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Thirty years ago, on this day, our firm was established after months of work and careful preparation by our founding partners David R. Malcolm, Frank Lanigan, and W. Kelly Ryan (pictured from left to right). After recognizing a need in the accounting community for CPAs that were strongly committed to excellence and sincerely cared about the wellbeing of their team and clients, this determined threesome founded a firm staffed with other professionals who shared these ideals. Since 1990, these same foundational elements have continuously strengthened our culture by informing our hiring decisions, guiding us toward lasting relationships, and clarifying new initiatives that would complement and enhance our mission.
One such element of our identity, our community outreach, began immediately with our participation in local organizations such as the Metro Washington Chapter and the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, the Maryland Association of CPAs, and more. It was our founders’ belief that to be relevant, we needed to be involved in the organizations and industries that mattered to our clients and our community, in addition to those of our own. It was this philosophy that prompted and encouraged many team members to volunteer to serve on committees and boards of local charities and professional not-for-profit organizations.
Our first annual Golf for Charity tournament debuted in 1992, only nineteen months after the firm’s establishment. The tournament allowed us to raise both awareness and financial contributions for worthy causes that personally touched our community, while also providing our team the chance to spend the day with our extended firm family of clients and friends. Over the years, the tournament has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to local not-for-profits, including A Wider Circle, Manna Food Center, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, N Street Village, the Maryland Family Network, and others.
In 2016, the firm launched its first annual community volunteer day, building on the momentum of the golf tournament and taking a more active role in the daily operation of the organizations in our community. Over the past four years, team members have sorted food donations, moved furniture, organized clothing donations, and packed backpacks for children in foster care, all in service to the community in which we reside.
It is with this same sincerity and personalized care that we engage with our internal team. As we have often stated, our people are the most important part of our organization. We have developed a culture that fosters and rewards contribution at all levels, equips our people with continuous, relevant education, and empowers them to move as far and as fast as their ambition allows. Within the firm, this is evidenced by our team-teaching environment and open-door policy, as well as the many programs and learning opportunities available to our team.
Our culture emphasizes the importance and the value of each team member, and for that reason we do our best to cultivate an environment that encourages collaboration and open communication. We take our bonding opportunities very seriously from happy hours to firm sponsored vacations. Team members and family attend annual ski trips and beach vacations to enviable locations such as beachfront Jamaican resorts and all-inclusive Cancun properties. We want to get to know our people and their people; it is this deep connection to our team that creates unparalleled bonds and team spirit.
In addition to our commitment to camaraderie, our firm values the professional (and personal) growth and development of our team. We financially support the attainment of professional licenses and dues related to professional organization memberships as well as the Continuing Professional Education classes required of those licenses (and beyond). We have established coaching and leadership development programs designed to promote self-awareness and enhance socio-emotional skill sets and, most recently, we developed an internal tax knowledge-share group to enhance the dissemination of important tax updates and encourage internal communication and collaborative problem-solving around important matters. This year also saw the launch of our women’s initiative to aid in their professional development and to encourage conversations about diversity.
Our dedication to the growth of our people and best-in-class deliverables naturally led to the development of many internal and external programs and also guided us toward collaboration with other leading experts. In January 2001, the firm joined AGN International, a global association of separate and independent accounting and advisory businesses; since that time, our firm has been the only Washington, DC area firm chosen for membership in this elite group. Members of this organization are subject to a pre-admission review and annual confirmation of good professional standing, requiring excellence of its membership. AGN International assists all member firms in maintaining high levels of service through available staff training and knowledge-sharing opportunities.
As we reflect on our 30-year history from only a handful of employees to a team of now over 40 including 6 partners, we celebrate the steady growth of our firm that has contributed to increased opportunities for our team members and our increased ability to provide resources to our clients and our network. These opportunities have allowed a smooth transition of our original Managing Partner Frank Lanigan to our present Managing Partner Kevin M. Doyle, the elevation of our second generation of partners (Partner Group includes Kevin M. Doyle, Stephen H. Staton, Brian K. Pollack, Stephen G. Dasher, Jason L. Mills, and Ryan Barnoski), and the creation of new director roles (Christopher J. Mathews, John G. Clay, and Brandon Blackburn). In recent years, we have celebrated the retirement of our three founders and their enduring legacy: a self-sustaining firm that is able to move forward by continually coaching our people and sharing successes with growth that continues to enable expansion of our service offerings. Our current leaders are vigilant in upholding our firm’s founding vision and values as we forge ahead.
As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of our firm, we wish to acknowledge and express gratitude to our extended community: the dedicated team members that strive for excellence for our clients and our team, our incredible clients making waves in their industries, and friends of the firm who have educated and worked with us to achieve our common goals of helping clients succeed. Thank you for your longstanding commitment and support. As we embark on the next 30 years of our firm history, we look forward to continuing these relationships and strengthening our partnerships for the advancement and success of our community.
Here’s to 30 more years!