The field of accounting isn’t exactly teeming with former Minor League Baseball umpires, but that’s one of many things that makes Jeremy Sparling unique.
The Corporate Controller for A.R. Wilfley & Sons began umpiring at the age of 13, eventually getting training as a professional. He umpired both high school and college baseball before joining Boeing and embarking on his career in finance and accounting.
Although worked both as an accountant and umpire for a while, Jeremy shifted his focus to accounting after getting married and the demands of maintaining a home and two professions became too demanding.
To this day, however, he sees a correlation between professional success and sports participation. His boss at A.R. Wilfley & Sons is a former professional rugby player and the spirit of teamwork and comradery is ingrained in their daily work activities. As much as he enjoyed umpiring, he doesn’t miss being on the road being and away from his family during the baseball season.
Jeremy brought years of experience in accounting to his position at A.R. Wilfley & Sons, parlaying his degree from the University of Southern California into positions with Ernst & Young as a CPA and with Quanta Services. Although he was born and raised in Los Angeles, he moved to Colorado in 2005 where he found a welcoming place to raise his family and he remains there to this day.
“I appreciate having a job like this, in a company like this, and previous employers as well that have helped me build that life with my wife, and where we’re just happy and comfortable, and fantastic,” Jeremy says.
The Art of Marriage
Family is very important to Jeremy, who grew up with his wife. Although they’ve been friends since the age of 11, they lost touch for a while, then reconnected in recent years. Today, they have three daughters and spend their spare time traveling and watching football. Jeremy has found the lessons he learned as an umpire useful to married life.
“The most important lesson of all? Don’t insist on the last word.” “You know, if somebody had a bad day, let them say something a little bit nasty and just ignore it,” Jeremy says. “It is best to be empathetic and do what is necessary to diffuse volatile situations.”
The lesson of remaining calm as an umpire has served Jeremy well in his family relationships.
The Balance of Work and Life
Over the course of his career, Jeremy has learned the value of an employer who recognizes the importance of work-life balance. He enjoys the flexibility he is given and doesn’t even mind working from home on Saturdays for a couple of hours, since he knows his boss won’t mind when he needs to take off early on an occasional weekday to participate in an event at his daughter’s school.
“There are companies out there that don’t have that work-life balance,” Jeremy says. “They didn’t care” about your family life. They don’t care about your schedule or that your daughter has a dance recital at 4:30. ‘We need you here. You’re not leaving early.’”
During his time with A.R. Wilfley & Sons, Jeremy has seen exciting growth and change. The business has a tradition of serving other companies, but Jeremy and his teammates also work hard to ensure that the company has a culture of innovation. While he leads his team to embrace process automation, Jeremy is proud to work with a company that also prioritizes people as much as the business.