Love of numbers leads Counsil to Allen



October 5, 2015 - 12:00 AM

Since stepping in as vice president for finance and operations at Allen Community College Brian Counsil has been busy.
He wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Many people wear many hats here and it’s amazing how everybody pitches in,” he said. “I work along side a lot of great personalities. It’s a fantastic crew.”
Counsil began working for the college on July 1 to replace the retiring Steve Troxel.
Born and raised in Neodesha, Counsil graduated high school and attended Pittsburg State University for six years, earning bachelor’s degrees in business administration and business management, then a master’s in business administration.
He recalls knowing he wanted to venture into accounting at a fairly early age. While most children were learning to add numbers his older siblings were teaching him algebraic equations.
As a child, Counsil would help his mother — who owned a 24-hour restaurant — balance her ledgers and tally up each day’s receipts.
“I had the best math teachers in high school,” he said. “Janet Postier was a phenomenal teacher and I helped her build an accounting program my senior year.”
After his graduation from PSU he worked in the Kansas City, Kan., area for 15 years at Advantage Protective Coating as an internal auditor and ended up being the chief financial officer until the owner sold the company.
He then started his own landscaping business and ran it for several years.
With a “family first” mentality Counsil decided he wanted his 13-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son to grow up in his hometown, and the family returned to Neodesha.
“They are honor roll students and better than I deserve,” he said.
His wife Maggie is a stay-at-home mother and keeps things running smoothly within the household.
“I’m commuting back and forth from Neodesha so I don’t get home until late most nights,” he said. “She picks up a lot of the slack.”
Counsil started looking at careers in higher education when he found ACC. The friendliness of the staff and board of trustees is what drew him in.
“Ken McGuffin (ACC board of trustees chairman) was in my interview and he made me feel the most at home and comfortable,” Counsil said. “I already felt like it was home by the time I left.”
The college’s size allows Counsil to work with many employees, which considers another plus.
Counsil manages finance and accounting, the information technology department, campus services and plans operations.
One of his earliest challenges has been the on-going construction at the college.
A full rebuild of the college’s science labs, bathrooms and the athletic department facilities is about two months behind schedule, but Counsil doesn’t let the issue bother him.
“I enjoy the construction and I’m ready to start another project,” he said. “We’re about three weeks away from being finished. It’s going to look beautiful.”
He doesn’t try to hide his love of numbers when he talks about upcoming tasks.
“I’m looking forward to the first budget,” he said. “It’s going to be fun.”

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