Winding River Consulting Graduates First Managing Partner Bootcamp Class

Gary Shamis

Gary Shamis

Gary Shamis, of Winding River Consulting, was an IPA “Most Admired Peer” in 2013 when he was managing partner of SS&G, the firm he built to more than $80 million in revenues. After it merged with BDO, Shamis stayed on to oversee the transition, but he knew it was not the final stop in his career. After some consideration, he realized that the best opportunity lay in helping MPs identify and attain goals of growth, productivity and profit. Winding River Consulting was born.

Now Shamis has created Managing Partner Bootcamp (MPB) to address the glaring need for new MPs to understand their role. “The day you get voted in, nobody hands you a playbook, handbook, cheat sheet, nothing. You’re left to figure it out yourself,” says Shamis. “As a result of that strategy, you’re bound to have more failures than successes, a longer, windier road, and a goal that never seems to be in sight. Once voted in by your partners, a new managing partner is expected to take the firm to the next level. If they’ve been lucky, they’ve had the time to transition and learn from their predecessor. But there’s still no assurance that they will succeed.”

MPB helps new MPs get up to speed with fewer mistakes, miscalculations and the ability to achieve more audacious goals. The program includes 16 courses, led by subject-matter experts, focusing on subjects like managing crisis, facilitating change and mitigating risk.

“Accounting schools don’t teach the soft skills – communications, presentations, team-building. They are, understandably, focused on providing students with the most current technical skills available to support their pursuits for long-term careers,” he says. “It’s detrimental, however, when these accountants find themselves in leadership roles and don’t have the skills or confidence to make decisions, have conversations, or truly understand how to create, implement and measure a strategic initiative.”

WRC recently graduated its first MPB class — managing partners from Los Angeles to Amsterdam, men and women, firms with 40 to 800 employees, MPs in the role for years and those approaching the role within months.

The graduates include:

  • Dave Barber, Tuscon, Ariz.-based Regier Carr & Monroe
  • Tom Barry, Green Hasson Janks (FY16 net revenue of $27.8 million) of Los Angeles
  • Kreg Brown, Denver-based EKS&H (FY16 net revenue of $99.6 million)
  • Patrick Lambrechts, Netherlands-based Bol International
  • Joseph Saka, Miami-based Berkowitz Pollack Brant (FY16 net revenue of $51.2 million)
  • Lisa Shuneson, Whalen & Company of Worthington, Ohio
  • Chris Sullivan, Bellingham, Wash.-based VSH CPAs
  • Jason Yetter, Richey May & Co. (FY 16 net revenue of $16.3 million) of Englewood, Colo.