This CCH product manager has a love for dabbling in the culinary arts
As Julia Child said, “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” That’s been easy for Angela Darrow, who, while she doesn’t cook for a living, discovered a love for the culinary arts a decade ago.
“I was terrible at cooking and I thought I was destined for a life of Chef Boyardee and Ramen noodles,” says Darrow, a CCH senior product manager. Then a friend taught her some basic American cuisine.
That sparked a passion for cooking. Since then, she’s been working her way around the culinary globe: first paying homage to her Polish heritage and mastering the golabki (stuffed cabbage) and pierogi her grandmother used to make. Then she conquered Italian. Now she’s moved on to Greek, dabbling in pastitsio, spanakopita and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves).
“That’s definitely for my [Greek] husband, Chris,” says Darrow.
Darrow’s homemade delicacies come in handy when she and her husband host monthly poker games at their home in Illinois. Her version of banana bread has even inspired fans to urge her to market it somehow.
“The great thing about cooking is you can be both productive and recharged, and you get to create new things,” Darrow says.
In that way it’s a lot like her job at CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business. As state tax senior product manager for the past five years, Darrow has been responsible for new product development, enhancing existing products with new features and, in a sense, figuring out which ingredients will satisfy customer tastes before they even know they’re hungry.
“The good news is our customers are very vocal about their satisfaction and their dislikes,” Darrow says. “But sometimes even they can’t articulate what their needs are, so you’ve got to know that with the market research and the external trends going on [and then] you can kind of leap ahead of them and provide that. You have to be thinking, what can you bring to them that would revolutionize their workflow?”
One of the more recently developed products is Smart Charts™, a research tool that lets you quickly create state tax charts for issues in one jurisdiction, or compare tax treatments for any combination of states.
Darrow’s hobbies help rejuvenate her during her downtime. When she isn’t whipping up a new recipe, playing poker or taking her two English mastiffs for a walk, the 35-year-old enjoys doing some editing work on her husband’s novel or digging into a great nonfiction book. Her most recent pick: The Worst Hard Time, by Timothy Egan, an account of the survivors of the 1935 Dust Bowl disaster.
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This story is from the CCH e-newsletter First Choice, written specifically for tax, accounting and audit professionals. First Choice offers tips, tricks and ideas about how to increase your public accounting firm’s productivity and efficiency. Every issue also features insights with a tax, audit or accounting professional.