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COO reflects on tough moments in her career

Written on May 23, 2024

By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager  

The only way to grow is to try new challenges, said one Power of Change honoree, even if you feel like you’re not ready for them. 

“You're not always going to be prepared,” said Sara Martin, COO of Bober Markey Fedorovich. “But know that you have enough of the skills and enough of the potential to go for it. And that's something that took me some time to learn, and quite frankly, I'm still learning that.” 


She was named a Power of Change honoree at the OSCPA Women, Wealth and Wellness Conference in July 2023. The award salutes individuals who are advocates for women’s initiatives in the workplace and business community, serve as mentors or role models, make a significant impact on their communities and break barriers for other women.  

For Martin, the timing of learning she had been named a Power of Change honoree was serendipitous. She found out shortly after she had been named a chief operating officer at BMF and said she “…was very much feeling imposter syndrome.” 

“And finding out became an affirmation that I was exactly where I was meant to be,” she said.   

Martin said while she’s proud of her more notable career accomplishments, some of the moments that are most meaningful are those where she persevered through difficult challenges. 

“There were moments when I thought ‘I can't do this,’ or ‘this is too hard,’” she said. “When I was feeling self-doubt and had others lifting me up and I worked through it, I realized, I can do hard things.”   

Martin said the key to making it through those difficult moments is surrounding yourself with other people who share similar values. She said leaning on mentors, colleagues, family and friends helped when she needed guidance or to vent. Their energy and support gave her the strength and direction she needed to continue to achieve her goals.  

Her role as COO gives her the opportunity to give back to others, Martin said, and she’s looking forward to helping other young women just as she’s been helped throughout her career.   

“I would tell younger professionals to embrace the journey,” she said. “Trust your instincts and your intuition. Believe in the fact that you're right where you're supposed to be and also to not be afraid of those challenges.”  

And while Martin’s background is in marketing and human resources, not accounting, she said she has developed a passion for the industry and the opportunities it can offer. 

“My entire career has been unexpected, I would have never thought that I'd be where I am right now,” she said. “I'm excited to continue the focus on our people and the employee experience at the leadership level.” 

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