Jennifer Bridges wanted to be a doctor when she grew up, but the sight of blood made her squeamish.
Her mother was an accountant so she gravitated toward that career.
Bridges received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville and then earned her MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2010. Bridges became a certified public accountant in 2012, and her work history includes being an interim controller and director of financial planning and analysis at ABC Financial of Sherwood, which provides services for the fitness industry.
In 2020, Bridges joined OrthoArkansas, which offers care for all orthopedic needs. She knew she had made the right decision because of the company’s culture. “We all care about each other winning,” she said.
Bridges’ accomplishments since joining OrthoArkansas include navigating the practice through COVID, streamlining the payroll cycle and launching an insurance subsidiary in September. Health insurance premiums have been reduced by nearly 8% for the staff of about 450 for 2022 without reducing coverage.
She also refinanced corporate debt, saving OrthoArkansas more than $300,000 annually.
OrthoArkansas has seen its revenue grow 12% in 2021, and this year revenue is on pace to increase another 10%.
Bridges’ management philosophy is to “hire great people and get out of their way. … Nobody likes to be micromanaged, but I have an open door. If you run into anything, I’m happy to jump in and help.”
Outside of OrthoArkansas, Bridges sits on the advisory board of the Christian Leadership Alliance of Nashville, Tennessee, which assembles, trains and funds Christian nonprofits and their employees.
Bridges credits her success to her work ethic and luck. “I will work hard, and I will figure out what I need to know to make whatever I’m doing the best it can be,” she said.