Two Minutes With Jennifer Hamberger of Freed Maxick

Innovation is important. Jennifer Hamberger knows this first hand. After spending part of her career in the B2C sphere, she returned to B2B with a willingness to apply different skill sets in search of solutions. We recently caught up with the Freed Maxick CMO and Block Club client to pick her brain about what she’s been reading, the last great idea she heard, and the importance of working smarter, not harder.

  1. What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

    Pour a cup of coffee and text our two sons and my sister

  2. Do you find the morning is when you’re the most productive?

    Absolutely. My energy tends to peak around 2 p.m. and requires a boost from caffeine, fruit, or just getting up and walking around to recharge.

  3. At its core, marketing is about telling a story. What was the last great story you read?

    My family is big on giving books for special occasions. I just finished one called Wilderness Therapy by Paul Cumbo—a Western New York author. It’s about teen boys doing hard manual labor in the rugged Montana mountains to bring about change in their lives. Knowing Paul personally and having visited Montana frequently, I found myself mesmerized by this story of redemption.

  4. If your life was a book, what would the title be?


  5. What lesson would you want readers to take away from it?

    Be curious, and try things that are outside the box. Yes, it can be scary to try out new ideas, but that’s how we learn.

  6. Speaking of lessons, what do you wish you had learned earlier in life?

    I really wish that I didn’t care so much about other people’s opinions. And I wish that I had had the perspective and maturity to express my outlook confidently.

  7. You’ve spoken in the past about the many different paths life can take. How did your path lead you to Freed Maxick?

    Early in my career, I worked in B2B and professional services. Then, I spent over a decade doing B2C work and enjoying it immensely. Joining Freed Maxick in 2012 brought me full circle.

  8. Freed Maxick started down a traditional path but has grown a lot in recent years. How has the firm adapted to meet the current business climate?

    Staying on top of trends in the industry, Freed Maxick enabled employees to work remotely well before COVID changed our work and personal habits. This allowed us to transition to a virtual way of communicating and working pretty seamlessly. We also had “home-based” employees prior to the current talent crunch. This means that we can recruit talent from all over the country to staff our jobs.

  9. How would you characterize your contribution to that growth?

    Having spent years in the B2C space, with its focus on the consumer, I was willing to try different tactics from those typically used by accounting firms.

  10. Adapting to change often means letting go of certain aspects of ourselves. Are there any traditions or pieces of your past self that you miss?

    Not really. I’ll tell you one aspect that I don’t miss: having no work-life balance. Gone are the days of late-night emails, after-hours phone calls, and constant domestic and international travel. I have adapted to using technology to work smarter, not harder. The result is that I enjoy my work but make my home life my priority.

  11. The term “entrepreneurial spirit” is frequently used to describe Freed’s culture. What does it mean to embody an entrepreneurial spirit?

    In my experience, the leaders at Freed Maxick have freely given the resources to try out new business and marketing ideas.

  12. What’s the last “great” idea you heard?

    Storage containers with flexible lids that “wrap” around oddly shaped food. It’s like a combination of Tupperware and Saran Wrap. Genius! And if I order them in the next five minutes, I can get two sets for the price of one. LOL.

  13. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

    Never assume. My dad told me this when I was a teenager, and it’s advice that I have heeded ever since.

  14. How does it guide you forward?

    I tend to trust people, institutions, and news sources, but I always verify that my instincts are right.

  15. Lastly, there’s a saying that goes, ”What you are will show in what you do.” What does your work say about you?

    I hope that my work says that I am passionately committed to telling Freed Maxick’s story, because it is a good one that is constantly evolving. Accounting is about so much more than numbers. Those numbers can tell you about a business or organization and where it’s headed. Our clients and our employees willingly share their experiences with Freed Maxick, so I have a lot of stories yet to tell!

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