Maritza Zulueta, Corporate Controller

I’m Maritza Zulueta, the Corporate Controller, and I have been at Swinerton for 4 years.

Discovering Passion: My Professional Journey

My journey in the construction industry began over two decades ago. Initially, I embarked on my career as a staff accountant. After spending 14 fulfilling years at my former company, circumstances led me to explore new opportunities. I had yet to envision a specific industry for my career; however, as I delved deeper into the realm of construction, every construction project has something unique and a rich story behind it, stories that people will talk about for years (it is like a new book each time). Construction offers the opportunity to help create something that can make a significant impact, transforming entire communities and changing landscapes.

Most importantly, it is tangible; you can see the hard work behind a building (for example) and learn to appreciate the effort it took to build it. I deeply admire and respect the teams that work in the field; it is demanding work for all levels. I have now spent over 18 years working in the construction industry. 

Leadership and Strategy: Role and Responsibilities

In partnership with two outstanding peers, I manage and lead the teams within the Accounting/Finance organization. My direct teams are accountable for all aspects of accounts payable and the general ledger, external audits, financial reporting and analysis, consolidations of actuals and business planning, leases, fixed assets, and more.  

 I am responsible for providing leadership and strategy to our accounting teams and for the development and execution of goals and initiatives to support our Company and our talented employees. I focus on ensuring the accuracy of our financial statements. Responsible for taking the financial information, interpreting the results, and communicating them to management and non-accountants in a way that they can understand for well-informed decision-making. I collaborate with the teams to seek opportunities to optimize our systems and processes. Some of my key responsibilities include financial reporting and analysis, technical accounting, accounting policies and procedures, internal controls, strategic planning, and compliance with GAAP.  

 I am dedicated to supporting all business partners and working with my teams to advance the Company’s strategy. As part of being in Shared Services, we support business partners from all areas within the company. My role is to ensure that we not only meet the needs of our business partners but also exceed their expectations.

Navigating Challenges and Celebrating Triumphs

At Swinerton, change is a constant companion. Adapting quickly and embracing agility are essential traits in navigating the dynamic landscape of our industry. Challenges arise in various forms, from complex accounting transactions to process optimization. However, I approach challenges with a calm, strategic mindset, viewing them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

One of my most significant accomplishments was selling a renewable energy company project in 2021. This transformative endeavor showcased the collective efforts of our teams and culminated in a remarkable increase in our company’s share value. Despite our obstacles, our teamwork and determination prevailed, leaving behind enduring partnerships and invaluable lessons.

Empowering Aspiring Professionals: Advice and Support

I offer aspiring professionals this advice: Be your authentic self; when you are true to yourself and accurate to your strengths and weaknesses, you can be successful in whichever role you choose. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and don’t be afraid to confront them. You will only grow in your career if you’re challenged. So, you can challenge yourself to recognize your skills and work on your shortfalls to be prepared to walk through them confidently when doors open.  

 Also, find a mentor early in your career. Mentors are a valuable source of information and support for career growth. You can have more than one mentor; don’t limit yourself. Seek new perspectives and guidance.  

Personal Reflections: People and Culture

In my time at Swinerton, two aspects have stood out—the people and the culture. Our unique culture, shaped by the collective efforts of our dedicated teams, sets us apart in the industry. As an employee-owned company, we share a vested interest in each project’s success, driving us to deliver excellence in everything we do.

Beyond work, I cherish spending quality time with my family, exploring California’s scenic outdoors, and indulging in wine-tasting adventures. These leisure moments serve as a reminder of life’s simple joys and the importance of balance amidst professional endeavors.

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