Moore North America Appoints New Regional Director

Brendan Quirk

Moore North America has brought on Brendan Quirk as its regional director, responsible for almost 40 firms in the association spanning the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Quirk, who will also join the Moore North America executive team, is a CPA who has spent the past decade as a regional leader for Latin America with RSM.

“Brendan’s arrival marks a major step forward for Moore North America,” says chairman Tony Caleca. “He brings a wealth of experience in building associations, developing services and encouraging collaboration.”

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Leaders: The Pandemic Has Revealed the Truth About Your Heart. Do You Like What You See?

Deb Boelkes says how you behaved during the coronavirus crisis reveals some essential truths about whether you lead with your head only or also with your heart. The good news? It’s not too late to switch to a more heartfelt leadership style. Here’s what that looks like.

A couple months ago, a crisis hit the world—one that changed almost everything about how companies operate. We all know the details, so no need to enumerate them here. But as we continue to navigate this fearful, uncertain, emotionally charged stretch of history, Deb Boelkes wants leaders to ask themselves a big question: What has the pandemic taught you about the role your heart plays in your leadership style?

“Times of crisis and extreme change have a way of revealing hidden truths,” says Boelkes, author of Heartfelt Leadership: How to Capture the Top Spot and Keep on Soaring. “It shows us what we’re made of. It shows the people around us what we’re made of. And while many leaders have had to make really tough decisions in the upheaval caused by COVID-19, the way they did those things speaks volumes.”

In other words, if you had to lay people off, did you do it with love and concern? Were you patient as employees struggled to balance their newly remote jobs with home schooling and child care? Did you say thank you? Did you double-down on efforts to keep people engaged and inspired? Did you continue to nurture their growth and push them to live up to their potential?

All these are the attributes of what Boelkes calls a “heartfelt leader.” They mean you don’t lead only with your head—always putting goals and profits ahead of people—but you also care deeply about employees’ well-being. (It’s not an either/or proposition, she says. People who truly believe you care work harder and are more engaged, making it a smart financial strategy.)

In Heartfelt Leadership, Boelkes lays out the path to leading with the heart. Full of real stories and lessons from top heartfelt executives, the book will help you learn to transform from a person people follow because they have to, to one they want to follow.

Now that the dust is starting to settle and businesses are—ever so slowly—starting back down the road to normalcy, Boelkes urges you to take a good hard look at your own “heartfelt quotient” and see how you stack up. Here are a few things heartfelt leaders regularly do:

They give their personal best every moment. “My first job working for a major corporation was at Disneyland,” says Boelkes. “My high school drill team auditioned and was selected to perform together throughout the winter holiday season. I was a ‘marching card,’ the ace of clubs with the Alice in Wonderland dance unit. Once we had the job, we each gave our personal best every single moment. We competed against ourselves to set new personal best records with each ensuing performance. If any one of us made a wrong move, it impacted all of us, and it certainly impacted our ‘guests.’ We all depended on each other. Disneyland depended on us. The audience who had paid so dearly to attend depended on us. If any one of us failed individually, we all failed. We had to work together at peak performance, in perfect unison, every single time. We had to be perfect. No excuses. Ever. Disneyland set a bar for job performance and work ethic against which I have measured every other career and customer service experience I have ever encountered throughout my life. My heartfelt thanks will forever go to Walt Disney and all the Disneyland cast and crew members for that incredibly important lesson.”

They build a culture of love. (That’s what draws the talent.) Tim Hindes, co-founder and CEO of Stay Metrics, a provider of driver retention tools, believes that successful companies are the ones that lead with love from the top down. He says, “When we started with two of us in 2008, we basically grew the company to $30 million in under three-and-a-half years. It wasn’t the two of us who did it. By the time we were done, we had thirty-five team members. We constantly had people coming into our offices saying, ‘This guy is talented. He wants to be part of this.’ If you dare to create this type of environment, one so unorthodox, you’ll find talented people will come to you who don’t want to play the old game. So, not only is it the right thing to do, it’s a brilliant move. I do think a lot of the problems we have in business, if you root down to it, are an absence of love and culture at the top.”

They live by the Golden Rule in good times and bad. It’s the foundation of trust. Colleen Barrett, president emeritus of Southwest Airlines, says, “You just have to practice the Golden Rule, on or off the clock, with each other, with your customers, with anybody you come into contact with. It’s really simple. I’m not saying we never fight with our unions. You know, we’re 86 percent unionized. At Southwest, you could be in the middle of a ferocious negotiation over something or somebody or some work rule, whatever. But…if you walk into the room at the beginning of the day, when you walked in as a total stranger, you would not know who was who, because they’re not on one side versus the other. They’re intermingling. They’re talking. They know each other by their first names. They know their families. They know something about them because that’s who we are. Do we argue? Yes. But do families argue? Yes. Do we have disagreements? Yes. But there is such a trust there.”

They use the magic words—”I don’t know”—and use them often. Garry Ridge, chairman and CEO of the WD-40 Company, shares the power of admitting that you don’t have all the answers. He says: “I love three words so much, ‘I. DON’T. KNOW.’ I think they’re the most powerful words we can use as leaders, to say, ‘I don’t know. Tell me what you know.’ Suddenly these barriers come down. Fear goes away. Conversation happens. Dialogue. Learning. Eventually, we come toward a position we both then say we think we agree on.”

They strive to never hurt anyone. This should be a given, but as a leader, your goal should be to enhance the lives of your employees and certainly to do no harm. Garry Ridge says, “When we put on the badge of leadership every morning, we take on the responsibility of other people. As leaders, we have no right, by our actions, to mess up other people’s lives. We leaders need to take that extremely seriously. Too many leaders out there, through their overinflated self, their ego, who are driven by short-term goals instead of long-term thinking, make decisions that hurt people every day. They have no right to do it. The Dalai Lama says, ‘Our purpose in life is to make people happy. If we can’t make them happy, at least don’t hurt them.’ Our purpose as a leader is to help people engage and enable, NOT to hurt them. We want to apply to their positive, not to their negative.”

They keep asking, “How do I help you grow?” Britt Berrett, former president of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, emphasizes the need to show your people who don’t necessarily share your values that you care. “I had a funny experience with one of our chief officers,” says Berrett. “I adore her and work very closely with her. For me, my time is very precious. I don’t have a lot of slack time; for me, it’s my faith, my family, and then my job. I knew there was time we needed to spend together. She needed that one-on-one time. It was in the afternoon, so I said, ‘Let’s go grab lunch.’ My favorite lunch restaurant is Wendy’s. So, we went off to Wendy’s for lunch. I didn’t think anything of it. We sat down. I thought we had a good conversation. Later, I found out she was a little put off we went to Wendy’s. The message to her was I didn’t really care. I didn’t really know. She was absolutely right. In the frenzy of the day-to-day, I kind of forgot that. We laugh about it now, but whenever we go out to lunch, it’s always Wendy’s. We’ve made a joke out of it. But I needed to understand what was important to her and how I needed to show up as a boss. That’s what genuine leaders, I think, do. They ask the question, ‘How do I need to show up to help you?’ You’ve got to modify your strategy and your behavior to help them grow.”

They don’t treat employees like assets. Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks Coffee, says, “We hear leaders all the time say, ‘People are our greatest asset.’ They’re not assets. You don’t own them. They can choose or not choose to be part of your organization. There’s nothing keeping them there, except maybe fear of loss. The more we treat people with caring, with love, the more they want to perform, the more they want to be part of the organization. Here’s how it works in the real world. When you trust people and you give them more responsibility and accountability when they’re ready for it—sometimes even when they’re not ready for it—the more they want to perform, the more they don’t want to let you down. They don’t want to let their teammates down. They don’t want to let themselves down. It just works. There’s no magic here.”

They recognize that everyone who works for them is a somebody. Paul Spiegelman, former CEO of BerylHealth, says, “Everybody is a ‘somebody.’ We’re not taking ‘nobodies’ and making them feel like a ‘somebody.’ We’re recognizing they are ‘somebody.’ I can ask people questions. I can learn enough about them and show I care about them to make them feel good about themselves. To me, that is probably the secret sauce, so to speak: Make people feel good about themselves.”

“Even if you have to admit you haven’t been acting like a heartfelt leader, now is the perfect time to turn things around,” advises Boelkes. “Right now, many people all over the world are taking stock of their lives and vowing to become better, kinder, more loving human beings. No reason leaders can’t do the same. Let this crisis be a growth experience—one that inspires you to start making a positive impact on your company, on your employees, and on the world.”

Miller Kaplan Admits Mark Flanagan as Partner

Mark Flanagan

North Hollywood, Calif.-based Miller Kaplan has admitted Mark Flanagan as a partner in its San Francisco office.

Flanagan has over 30 years of experience in the profession, having served previously as partner of a national firm and as CFO for two separate investment management companies.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mark to the team,” says Miller Kaplan MP Doug Waite. “His unique skill set will be a valuable resource for our employee benefit plan, labor organization and private enterprise clients.”

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EisnerAmper Launches Center for Individual and Organizational Performance

Lise Stewart

New York-based EisnerAmper, an IPA 100 firm, has launched a new Center for Individual and Organizational Performance to be led by principal-in-charge Lisë Stewart.

The new effort aims to work collaboratively with business leaders to focus on key competencies, performance metrics and leading-edge research to support both individual change and organizational development, utilizing methodologies based on business psychology, neuroscience, and strategic HR and business practices. The center’s six integrated service areas include strategic HR consulting, leadership development and executive coaching, professional assessment, family business excellence, board development and conflict resolution/relational mediation.

“Given the current pandemic, there’s an even greater need for crisis communications, managing a virtual workforce, strategic and financial pivoting for an economic downturn and so forth,” says Stewart. “But the Center is also designed for the recovery and beyond. Organizations across every industry can really benefit from this one-of-a-kind resource.”

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Grant Thornton Names New OMPs and Principals

Chicago-based Grant Thornton, an IPA 100 firm, announced the following new OMPs:

  • Brett Beightol, OMP – Orange County, Calif., replacing Alan Herrmann effective Aug. 1
  • Mike Desmond, OMP – Charlotte, N.C., replacing Dave Wedding effective Aug. 1
  • David Gifford, OMP – Phoenix, replacing Tim Zingraf effective Aug. 1
  • Doreen Griffith, OMP – Dallas, replacing Wally Gruenes effective Aug. 1
  • Amanda McCarty, OMP – San Jose, Calif., replacing Tony Perazzo effective Aug. 1
  • Bryan Merrigan, OMP – Metropark, N.J., replacing Matt DiDonato effective immediately
  • Jason Perry, OMP – Atlanta, replacing Wade Weeks effective Aug. 1
  • Dan Powers, OMP – Seattle, effective Aug. 1
  • Barbara Koosa Ryan, OMP – Columbia, S.C., replacing Mark Ballew effective Aug. 1
  • Seth Siegel, OMP – Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., replacing Doug Gawrych effective Aug. 1
  • Adam Steinmetz, OMP – San Diego, replacing Brett Beightol effective immediately
  • Rimma Tabakh, OMP – San Francisco, replacing Tony Perazzo effective Aug. 1

In addition, Mark Sullivan has been named office managing principal of the firm’s Chicago office, replacing Vince Tomkinson effective immediately.

“Our new office managing partners and principals are the definition of servant leaders – professionals who are committed to our firm’s people, clients and communities,” says CEO Brad Preber. “It is a privilege to name such a talented and accomplished slate of leaders to provide our clients with innovative, high-quality solutions during the challenging times ahead.”

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Baker Tilly Brings on Kevin Shoemaker

Kevin Shoemaker

Chicago-based Baker Tilly (FY19 net revenue of $754.8 million) has announced that Kevin Shoemaker has joined the firm as managing director of growth for its global trade management advisory services.

Shoemaker brings more than two decades of global supply chain experience to Baker Tilly, having helped companies manage global trade through data analytics, strategy, trade compliance managed services and automated solutions. Prior to joining the firm, he was vice president of global sales for Integration Point (now Thomson Reuters), leading sales, account management, solution consulting and solution architect teams.

“Global trade pressures continue to intensify, with supply chain complexities unlikely to subside in the foreseeable future,” says Jeff Jorge, Baker Tilly partner and international services leader. “Kevin’s extensive global experience will further help our clients identify the right global trade strategies to protect and grow their businesses for the near- and long-term.”

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Hancock Askew Admits John McElderry as Partner

John McElderry

Savannah, Ga.-based Hancock Askew & Co. (FY19 net revenue of $19.0 million) has admitted John McElderry as partner.

McElderry joined the firm as a principal in January 2019 through the merger of McElderry & Associates, bringing over 25 years of professional experience in areas such as tax compliance and planning, mergers and acquisitions, disposal and sell side assistance, initial public offerings, financial statement audits and SEC filings.

“This promotion recognizes John’s outstanding accomplishments and his commitment to our firm and core values,” says MP Michael McCarthy. “We look forward to many years of continued leadership together for our clients, community and our employees.” 

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Virginia Society of CPAs Announces 2020-21 Officers and Board of Directors

The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) swore in the following officers and directors for the 2020–2021 fiscal year at its May 14 meeting:

  • Chair: Henry Davis, III, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Chair-Elect: Anne B. Hagen, The Masonic Home of Virginia
  • Vice Chair: George D. Forsythe, WellsColeman
  • Vice Chair: Nammy K. Lee, University of Virginia
  • Vice Chair: Jennifer S. Lehman, Hantzmon Wiebel
  • Vice Chair: Gabriele Lingenfelter, Christopher Newport University

The following at-large board members were also sworn in:

  • George G. Crowell, Harris Hardy & Johnstone
  • Hope F. Cupit, SERCAP
  • Melisa F. Galasso, Galasso Learning Solutions
  • Daniel P. Hudgens, Deloitte & Touche
  • LaToya D. Jordan, Auditor of Public Accounts
  • Jason H. Navon, Rossen Landscape
  • John W. Reynolds,
  • Neena Shukla, PBMares
  • Charles M. Valadez, TechnoServe Inc.
  • Christine B. Williamson, CohnReznick LLP

EisnerAmper Admits Carol Surowiec as Partner

Carol Surowiec

New York-based EisnerAmper (FY19 net revenue of $380.6 million) announces that Carol Surowiec has been admitted as a tax partner in its real estate services group.

Working out of the firm’s Miami office, Surowiec will focus largely on pass-through entities with a heavy emphasis on real estate, drawing on her more than 30 years of experience in federal and state taxation matters for clients in the real estate, construction, manufacturing and distribution industries.

“With our growing national real estate practice dedicated to serving this sector, it’s exciting to add a team member with Carol’s experience and tax knowledge,” says Kenneth Weissenberg, co-leader of the real estate services group.

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Cherry Bekaert Admits Seven to Partnership

Richmond, Va.-based Cherry Bekaert (FY19 net revenue of $219.3 million) admitted the following seven partners effective May 1:

  • Ryan Blankenship, tax, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Sean Carlin, transaction advisory services, Bethesda, Md.
  • Sarah Fallow, tax, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Dale Hrapchak, tax, Austin, Texas
  • Adam Hunter, assurance services, Tampa, Fla.
  • Jessica Simmons, assurance services, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Amber Teague, tax, Austin, Texas

“With the addition of these seven accomplished professionals, Cherry Bekaert’s partner group continues to grow stronger,” says CEO and MP Michelle L. Thompson. “They exemplify our firm’s shared values each day and make a difference for our clients by providing valuable guidance and support in the pursuit of their business goals.

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