Features | From Pivot Magazine

The CPA who says namaste

Carey Dillen is president of YYOGA, which has 12 studios across Canada. The 48-year-old CPA recently completed YYOGA’s teacher training program and looks forward to leading her first class.

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Carey Dillen in a yoga poseCarey Dillen, president of YYOGA (Photo by Grady Mitchell)

HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN ACCOUNTANT?

My dad built a construction business and my mom was the bookkeeper. He went to school until Grade 8, and my mom graduated from high school. There was no expectation for me to go to post-secondary school.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE ACCOUNTING?

I was in a commerce program and needed to pick a major, and I was flipping through a Fortune 500. It had the top 100 CEOs and most of them had a CA after their name. I was good at math and finance and thought, okay, I’ll try that.

DID YOU WANT TO BE A PARTNER AT A FIRM?

I was a senior manager at a Big Four firm when I had the conversation about partnership. There were no female audit partners at the time. I saw what the partners had to do—your time is not your own. I would see the partners go on vacation and some had to fly back because of transactions. I said, I don’t think I want that.

WHY YOGA?

I’ve been in and out of yoga for 20 years. It gives me the ability to shut off my mind and learn a bit about myself. 

WHAT IS A HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER?

In 2005, I got the knock on the door from the Olympics. I was VP of finance for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. I was part of a startup organization that went to a billion in five years, and then I got to tear the whole thing down and dissolve it.

WHAT DID YOU DO AFTER THE OLYMPICS?

When the Games ended, I went to all the big recruiters, but I didn’t get scooped up. I was running, I was going to YYOGA and I was sitting on four boards. I thought, something will manifest, and it did. I went to work at YYOGA in 2013.

DO YOU PRACTICE YOGA WITH ANYONE ELSE?

My partner doesn’t really like activities that are indoors. He humours me and goes once a year.