Researchers have yet to discover the DNA marker for accountants, but Joe Hafner is pretty sure it’s running though his family tree.
“My grandfather was a controller, and I have cousins serving as CFOs and CEOs,” the certified public accountant said before adding with a laugh: “I think it’s kind of genetic and in my blood.”
Hafner quit fighting heredity during his sophomore year at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and switched his major to accounting.
After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 1992, he spent two years in New Orleans as a staff accountant for Waste Management Inc. Hafner returned to Jonesboro and a job with Goad Mitchell & Massey CPAs, where he had worked part time during college.
That two-year stint was followed by six years with Waste Management as the controller for its northeast Arkansas operations and then a move to Little Rock as controller for central Arkansas before becoming director of accounting for Arkansas.
Moving back to Jonesboro, Hafner worked as controller for three years at Douglas Quikut and five years at Colson Caster Corp. He was promoted to vice president of finance for the rechristened Colson Group USA in April 2012.
Two years later, Hafner joined Green Environmental Services as chief financial officer. In October 2019, he began his current job as CFO for Arkansas Glass Container Corp.
“It was an opportunity to help them out and use some of my experience gained working with some really good companies,” said Hafner, who grew up in Jonesboro. “I’ve been fortunate to work with some really good people early in my career, where I learned to pay attention to details and to communicate with each other in different departments and with customers. The value of communication is so very important.”