Jennifer Barnes- A Tech-Innovator and a Visionary

Optima Office | Jennifer Barnes - A Tech-Innovator and a Visionary | Enterprise Wired

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Jennifer Barnes established Optima Office, a 100% female-owned company, in 2018. Prior to founding Optima, Jennifer served as the founder and CEO of another company from 2011 to 2018.

Starting a business is a complex endeavor that requires not only a strong company strategy, funding, and business plan but also exceptional leadership to guide the business and its offerings in the market with efficiency and forward thinking.

When the term “entrepreneur” is mentioned, various ideas come to mind. However, once one enters the market, the concept takes on a different meaning, regardless of the definitions, aspirations, and motivations associated with it.

Optima Office was established by Jennifer Barnes after experiencing a hostile takeover of her first company by her ex-partners in October 2018. In her previous business, Jennifer Barnes owned only 45% of the company, which put her in a disadvantageous position. Despite being responsible for over 90% of the total earnings and having created the majority of the staff, she faced the unfortunate takeover.

Optima Office has seen significant growth since its inception

In the company’s fourth year, it became the fifth-fastest growing firm in San Diego. However, after enduring a negative relationship with her partners for a few more years, Jennifer’s partners executed a hostile takeover of the business in its sixth year, leading to her removal from the company.

Determined to bounce back, Jennifer Barnes quickly joined another firm after just three days and eventually established Optima Office across the street from her previous business after three weeks. She brought 27 former employees to court and won the right to compete with the other business she previously controlled. Since then, Optima Office has doubled in size, and Jennifer considers this experience the best thing that has ever happened to her.

Optima Office specializes in providing comprehensive accounting and HR teams to businesses of all sizes and industries. They offer services that range from bookkeeping to CFO or HR Director roles, ensuring their clients receive strategic advice, reliable financial statements, and human resource services that keep them compliant and their employees satisfied.

What sets Optima Office apart is its commitment to providing customized services to each client. They prioritize tailoring their solutions to individual needs and maintaining accessibility at all levels. Additionally, Optima Office stands out as one of the few female-run accounting firms in the region.

The team at Optima Office consists of 85 employees, with 65% of them being women. They boast a highly talented workforce, with half of their employees holding Controller-level positions or higher. The company actively promotes work-life balance and prioritizes the well-being of its staff, recognizing that happy employees lead to satisfied customers.

Jennifer’s professional journey began in the accounting department at Petco after graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in Finance, Accounting, and Marketing. She quickly advanced in her career and eventually transitioned into a consulting role as a Controller for various companies and non-profits in San Diego. Recognizing the need to further her education, Jennifer earned an MBA from San Diego State University in 2008 and completed the Becker CPA courses in 2011. After consulting for two of Optima Office’s current competitors for nearly five years, she started her first company and embarked on her entrepreneurial path.

Throughout her business journey, Jennifer Barnes has achieved numerous significant milestones. She has been recognized as one of the top 40 under-40 business leaders in San Diego County and has been named a Women Who Mean Business by the San Diego Business Journal for five consecutive years. In 2017, she was honored as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and was a finalist for CEO of the Year.

She has also been featured as a Woman of the Year by San Diego Magazine for two consecutive years and received the Connected Women of Influence’s Most Influential Leader Award in 2016. Jennifer has accumulated 22 additional accolades during her time at Optima Office, including awards such as CEO of the Year Winner in Medium Business and Enterprising Women of the Year.



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