National Stuttering Association

David BelgardEnergy Accountant

    David Belgard

    Jena, LA
    Energy Accountant
    Cleco Corporate Holdings, LLC

    Briefly describe your daily job duties.
    I am responsible for the coal and natural gas accounting processes for two power plants located in the South Louisiana. I account for anywhere between 8-to-10 million dollars of transactions each month.

    As a person who stutters, share the most challenging part of your job.
    The most challenging part of my job is the constant conference calls I am required to be on. Speaking on the phone is usually one of the biggest nightmares for someone who stutters. I have learned to embrace my stutter and understand that I bring value to the conversation, even if it may take me longer to finish what I am saying.

    Did you self-disclose your stuttering during the job hiring process? If so, how did you do it and how do you currently disclose your stuttering to unsuspecting co-workers, clients and or customers?
    No I did not disclose my stuttering during the interview process and I have not openly stated that I have a stutter. I feel that it is quite obvious at times that I have a stutter so we should not have to degrade ourselves and mention it. I feel it is more empowering to embrace it and continue to try your best to speak even when you are caught stuttering in the conversations you have.

    Describe how stuttering makes you a better, more valued contributor at work.
    At a young age, I made a decision that even though I might not be able to speak as fluently as other people around me, I can try my best to work harder than everyone else. So I believe stuttering has given me a drive that someone who does not stutter doesn’t have. People who stutter are some of the most incredible people in the world because not only do they have to handle the stress from ordinary work/life problems, but they also have to handle the stress of having a stutter. This makes us some of the most resilient and dedicated people in the world, in my opinion.

    What is your proudest moment at your current company? (Does not have to be related to stuttering.)
    I was hired during the process of my company acquiring another company in South Louisiana. I was hired to specifically assist in getting the accounting processes up and running for the new power plants we were acquiring. After nearly a year of hard work, my team and I were able to get a fluent accounting system up and running for these plants. While doing that, I was able to pass all four of my CPA exams and become a licensed Certified Public Accountant. This is my proudest achievement to date.

    What are your long-term career aspirations?
    I would love to open my own financial planning firm where I help struggling individuals and families become free from financial hardships. I grew up without a lot of finances and watched my mother struggle to provide for us. Those situations led me down the path I am on now and I want to let as many people know as possible that you do not have to live paycheck to paycheck and you do not have to live with financial stress during the course of your entire life. My main passion is to help, encourage, and inspire people in any way that I can.

    What’s your best advice for people who stutter just entering the workplace and for those in a career striving to achieve greater success?
    Never, ever, think you are inadequate in the workplace because you stutter. You are NOT unintelligent, and you are NOT sub-par. In fact, you are incredible, because in spite of your stutter, you are making the huge step to enter the workplace and try your best to be the best person in that company. The best advice I can give anyone is to never think less of yourself because it takes your longer to get your point across or finish what you are trying to say. You are knowledgeable in your area, so what you say matters and is worth waiting for!