Flor Bernal: Overseeing the flow of money with spirits
By Debbie Hall
As chief financial officer for Back Bar USA, Flor Bernal oversees the finances and operations for the company with an annual gross over $3 million. With more than 15 years of experience in the distilled spirits marketing and special programming operations, Bernal is responsible for financial reporting, sponsorship opportunities, special event production and charitable contributions to our community in collaboration with the UNLV Foundation.
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, she moved to Las Vegas with her family while in her teens and graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in accounting.
“I still remember the day when my mom told us we were moving to Las Vegas to be closer to her family,” Bernal recounted. “After a 36-hour road trip, it was July 15, 1992 when I met the City of Lights. Having resided in Las Vegas for so long has taught me to stay true to myself as the lights only shine at night. I’ve learned to be grateful for every single opportunity I’ve been given.”
Prior to joining Back Bar USA, Bernal served as a revenue officer of the Internal Revenue Service managing collection cases in the Small Business/Self Employed Division. She also was the payroll manager for Angel Management Group (formerly Pure Management Group), managing a bi-weekly payroll run of $750,000 with 1,500 employees and also worked for Montecristo Rum during the launch period in the early 2000s.
As for combining accounting with spirits for a career, Bernal explained, “I’d always liked numbers. It was destiny that I would start working in the accounting department at Southern Wine and Spirits. My manager at the time made a remark that stuck in my head about how good I was with numbers and suggested I take an accounting course. One class became a full schedule. It was then when I met Tim Haughinberry who inspired my career in the spirits industry.
“Tim, whose sense and spirit of entrepreneurialism never ceases to inspire me. His knowledge and willingness to make a better community drive my interest in philanthropy. The creativity and confidence he injects those that surround him is great.
“I have had many people in my career who continuously help me path the way to success, going back to my days at Pure Management Group, the CFO and Director of Human Resources”
Her parents are her inspiration, “and have always taught me the sky is the limit.” She is also inspired by Laurene Powell Jobs for being an advocate to education and immigration reform, Melinda Gates for her worldwide efforts in making a better world for children and Hillary Clinton for the run she made for the presidential office. “I’m competitive and respect those that come in first place,” she admitted.
Bernal maintains active involvement in several private and community service organizations. Currently, she serves as volunteer at St. Anne Catholic School. She has previously been a part of AFAN Black & White Party committee and has worked alongside the First Friday Foundation Las Vegas.
Bernal is happily married with two children and explained, “Their support has been great. Without them I could not have accomplished many of my goals.” She considers her sister her best friend and together they visit baseball stadiums with their father.
She advises all women to, “never be afraid of changes, instead embrace them and learn to maneuver around so that you always accomplish your goals. Visualize your dreams on a daily basis and work hard to bring them to life.” Bernal has followed her own advice as a Fearless Female.