Every summer we conduct an Annual Firm Meeting for associates. It is typically very long but also very informative. A lot of what we discuss is very important, but you can only have so much “very important” so we have made a tradition of sprinkling in a little something to keep everyone awake.

Enter: Firm Meeting Fun Committee. Credit for the creation of potentially the most essential and influential internal committee in the history of the firm must be given to the one and only Bob Stillman (How many of you remember the CPA Firm Force, Powers and Payne?). To my knowledge, these started right around the time we moved HQ from the Brewery District to our current home in the Arena District. This, too, has become part of our personality as our associates look forward to the annual “skits” the Fun Committee creates each June.

One thing we know from experience: if you’re invited to be part of one of the skits, you accept the challenge. We poke fun at ourselves in doing these skits, i.e., Wade Kozich First-Year Associate, annual Top Ten lists, a Justin Timberlake dance video, Rocky training video, just to name a few. As far as the piñata award, Tim Schlotterer has been a pretty good sport over the years, just seems to be such an easy target. Tim and Tik Tok though, I can’t even go there. But my personal favorite… Partner Mean Tweets.

Here’s where I come in. 2018’s Partner Mean Tweets were near and dear to my heart because I actually wrote the majority of them. That’s right, if I learned anything from Bobby Stills, it was that if you don’t want to be the target of the annual firm meeting skits, then you better keep your spot on the Fun Committee.

Are you kidding? That’s easy! Twelve-year committee member right here! This year’s firm meeting, albeit virtual, did not disappoint.  There’s no doubt you can all relate to how quickly a Zoom meeting can go south with all of you overachievers out there still trying to prove your worth from your personal WFH office setting. Unfortunately, per my Tim comment above, our attempt at Associate Tik Tok videos… not so much. Anthony Ott gets a huge A for effort. Who knew a Utica Redskin could move like that?

The important parts of this year’s meeting? There were plenty. Who isn’t currently analyzing and strategizing through this relatively new normal we’re all still getting accustomed to? Firm metrics, promotions (Huge shout out to Tobin, find me a nicer guy!), new certifications (Congrats Mallory!), an occasional retirement announcement (My man Mike Dickson, 43 years in the biz.)… all part of every firm meeting. However, I learned a lot of great news about the firm this year that should not be taken for granted:

  • Named 2020 Best Workplaces by Ohio Business Magazine
  • Nominated “Best Accounting Firm (More than 20 CPAs)” in the Columbus CEO 12th Annual Best of Business Awards. Voting is open until August 3rd!
  • Named the United Way of Greater Toledo “Small but Mighty” award recipient, recognizing a company under 50 employees with the highest percentage of contribution growth from the prior year.

Finally, on a more serious note, this blogging situation, I love it! The jargon is taking some getting used to. While I’ve been pleading with the firm for the title Chief Personality Officer, I’m starting to think Chief Social Influencer has more of a ring to it. But based merely on definition, I’m not quite there. I need likes, likes, shares, likes, engaging conversations, likes, follows, and more likes. That’s where all of you come in – I want your help to help me get there. Since I’m no celebrity (at least outside of my own head), “mega influencer” status is out of the question. But I’m quite certain we can get from “nano influencer” (the equivalent of an undrafted free agent showing up uninvited to Short Season Rookie Ball in baseball terminology) to “micro influencer” (a spot on the Single A team) in a very short amount of time.

See you next week!

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