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Many of your day-to-day responsibilities have often called for managing others, but that’s very familiar territory for you, isn’t it?
Correct. While I was getting my Bachelor’s degree at Loyola in Accounting, I also served as a Special Teams Coordinator for the football team at Walter Payton College Prep – which I did for eight years. When I started coaching, I was actually coaching guys that I had played with. I find that there are a lot of similarities here at Bronswick Benjamin (BB) as well, where I’m building relationships with others in a similar age group and helping them develop their skill sets.
When did you join BB?
I had been with Benjamin and Birkenstein, P.C. for about two years when that firm merged in 2012 with Bronswick Reicin Pollack (now Bronswick Benjamin). Since that time, I’ve been responsible for managing client engagements and those accountants on staff who assist in the completion of each engagement.
You’ve been promoted to Partner, where you’ll be overseeing a great deal more work of the firm’s CPAs. Tell us more about what you’re planning on doing in the immediate future in this role.
The most important part of the job is maintaining the fine service our clients have come to expect. Also, I’ll have substantial involvement in BB’s strategic growth initiatives and internal processes, such as how to maximize our efficiency.
What kinds of small and medium-sized clients do you find yourself serving these days?
They’re from a variety of industries, but I have a special focus on software and information technology, manufacturing and distribution, professional services and real estate.
If you could choose one thing about this firm that makes it so different for you, what is it?
It’s mostly the people here. You go anywhere where the accountants do similar things in regard to tax returns, audits, reviews, etc. What separates us here at BB are the people. Jeff Bronswick and Joe Benjamin (Partners) make this a great place to work. You can foster your own skills and you’re really measured on your own success and merit.
I also think we try to go above and beyond to ensure the clients are being well served. Many of our clients over the years have become almost like family and friends, so we really have a vested interest in making sure that their business is performing the best that it can.
Give us an example of a very satisfying client relationship in which you’ve been with them from one destination to another throughout the growth of their business.
We’ve got quite a few like that. Buddy Hoffman (Principal) and I had worked for a client that was a small, family-owned office in transition from the first generation to the second generation. We came in when the second generation was taking over to really help them get some processes and data in place so that they had better information to run the business.
As a partner, how do you try to elevate new members of the staff to be their best?
Mentoring is a part of who we are here. I take pride in trying to help the younger staff know that they have someone to go to, whether it’s for business reasons or personal reasons. It’s good to have someone who truly cares about them to be a sounding board. Let’s face it: We’ve all been in that position. Just as mentors like Joe Benjamin did for me, I feel it’s very important for me to try to help them out and make sure that they’re successful in everything they want to do.