IPA Spotlight On … Dan Gardiner, P&N

Name: Dan Gardiner
Firm: Postlethwaite & Netterville (P&N)
Title: CEO and Managing Director-Elect

Accomplishments:

Dan Gardiner

Dan Gardiner

  • Selected as incoming Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of one of the largest CPA and consulting firms in the Gulf Coast and the only IPA 100 firm based in Louisiana
  • Leads P&N’s tax and consulting services groups to provide innovative business consulting services for clients throughout Louisiana
  • Serves as president of the Baton Rouge Chapter of the Society of Louisiana CPAs.
  • Served as corporate controller for a regional consumer packaged goods and distributions company and as corporate controller and financial reporting manager for a publicly traded international leasing company

It will be one year until you take over the top role at the firm. How are you preparing now?

Our firm has a well-defined succession process, which began over a year ago. In this last year of the transition, I will continue to work alongside P&N’s current CEO, Bill Balhoff, and the executive team on the strategic initiatives of our firm. Our firm was founded on the principle of providing the highest quality client service and that principle has been the hallmark of our growth and success over the years. A good portion of my time this year will be spent ensuring that our team knows that our culture and our foundation will not change with this transition.

P&N is a fast-growing firm and the largest based in Louisiana. With one office outside the state, in Houston, is the firm planning to expand in that area?

While we’ve had a Houston office for just over two years, we have had a strong client base for much longer, and are continuing our plans for growth in that market. Our main focus is ensuring our clients receive the highest in quality service. We have very talented resources in Houston and expect to continue our expansion of all service areas, assurance, tax, consulting and technology, in the greater Houston area. While we have growth goals for each our markets, we are more focused as a practice on having the right talent in place to ensure healthy growth that will lead to long-term relationships. Fortunately, given the close ties between Louisiana and Houston, we already have strong brand recognition, which is helping attract great talent.

You took an eight-year hiatus from the firm to work in industry. What did that experience teach you that you brought back to the firm?

I’ve always enjoyed the accounting profession, but in industry I did not feel the same level of passion about my work as in public accounting and consulting. For me the relationships you build with clients, the diversity of the engagements, and the focus on continual improvement are what drew me back to professional services. P&N’s consulting practice was the perfect fit for me and my experience, as it allowed me to leverage many of the experiences I had in industry. Additionally, being on the client side of the equation has reinforced to me the client service values our firm lives. I have plenty of real world experiences to share with our team members as they learn how to become trusted advisors.

As tax leader for the firm, are you concerned about automation changing the way you do business? Excited? Both?

Cognitive computing is predicted to automate or eliminate up to 40% of basic accounting work by 2020, according to Accenture. I believe that technology is going to be one of our greatest opportunities in the years to come. Automation can benefit our teams and clients by providing efficient and consistent delivery of service. In our own practice, we focus on integrating technology into business and accounting processes, which has helped many of our clients overcome significant challenges. However, I am certain that now more than ever we must have more personal relationships with our clients. Clients still want someone who can sit across the table and give them confidence that they have the professional team that can solve their challenges.

Final thoughts?

Our industry is going through tremendous change. We are doing things differently than ever before and thinking of things in different ways. And it is going to take our talented professionals to bring about the change that we need to continue to thrive as a firm. With innovation and a focus on our clients’ needs, we will be able to compete now and into the future.

Do you know someone else who would make a good Spotlight? Contact Christina Camara.

Martini Iosue & Akpovi Names Passmore as New MP

Christopher Passmore

Christopher Passmore

After serving in the position of MP for 25 years and helping grow the firm to 50 people, Don Iosue and the management team at Martini Iosue & Akpovi (FY16 net revenue of $9.2 million) of Encino, Calif., have named Christopher Passmore as the new MP and audit and consulting partner.

“Don has done an outstanding job during his tenure. He set the standard for excellence and integrity and created a firm culture of dedication and service to staff and clients. We owe a debt of gratitude to Don for a job well done,” says Passmore.

“Chris has been with the firm for a decade, and in that time he’s developed the unique skill set that is required for this position. It is a combination of strategic thinking and management skills, and you can’t be a successful leader without each one,” says Steve Martini, one of the founding partners. “Chris brings to the role the new generation’s ability to incorporate cutting-edge technology coupled with strategic thinking. This will ensure the firm maintains its commitment to client service and support its future expansion including satellite offices throughout Southern California.”

Seim Johnson Names New Managing Partner

Jerry O'Doherty

Jerry O’Doherty

Omaha, Neb.-based Seim Johnson (FY16 net revenue of $16.2 million) named Jerry O’Doherty as the new MP.

He succeeded Roger Thompson, who in addition to serving the firm’s clients, had been the MP since 2011. The MP chairs the executive committee, a committee of five partners that helps make final decisions on policies and procedures at the firm as well as provides recommendations and solutions to the full partner group regarding how the firm operates.

O’Doherty has been with Seim Johnson since 1998 and a partner since 2006. As a result of O’Doherty’s appointment to MP, the firm named Brent Friehauf to the executive committee.

Warren Averett Names Elliott as CEO

Mary Elliott

Mary Elliott

Birmingham, Ala.-based Warren Averett (FY16 net revenue of $124.4 million) named Mary Elliott as CEO. Elliott will succeed Jim Cunningham who is retiring from the role at the end of 2017.

Elliott has worked her entire career at Warren Averett, serving clients in their health care consulting division for more than 30 years, and has served as COO and chair of the operations board since 2012.

“Our focus has always been on adding value to our clients and providing opportunity for our people,” says Jim Cunningham. “Mary understands Warren Averett’s mission, knows our culture and values, and leads by example. She tackles problems head on, and consistently makes good decisions with speed and accuracy.”

Elliott will be the first female CEO at Warren Averett and one of only three female CEO’s among the top 35 firms in the United States.

“Having been here for 33 years, I hold Warren Averett close to my heart and I’m honored and humbled to be given this opportunity to serve as the CEO of this great firm,” says Elliott. “Jim Cunningham has led our firm through opportunities, challenges and growth that has set us at the top of the accounting industry today. We are going to continue to lead in a unified vision by embracing change, being relentless about innovation and providing a level of service to our clients that sets us apart.”

Kolzow Named Managing Director of DHJJ Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors

Patrick Kolzow

Patrick Kolzow

Naperville, Ill.-based DHJJ Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors named Patrick Kolzow as managing director.

“After 25 years of being the managing director of DHJJ, it’s very reassuring to have the next managing director be a person of character and experience who will continue the firm’s values, including its culture and client service,” says Tom Jordan, former managing director.

Kolzow has more than 20 years of public accounting experience and serves a wide variety of industries, helping clients develop successful tax and business strategies. He has been with DHJJ for more than 10 years.

“It is truly an honor to be named the managing director of a firm with outstanding core values and a history of success,” says Kolzow

Kernutt Stokes Names Ritchie as MP

Steven Ritchie

Steven Ritchie

Steven Ritchie was named as MP of Kernutt Stokes (FY17 net revenue of $10.4 million) of Eugene, Ore. on June 1.

“I value his experience and energy. I know he will promote excellence by continuing our firm’s focus on superior service and strong client relationships. Stepping back as a managing partner allows me to spend more time with my clients and I am looking forward to that,” says Warren Barnes, the firm’s most recent MP, who will remain a full-time partner at the firm.

Ritchie has been with the firm for more than 20 years, having been promoted to partner in 2007. He focuses on privately held, owner-managed, entrepreneurial businesses in the manufacturing, distribution, forest products, wholesale, retail and insurance industries.

“When I started my career with Kernutt Stokes, I never imagined I would one day lead this amazing firm,” says Ritchie.

IPA Spotlight On … Henry Koziol, Freed Maxick CPAs

Name: Henry Koziol

Firm: Buffalo, N.Y.-based Freed Maxick CPAs (FY16 net revenue of $45.2 million)

Title: Managing Director, Chairman, Board of Directors

Accomplishments:

Henry Koziol Jr.

Henry Koziol Jr.

  • Joined Freed Maxick in 1983 and elected managing director this year, responsible for directing the strategic growth of the firm.
  • Develops and institutes firm’s technology plan, and has served as a member of the peer review team and the development, construction and executive committees.
  • Past chairman, board of the Western New York Chapter of the American Diabetes Association; board of directors, Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

How are you preparing now to step into the top job at Freed Maxick July 1?

I have been on our executive committee for a number of years, and have been involved in most of the firm’s significant decisions. Therefore, the amount of time to get up to speed should not be too considerable. Lately, I have been spending a lot of time meeting with my partners and our clients – trying to listen more and talk less.

You’ve said that what differentiates Freed Maxick is its people and depth of knowledge. How do you hope to enhance both as managing director?

We are constantly looking for individuals with unique talents and skills, in anticipation of the rapid changes in the industry and to deliver the type of services we provide. However, that’s not all we look for in potential candidates. We recently created our purpose statement, which highlights our beliefs in making a difference in people’s lives through our passion for helping others and inspiring those around us. It’s important to us that our people and processes live this every day.

The firm now has four offices in New York. Do you plan to expand beyond the state? Are you looking to merge in smaller firms?

Our strategic plan includes expansion in two areas – our geographic footprint and services offered. Conversely, many of our services such as asset-based lending have a national scope, so the physical office is not necessarily a factor. We are constantly evaluating merger candidates both in and outside of our current markets, but our requirements are very high. The candidate must have a similar culture in addition to fitting into our strategic plan. We won’t do a merger just to increase the top line.

Looking ahead, how do you see AI and automation changing the way Freed Maxick does business?

We have already invested in business intelligence as a client service, and will continue to do so. We know there will be rapid changes in how accounting firms service clients, and we remain committed to providing world-class service.

Final thoughts?

It is an exciting time to be in the industry. I have been heavily involved in our firm’s technology platform, which gives me a unique perspective of the rapid technological changes that continue to happen. I believe that there will be wonderful opportunities ahead for our firm, our clients and our people as we utilize these technologies to deliver highly valued and desired services.

Do you know someone else who would make a good Spotlight? Contact Christina Camara.

CSH President Begins New Role, Two Admitted to Partnership

Clark Schaefer Hackett (FY16 net revenue of $64.6 million) has admitted two team members to the partnership: David Coomer and Tiffany White. In addition, Kerry Roe, who was elected as new president last year, began serving in his new role July 1.

Kerry Roe

Kerry Roe

Roe, who has been with CSH for 22 years, has led the firm’s government services group and also served as the firm’s executive vice president for seven years. “We will continue to provide the trust, vision, guidance and outcomes needed by our clients as they face very diverse business challenges and opportunities.”

Carl Coburn has been the firm’s president since 2008. He will remain at CSH, serving clients and offering support to the officers, as well as continuing his involvement in the leadership of the AGN–North America Executive Committee.

In addition, Doug Michel has been elected as an executive vice president. He has been involved in several practice areas over his 29 years with CSH, and has led the firm’s focus on recruitment, orientation and retention of staff.

David Coomer

David Coomer

Coomer specializes in serving clients operating outside the U.S., helping them to navigate the complex tax and financial reporting issues associated with international operations. In addition, he is part of the firm’s private equity group, where he provides buy-side due diligence and quality of earnings services to private equity funds, as well as assurance services to portfolio companies.

Tiffany White

Tiffany White

White has developed an expertise in employee benefit plan audits. She is a recognized leader of this practice in the Columbus area and is well versed in the complex area of ERISA compliance.

“One part of fulfilling our firm’s mission to better the lives of our clients, people and communities includes supporting the growth and development of our professionals. Our investment in our people is critical to our success on a firmwide and an individual level,” the firm announced.

Proppe Assumes Role as Plante Moran Managing Partner

Jim Proppe

Jim Proppe

Jim Proppe became MP of Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY16 net revenue of $480.7 million) on July 1, succeeding Gordon Krater who was MP since 2009.

Proppe will guide Plante Moran’s client service, growth, people development, risk management and strategic direction. Plante Moran has a staff of more than 2,200 professionals in 23 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio and Illinois with international offices in China, Mexico and India.

“I’m incredibly honored to serve as the seventh managing partner in Plante Moran’s 94 year history,” Proppe said. “We have a strong legacy to maintain: a rich culture and dedication to client service while increasing service offerings, investing in top talent and helping the firm to compete in a digital world where technology provides new opportunities.”

Elected for this position by his partners in October 2016, one of Proppe’s first decisions was selecting the following partners to serve on the firm’s new management team:

  • Frank Audia, group MP, assurance and tax services and Plante Moran’s chief risk officer
  • Beth Bialy, group MP, nonprofit and public sector industries
  • Dennis Graham, group MP, management consulting services
  • Chris McCoy, group MP, firm administration
  • Teresa Pollock, group MP, offices
  • Brad Virkus, group MP, commercial industries

Proppe joined Plante Moran in 1984 after graduating from the University of Michigan and has served as a firm group MP for more than 12 years.

Weiner Named Chair and CEO of Marcum, Bukzin Named Vice Chair

Jeffrey Weiner

Jeffrey Weiner

The executive committee of New York-based Marcum (FY15 net revenue of $412.4 million) has named Jeffrey Weiner chair and CEO and David Bukzin vice chair.

Weiner previously served as MP, a position he had held since 1990. Bukzin held several titles, including PIC of Marcum’s SEC services practice group. He will continue to lead the national SEC practice as well as the firm’s New York office.

Other leadership titles at the office and service line management levels have also been changed.

David Bukzin

David Bukzin

“All of these changes will help support Marcum’s continued growth and better align the firm with others in the accounting industry,” Weiner says. “As Marcum has expanded into new geographies and service offerings and absorbed other firms with their own cultures, it has become more complex over time to maintain a clearly defined leadership system. These changes will simplify things and make it easier for clients and future partners to understand our structure.”

Under Weiner’s leadership, Marcum has expanded from a one-office regional firm of 20 employees to a firm ranked among the largest in the United States.