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”