COUNTING ON HER: Renee Aloisio, center, director of internal operations for Lefkowitz, Garfinkel, Champi & DiRienzo, helped found Women Count.
PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
By Mary Lhowe Contributing Writer
Renee Aloisio says her 22-year rise through the ranks of an accounting and business consultancy firm began with her childhood pastime of watching her grandfather tinker with his inventions. Years of peering at the machines taking shape on her grandfather’s workbench bred a mind tuned to careful observation and analysis of processes, she says.
Aloisio, 46, is director of internal operations for the Providence-based Lefkowitz, Garfinkel, Champi & DiRienzo.
She began her career after college graduation in 1989 as a tax associate at the predecessor to LGC&D. She walked through the door every workday with eyes and ears open wide. By 1997 she presented the firm’s principals with a plan to radically redistribute the firm’s workload, moving much of the work off the principals’ desks and onto the administrative staff.
“My grandfather taught me about assembly lines and efficiency,” said Aloisio, who keeps on her desk a newspaper clipping from when her grandfather, Paul Cardi of Cranston, was listed in “Who’s Who in the East” for inventing a tire-pressure equalizer, auto-temperature regulator, and more. “Because of him, I am always watching and listening.”
During her early years at LGC&D, Aloisio noticed that the firm’s principals were spending time on administrative matters like human resources compliance, college recruiting and other internal technicalities. “I thought that the principals should spend their time servicing clients and developing business,” she said. “Time is at a premium, and all people should work at their optimum potential.”
As if taking a page from “What Color Is Your Parachute,” the perennial chestnut that advises college graduates to quixotically storm into their careers, analyze needs, and create wholly new positions for themselves, Aloisio methodically developed a proposal for shifting more work into administrative hands. She also devised a new job for herself: office administrator.
“I volunteered for the job because I felt my own skills were more aligned with administration,” Aloisio said. “I thought I would be suitable because I knew the industry.”
Susan Keller, of Edwards, Angell, Palmer & Dodge, said that Aloisio “took a significant risk in selling the need for the [office administrator] position and then having to deliver on the promise that the position would add value to the firm and its constituents.”
Once she became office administrator, Aloisio directed the redistribution of tasks onto the administrative staff using the same principles she had pitched to management. “I applied the same concept: how can people expand their own roles? We took a strategic, respectful approach to the project and, over time, things were transitioned.”
At LGC&D, Aloisio also helped found a women’s leadership group called Women Count. Its objectives were to help more women become principals in the firm (with three such examples in the past five years) and to promote LGC&D women employees in the larger business community. “We wanted to create a forum to help and to share our experience as emerging women leaders,” she said.
Keller, who had helped form a business women’s group at Edwards, Angell, said she also had a role in helping to set up Women Count at LGC&D.
“Renee is a real go-getter,” Keller said. “She really keeps things running over there. She is conscientious and thoughtful of people: their positions, their feelings and their politics.” •
05911 A PBN SPECIAL SECTION: 2011 BUSINESS WOMEN,
2011 business women,
Champi & DiRienzo,