After 18 years working in various divisions at Berkeley Lab, Jeremy Coyne recently returned to the ALS, where his Lab career first started. Jeremy has taken on the role of senior business manager at the ALS, overseeing and managing the ALS business support team and the division’s entire financial portfolio.
What led you back to the ALS after all these years?
I first started at Berkeley Lab back in 2000 at the ALS User Office front desk. What was exciting about the ALS then and now is being a part of this impressive national user facility and watching groundbreaking science in action. When the opportunity came up to come back to the ALS and utilize the financial and project management expertise I’ve been building up over all these years, I was really excited. A lot of the people who worked here at the ALS when I first started are still here, so in some ways it is like a homecoming.
What have you been up to since you were at the ALS the first time?
While I was in the ALS User Office, I’d expressed an interest in doing something different, and former ALS Division Deputy Jim Krupnick suggested finance. I dove in and found it fascinating in the Lab environment. A few years later, I moved to the Budget Office, where I learned all about financial policies and compliance, and interacting with Lab management and the CFO. The experience in the Budget Office really helped me understand how the Lab operates. I then moved into the Engineering Division as a project controls manager, and then back to the OCFO as a principal analyst. Then I became a finance manager for the OCFO Field Finance Department, and did that for the last five years, providing financial management, consulting, and strategic advice to division and area management teams. Within those five years I provided financial support on some level to almost every division at the Lab.
What is a typical day like for you in this new role?
Given the current budget environment, I’m continuously doing budget scenarios for ALS management. It’s challenging, because things are changing all the time. I’m helping with ALS-U right now as well, making sure there’s alignment between ALS and ALS-U. I’m working with group leads to identify and procure equipment for new detectors, upgrades to beamlines. What I’m doing right now is a lot of cash management versus budget management.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
The hardest thing is to provide definitive financial advice when we simply don’t know our budget, with the government continuing to just give very small incremental increases in funding. Things can change every day.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Working with a diverse group of people, from both technical and personal backgrounds. The international flavor of ALS staff and users is really interesting. Enabling the science and engineering to happen within the financial rules that we’re required to follow is rewarding.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I have four daughters between the ages of 3 and 12, so most of my free time is spent with them. I enjoy running, hiking, and cooking. I love to travel, but don’t get a lot of time to do that lately!