This month, we are thrilled to put our HHG Spotlight on Gloria Tolentino, our Associate Staff Accountant in Honolulu. Gloria is known for having a great attitude and exuding positivity in every interaction she has. These traits, combined with her commitment to persevering and seeing things through to the end, enable Gloria to collaborate with our team in the best way. Whether it’s learning new processes or finding ways to streamline workflows, our team can always count on Gloria to lean in and lend a helping hand. Read all about Gloria’s journey in the HHG Spotlight interview below.

How did you land your job at HHG?

I grew up in the Philippines and moved to Hawai‘i in 2018. At the time, I didn’t know much about the culture in Hawai‘i, but I knew that I wanted to work at Hawaiian Host. This is because Hawaiian Host products are super popular in the Philippines – it’s the gift that my relatives and friends would always bring back from their travels. 

When I came across an open accounting position at Hawaiian Host, I applied right away. Over the next couple of weeks, I had a screening with the Talent Management team, then two interviews with the Accounting Manager and the Company Controller, and finally, with the CFO. I was feeling nervous before my meeting with the CFO, but when I arrived, he simply said that he had wanted to meet his new team member. I asked if this meant I got the job, and he said, “Yes! Can you start tomorrow?” 

It’s now been almost 4 years with HHG, and I hope to continue working here for much longer. 

What or who inspired you to pursue a career in accounting?

In school, I always loved numbers and I graduated from college in the Philippines with a Business Administration degree. My first job out of college was as an Accounting Assistant. That’s where I really learned the ins and outs of accounting, with a focus on the accounts payable side. I never thought I would be able to get an accounting job in the United States, so I feel grateful to be part of the accounting team at HHG.

How has your role evolved since you first started at HHG?

I started out as an Accounts Payable Coordinator. In this role, my primary responsibilities included receiving and processing invoices in a timely and accurate manner, as well as assisting with vendor payment check runs.

Since the beginning of my career, I have worked on the accounts payable side of things, but during my time here, I have been given the opportunity to learn about different parts of accounting and grow by developing new skills. At HHG, our accounting team cross-trains so we each have a well-rounded skillset, and so we can rely on each other to be successful.

Today, I am part of the General Ledger (GL) team within our Accounting Department, which I am so proud of. I was recently promoted to Associate Staff Accountant and have begun to support the GL team with responsibilities including account reconciliation, journal entries, and month-end closing processes. It has been exciting for me to learn these new types of responsibilities. I so appreciate that my manager and team are here to mentor me and support my success in my new role.

What does a “day-in-the-life” of the Associate Staff Accountant look like?

I typically start my workday around 8:00AM. First things first, I go through my schedule for the day and set time aside to review and prep for any upcoming meetings. Next, I have dedicated time to check my emails and respond to any urgent internal or external queries. Then, I dig into my “regular job.” I started using time blocking as a productivity hack to keep myself on track for all my deadlines – and to keep myself from multitasking.

Another thing I am continuously working on, in collaboration with my team, is streamlining our internal processes. So far, we’ve made great process increasing our efficiency (and making our lives easier)!

How do you keep yourself motivated when you are at work?

At work, being appreciated and recognized keeps me motivated. I so appreciate when I am tasked by a leader to take on new responsibilities or am included on bigger projects. I don’t see this as having “more work put onto my plate.” Instead, I see it as validation that I am doing my job well because I know my manager wanted me specifically to support the project or initiative. To me, this demonstrates that my leaders trust me, which is the greatest motivator for me.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment at HHG?

I truly am so happy to be part of the HHG ‘ohana and would consider my greatest professional accomplishment to be my promotion to the Associate Staff Accountant role. Although my background is not on the GL side of accounting, I believe my eagerness to learn and my positive attitude towards work helped me get the position.

HHG Spotlight Quick Takes:

What three words would you use to describe your role? Fun, challenging, and cool. Some people might say that accounting isn’t cool, but for me, it is!

What is your motto or personal mantra? Always be grateful. Appreciating what I have instead of complaining about what I don’t have is a better use of my time. I truly believe that being grateful makes life more beautiful.

What is one item you can’t live without? My cell phone, because it’s the easiest way I can communicate with my family that still lives in the Philippines.

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off? Now that I am married, I prefer to spend my days off at home, having quality time with my husband. We love enjoying a cup of coffee together in the morning and staying up late watching movies.

What is your favorite Hawaiian Host, Mauna Loa, or KOHO product? My favorite product used to be our milk chocolate-covered macadamias, but I’ve recently come to love our Founder’s Collection Matcha, and the Paradise Collection Peppermint Mocha holiday flavor.

Mahalo, Gloria, for your enthusiasm for your work and for the positive energy you bring to the entire team at HHG! We are deeply grateful to have you as part of our company and look forward to seeing you thrive in your new role.

Are you interested in working with Gloria and the rest of our team at Hawaiian Host Group? Check out our Careers page to see if we have an opportunity for you.

Category: Culture + News