Blog Archive

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pursue Your Passion: Patagonia

Peter Berns
Audit Manager
St. Louis, Missouri
Three employees were chosen to embrace “The Power of Being Understood” through the “McGladrey – Pursue Your Passion” program across the central region. Peter Berns, audit manager, St. Louis, was one of the three selected and pursued his passion in Patagonia, Argentina.  Peter has always had a passion for the great outdoors. From an early age, he has been involved in outdoor activities, experiencing camping with his family beginning when he was in the first grade.

Peter enjoyed his family camping trips and also learned to fish and shoot archery. Soon thereafter, Peter joined the Boy Scouts of America. His experiences with his Boy Scout troop only fueled his love of the outdoors. At the young age of 14, Peter achieved Eagle Scout status. To earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest advancement rank in Scouting, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor ability.

During his high school years, Peter attended adventure camp in the Florida Keys. Peter’s adventurous spirit is rivaled by his respect for the environment. He traveled to a remote island in Canada and built a composting toilet as part of a service project. He took great pride in combining his love of adventure with the ability to improve the environment.

Soon, Peter began mountain climbing. He finds the experience of sustaining himself solely with items he can carry on his back to be very rewarding. In 2003, he and a friend set a goal to climb the 58 tallest peaks in Colorado. To date, Peter has summited 49, with 9 remaining. Some have been quite difficult, such as the Knife’s Edge portion of Capitol Peak. Knife Edge is a short, exposed section on the ridge that requires concentration and solid nerves. Conquering this portion of the Capitol Peak hike is one of Peter’s rewarding accomplishments.

Through his experiences, Peter has learned to be independent and resourceful…characteristics that have carried over into his career. As a client server, these attributes help him deliver excellent service and enhance his ability to manage junior staff.

While Peter has found his Colorado hiking experiences rewarding, he asked himself, “what’s next?” His answer---exploring the beautiful landscape of Patagonia. Peter and his cousin, who recently completed a Peace Corps assignment in Paraguay, hiked the mountains of Patagonia for 10 days and kayak for three to four days. Stay tuned for a recap of his adventures!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Training Time - Chicago

Alex Bullington
Assurance Associate
Baltimore, Maryland
During the week of January 5-9, I attended McGladrey’s SYACAM (Starting Your Assurance Career At McGladrey) Level 1 training in Chicago with over 650 other assurance associates and interns. The expectation was to attend classes, learn as much as I could, and meet some new people. While I did accomplish these things, I also felt more established with the McGladrey family. Having only worked with professionals out of the Baltimore office, I hadn’t the opportunity to really understand the culture of the entire firm. Based on previous experiences with the Baltimore team, I knew that everyone was very helpful and dedicated to working as a team. The McGladrey brand is completely different from that of other accounting firms that I have experienced.

McGladrey prides itself on its culture, and the people I met in Chicago did not disappoint. From San Diego to Iowa City, Dallas to Minneapolis, everyone encompassed this brand. Personable, team-oriented, and hardworking, not only were the people I met a joy to be around, but I was also able to learn from their experiences with the firm, something that just attending a class perhaps couldn’t teach. 

Everything took place at the Q Center, a massive training complex with rooms, dining areas, and social settings. Each day involved getting together with your group, roughly 30 people, and working through the training manual in a classroom setting. With two experienced instructors, we never missed a beat. Albeit at times the information was overwhelming, the idea was to learn as much you could, process the key takeaways, and build relationships with your peers. Through group activities each day and social activities at night, the opportunities to network were enormous and we all took advantage of this aspect. The Q Center provided fantastic meals, lodging, and other accommodations, making the entire experience in Chicago well worthwhile. On the last night, we took the advantage of our downtime to head into Chicago, grab dinner, and experience the downtown area. This made for a great way to end what became a very beneficial experience and I’m looking forward to my time there at future training events.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pursue Your Passion: Smile Network International

Josh Rimpila, CPA
Supervisor, Assurance Services
Minneapolis, Minnesota
It was announced in October that three employees from McGladrey’s central region were to be awarded the opportunity to pursue their passion in 2015, with assistance from the firm. These employees were chosen to embrace “The Power of Being Understood” through the “McGladrey – Pursue Your Passion” program, and have been given the opportunity to support missions close to their hearts, while traveling around the world to do so. Josh Rimpila, audit supervisor in Minneapolis, was one of the three individuals selected and will be pursuing his passion in July 2015 with an 11-day Inca Trail trek to benefit Smile Network International.

“Doctors don’t know exactly why a baby develops a cleft lip or cleft palate. In developing countries, most parents can’t afford the cost to have their child’s cleft fixed.  But there is hope.  Hope for every child born with a cleft lip or palate. Hope arrives with every mission to a region by Smile Network International.” ~Smile Network International

As soon as the Pursue Your Passion Program was announced, Josh knew immediately that he wanted to apply, and more specifically, what he wanted to do. Born with a cleft lip and palate, Josh has a personal connection with the mission of Smile Network International. A Minneapolis-based charity, Smile Network International is a humanitarian organization that provides life-altering reconstructive surgeries and related healthcare services to impoverished children and adults in developing nations.

Being born in the United States, Josh’s family had access to the highest level of surgical care through the doctors at a local children’s hospital. As you can see in the picture below, the care he received led to amazing results. However, there are thousands of children around the world who are not as lucky. 

Growing up, Josh continuously looked for opportunities to help others dealing with cleft lips and palates, including donating Cleftline Bears to children in the hospital, donating to and attending events for cleft lip and palate support charities, and providing mentorship to other young individuals with this birth defect.

Josh had a desire to volunteer on an international scale with families that would otherwise not have the means or access to surgical care. One of the many ways to contribute to the mission of Smile Network International is by volunteering for a surgical mission team. Thanks to the Pursue Your Passion program, Josh now has the opportunity to volunteer internationally and impact the lives of children in developing countries.

To Josh, his mission will weave together several of McGladrey’s core values: respect, integrity, teamwork, excellence and stewardship, but none more so than teamwork. Individually, impoverished families cannot provide the necessary medical care for their children. The leadership of Smile Network International utilizes teamwork—fundraising efforts to support mission trips, organizing non-medical individuals and licensed medical professionals to donate time and skills, and much more to provide life-changing opportunities to children all over the world.

As part of the project, Josh will participate in the step-by-step process the day of the surgical screenings, assisting families from start to finish. On surgery days, he will be meeting with and helping the children and families prepare for the procedures, as well as assisting the children in the recovery room post-surgery. He will also have the opportunity to hike the Inca Trail. Additionally, as part of his trip, he will be establishing a $2,500 fundraising goal, which he plans to exceed. The funds will be used for future surgical missions. Over 82% of the organization’s expenditures are actually used for program services.

For Josh, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will have a lasting impact on the lives of incredibly special, strong and deserving families. By viewing David’s story, you will get a glimpse into the incredible gift that Smile Network International provides infants and their families in developing nations.

After Josh returns from his trip, we’ll provide a recap of his adventure!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

McGladrey & JA believe it's never too early to learn about business

Entrepreneurship and basic business concepts were the topic of discussion in a series of special classes taught by McGladrey volunteers at Bishop Woods School in New Haven, Conn., as part of  the local Junior Achievement Chapter's "JA in a Day" event. Everything from revenue, expenses, supply chain and other aspects of business were taught through a serious of age-appropriate activities for children in grades 3-6, according to marketing manager and volunteer Amy Fischer. "It was a fantastic experience to work with the students and see their enthusiasm around small business," said Amy.

Sr. manager Susan Martinelli, a member of the JA New Haven Volunteer Council along with supervisor Kevin Kiss, said McGladrey has been a part of this event for about five years, with a consistently strong showing with at least 10 to as many as 25 volunteers. "We also participate in networking events with JA frequently to increase participation in their activities and to educate others about the program," said Susan. Twelve volunteers from the New Haven and Stamford offices taught the classes individually or in pairs.

Partner Larry Carboni serves on the board of the JA New Haven Chapter and couldn't be more pleased about the active involvement of the McGladrey employees to help give back to the community in this special way. "As a member of the JA board in New Haven, I am very proud of all the people who participated in our JA in a Day event at Bishop Woods School in New Haven. Each team took valuable time from their busy schedules to prepare for and deliver multiple JA sessions that are typically presented over multiple days. The JA staff said that everyone did a great job and the day was a huge success," said Larry.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Meet McGladrey's Working Father of the Year

If you need moving boxes or advice on building a career in assurance, Joe Lee’s your guy. The trick will be finding an open slot on the calendar of McGladrey’s first-ever Working Father of the Year. 
Joe started as an assurance associate with McGladrey in 2005 shortly after graduating from Illinois State University. He and wife, Kristen, married the same year and their family grew nearly as quickly as his career. The couple’s first set of twins arrived in 2009, another pair came along three years later and they welcomed a fifth child this summer. Now an assurance senior manager, Joe uses his audit and accounting skills to stay on track, at home and at work. 

A planner at heart and a whiz with his Outlook calendar, Joe diligently blocks time for clients, kids, church and band practice. Despite traveling a lot for work and serving as career advisor to eight advisees, Joe works from home occasionally so he’s able to spend more time with his kids.

Regardless of where he is, Joe stays connected to staff and clients to meet their needs. Mark Tomaw, who was Joe’s career advisor and who nominated him for this award, says that Joe’s clients think highly of him and his exceptional client service. “He has been a good example for our staff showing that we can successfully manage both work and family lives,” Mark noted of Joe in his nomination. “In my 38 years with the firm, I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone do a better job at being a high producer at work without totally sacrificing his personal life. He always seems find a good balance.”

Joe is honored to have been named McGladrey’s first Working Father of the Year. “To me it means that McGladrey recognizes there’s more to life than work,” he says. “We work in a fast-paced industry and this award is confirmation that I can have a successful career here and not sacrifice my family to attain it. I don’t have to consider a different path elsewhere.” 

Joe says his No. 1 tip for working parents is maintaining a low stress level. “If I can’t control it, I don’t let it bother me.” He also leans on humor, a positive outlook and an equally organized wife. 

He’s given all of them a workout lately. Joe and his family have been busy relocating from Springfield, Illinois, to Des Moines, Iowa, so Joe can further his interest in insurance industry auditing. They should be unpacked soon and will probably share any moving boxes that haven’t been turned into forts or castles.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

McGladrey Named to 2014 Working Mother 100 Best Companies List

McGladrey is excited to announce that we were recently named by Working Mother magazine as one of the publication’s 2014 Working Mother 100 Best Companies. 

Working Mother recognized companies for outstanding leadership in establishing policies, programs and corporate culture that supports working moms, including child care, flexible work arrangements, paid parental leave and advancement of women. Companies are also measured on access to and use of family-friendly programs. 

“We are honored to receive this recognition for the eighth year,” said Richard Caturano, McGladrey’s national leader of culture, diversity and inclusion. “At McGladrey, we understand not only our clients’ needs, but also the needs of our employees – those who work so hard to help our clients meet and exceed their goals. Work-life balance and employee engagement have always been integral components of McGladrey’s commitment to creating a strong culture. In our most recent McGladrey People Survey, we saw a 16-percent increase from the previous year in our employees’ satisfaction. These statistics, and recognitions such as this one from Working Mother, recognize the commitment we have to our employees, and the fact that we continuously look for ways to enhance the value of the flexibility and benefits we provide.” 

“The Working Mother 100 Best Companies are the leaders in the advancement of women by supporting the need to integrate family and work successfully,” said Carol Evans, president at Working Mother Media. “We are thrilled to honor the U.S. companies that put words into action and build family-friendly cultures on the foundation of thoughtful policies and effective programs. Women make up 50 percent of our workforce. We need to make sure they have the support to be outstanding moms as well as great employees.”

“In its 29th year, the Working Mother 100 Best Companies are a powerful reminder of how great companies can and do create supportive work places for their employees,” said Jennifer Owens, editorial director of Working Mother Media. “All employers would do well to follow their lead if they want to attract and retain top talent.” 

The complete list of the 2014 Working Mother 100 Best Companies can be found here . All 2014 winners will be recognized at the Working Mother 100 Best Companies Gala Dinner on October 15, 2014 at the Marriott Marquis in NYC, as part of the Work Life Congress annual conference. 

About Working Mother Media
Working Mother Media, a division of Bonnier Corporation, is the publisher of Working Mother magazine (WMM) and its companion website, and is home to the Working Mother Research Institute. The National Association for Female Executives and Diversity Best Practices are also units within WMM. Working Mother Media’s mission is to serve as a champion of culture change. Working Mother magazine is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ALPFA Exposed

by Nelly Montoya, Assurance Senior Associate, San Francisco
and Michael Gerlach, Assurance Director, Chicago

The 2014 installment of the Annual ALPFA Convention was held August 2-6 in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Under the direction of Rich Caturano, McGladrey leadership chose approximately 25 professionals to represent the firm at the convention to learn more about the importance of diversity and inclusion, increase the familiarity of McGladrey in the professional and educational environments, and get to know the professionals and students attending. We were two of the lucky attendees that got to experience what ALPFA is all about and we’d like to share a little of that with you. But first, some background on ALPFA and the convention:

ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting) was established in 1972 and currently has over 23,000 professional and student members. The organization is the successor of the American Association of Hispanic Certified Public Accountants and was one of the first national associations of Latino professionals in the United States. With such rich history, it is no surprise that McGladrey has chosen ALPFA as one of the organizations to partner with in connection with its Culture Diversity and Inclusion initiative.

Every year, ALPFA hosts a national convention that brings together over 3,000 of the top Latino and other minority students and professionals from some of the biggest and best firms and companies (McGladrey, Big 4 firms, Merrill Lynch, Charles Schwab, BNY Mellon, Walmart, Disney, State Street, Johnson & Johnson, etc.) for a few days in order to focus on professional development, networking and leadership. The sponsors of the convention host both technical and soft-skill workshops for professionals and students, women of ALPFA events, a scholarship luncheon, a career fair and a closing black-tie gala, which all allow convention attendees the opportunity to tailor their convention experience. Additionally, the local chapter of the host city for the convention hosts several after-hours social events that really allow convention attendees to build lasting professional and personal relationships.

Having no idea of what to expect from the convention, we were completely blown away by the energy and excitement every single attendee exhibited throughout the entire five days. For us, it was truly an eye opening experience and by far one of the best professional conventions we have attended. The opportunity to introduce McGladrey to hundreds of students via the Jenga challenge workshop we hosted and the YouTube “Personalities Wanted” challenge were truly inspiring. (Plus, Michael being able to say his team won the Jenga challenge was exciting for him!) The tremendous feedback we received from the students highlighted how McGladrey made one of the biggest impressions of many of the companies in attendance. The excerpts from emails we received from students across the country, which we have included below, exemplify the energy McGladrey professionals put forth in taking a vested interest in each student. As a result of the conference, many students we met have since been through the McGladrey interview process and will be joining McGladrey in the next few months. In addition to meeting professionals and students outside of McGladrey, we also had an opportunity to meet other passionate McGladrey professionals committed to career development and to building a pipeline of talent to better serve McGladrey’s middle market clients. Words cannot express what a wonderful experience we had and we encourage all professionals to become involved.

Student excerpts:

I wanted to thank you for your time and effort that you took out of your busy schedule to come to the convention. It was a pleasure talking to you about what McGladrey has to offer and especially the social responsibility initiatives that have been initiated. I am glad to have shared my campus experiences and especially the non-profit MADE microfinance. I was interested and amazed about the community service initiatives that you and your team have taken.
-Student at Robert H. Smith School of Business, University Of Maryland College Park

It was a pleasure to be able to meet you at the ALPFA convention. Thanks again for inviting Marcela, Melissa, and me to sit with you and the other McGladrey professionals at the gala. It certainly shows how much McGladrey values students and wanted to get to know us on a more personal level. It was truly an honor and that definitely set McGladrey apart.
-Student at Florida International University

I would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with me about the Audit Summer 2015 Internship at McGladrey. It was a great pleasure meeting with you, I learned a lot about the culture, leadership philosophy, core values at McGladrey. Most importantly, I had the opportunity of getting to know you personally and professionally. I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of a career with McGladrey and working under your guidance.
​-Student at University of California, Riverside

It was a pleasure meeting you at the ALPFA National Convention and having you as an adviser for our team in the Jenga Structure Challenge! I really enjoyed this interactive workshop as it provided insight on my leadership style and the dynamics of a team in the public accounting profession. It was also interesting to hear about your experience and how you transitioned into your current role in Financial Services at McGladrey. Your story helped emphasize the fact that there is no set path that one needs to take to end up in public accounting. This is refreshing to hear, especially for me, as I prepare to decide where I will begin my career and how I can achieve my career goals.
-Student at Robert H. Smith School of Business