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February 25, 2016

K·Coe Isom Principal Marilyn Everett Selected as Distinguished Alumnus

Marilyn Everett
Marilyn Everett (BS, Accounting, '78) selected as 2016 Distinguished Alumnus.

Marilyn Everett (BS, Accounting, ’78) celebrated 36 years in public accounting in December 2015 and has been a licensed certified public accountant (CPA) since 1981. Graduating from California State University, Chico in 1978 resulted in her first public accounting job with Main Hurdman, now KPMG, in Sacramento. In 1981, Marilyn moved back to Chico to further her professional career with Matson and Isom, which is now K·Coe Isom.  

Matson and Isom was a small locally owned firm that provided a platform for Marilyn to help launch the business into the large regional firm it is today. She became a partner in 1988 and helped develop a large auditing practice serving a wide variety of industries, including healthcare entities, governmental agencies, and agricultural and manufacturing enterprises along with many other varied businesses. 

Marilyn is licensed in both California and Nevada and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She has served on various nonprofit boards and is currently the chief financial officer of a mutual water company. She also is a founder and a board member of Golden Valley Bank.

Marilyn and her husband, Lewis, own rental real estate, which has provided a keen understanding of the operational, financial, and tax aspects of owning and renting real estate. She has had the privilege of working with two other College of Business Distinguished Alumni, Howard W. Isom (BS, Accounting, ’60) and Rand Hutchison (BS, Business Administration, ’77).  

Marilyn sat down for an interview with the College of Business in February 2016. Here is what she had to say:

How has your Chico Experience influenced who and where you are today?

I worked in Sacramento right after graduation, but I always knew after attending Chico State and enjoying Chico as much as I did that I wanted to come back. That’s exactly why I’m here today.

Did you always know you wanted to be an accountant? How did you figure out your career goals?

I always knew I wanted to be an accountant. I knew since I was young. In high school, I was the treasurer and worked at an automobile dealership as a bookkeeper. I also paid my way through college as a bookkeeper. It not only provided a great source of financing for my college education but launched me into my accounting career as it is today.

What do you like most about being in Chico?

I love the small-town atmosphere of Chico, but I appreciate that we have many of the benefits of a larger city. The University provides cultural aspects like great music and wonderful performances. But I also like that you can go to the grocery store and see your clients and friends.

How has your job has evolved at K·Coe Isom—previously Matson and Isom—from your earliest days until now?

I started out as a senior accountant, back in 1981. When I started, we had around 25 people working at Matson and Isom. Even then, I knew I wanted to grow the practice from a small local firm into a much larger firm and reach clients outside of Chico. These days, many of our clients are not located in Chico. K·Coe Isom has offices spread across Kansas, Colorado, Washing DC, Louisiana, and California.

What has been the most challenging part your professional life and how did you overcome it?

The most challenging time was being the first female partner at Matson and Isom. When I started, there were no female partners and none on track to become partners. I was able to lay the groundwork to become the first and was eventually followed by many more.  Perseverance and hard work resulted in achieving my goal. 

What are your favorite things beyond the world of accounting?

My husband and I are skiers, windsurfers, gardeners, fly fishers, pilots ... We are multi-talented! We do lots of outdoor activities outside of work. We love to travel. We have flown our plane to places in Montana and Wyoming for fly fishing, to the coast a lot for abalone diving, and we used to fly to Tahoe a lot to ski.  

If you could study and learn one new thing what would it be?

I would love to learn more about art and music history.

What advice would you offer to students who are just starting out in their careers?

Show up early and leave late! Be passionate about your profession. If you’re going to choose to be an accountant as your profession, make sure that it is your passion, because it is more than just a full-time job. You need to embrace the challenge and it will be very rewarding if it is what you want to do. 

Kelsey Taylor Horne
College of Business


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