010: Harriet Marmon Helmle: CPA and Founder of San Antonio Youth Literacy

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Harriet Marmon Helmle was our guest for this 10th episode of Life In Accounting, The Where Accountants Go podcast.

Harriet’s story would be interesting enough if we only covered her career, but what makes it vastly more intriguing is how she founded a local charity while dealing with a medical issue that caused her to have to endure multiple surgeries earlier in her life.

An interesting start…

Harriet’s career started outside of accounting, in retail operations. She found that the operational side of retail wasn’t quite her calling, but was swayed to stay with the Joske’s company by her boss who convinced her to try out the accounting department.

It was only later in life that she started to pursue the CPA exam, a feat she took on while not able to work due to a medical challenge. When she returned to work, she joined PwC, eventually moved into industry, and later on joined Covenant Multi-Family Offices where she serves as “Client Relations”, a role she thoroughly enjoys.

San Antonio Youth Literacy

Harriet credits her entry into the non-profit world to Dr. Jesse DeLee. While feeling very down about her medical situation during a follow-up appointment, Dr. DeLee challenged her to identify 1 person a day that she would not trade places with, and figure out how that person could be helped… for 30 days.  She realized through this process that everyone she was identifying had 1 major issue  – they couldn’t read.  It was this experience that drove her to found SAYL, an organization that has turned into a reading program serving school districts in the San Antonio area.

Many others…

There are many organizations that have benefited from Harriet’s drive to give back to the community. Way to many to list in fact.  We do discuss a few others on the program though – Haven for Hope and Girls Inc – so we wanted to provide those links as well.

A request…

If you are considering finding a spot to donate your talents during this upcoming year, please consider one or more of these organizations. One of Harriet’s dreams is for SAYL to enlist 7,000 more volunteers for just 1 hour per week – a number that would allow them to service every child in need in San Antonio.

For more information on SAYL, please contact Executive Director Deborah Valdez at 210-299-1533 or through their website at http://www.sayl.org/

You are welcome to contact Harriet as well for more information at [email protected], or [email protected] – her latest non-profit building endeavor (Social Venture Partners)

I hope you enjoy this wonderful story. There’s more to come… 🙂


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