HMWC Conquers Big Sur Hike, Its 41st Team-Building Event

Professionals, friends and clients of Tustin, Calif.-based HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors (FY19 net revenue of $17.9 million) have covered 15 miles of hikes in the Big Sur area of the central California coast, marking the firm’s 41st annual team-building hiking trip.

The hike, which was held over several days and included participants aged 5 to 76, is part of an effort to create a work environment that fosters “trust, initiative, loyalty, work/life balance, and mutual employer/employee success,” the firm says.

The annual “Death March,” so-named because of the physical challenges, was started in 1979 by then-MP Gerry Herter, who has attended all 41 outings. According to Herter, the event is rigorous but fun. “With the intense demands placed on members of the accounting profession nowadays, the Death March provides an enjoyable opportunity for team-building amidst some of the most spectacular scenery North America has to offer,” says Herter, who wrote a book about the tradition: Ledgers to Ledges, Four Decades of Teambuilding Adventures in America’s West.

Previous Death March events have been held in national park around the West: Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Glacier, High Sierra, Yosemite, Sequoia, Channel Islands and Crater Lake. Hikes have also covered portions of Kauai in Hawaii, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon and California, and Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.

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