Alumna says accounting degree helped her make a difference in her community
When Lori Klein Quinn transferred to University of Houston-Clear Lake back in the 1970s, she was looking to create a new future for herself by enrolling in a newly-opened university that offered a degree plan that interested her. Now, as the mayor of Tomball, Texas, she said she believes much of her success and inspiration to be active in her community stems from the Bachelor of Science in Accounting she received way back in 1977.
Klein Quinn took her expertise in accounting and used it to begin a long history of helping to improve the financial lives of others in her community. She previously served on Tomball City Council, served as president of the ‘Women’s Business Forum’ and the ‘Tomball Business and Professional Women’, is a founding board member of the North Harris Community College District Foundation, and is a retired certified public accountant and certified financial planner for over 41 years.
“I was very impressed with the accounting program at UH-Clear Lake,” she said. “I loved the accounting curriculum because it had a business emphasis. I especially enjoyed my senior business policy class. Local businesses reached out to our class for assistance, and we students formed teams to help them.”
She said they learned how to make businesses more profitable, and how to identify potential issues. “I learned so much in that one course, that it helped me achieve success in my own small business later in life,” she remembered.
Klein Quinn said students pursuing a degree in accounting should not be afraid to walk through the door, even with regulations, obstacles and constant changes.
“Accounting is in everyone’s personal and business life. You can make a real difference,” she explained.
Outside of the classroom, UHCL’s location, setting and serene nature and alumni engagement have all fueled Klein Quinn to stay connected to the campus.
“UHCL gives me peace. I would take my friends and family to campus and give them a tour,” she said. “I became more connected when I was invited to speak at an elected official’s forum for the students, and reconnected with the alumni association.”
Klein Quinn added that she is still applying what she learned at UHCL in her life today.
“After working for several accounting firms, I started my own business at age 29, which I recently sold after almost 40 years in the industry,” she continued. “My firm was about serving others and using our platform to help the community. I learned these skills at UHCL, and use now in my role as mayor of Tomball, Texas.”
Klein Quinn said there are some truisms that she’s found to be helpful on her journey to success.
“Dig through till you find the facts, have confidence in yourself, failure is just a chance to begin again, don’t be afraid to move forward and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your dreams,” Klein Quinn said. “Finally, don’t forget to keep your three F’s in order; faith, family, and finances.”