Best Under 40: Amber Martin Johnson
Occupation: CPA, Martin Johnson Tax and Financial Services
Residence: Crystal Lake
Hometown: Crystal Lake
Family: Husband, Joe; Jenna, 8; Kyle, 6
Education: Associate's degree, McHenry County College; bachelor's degree, accountancy, and master's degree, science in taxation, Northern Illinois University. Also designations as a certified public accountant and certified specialist in estate planning
Favorite McHenry County restaurant? Andy’s Restaurant for breakfast and da Baffone Cucina Italiana for dinner
Favorite movie? "Hoosiers"
One word that describes you? Dependable
What is your job and what makes you so good at it?
My career is to assist individuals in helping them minimize their taxes while living and help them plan for their legacy when that time comes. Despite efforts to avoid becoming an accountant like my dad, I found it was really something I was good at and enjoyed doing. I find it rewarding to help put the puzzle pieces together, so to speak, to help individuals find ways to become “financially fit” by paying their required taxes, save for their future, and plan a legacy they want.
What accomplishments and innovations are you most proud of this year?
In February I broke my kneecap falling on black ice in my driveway. This required surgery and did not allow me to bend my leg or put weight on it for over six weeks during my busiest time of year – tax season. I was able to deal with my disability (pain and lack of mobility) and still assist my clients with their tax returns thanks in no small part to the support of a great staff at Martin Johnson Tax and Financial Services and my family and friends who so graciously stepped up to help with encouragement and hands-on help.
How do you give back to the community and what drives your service?
I was invited to join the Crystal Lake Kiwanis Club when a new charter was started in town in 2005. I have found it rewarding to be a part of a group of caring individuals who are trying to improve the world by starting here in Crystal Lake, which is the community that I grew up in and live in with my family. I have served as president, secretary and a board member over the years. As a part of the organization, I have assisted in coordinating three very successful St. Baldrick’s Day events in Crystal Lake raising money to fight pediatric cancer. Currently I am on the Kiwanis Santa Run for Kids committee which will be hosting our first run this December and I also help with the annual Peanut Days.
I enjoy trying to make the world a better place and am hoping, by my example, my children will do the same. I guess it’s like the “pay it forward” concept: I help you, you help someone else, they help someone, etc., because we really are all in this together.
What is something you have never done but want to do some day?
I would really love to win the lottery so that I could become a silent angel and assist the many great organizations that so desperately need both financial help as well as volunteer hours.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Do something you love to do and it will never seem like work and always live below your means.
“Amber is a true hometown girl bringing her skills and talents back to the community that she grew up in and volunteering her time with that community,” said father Ken Martin.