The 2010 Distinguished Alumni of Edmonds Community College, carpenter John Littel and accountant Becky Mackenstadt, both identified their career paths in high school, obtained education to advance in their chosen field, made connections in their professions, found rewarding lifelong work, and — best of all — they love their jobs.
The Distinguished Alumni will be honored by the Edmonds Community College Foundation 6-8 p.m., Thurs., Feb. 3 in the Black Box Theatre, Edmonds Community College, 20000 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood. To attend the ceremony, call 425.640.1274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient 2010: Becky Mackenstadt
A counselor at her high school in Twisp suggested Becky Mackenstadt consider a career in accounting. It was a good suggestion.
“Accountants, we love our jobs — I find it fascinating and rewarding when things balance,” Mackenstadt said. “What I appreciate most is that I feel like I am in charge of my future. My schedule is not dictated. I can work the flexible schedule I need to, to raise a family. I value my work.”
However, enrolling in the accounting program at Edmonds Community College was a big step for Mackenstadt, the first in her family to go to college, and it wasn’t easy taking classes while working full-time. It took her more than two years to complete her accounting degree at Edmonds Community College and there were many nights of turning down friends’ invitations to go out.
“I got tired of saying I had to stay in and study,” she said. “But I am stubborn and I wasn’t going to give up. My parents were proud when I finished my degree and I was glad I was able to stick with it and get it done.”
Her instructors encouraged her to keep going in the profession.
“Their love of the field, their knowledge, and their passion made it sound like a great path,” she said.
She went on for a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business Administration with a concentration in finance at Central Washington University-Lynnwood and graduated magna cum laude. Then she earned her Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant licenses.
Today, Mackenstadt works in public accounting at Vine Dahlen PLLC in Lynnwood as a senior audit and accounting manager. She’s been with the firm for 13 years and expects to make partner soon. She does audits and accounting for nonprofit organizations, including the Edmonds Community College Foundation.
Her firm values and recruits CWU-Lynnwood graduates and Mackenstadt maintains her involvement in the professional associations she joined during her education.
“It was hard to be involved in college life because I was working, but I’m still connected to the people I met at Edmonds CC and CWU.”
She’s a member of the Institute of Management Accountants and the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants, where she has served on the student relations committee. Mackenstadt volunteers as treasurer on the board of the United Way of Snohomish County and as treasurer for the board of Shoreline Covenant Church.
“Accounting is a great degree, a great profession," she said. "You couldn’t do what I am doing without the degree.”