Springfield, MO

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2015 Most Influential Women Honoree: Crystal Reynolds

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Whether Crystal Reynolds is at her job or volunteering her time, she demonstrates that a varied life is possible.

“Whether through a management position with a company, my business, volunteer work or boards and committees, I want people of my generation to know that you absolutely can have a wonderful family life and a challenging career,” says Reynolds, chief operating officer at Paragon Architecture Inc., owner of Principle Accounting LLC and mother of a 4-year-old girl.

“My passion and purpose is to encourage people to put others before themselves, to better themselves and to improve our community for the next generation.”

With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Missouri State University, Reynolds has spent her career in numbers, working as a bank teller, accountant and chief financial officer before joining Paragon in 2013. In 2009, Reynolds opened Principle Accounting, which offers business consulting and tax services as well as part-time, temporary and chief financial officer contract work.

“Springfield has an interesting dynamic for leadership due to its passion and commitment to developing and retaining young professionals,” she says. “I have been promoted to, served in, previously held or currently maintain a leadership role in almost every organization with which I’m involved.”

At Paragon and Principle Accounting, Reynolds says she was given the opportunity to develop her leadership skills in multiple areas of business. Working as a leader in a company where you are the only person without a degree in architecture has been a challenge.

Reynolds says her willingness to broach subjects other people are uncomfortable raising and her ability to analyze business from purely a financial standpoint is a benefit to the organizations she serves.

“I am not afraid of the short-term criticism that may occur after an unpopular topic is deliberated,” Reynolds says. “I understand that business decisions should never be personal.

“I simply lead the board or committee to make decisions that are in the best interest of the entity as a whole at all times.”

Reynolds works with employees to increase their financial literacy and give them confidence to offer suggestions to management, input she believes is often overlooked.

“I work with management and accounting staff to establish an appropriate form of open-book management, depending on the company and their future goals,” she says. “This management style creates an incredible free exchange of ideas and information that may have otherwise been lost.”

Reynolds’ community involvement includes nonprofits Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, The Victim Center, United Way of the Ozarks and Convoy of Hope.

She is especially proud of her involvement in the creation and opening of Art Inspired, a self-sustaining business under Friends of Abilities First, a nonprofit serving people with developmental disabilities for which Reynolds is the immediate past president.


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