Staff spotlight: Dongwen keeps Center’s finances accounted for 

Small Towns

Dongwen Wang knows numbers—she’s so good with figuring out finances that she’s made a career out of it.

Currently an accounting associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, Dongwen started with the organization in 2015 as a finance intern. Today, she handles a myriad of responsibilities that help Center staff members, as well as the organization itself, run smoothly.

“I just got out of college when I landed this opportunity, and I’m glad I did,” said Dongwen. “I like the fact that I get to do a lot within this role—I get to see how accounting works as a whole, which helps me tremendously for my career. Also, with different functionalities within accounting, I get to see how the Center as an organization works.”

Dongwen’s duties include assisting with closing the book every month, bank reconciliations, preparing monthly financial statements, the annual budget for the Center, and quarterly grants reports, among others. She also gives new staff orientation on an employee’s first day by helping them fill out paperwork and going through the Center's benefits package with them.

Through her work, Dongwen strives to assist other Center staff members as much as possible with finance and accounting issues.

“I hope to make things easier for staff when it comes to either the payroll side of things or when staff are getting their expenses reimbursed,” she said. “The accounting team always tries to look for ways to simplify the process.”

Dongwen also accommodates other Center needs outside of payroll and accounting.

“When it comes to grants, I hope to make things easier for grants managers and program directors,” she said. “I hope that I can always have an answer when they raise a question on grants.”

Originally from China, Dongwen spent many summers as a child with her grandparents, who owned farmland there. It was then that she developed an appreciation for rural living.

“Coming to Nebraska and working at the Center has given me more perspective about rural America,” she said. “Things are different between China and the U.S. It’s been a wonderful learning experience.”

When she isn’t crunching numbers for the Center, Dongwen spends her time walking her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Pudding, as well as exercising to relieve stress and help her focus at work. A self-proclaimed foodie, Dongwen enjoys exploring different cuisine options when the opportunity presents itself.

She also proudly sings along to music during her commute from her home in Omaha to the Center’s office in Lyons, Nebraska. Dongwen can be reached there at 402.687.2100 ext. 1002 or