Brady Kafka

he/him/his

Assistant Financial Controller + DEI Pride ERG Co-Lead at Sezzle

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Minneapolis, MN — For Sezzle’s Assistant Financial Controller, Brady Kafka, his love of crunching numbers started early. Very early. “I was ‘helping’ my mom foot financial statements when I was child, so I’m sure that had an effect on what I wanted my career to be!” While he brushes off the suggestion that he was a child prodigy, he insists that his mom was just “keeping me occupied AND getting free child labor all in one!” This controversy aside, Brady credits his mom, a lifelong accountant, with leading him down the accounting path – and more importantly, being his inspiration in general:

“She’s shattered so many glass ceilings, worked so hard in her career, survived a divorce, and battled cancer – all while raising two queer kids. She’s always been my #1 supporter and has really taught me to work hard, stand for what you believe in, and to be open and honest about your feelings.” 

In the years since, he’s managed to calculate a formula for success all his own. 

Juggling work with his undergraduate studies, Brady was quick to make an impression on the job. Working directly under Sezzle’s CFO as an accounting intern, he played an integral role: in addition to his standard duties, he built out Sezzle’s core accounting policies and procedures. Among his many early accomplishments, he developed and implemented a financial close management tool to track month end progress, and assisted the CFO with drafting Sezzle’s prospectus for its initial public offering. A little over a year later, he was promoted to his current position of Assistant Financial Controller and serving as project manager on implementing a new accounting information system.

In addition to his work in the Finance Department, Brady has led Sezzle’s DEI Pride ERG from its inception; advancing LGBTQ+ causes is something he has been actively involved in for much of his life. “In college, I was on the executive board for Compass, the first professional development student organization for queer individuals. Being a part of that allowed me to realize how DEI is a powerful tool that gives voice to underrepresented and marginalized communities. Compass really taught me how to have a voice and stand up for myself in a professional environment.” Speaking on his advocacy, he reflects, “Unfortunately, my passion for DEI started with frustrations that my voice wasn’t being heard. Being a queer, nonbinary, interfaith jew from the rural Midwest, my identity has always been different than most others. Because I was different, I always had to work harder to prove—to others and myself—that I deserved a spot at the table. My identity has taught me to be better at recognizing others’ identities, and to give them the space to express themselves. Different perspectives and experiences are important to fostering not only an inclusive environment, but a successful one.” 

Growing up in South Dakota between Sioux Falls and his family farm, they raised beef cattle and grew crops such as corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. He also has a younger brother who’s fifteen – “and is also coincidentally gay, funnily enough!” Now at home in Minneapolis, Brady has brought part of the farm with him. “I currently have two cats, barn kitties from the family farm, who just turned 2 years old: Pimento and Kalamata! (Their sibling, Black Olive, remains as the house cat back home on the farm.)  A ton of our barn cats are all named after food (Rhubarb, Snickerdoodle, Scotcheroo, etc.), so I was just keeping in tradition!“ Speaking of food, Brady’s family is Bohemian, so he is no stranger to an array of incredible Czech meals. In his spare time, he loves to cook (especially Eastern European dishes, like Svíčková and Bramborové Knedliky) and host game nights with friends.

Juggling a full-time career with continuing his education, Brady is currently on track to become a Certified Public Accountant later this year. But he does not limit his love of learning to the classroom: ”I make it a goal of mine to learn something new every day. Whether it’s from reading a nonfiction book, watching a documentary, or even falling down a Wikipedia rabbit-hole, I think it’s important to continue to learn and grow as an individual. “


What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 

It’s okay to make mistakes or fail! In fact, failing probably does a better job at teaching you something than doing something perfect! 

What are the qualities that make a good ally? 

I feel that a good ally is someone who uplifts and listens to the voices of the community they’re supporting, calls someone out when they say or do something against the community, and shows up when the community asks for help. Actions speak so much louder than words, so it’s important to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. 

Tell us more about how Sezzle’s DEI program is making an impact!

I think DEI is shaping up to be a core tenet of the Company’s values—by increasing engagement in DEI, we’re really increasing engagement in the Company’s core values which will drive our culture, business, and value to be stronger. Social responsibility is paramount to Gen Z, and I think the more we can engage and expand our DEI initiatives internally and externally, the more we’ll resonate with Gen Z stakeholders. 

What are you most looking forward to doing with the Pride ERG? 

I’m most excited to see what it will organically grow into. Beyond that, I’m looking forward to using Sezzle Pride to not only represent queer voices within our company, but also represent queer voices across all of our stakeholder groups – consumers, merchants, the community, etc. 

What are you passionate about outside of work? 

Outside of the fun and exciting world of accounting, I love to make apothecaries and do fun little crafts – making candles, bath bombs, tea blends, tinctures, and the like. They’re fun, make great gifts, and leave my apartment smelling incredible! 

Ok we have to ask…Kafka. Are you any relation to Franz?

Yes!!! He’s a relative and was also a Jewish Bohemian! 

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