping others, what can you be found doing?
I’m spending time with family; I live through my kids. It’s not about me making them do what I want to do, but more so discovering and exploring things with them. It brings me a lot of joy. Right now, they really like going to the zoo. It’s amazing to watch their reaction around all the animals. My daughter likes polar bears and monkeys, but her favorite animal changes very often. My son doesn’t really have a favorite, maybe dog because that’s all he can say right now. Outside of my family, I also love, love, love to read.

What books are you reading now?
I’ve been reading a lot about leadership. The two books I’m reading now are The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer. If you really immerse yourself in the books, they both get you to think on a different level.

How often does your family vacation?
We try to go somewhere every year. In fact, we’re in the middle of planning a family vacation now. We have a condo in North Myrtle Beach, but my favorite spot so far has to be St. Lucia. It’s where we went on our honeymoon. My husband and I are going to go back for our 10-year anniversary.

What electronics do you use on a daily basis?
I recently got a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and my husband and I are both addicted to it. I also own a Motorola Zoom. My daughter uses it to play learning games and she’s very good with it. My son tries, but he’s not quite ready.

The big question: Apple or Android?
I’m an Android person, but I feel like Apple is taking over the world. At my old job, I had an iPhone for work and a personal Android. I personally like Android better, though I can see the appeal of Apple. I’m actually thinking of getting iPad. I think it might be better tablet-wise.

What is your favorite mobile app, and why?
The List. I use it pretty consistently – whenever I have a thought, I can just write it down. I also use ColorNote.

What is your personal motto?
I want to reach my fullest potential in a way that I am what I want to see in the world. I try to bring light and joy to any situation.

If you work in the accounting profession and would like to be featured in a future blog post, please contact Taija Jenkins at