Blog Archive

Friday, June 19, 2015

Why I Chose McGladrey

Mollie Heins, HR Generalist
Minneapolis, MN
I first heard of McGladrey while in college. I was living in Fargo, ND at the time, attending NDSU where I earned my bachelor’s degree in business management with a focus in Human Resources. A friend from college had accepted an accounting internship at McGladrey. I was so proud of her we had to go out and celebrate over dinner at the Olive Garden, our favorite restaurant. As I helped her pack for her big move to Minneapolis, I knew I wanted to do the same… and made the move in 2011.

A few years, and a few job experiences later, I was looking to grow my career in Human Resources and saw an opening at McGladrey - since I remembered the name, I was sure to applied right away. What attracted me most to McGladrey was their focus on career growth, global presence, and core business values.

I was ecstatic when I got the call from the recruiter to speak about the HR Generalist position. Our conversation solidified the fact that I knew McGladrey was the company for me. I was incredibly interested in the work I would be performing, the opportunities for growth, and a culture supporting positive work-life balance. The interview process went smoothly, and I appreciated the chance to meet multiple people on the team I would be working with.

After just 3 weeks on the job, I know why so many employees enjoy working here. I’m impressed by the commitment to community stewardship and the genuine welcomes I get from everyone on the team. I know they are supporting me in my growth success in the company. I’m so proud to be a part of McGladrey’s growth, and support all employees with their HR needs!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Getting To Know All About You - Taking A Deep Dive With One Of Florida's Best And Brightest

By Jill Redavid-Talent Acquisition
Interview with David Luker, Risk Advisory Services Manager, Melbourne, FL

Meet David Luker, CPA.  He is a Construction Risk Advisory Services Manager in our Melbourne office.  David is a graduate of Auburn University (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting), and has already achieved a great amount of success in his young career, including becoming a 2014 40 Under 40 honoree.  Read below to learn more about David personally and professionally...

How did your career with McGladrey begin?
I was actually doing audit and tax for an alliance firm in Alabama (Jackson Thornton) when I decided I was done being cold for 4 months out of the year (haha). My dad is the managing partner of an Atlanta based alliance firm and knew Deb Lockwood (McGladrey Partner) very well. He put me in touch with Deb and when I found out McGladrey was in the beginning stages of developing a construction consulting practice at a location next to the beach (Melbourne), I couldn’t pass up investigating the opportunity. I interviewed with several people from the Melbourne office and came on board in June of 2011.

Favorite thing about McGladrey?
Collaboration between service lines. Since I got here I’ve seen significant improvement in the way we cross-sell and engage multiple LOBs with our existing clients and prospects. Information is power and the improvement in communication I’ve seen in my short time here between offices and LOBs is exciting!

Please describe your job in 4 sentences or less: 
Our team provides risk management consulting to owners and contractors involved in major construction. We are experts in the primary processes and controls that drive a successful construction project. Through extensive collaboration with our clients, we work to provide meaningful, efficient and truly implementable action plans to help mitigate the risks of major construction.

Why do you love the construction industry?
The people. The individuals responsible for managing construction work tend to be very down to earth people that want tangible results. They don’t like “fluff”, and they won’t put up with you long if you don’t add value to their processes. Also, the tangible nature of the work is very rewarding. When you can finish a project and actually see the completed project there is a sense of satisfaction that you rarely get in our industry.

Explain the culture in the Melbourne office:
The Melbourne office is a little family (haha)… many of the core employees here have worked together for 8+ years and have been through various renditions of “McGladrey” all the way from small acquired partnerships, to American Express, to HR Block and finally McGladrey.

Describe your management style:
I think of myself as more of a life coach than a manager… My management style for actual project work is pretty hands off. I put in lots of time up front to make sure the team knows what is expected and then I follow up semi-regularly to make sure things stay on track. I make the life coach comment because I think there is so much more that we can help our younger / newer professionals with beyond “work stuff” that if you are doing it right, you end up being a mentor by default.

What is your favorite thing about living in Melbourne:
1st -The waves…. 2nd-The fishing… 3rd-Retired neighbors

If you could trade lives with another coworker for one week, who would it be and why?
Kathy Thomas-Beck for sure. Kathy and I have a few clients together and my desk is right outside of her office, so I get a good bit of exposure to her and the details of her job. I am incredibly interested in the overall management of our firm, it’s structure and how we grow… Kathy’s position affords her the opportunity to drive the firm’s overall direction…. and I would LOVE to get a taste of that for a week!

What is your most memorable McGladrey moment?
Not sure. I’ve had lots of them I guess… winning a new client when you’ve been heavily involved in the pursuit is a good one. Getting promoted is always fun!

What is your 5 year plan?
I’d like to win a few big construction internal audit projects… I’d like to be promoted to Director… and I’d like to go on a surf trip to the Mentawias (Indonesian Islands)

Advice you would give a college freshman who is considering consulting:
GO FOR IT! Audit and tax give you a great foundation for consulting, but don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do consulting right out of school. It’s a great way to get plugged into a bunch of different industries and a bunch of different clients in a short amount of time.

Tell me about a typical weekend for you:
Take the fishing rods out at dawn and catch some pompano. Take the wife and the dogs out to the beach in the afternoon so I can catch some waves. Grill the fish I caught that morning for dinner. Repeat on Sunday!

Left shoe on first or right shoe? 
Right. Everything right first. I’m the most un-ambidextrous person in the world.

If you win the lottery, who is the first person you would call?
Dad. He is my most trusted advisor.

First thing you buy would be?
Plane ticket to Tahiti. There is a wave there I’ve been dying to surf for a few years now.

What is your perfect pizza?
Thin crust meat lovers.

If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
A protein bar. I’m obsessed with them… I’ve had one for breakfast every morning for the last 10 years!

Favorite sports teams:
My dad played for the University of Georgia and my little sister was their cheerleading captain and coach for a few years… so I’d have to say the Bulldogs despite my attending Auburn.

Who is your hero?
Dad. As you can tell by the fact that he has been included in several of my answers above, the guy is a legend and everything I aspire to be.

If you had to be trapped in a tv show for a month, what would you choose?
I haven’t had cable TV for almost 7 years now, so I’m not up to date on the current stuff… but I’d probably say something from Shark week. I’d rather be in the water than anywhere in the world, so I think that fits.

Theme song of your life: 
Allman Brothers – “Ramblin Man”

Monday, May 11, 2015

3 Quick Questions: Perspective From Each LOB in Baltimore

by Julie Reahl, Talent Acquisition Sourcing Specialist, Baltimore, MD

TAX: Alex Akhaminov, Tax Manager
1. Why did you choose McGladrey? 
I chose McGladrey because it was a bigger office with a large tax practice. Also, I knew I would be working with good clients and good people. I knew a few people who already worked here, so I got to ask them what McGladrey was all about.
2. What makes you stay at McGladrey?
I work with a great group of people!
3. What is unique about Baltimore’s Tax group?
We are a group of normal people. We are not “nerds,” and we can talk about stuff other than work!

ASSURANCE: Peter Zanger, Senior Manager 
1. Why did you choose McGladrey?
The opportunity to work with entrepreneurial middle market companies where I can meaningfully assist them with solving their business challenges as opposed to only providing compliance solutions.
2. What makes you stay at McGladrey?
The opportunity to grow and learn with the firm and our clients at a rapid pace.
3. What is unique about Baltimore’s Assurance group?
Team strength and connectivity inside and outside of work.

CONSULTING: Tom Carr, Senior Associate
1. Why did you choose McGladrey?
I choose McGladrey because I was looking for something very specific, and the job description here was exactly what I was looking for.
2. What makes you stay at McGladrey?
I like what I do, and I have been given a lot of opportunity to succeed in my first year. I have been able to take what I learned from my last job (working at a hedge fund), and combine that with the new skills here. Also, I get to take the water taxi to work every day!
3. What is unique about Baltimore’s Consulting group?
We are the only consulting team in Baltimore that comes into the office every day; we go to the client site once a week.

1. Why did you choose McGladrey?
I identified with the firm’s core values, and liked the idea of being an advisor to the middle market. I also felt like I was able to make a difference based on the size and scale of the organization.
2. What makes you stay at McGladrey?
The ability to create and execute strategy. Also, I have the influence to develop others, and McGladrey offers white space to develop business acumen and skills.
3. What is unique about Baltimore’s HR group?
We have a tremendous amount of respect which allows us to collaborate at a higher level.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Laughing While You Work

Meghan Houston
Talent Acquisition Specialist
McLean, VA
What makes your firm different? I hear this question every day when I am speaking with candidates about different job opportunities with McGladrey. Whether the individual is interested in Audit, Tax, or Consulting (our three Lines of Business) my answer is always the same: it’s the people.

In fact, when I had five offers on the table nearly three years ago, I chose McGladrey for this specific reason. I knew I wanted to do recruiting, and I knew what I did not want. I did not want a chaotic environment with toxic energy. Anyone that has been in that situation knows when you don’t like where you work, that energy will bleed into all facets of your life. After I hung up with the Recruiting Director (who is now one of my mentors) I knew I wanted to work with this person, and their team. When I started with the firm I was responsible for every line of business for the entire Southeast region. I sit in our DC Metro office and began covering every office from Baltimore to Miami.  As a result, there was tremendous exposure; I met a lot of different people in a lot of different places. The common denominator with everyone is that regardless of title, line of business or office everyone has a great attitude. In the middle of every conversation, I find myself laughing with the team or individual.  I have worked with Associates from Campus Recruiting efforts, Managers and Directors to help me understand a role on a deeper level with debrief calls, and Senior Associates with basic questions of “can you walk me through an Audit?”. I even sat in on an actual client engagement with a Consulting group as they presented their findings to a client; what could be more hands on than that?  This past December I attended an event with an Audit Partner and by the end of the night we were making jokes about middle children (we both come from large families of 7 or more children). There is always a connection to be had and what I’ve found is, everyone here is prone to a giggle here and there.

I’m not saying every day is rainbows and butterflies, of course during busy season it is a stressful time, and with any Consulting Practice there are ebbs and flows. However, even during the hectic times when one would say it is chaotic, I have found that everyone might laugh instead of explode in a fit a anger. Public Accounting  is a competitive industry, and it is how you deal with the stress that shows your true colors and character. For me, that is what makes McGladrey different, and the most successful middle-market firm (we are ranked #1 after all). Perhaps that is our secret to success: we all know when to have a good laugh.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'm Not Just Doing My Job...

Ashley Lawler
Talent Acquisition Manager
Stamford, CT
I'm a Recruiter. Have been for some time. Been at McGladrey for 3 years now, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around that because it's kind of flown by. I began here as a Sourcer, having taken time off to raise a family, and little did I know when I accepted the offer that I would soon know the difference between Internal and External Audit, c-corps vs s-corps, and exactly how many credits someone needs to sit for the CPA exam. To say I've learned a lot from the candidates with whom I speak would be quite an understatement - I still learn every day. Just today I spoke with a lovely woman who taught me all about FINRA exams. Adding this to the "cool-stuff-I-never-knew-I-wanted-to-know" file.

Now, I work hard, we all do, but it has been a fun ride since I was a Sourcer in 2012. Not long after I started with McGladrey I was promoted to a Senior Recruiter, and last year I became a Manager. There is so much opportunity here in every area and sometimes I still pinch myself, wondering how I got so lucky.

But let's face it - I'm paid to sell McGladrey, I'm a Recruiter, remember? Every day I have conversations with accounting professionals who have either applied to my open jobs and therefore are looking for a new home for one reason or another, or who I have directly sought out because I was given their name by a happy employee, saw their profile on LinkedIn or have networked with, and I want to make each conversation a good one, hearing about someone's career goals, experience and sharing with them how they can make a true impact here. I like to think that I'm a genuine person first and a recruiter second, but with so many conversations each day, week, month, year - I sometimes wonder if I'm putting the recruiter hat on first. Frankly, I don't have enough time in the day or space in my brain to not be forthright with what we're looking for and who we are trying to attract to help grow this thing and neither do the folks I speak with, but I guess anyone could say that.

But last night, an old friend told me she had applied to an open position we have and that she was interviewing today in one of our offices. She's from the Big 4 and naturally, she asked me a thousand questions and was looking for my honest, friend-to-friend perspective on whether or not McGladrey was a good place to work. I told her that culture is of utmost importance to us here. I told her that the fact that we are consistently on the Working Mother's 100 Best Companies To Work For isn't just lip service (haven't missed a school event or a 6pm baseball game yet where my son is the starting pitcher!). I told her that the Partners' doors are always open, both figuratively and literally. I told her all about the growth that we are experiencing and how we like to build our team with people who have a vision and want to make a real contribution to a team, rather than just go to work each day, and that they're truly appreciated for those efforts. We talked for nearly an hour.

I don't know if I can explain the feeling I had after we hung up, but let me try. Elation. Pride. Gratitude. I was so excited to reconfirm that I'm with the best firm for me, and that I am not just "doing my job" when I am sharing McGladrey's finer points with prospective candidates, but rather I'm able to share with many why it's easy to come to work each day. It was pretty awesome.

My friend did come in to interview today and we had coffee afterwards (actually she had a raspberry crumble and black tea and I had a lemonade, but now I'm getting too specific). She told me how impressed she was with our firm, our vision, our culture and our real commitment to our people and our clients, and that she was crossing her fingers that she gets the job.... I am too!

Monday, April 27, 2015

April New Hire Spotlight

Welcome to all McGladrey new hires in the month of April!

Central Region
Name: Joe Wessbecker
Position: Manager, State and Local Tax
Office Location: Minneapolis, MN
Bio: Joe specializes in State Income Tax consulting, including audit and controversy representation, research and planning, refund reviews, nexus studies and voluntary disclosure agreements. Joe has a J.D., Law, from University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, WI, and a B.A. in Accounting, from Augsburg College. He is a CPA, MN and a licensed attorney in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
What is your favorite vacation spot? Anywhere in Montana - skiing in the winter, camping and motorcycling mountain roads in the summer and fall.
Fun facts about your family: My wife is also a tax lawyer!
Career aspirations and goals: To help grow McGladrey's Minneapolis SALT practice by developing associates and seniors. To build the #1 SALT controversy team in our market, and to take advantage of all the firm's training, teaching and mentoring opportunities.

Name: Gregory Schuelke
Position: Director, Forensic & Dispute Advisory
Office Location: Houston, TX
Bio: Gregory brings over 25 seasoned years of providing financial damage modeling and expert witness services to local and international law firms, corporations and insurance companies. He also brings to McGladrey his many years of providing forensic accounting services to the construction, petrochemical, refining, energy, manufacturing, retain, hospitality and food processing industries.
Professional affiliations: Greg is currently active in the Texas Society of CPAs where he serves as a director, and active with the local chapter of CPAs where he has served as committee chair and continues to serve on several sub-committees for the Litigation and Valuation Services Committee.

Northeast Region
Name: Georgie Morris
Position: Senior Associate, Risk Advisory Security & Privacy
Office Location: New York, NY
Bio: Georgie comes to us as a Fortune 500 client-serving technology consultant, with a Bachelor of Arts degree (Cum Laude) from New York University in Social Cultural Analysis and minor in Web Programming and Applications.
What do you like to do in your free time? As a New York native, I enjoy running and attending arts performances!
Career aspirations and goals: I'm looking forward to making an impact on our professional services offered in the Tri-State area and Northeast Region. 

Southeast Region
Name: Andrew Harding
Position: Senior Associate, Healthcare Financial Advisory
Office Location: Charlotte, NC
Bio: Andrew is originally from Bethesda, MD and received his Bachelor of Economics from Brigham Young University. Prior to joining McGladrey, he had extensive experience optimizing and improving the efficiency of the revenue cycle, as well as training and rollout of healthcare IT tools. Andrew brings a keen focus on leveraging data to identify leakage and develop sustainable project plans to reduce the negative impact.
What do you like to do in your free time? In my spare time, I enjoy golf, lacrosse, skiing, hiking and travel. My wife and I just moved to Charlotte from Colorado last weekend! She will be attending Queens University in the nursing program.

Name: Bill Kaik
Position: Manager, Technology Management Consulting - Business Applications
Office Location: Charlotte, NC
Bio: Bill joins us supporting the Business Applications groups primarily in the Dynamics CRM space. He first started withing with Dynamics CRM 11 years ago at an ETL company where he gained extensive knowledge around data integrations/data migrations with many disparate systems. In the last five years, he has focused work primarily around banking, wealth management and nonprofit organizations.
What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy spending time with my two children. Bentley is four and Kensley just turned one last week. Our favorite place to vacation is Walt Disney World. Our daughter who just turned one has already been three times!
What would people find surprising about you? I own a Bounce House business on the weekends. We have about 25 inflatables which keeps my weekends pretty packed!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Award Winner Spotlight - Matthew Durette

Matthew Durette
Tax Associate
Phoenix, AZ
We are delighted to announce that Matthew Durette, tax associate in Phoenix, was recently named by the AICPA as a winner of the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award.

Bryan Zall, office managing partner for the Phoenix office said, "We are thrilled with Matt's accomplishment to earn the Elijah Watt Sells CPA examination award and recognition! We are looking forward to working with matt as he continues his career development in our Phoenix office! Congratulations, Matt."

In prepping for the CPA exam, "there is a term commonly used which is 'quality time'" Matt said. "Throughout the months I was preparing for the exams, I tried to treat all my time as quality time - meaning that I would try to make every minute productive. One the drive to and from work, I would recount the material I had recently studied. During lunch, I would break out the textbook or flashcards. If I had a few spare minutes, I would write out one of the mnemonics from a recent lecture. I found that there is a lot of potential quality time throughout the day, and I believe it was the use of this time that led to my success on the exams."