Sheryl Hagenstein, CPA, CMA, grew up in Landmark, Manitoba, 40 kilometres south east of Winnipeg. For her, it provided a unique upbringing with a blend of city and country life.
“I loved growing up in Landmark – a small town of just over 1,200 people. It had a great balance of relaxing country-side while being close enough to Winnipeg to enjoy city amenities and entertainment.”
She moved from Landmark at age 22, where she found a new home in Winnipeg and unknowingly started her journey towards an accounting career.
“When I first moved to the city I worked in various retail locations and eventually landed a job as a doctor’s assistant at the Manitoba Clinic. Interestingly, my favorite part of working those jobs was reconciling at the end of the
evening, or doing billing at the Clinic. It was foreshadowing of my accounting career!”
In 2001, Hagenstein accepted a role at the Manitoba Centre for Proteomics & Systems Biology (MCPSB) at the University of Manitoba. It was in this position that she had her first exposure to accounting which required her to manage grant funding for the
department. “It was clear to me that managing the grants was not only a strength of mine but also something I really enjoyed,” says
My accounting designation has proven to be versatile and has enabled me to serve my community both in my work and in my volunteer positions.
Within five years of beginning her role at MCPSB, she became the Finance and Administration Coordinator and began taking on more complicated projects – like major infrastructure grants for the department. Wanting to further her accounting knowledge,
Hagenstein decided to take advantage of working on campus and investigated educational opportunities for advancing her career.
“I wanted to dive into accounting and discovered I really enjoyed managerial accounting. During these classes, I overheard my classmates talking about the various accounting designations and knew that this was something I needed to explore.”
Working full-time, Hagenstein began pursuing her accounting designation. During that time, she attended a conference which ultimately
lead to her current role with Assiniboine Park Conservancy (APC) – the non-profit behind one of Winnipeg’s most celebrated public spaces.
“I will never forget this. I went to an accounting conference in 2012 and heard APC CEO Margaret Redmond speak. After her keynote, I looked over to my colleague and said, ‘I want to work for her!’ A year later, I found a job posting
for the role of Manager, Budgeting and Grant Accounting at APC. It was the perfect role for me at the time. I interviewed and was ultimately offered the job. It was the next step in my accounting career.” says
She obtained her accounting designation in 2015 after two years at APC. The knowledge and experience gained from her studies
was immediately put to good use.
It was clear to me that managing
grants was not only a strength of mine
but also something I really enjoyed.
In her initial role at APC, Hagenstein was a part of the
financial team that worked on APC’s biggest projects at the
time, including Journey to Churchill and the beginnings of
Canada’s Diversity Gardens. In 2017, she was promoted to
her current role as Senior Manager of Business Planning
“It is surreal for me, looking back to when I first started
handling grants over 15 years ago. I’m extremely grateful
that my journey led me to work with such a dynamic
organization. It would not have been possible without
Now, Hagenstein is responsible for the development
of APC’s operational budget, works with the CEO and
Leadership team to develop and support the strategic and
operational planning cycle, and develops data analytics
for the leadership team, while implementing performance
measures for the future.
The designation equips you with
a diverse skillset that opens many
doors, including those you didn’t
Hagenstein’s planning and strategy helps keep the park”
well maintained throughout the year – no small task
considering the space sees over five million visitors a year.
“It is motivating to think strategically and look at
accomplishing the goals of the organization, which results
in the best possible park for the public every year. It’s
exciting to be a part of a team that thinks creatively
The biggest take away from her career to date and the
advice she has for future CPAs is explore all your options to
find what works best for you.
“Being an accountant has provided me with so many
incredible opportunities, but it was when I decided to
explore them that I found where my strengths could best
be utilized. The designation equips you with a diverse
skillset that opens many doors, including those you didn’t
When Hagenstein isn’t working at APC, she is teaching and
operating her yoga business, Yoga for Every Body (YFEB),
which helps advocate body positivity and self-love to
participants through relaxing and inspiring classes.
“I love yoga. When I started YFEB, I noticed a gap in the
market for classes that supported and embraced those
who wanted to participate but didn’t feel comfortable in
their own bodies. Creating that space for those individuals
is such a rewarding experience and the reason why I have
continued to operate YFEB for almost 10 years now.”
I’m extremely grateful that my journey
led me to work with such a dynamic
organization. It would not have been
possible without my designation.
Hagenstein’s work at APC is high-level and impacts
thousands of people annually. Her work as a yoga
instructor is often more intimate. Both experiences allow
her to give back and make a positive experience in
“I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had. My
accounting designation has proven to be versatile and has
enabled me to serve my community both in my work and
in my volunteer positions.“