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Cindy Morales

Employee Spotlight

Cindy Morales, director of accounting and controller at ScottMadden, joined the firm in 2014 after receiving a bachelor’s in business administration in accounting and management from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2015, she obtained CPA certification from the NC Board of CPA Examiners. Cindy also serves on the leadership team for the Women’s ERG, leading and managing the ERG that fosters personal and professional development and aims to amplify the voices of all women at ScottMadden.

Starting the Prep

Cindy was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, with her brother, sister, and parents. Her childhood was heavily influenced by her parents’ emigration from Mexico, the cultural influences of living in a border town, and her grandmother.

Each summer, Cindy eagerly anticipated crossing into Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where she would live with her grandmother while her siblings visited other family over the break. The two had an exceptionally close bond—sharing secrets in true mother-daughter fashion, learning to cook, and trekking daily to the local tortilla shop. Her grandma’s drive and determination, from years of working in restaurants and factories, instilled in Cindy a sense of independence, work ethic, and appreciation for girl power.

At age 14, while other kids were playing sports or hanging out, Cindy began working at Little Caesar’s. She worked late shifts without weekends off throughout high school, motivated by her desire to have her own money. It was during that time, she met her now-husband, Manny. Cindy’s tireless work ethic with balancing school, a job, and a relationship laid a foundation for her next chapter—college.

Mixing it Up

After high school, Cindy set her sights on becoming the first of her family to attend college and was accepted into the University of Texas at Austin. She had to obtain a private loan just to rent a van for the move, but she managed the eight-hour drive—the farthest she had ever been from home—and said goodbye to her mother and sister. Cindy continued to work at a local Little Caesar’s to put herself through school and eventually began working in the campus dining hall as a student manager. Always one to go the extra mile, Cindy was awarded the “Hoelting Team Player Award” her sophomore year. This resulted after digging out the faculty ID card of a gentleman (later known to be the housing and food services director) who had accidently dropped it in the trashcan. She was later awarded an internship in the dining hall accounting department where she worked through graduation. With the ultimate goal of a CPA license, she placed herself in graduate accounting courses her senior year. After graduation, Cindy found a job with a local restaurant group and the owner sponsored the cost of her CPA preparation materials.

Getting It Right

In 2014, after two years of working for the restaurant group, Cindy moved from Texas to North Carolina after her husband accepted a job with Cummins, Inc., in Rocky Mount. Upon settling, she found herself at ScottMadden, a company that aligned to her values of culture and hard work. Little did she know at the time this would be the start to her nearly decade-long career at the firm.

Cindy began as a billing specialist and quickly got promoted. Despite rising through the ranks, Cindy ultimately aspired to transition into accounting. Fully aware of the challenges ahead due to her limited experience, she was determined to make it happen. Her unwavering drive and work ethic did not go unnoticed. On one ordinary day, Brad Kitchens walked into her office asking if they could chat. Cindy was nervous. She had a half-eaten sandwich in one hand, Cheetos in another, curious where this conversation was going. Recognizing her dedication and potential, Brad informed Cindy that their controller was planning to retire and asked if she was interested in being an assistant controller. This opportunity would pave her transition into accounting and serve as the pivotal moment in Cindy’s career. After working under the controller for a year, in 2017 Cindy became the firm’s youngest controller and has served in this position since.

After nearly 10 years, Cindy is passionate about the work she does and how she leads her team. As a leader, she values each person and their skills and has made a dedicated effort to unify the consultants and support staff within the firm through offering support, leading the Women’s ERG, and more.

Topping Off

Outside of work, Cindy enjoys cooking, travelling, and spending quality time with her two children, Rogelio (3 years) and Emilia (3 months), her husband, and two dogs. On the weekends, you will find her channeling her grandma’s energy while she cooks and listens to Spanish music. Looking ahead, Cindy and her husband hope to travel and check off more wonders of the world (they have already seen two!). Cindy cherishes the everyday moments and memories spent with her family and friends and looks forward to more to come.

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