Photo: The Morones Family
As we celebrate our firm’s 20th anniversary in 2022, we celebrate each of our team members. These monthly profiles are a way to learn about each of our financially-savvy forensic sharpshooters outside the office.
Serena grew up on a hobby farm in Roseburg, Oregon on the North Umpqua River. She loved her horses, playing on the water with her two sisters, and her community where she was part of the local 4-H youth group. Her parents were schoolteachers, and her father was a commercial fisherman during school breaks. High school days were some of the best times of her life. She was on the student council, involved in fun student activities, and was the student body president her senior year.
Having spent her childhood on the river, she learned to water ski as a teenager and still enjoys all kinds of water sports with her family today. Serena met her husband Tony in 1995 and they married a year and a half later in the small church they attended together (celebrating their 25th anniversary in October). They are empty nesters now with four adult kids and live with their three dogs on a property they are developing on the North Santiam River.
This October marks 20 years since Serena started her own forensic accounting firm. She originally wanted to be a lawyer, but an accounting professor inspired her to pursue an accounting degree. After graduating from the University of Oregon over 30 years ago, she began honing her accounting skills as an auditor at Price Waterhouse (now PwC). She also served as a controller at public and private companies. It was during her Master of Taxation program at Portland State University when she decided to specialize in forensic accounting.
As a forensic CPA with a focus on damages analysis, Serena knows how to tell a powerful story with numbers. Top litigators in the Pacific Northwest have engaged her in over a thousand cases, and she has testified and served as a pivotal expert in several landmark cases.
First jobs: When her dad started a logging company, Serena did his bookkeeping during high school. And when he got a computer, she wrote a program to process his logs more efficiently and produce reports. It was one of the first times she used technology and accounting to make things better. She also worked for UPS unloading trucks and at Roseburg Lumber doing graveyard shifts working on conveyors.
During college, she worked at Flightcraft, an aircraft maintenance company owned by Papé. And as someone who was always very resourceful, she started her first business as a freshman selling chocolate chip cookies in the boys’ dorms to pay for a trip to visit a friend on the east coast.
Talent and passion: Sports photography. Serena started taking pictures in her 7th-grade yearbook class, developing black and white film in a dark room. She fell in love with photography at her high school football games while snapping action shots of her friends from the sidelines. The action and moment captivated her, and she enjoyed seeing the excitement on people’s faces when they saw themselves in a photo.
When her kids started playing sports, she picked up her camera again and has been capturing high school and college sporting events ever since, including for The Oregonian. She has a new partnership doing photography for a sportswriter with a large following, John Canzano, who recently left The Oregonian. It’s her creative outlet and way of giving back to the community. She believes it’s important for everyone to have an art or hobby to feed their soul.
Something people might not know: Serena’s community and river house in Idanha were under serious wildfire threat in 2020. The flames came up to her property line but the town was spared. Since then, Serena joined the Board of the Idanha-Detroit Fire District to help make decisions about ways to improve emergency fire and medical response in the area to help keep the community safe.
A quote to live by or prescription for life: Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will keep your path straight.” When deciding between two good options, choose both.
Favorite thing about working with the Morones Analytics team: “The fun of working with people over many years who have incredibly high standards and are wonderful human beings.” — Serena Morones