United States

Family First Member Spotlight: Meet Crystal Sunbury


The Family First employee network group (ENG) builds community around shared experiences and serves as a support system for the wellbeing and growth of its members and others so they can be their best at home, work and in their communities. Through our Family First member spotlights, we share stories about life experiences of people at RSM. In this edition, we meet Crystal Sunbury, who knows that planning ahead is key to flexibility.

Crystal Sunbury
Audit senior manager
Seven years with RSM
Member of Family First, STAR, Multicultural and Generations
¡HOLA! National Steering Committee leader

Tell us about a challenge you are currently facing or have faced.
Balancing my career with family responsibilities has been a challenge since becoming a working mother. I have two very active young boys and love being involved with their activities – taking them to ice skating lessons, attending their baseball games and participating in their school parties from time to time. I am also involved in leadership roles within the ¡HOLA! ENG and outside of the firm. Each of these roles – mom, professional, ENG leader – is important to me and I strive to do them well and give them the attention they deserve; however, balancing them becomes a juggling act and can be challenging at times.

What roles do family, faith and RSM play in the face of such challenge?
I am extremely fortunate to work for a firm that supports flexibility. Over the past few years, I have been able to work a reduced work schedule and have had significant support from my local office. At home, I am very fortunate that my husband also has a career in public accounting, understands the demands of client service and supports my career. We also have family in town, so during the pandemic we have relied heavily on their support. This year, my in-laws have taken the role of in-home teachers for my kids, which has helped ease the difficulty of the current “normal” tremendously.

What habits have you created over time that have led you to face such a challenge in the way that you are or have? Why were those habits important to you at the time? How did you develop a commitment to those habits?
Planning ahead and communicating with both my teams at RSM and family are key. While RSM provides the flexibility, it is up to us as professionals to implement it. I have made it a point to put personal commitments on my calendar and communicate those commitments to my teams. Similarly, if I have a deadline, will be working late or traveling (pre-pandemic), I communicate at home – my husband and I usually spend time on Sundays going over schedules for the week to help us plan and coordinate.

What message would you give to RSM professionals who face similar challenges themselves or who have family members facing such challenges?
Know that you are not alone! ENGs are a great way to connect with others who may be facing similar challenges. I have been fortunate to meet mentors in the firm who are also working parents and have conversations with them, learning more about their own struggles and how they have been successful in their careers while also raising kids.

Describe the importance of your membership in an ENG.
I am a member of several ENGs. Whether I have joined due to affinity or as an ally, I believe membership is important to learn as well as educate others on the different challenges faced as members of a certain group and support the ENG in advancing their mission.

I also believe that collaboration is key and can be mutually beneficial to the ENGs.  For example, ¡HOLA! collaborating with Family First to bring awareness to its members about resources available to caregivers and other relevant topics would benefit those caregivers who may not be members of Family First. It could also provide awareness to those who may not be caregivers to help them better support others on their teams.

Family First


Family First

Family First serves as an active voice around shared family challenges and promoting an inclusive, respectful workplace.