Ryan goes to Comicon and tweets with celebrities
By day, Ryan is just another accountant. By night, he interacts with celebrities on Twitter, live tweeting while watching some of his favorite television shows and attends Comicon with his family!
In this episode, Ryan shares some of his stories of interacting with celebrities on Twitter and even meeting some in person including Jimmy Fallon and Sidney Torres.
Ryan is currently the CFO for Shenandoah Petroleum Corporation since 2009. Prior to this, he was Senior Auditor at Elms, Faris, & Company, LLP.
• How Ryan got into accounting
• Meeting Jimmy Fallon
• The importance of communication and connection
Please take 2 minutes
to do John’s anonymous survey
about Corporate Culture!
Other pictures of Ryan
(click to enlarge)
- Read Full TranscriptOpen or Close
Hello, this is John Garrett. Welcome to Episode 173 of the Green Apple Podcast where each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion or an interest outside of work. They’re basically shattering the stereotype, making them stand out like a green apple in a boring red apple world. I’m always so fascinated how we usually try to stand out with our technical expertise. I’m here to shine a light each week on someone who understands that expertise isn’t always earned in degrees and certifications. Sometimes it’s experiences from your passions outside of work that make you better at your job, but only if you share them.
Really quickly, I’m doing some research. It’s a super short one-minute anonymous survey about corporate culture and how the green apple message might apply in your world. If you’ve got just 60 seconds, please head to greenapplepodcast.com. Click on that big green button there. Answer a few quick questions. Again, it’s totally anonymous. I really appreciate the help for the research for the book that I’m writing that’ll be out early next year. Thanks so much, everyone, for subscribing to the show so you don’t miss any of the cool guests like this week’s Ryan Bartholomee. He’s the CFO of Shenandoah Petroleum Corporation and really active with the Texas Society of CPAs. Ryan, thanks so much for taking time to be with me today on the Green Apple Podcast.
Ryan: Hi, I’m Ryan Bartholomee. When I’m not live tweeting, attending comic conventions or volunteering, I’m listening to John Garrett on the green apple on quest. Thanks so much for asking me. I’m excited to be here.
John: Oh, man. It was really cool meeting you in San Antonio at the Texas Society of CPA’s annual member meeting. It was so fun. You did the roast the night before. That was hilarious. It was so funny, how Jim’s CPA license was older than you. I was like, “Wow, that’s pretty awesome.” That was brutal. It was really fantastic. I was like, “Man, I’ve got to get this guy on the podcast.”
Ryan: Yeah. I appreciate you asked me. I had a blast at that meeting. That was probably the most fun meeting we’ve ever, ever had since I’ve been volunteering. I definitely enjoyed your session and had lots of great feedback, lots of laughter.
John: Well, thanks man. I appreciate it. Well, before we get into the real meat of it, I do have my 17 rapid-fire questions before we go hang out at a comic convention and you show me the ropes. I figure that’s going to be a long day. I’ve got to make sure that we are simpatico in hanging out. Look at me dropping some Spanish on you.
John: Let me fire this thing up here. Seventeen rapid-fire questions, all right. Here we go. Here we go. First one, do you have a favorite color?
Ryan: Cobalt Blue.
John: Oh, there you go. I like the specificity of it. Nice. How about a least favorite color?
Ryan: Mustard yellow.
John: Okay. All right. I thought you’re going to say like navy blue, like just another blue.
Ryan: I like all blue.
John: Right. No, I’m with you on that. How about do you have a favorite animal?
Ryan: I have to go with a dog. I’ve always had dogs in my house.
John: Okay. Yeah. Fair enough. Fair enough. Would you say you’re more Sudoku or crossword puzzles?
John: Yeah, absolutely. How about a favorite TV show? That’s really hard for you. How about you list them all like go nuts?
Ryan: I have a lot that I’ve enjoyed, Burn Notice, MacGyver, Gotham, quite a few others.
John: No, they’re really good answers. Those are solid. How about more Star Wars or Star Trek?
Ryan: I’m going to have to go with both so may the force be with you as you live long and prosper.
John: That’s hilarious. I’ve never heard that before. That’s awesome. That’s really great. How about when it comes to computers, more of a PC or a Mac?
Ryan: I’m a PC. We have a Mac. I’m always trying to learn how to use that better. But definitely, I’m more familiar with PCs.
John: Right. Why use a Mac when you have a PC. I mean seriously, I don’t get it either. How about when it comes to a mouse, do you prefer right click or left click?
Ryan: Right click.
John: Okay. All right. How about more jeans and a T-shirt or a suit and tie?
Ryan: Jeans and a T-shirt.
John: Oh, wow. All right. How about do you have a favorite cereal, maybe even when you were a kid?
Ryan: Yes. Rice Krispie Treats cereal. That’s my absolute favorite.
John: Oh, nice. That’s like next level. That’s fantastic. How about when it comes to financials, more balance sheet or income statement?
Ryan: I’m going to have to go with balance sheet.
John: Okay. All right. All right. Now this one’s important. When it comes to a toilet paper roll, over or under?
Ryan: Over is definitely the correct answer so I’ll go with that.
John: Right. There’s only one answer. How about do you have a favorite actor or actress?
Ryan: Right now, for actor, Tom Holland and on actress, Millie Bobby Brown.
John: Oh, okay. Nice. How about would you say you’re more of an early bird or a night owl?
Ryan: A little bit of both, probably sleep deprived would be a good state.
John: Right. That’s the appropriate answer. Okay. I’ve got three more. Do you have a favorite number?
John: Eight. Why is that?
Ryan: My favorite baseball player, Cal Ripken Jr. It’s his jersey number.
John: Ah, there you go. Absolutely. Would you say you prefer more oceans or mountains?
John: Yeah. I mean in West Texas, you’ll take either.
Ryan: That’s right.
John: Yeah. The last one, the favorite thing you own or the favorite thing you have?
Ryan: Fits into the number eight pretty well. But Cal Ripken Jr.’s last baseball game ever in Texas, I got a jersey that I had of his signed. He was actually signing some autographs after the game. Everybody was calling out, “Cal.” I called up, “Mr. Ripken.” He looked right at me. He came over and signed the jersey.
John: That’s awesome, man. That’s really cool.
Ryan: I’ve got that framed and hanging in my office.
John: Yeah, man. That’s solid. That’s really cool, really cool. Yeah, that’s fantastic man. One question that I love to ask everyone when they come on the show is just what made you want to get into accounting to begin with?
Ryan: Sure. I’m wired a lot like my dad. He was a VP of Finance for a mid-sized equipment company when I was growing up. That put accounting on my radar. I wanted to follow in his footsteps. He really enjoyed that position. He later was transitioned into a different role and replaced by a CPA. That was motivational for me and showed me the value of the CPA license. Also, I had a teacher in high school ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I mentioned CPA. Her response was, “Well, you will always have a job so just that job security and that reputation coming with a CPA license doesn’t hurt either.”
John: Right. Yeah. She was right. I mean the cool thing is you can do almost anything. I mean because everybody at the end of the day, even marketing gets down to dollars.
John: If you can work a spreadsheet, you’re pretty much good to go there. Cool, man. Well, let’s jump into the fun. Well, it’s always been fun. Who am I kidding? Let’s jump into the real meat of it here. What passions and interests? I know you said comic con. But I know you do a bunch of things after work and when you have that free time. On Twitter, I follow you. You’re all over the place, man and such cool pictures and stuff you’re doing. Yeah. It seems like the live tweeting is definitely something that you’re up to as well while you’re watching those favorite shows.
Ryan: I started live tweeting with a few shows. It grew over time. I actually got the opportunity. I’ll normally track my Twitter impressions and enjoy any celebrity interaction on Twitter. I’ll typically get retweeted by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon a couple times a week. I won tickets a couple of times down for Fallon ticket Friday to go see him in person. The first time I actually got to ask him a question, it was a crowd of a couple hundred people there watching them tape the show. It was in a break. I was real nervous in talking to him. But I managed to ask him about what his best parenting advice was since we both have young daughters. My wife was with me. He asked if we were expecting. Then I had to explain that we already have three daughters. Then he roasted me a little bit asking if I was sure that I needed parenting advice after all. Then he gave a real sincere answer encouraging me to read to my kids every day. He also talked about how both of his girls are so unique, each personality is different and gave several examples. It was a real fun conversation.
John: Yeah, he’s so approachable. I mean he’s not intimidating at all and not dominating or anything like that.
Ryan: That was a lot of fun, a lot of things you don’t think of. Starting with Twitter, it’s going to lead to getting to have a conversation with Jimmy Fallon. I’m part of this group called the live tweet crew. We’ll mostly tweet about renovation shows a lot on HGTV. I got to go to the Season Two Watch Party finale in Laurel, Mississippi and meet the stars of HGTV’s Home Town, which has Ben and Erin Napier. I had a blast doing that. It’s been real fun to be connected to that group. They’ve been real inclusive. We’ve actually made some really good friends out of that. Just this last week, actually, I was in New Orleans. I was invited by a real estate mogul Sidney Torres who had a show on CNBC called The Deed where he’s helping house flippers in New Orleans, kind of inexperienced house flippers. He’s got a lot of experience with real estate. He invited me to come out and stay at his Airbnb. We got to attend a live tweet watch party for the Season Two finale there as well. Lots of fun things happening because of Twitter I would never have dreamed.
John: Right. I mean I think Twitter is fake. Look at you, you’re proving that it’s not. Because I mean as we’re talking, tweets are flying by. Yet this research is checking them out. They’re inviting you to come hang out. That’s fantastic, man, really cool. Were you early in on Twitter?
Ryan: Do you know? I actually joined September of 2011. It’s just really been last probably three or four years I’ve gotten a lot more active. But I joined because I was at a book signing. You could get to the front of the line if you tweeted about the book signing. I set up a Twitter and made a tweet about it. I got to meet Dave Ramsey and didn’t have to wait in line very long to do it.
John: That’s fantastic. I love that. I love that. That’s cool, man. Then they created a monster.
Ryan: They did.
John: Yeah. Then I know you tweet when I see the pictures as well, when you’re at comic conventions and things like that.
Ryan: Yeah, that’s been something my whole family has gotten into. We’ve gone to about a dozen comic conventions. We started going several years ago. We’ve met over a hundred celebrities. Occasionally, we’ll cause play. I’ve got three young daughters. One time they went as cheerleaders for Sunnydale High as we were getting a picture with people from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But they were the stars. They enjoyed all the attention. Yeah, we have a lot of fun getting photo ops with celebrities and getting autographs with them. You get to visit with them a little bit. We never had a bad experience. The celebrities that go to comic conventions really enjoy hanging out with their fans. It’s been a really great experience just to get to know them as regular people.
John: Yeah, yeah. Just as a side note, have you ever been to one when Tom Wilson was there with Back to the Future?
John: I’ve worked with him several times.
Ryan: Oh, that’s amazing.
John: He’s actually kind of friend of mine I’d say. Yeah, he’s such a great, great guy.
Ryan: We saw him earlier this year and then did a group photo op. He was fantastic to visit with, super kind.
John: Yeah, he’s a really nice guy and lights out hilarious as well. I mean he did stand-up way before. He was biff in Back to the Future for the people that don’t know who I’m talking about. But yeah, he did stand-up even before Back to the Future was a movie series I guess. Yeah, and then continues to this day. But yeah, I’ve worked with him several times. He’s a really, really good guy for sure.
Ryan: He’s not anything like that at all on Back to the Future.
John: Oh, yeah. He’s the exact opposite. He’s a big teddy bear for sure. That’s really cool, man, really cool. Then I know you do a fair amount of volunteering not only with the Texas State Society, but a bunch of other things as well?
Ryan: Currently, I’m the treasurer for couple of nonprofit organizations, one that plants churches — we’ll plant their 50th church this year — then another organization that’s in our community that helps underprivileged kids with medical care.
John: That’s really cool. Of course, you’re the Treasurer. You know what’s up, right? Yeah, that’s really cool. Yeah. I guess would you say that any of these things whether it’s the live tweeting or going into the comic conventions or even the volunteering — I guess that’s a little easier — but it gives you a skill set that you bring to work at all?
Ryan: I certainly think a common denominator for all of them is communication and connection with people. I think that’s important definitely in a workplace environment. I think we have real low turnover in my department. We haven’t had any turnover since I’ve been here because of the connections we make and our efficient and worked well together and care about each other and what goes on in each other’s lives. I think that that connection is applicable to all areas of life and certainly within my job and career.
John: Yeah. When you heard me speaking, you were like, “This guy is preaching to the choir right now.” You’re like, “Amen. Yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah. Doesn’t everybody?” “No, not even close.” How does it come up like when you’re going to a comic convention with your co-workers? Is it just normal conversation, “What are you doing this weekend,” sort of thing?
Ryan: It can be that. Also, I was hesitant. I think we’ve tend to compartmentalize our lives quite a bit. I was hesitant to ever become Facebook friends with people I work with. But once I got over that, they’ll see me posting all the pictures. Then they’ll come tell me, “Oh, I loved that TV show or that movie with that particular celebrity that you met.” It has created a lot of conversations.
John: Yeah. That’s interesting, right? How our default mode is to want to compartmentalize. Why do you think that is?
Ryan: Probably just a fear of others not being interested in what’s going on in your life or perhaps even the fear that people assume that you’re not focused or passionate enough about your own job. Sometimes, for me, just natural shyness. Overcoming that has been a real positive thing.
John: No, that’s cool. That’s what I was going to ask. It was when you finally get over that hump and start to open up a little bit and share, typically really amazing things happen. You find out that somebody else watches the same show. You’re like, “What? I had no idea. We’ve been working next to each other for this long. I had no clue.” You have a lot more in common with people around you I think.
John: Yeah. Is there something that you do specifically in your department? I love that how interactive you guys are and that there is zero turnover there, which is fantastic. Is there something specific that you do or is it just more of a tone?
Ryan: I think it’s more of a tone. Our company is pretty small. About once a month or so, we have somebody birthday that we’re celebrating. We might take an hour to just visit with each other, having cake or breakfast and sometimes get some of the best conversations going at times like that. But having a culture that at the end of the day, it’s important for all the work to get done. But we’re not all on the clock all the time. We’re all salary. It’s okay to have a conversation and get to know somebody at a deeper level. Ultimately, we’re very efficient as a team because of connecting with each other and being different and appreciating each other and our differences.
John: Yeah, because I mean it’s so fascinating when all of a sudden, you start to — I mean since I’ve started doing the podcast, I’m like, “What? This is crazy.” I mean hearing your stories. I mean you’re getting to free tickets to the Tonight Show. I’ve been able to talk with Jimmy. I mean live tweeting parties, staying in people’s Airbnb’s. I mean it’s like that’s nuts. Like it’s so cool, man. It’s really, really cool. No one would ever know that if we never shared it. People are going to remember that about you for sure, which isn’t a bad thing at all. I guess how much do you feel like it is on an organization or department to create that tone at the top culture sort of a thing where it’s okay to share versus how much is it on the individual to either jump in and participate or to create their own middle circle if maybe that’s not encouraged?
Ryan: I think it’s critical for both. The organization setting that tone can help overcoming some of those fears initially. But also, individuals got to be willing to be authentic and not want to just work with strangers all the time and actually get to know people. Be an active listener and attentive and take an interest in others. I think there’s definitely responsibility on both parties.
John: Yeah. I love how you said that where you’re working with strangers every day. It’s so true, man. I never thought about it that way. But that’s how a lot of people treat it. It’s just you’re around strangers more than you or your family waking hours. It’s like, man, that’s nuts. I guess there are people out there that are listening that I’m sure go to a lot of comic conventions. They’re probably similar to you early on where it’s like, “Hey, I don’t know if I want to share. It has nothing to do with accounting, whatever.” Do you have any words of encouragement for people to help be over that?
Ryan: I would say that first, just be an active listener. Ask a lot of questions. Be attentive. Take an interest in other people’s hobbies and passions. Make them feel valued. This is going to be reciprocated. When you get that opportunity to share about your hobbies or interests, take advantage of it. Nobody wants to work around strangers as I mentioned in that. I don’t think any of us will get to our deathbed and look back and wish that we had not connected with so many people.
John: No, definitely. That’s fantastic, man, really fantastic. Before I wrap this up, I think it’s only fair that I open the table or turn the tables I guess rather to allow you. I opened it up with a 17 rapid-fire questions. If you want to fire away in me, get to know John, you can. You’re all legit. You’re in charge now. Here we go.
Ryan: Sure. Well, besides you, who is your favorite comedian?
John: Oh, nice. I’d say it’s not even me, even forget beside me. Yeah, I would say Brian Regan is probably my favorite. People that I’m friends with or like Tommy Johnagin is hilarious. Ryan Hamilton’s pretty funny. Chad Daniels is really funny. I mean just from work in the road, people that some of them have done TV. Actually, all three of them have, but they’re not as well known. Even Brian Regan is not. But yeah, those are all very, very funny people right there.
Ryan: Awesome. What’s your favorite place to travel to?
John: Ooh, favorite place. The favorite place I’ve ever been would be Cape Town, South Africa. That was the coolest place that I’ve been. It’s just a weird mix of — because of apartheid. There’s a lot of European structures still there, infrastructure. But it’s still that raw Africa feel. It’s like if Europe liked America, that’s what Cape Town is.
Ryan: Then last, do you have any siblings?
John: I do. I have one brother. He’s four years younger than me. He’s married with three kids. He’s a high school teacher actually. Yeah. There we go. Now we get to know, John. Uh-oh, everybody. That was a really good question, man, really good. Thanks so much, Ryan, for taking time to be with me on the Green Apple Podcast. This was really fun.
Ryan: Thanks so much for having me.
John: Wow, that was really fantastic. If you like to see some pictures of Ryan meeting celebrities at comic cons or maybe connect with him on social media so you can catch all his live tweeting, be sure to go to greenapplepodcast.com. All the links are there. While you’re on the page, please click that big green button and do the anonymous research survey about firm culture. Thanks again for subscribing to the show and for sharing this with your friends, so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread which is to go out and be a green apple.