Name a leadership role in accounting or finance and Beth (LeMay) Costello ’89 has done it. A certified public accountant, she has been a manager and partner at two of the nation’s premiere public accounting firms. Now the executive vice president and chief financial officer of The Hartford, she has served in a wide range of positions there since 2004. In her current role, she is responsible for finance, treasury, capital, accounting and investor relations.
She credits her success to her Bryant education and the experiences she has had along the way. “I grew up in a smaller town in Connecticut and going to college was a huge experience for me at the time,” she recalls. “I had a wonderful experience at Bryant. It really opened my eyes to the opportunities I could have in the future and prepared me on so many different levels – from the education I received to the lifelong friends that I made.”
Costello considers herself fortunate to have entered the accounting profession as opportunities for women were emerging. “When I entered public accounting there were not many women in the partner ranks and I wasn’t sure I could do that. But during my tenure that became more of a focus. I worked for great people who were intentional about developing talent regardless of gender.”
The guidance she received from Bryant faculty and other trusted colleagues she worked with in her early career years convinced her of the value of mentoring. “Sometimes you’re encouraged to take on an opportunity that doesn’t seem like the next natural step and you have to move out of your comfort zone and take a risk. Whenever I’ve done that, I’ve gained so much more than I would have thought. Knowing someone else has confidence in you can help you unlock your capabilities and believe you can do it too.”
Costello serves on several nonprofit boards in Hartford, including The Village for Families and Children, The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, and The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. She sees it as an important way to be aware of the needs of the community and contribute to the organizations’ missions.
Thirty years after graduating, Costello is eager to visit Bryant again. “It’s amazing how the University has continued to expand and grow. The experience students have today is so much different than mine. I’m excited for my daughters to see the school.”
● Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Hartford
● Controller at The Hartford
● Senior manager in Deloitte & Touche LLP's audit practice
● Partner at Arthur Andersen LLP
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