Fabulous People: Annie Thompson

Annie Thompson serves as the chief financial officer of CorneaGen, which is dedicated to transforming how ophthalmologists treat and care for those impacted by corneal disease. Though headquartered in Seattle, CorneaGen has multiple locations and local partnerships throughout the U.S. Learn about Annie Thompson…

Hometown: Kikuyu, Kenya

What was your first job? Office assistant at a research facility

What are your favorite ways to spend your free time in WA? Exploring new places – one of my favorites is San Juan Island in the summer.

What is your biggest accomplishment and why? Obtaining my post-graduate degree as the first person in my extended family to attain higher education was a pivotal moment for me. This accomplishment not only represented personal growth, but it also symbolized breaking generational barriers. By doing this, I inspired my younger siblings and cousins to believe in their potential and pursue their dreams.

What is the biggest obstacle you overcame? Moving to the United States at 18 and navigating a new culture and education system as an immigrant. Leaving behind everything I knew and stepping into a foreign land presented a multitude of challenges, including acclimating to cultural differences. In addition, I faced the daunting task of financing my education and daily expenses. Working tirelessly while studying full-time was a necessity, not a choice, and it tested my resilience and determination.

Who is someone who inspires you and why? The most remarkable teacher: my mother. Within the haven of our humble home, she fostered an atmosphere where curiosity was encouraged. She had unwavering patience with us. Her journey, from having to leave school to support her family after her father’s untimely passing, ignited a fire within me to reshape our family’s path. Witnessing her sacrifices to ensure a brighter future for her children taught me the importance of hard work and aspiring for greatness. Through her, I learned the power of dreaming big and the value of dedicated effort.

What is advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do? First, the role of leaders in finance and accounting is ever evolving. Staying updated on the latest trends and technologies is crucial, so continuous learning and adaptability is critical. Second, always be open to new challenges and opportunities – even when it seems like a stretch. These often lead to the most rewarding experiences and personal growth. Last, but not least, cultivate a strong network of mentors and peers. Collaborating and learning from others can provide valuable insights and consistently reignite your passion.

What is your favorite quote? “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” —Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I love the quote as it captures my own journey so well – the power of determination and the idea that my intentions and efforts can influence the course of events in my life.

What is something someone would be surprised to learn about you? I love cooking and experimenting with new recipes. It is something I find very fulfilling and almost therapeutic, as it allows me to immerse myself in the present moment.

What makes someone fabulous? To me, what makes someone truly fabulous is their ability to be genuine and empathetic, coupled with a passion for making a positive impact. Fabulous individuals uplift those around them, celebrate diversity and radiate a sense of joy that is infectious to everyone they encounter.

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