Our Finance and Operations Manager by day, Swiss Chocolatier by night…
Atkin brings 10+ years of financial experience to SiteCapture
Although he’s originally from California, Mike Atkin’s Swiss roots run deep.
After getting his degree from UCLA, Atkin took year-long stints as an investment banker and a chocolatier.
Now with years of experience in finance at both small and large companies, Atkin has jumped into a new role as SiteCapture’s Finance & Operations Manager.
Looking at the numbers
At SiteCapture, Atkin oversees accounting functions, managing subscriptions, and other money matters. He also helps manage a handful of HR tasks.
“Most specifically, what I’m doing here is all the fun behind-the-scenes stuff that everyone wants to do. But you know, I swooped in and took all those fun jobs,” he laughs.
All joking aside—but not for long with Atkin—he really does like accounting and finance.
“I love building metrics and doing analysis. Right now, we’re looking at building out a dashboard, and error checking it in terms of our financial metrics,” Atkin says. “There is something very simple and straightforward about numbers that I’ve always appreciated.”
Atkin is trying to help young people learn to love and understand numbers as well.
As a side project, he’s helping his dad write a book for high schoolers to help them navigate the world of personal finance. Once finished they plan to adapt the book into a series of in-person lessons.
“My dad has always said that kids these days aren’t really getting any real knowledge in that particular area. How do you do your taxes? What do you need to think about when you’re buying a home or a car or signing on for student loans at the age of 17 or 18.”
Atkin has long appreciated the value of giving back. Before joining SiteCapture, he worked for 4.5 years at the nonprofit Change.org.
“The last couple of years, they’ve actually taken control of the whole ‘change’ sphere,” he says. “But when I was there, we were a small, scrappy nonprofit trying to operate within Latin America and Southeast Asia—keeping some teams alive out there and managing grants.”
His work at Change.org piqued his curiosity and helped him hone his problem-solving skills.
“The way you have to navigate the regulatory landscape is really interesting—and understanding the law behind nonprofits and working within that framework was a fun, unique challenge.”
Nonprofit work also taught him a thing or two about working with teams and the joy of feeling like you’re part of something making a positive change in people’s lives.
“You have to look for the things that make your life good on a day-to-day basis, and I think working with people you enjoy being around is one of them,” he states.
That feeling is what attracted him to SiteCapture.
“It seemed like there was a great, positive-minded team here,” he says. “That’s sort of what drew me in, and that was a lesson I took directly from working in the nonprofit world.”
Initially hired on to the FotoNotes side in May, Atkin has enjoyed his front-row seat to the recent acquisition and re-brand.
“I personally love the branding we’ve gone with. I mean, granted, I’m the numbers guy, so people don’t usually come to me for this particular opinion,” he laughs.
However, he does have people coming to him with their opinion about working with the SiteCapture product.
“A solid flow of people come back saying, ‘I really like working with this product.’ It just makes you feel good,” Atkin says. “After spending a little bit of time in tech over the last decade-plus, I’ve certainly experienced the other end of that. It feels good to be here.”
Excitement for solar
Now that FotoNotes is under the SiteCapture umbrella, Atkin has spent more time thinking about the solar side of things.
“I’m a big fan of trying to get solar on as many homes as possible,” he says. “My parents got an array a couple of years ago. And I hope my dad doesn’t see this, but I make fun of him for being old-fashioned all the time. But then he got this array, and now he’s showing me, ‘Hey, look how much energy we developed today.’”
Atkin sees a trend toward localizing energy production and creating a more resilient grid. And while he thinks there’s a long way to go before people can power their own homes, getting those arrays out there is essential.
“I’m pretty excited about the idea that we’re updating the grid in small ways and using private enterprise when we can,” Atkin says. “I hope it keeps trending in that direction: it’s good for our state, and it’s good for our planet.”
Heading off into the wilderness
Doing his part to help protect the planet is important to Atkin partly because he spends so much time out in nature.
“I’m really big into the outdoors,” he emphasizes.
In his spare time, he goes on camping trips with his wife, backcountry skiing trips, or backpacking through the forest.
“I’ve always enjoyed backpacking because it keeps you very focused on the immediate. You have to find a campsite, you have to find water, you’re making your dinner—you’re sort of in your own little world there.”
As 2022 comes to a close, Atkin plans to spend as much time as he can enjoying the wilderness and playing with numbers.