November 29th, 2012 by Wade Kozich
On November 8, 2012 our last founding and namesake partner, Jack Boyle passed away. His obituary appeared in The Columbus Dispatch and we placed a memorial ad in Columbus Business First last week to celebrate his life and story.
I wanted to take a minute to tell you what Jack meant to the firm and to me, in particular.
Jack was our first designated Managing Director in 1979. Jack was responsible for laying the foundation of what is now our firm. Jack always wanted to do it right and do it best. He instilled in me and the firm that we always needed to reach for excellence. Jack was also a leading edge kind of guy. He helped form one of the very first CPA firm associations in the country and helped GBQ become the first firm in the country to advertise on public radio and public television with WOSU. We were always on the cutting edge of technology, always the first in town to acquire the latest and best computers. Jack believed in doing great work for clients and he expected to be paid well for doing so. He was a very tough but fair businessman and a respected leader with high integrity.
I joined the firm in 1976 at the age of 25. To be honest, I never expected to become a career CPA, but instead, had always planned to be an attorney like my Dad and brother. Jack is the reason I decided to make accounting my career. When I first started at the firm, I was a little disillusioned. Back then, the clients were a lot smaller than they are today and the type of work the firm was doing was much more basic. But Jack was in the process of changing all that and he took me under his wing. He put me on some of the firm’s best clients and taught me the ropes. There was one situation where a notoriously bad client was giving me a lot of grief over a mistake I had made. I was feeling pretty bad about it, but Jack pulled me into his office and told me that I was more important than that client and frankly, more important than any client the firm had. He believed in me and from that day forward I believed in the firm and in Jack. He made me a Partner at age 29 and I had the honor and pleasure of serving later in my career as the firm’s Managing Partner for a number of years. Everything I needed to know about business and how to run a quality firm, I learned from Jack. Even in retirement Jack continued to serve as a role model, logging in more hours at COSI than any volunteer in the organization’s history – what a guy.
While I have a great sense of loss with Jack’s passing, I know his lessons will stay with me forever; and whether the younger folks in our firm can connect the dots or not, we all owe a great debt of gratitude to Jack for our careers and this great firm. Without his early leadership, we would not have the firm we have today. He will forever be a role model and we will always remember him fondly.