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Welcome Back to GJM, Lauren

Lauren Webber Gilmore Jasion MahlerA familiar face has returned to Gilmore Jasion Mahler. Lauren Webber is back on board as a Tax Supervisor and member of GJM's Construction Specialist Team and Manufacturing Specialist Team. Enjoy this Q&A. Welcome back, Lauren!

When did you start employment at GJM? 10/28/19 – formerly employed 2015-2017

Why did you choose the accounting industry? I like working with people and numbers.

What do you like best about accounting? Helping people solve problems/reach goals.

Are you from the Toledo area originally? If not, where are you from? I am from Toledo.

What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? I love the greater Toledo area!  It’s a community-minded and engaging place to be.

Anything you’d like to share about your past professional experience? I am proud to have been the Owens Corning Volunteer of the Year in 2018.

Do you have any pets, hobbies, family? I have way too many pets- cats, dogs, fish, reptiles, small mammals, you name it.

How do you like to spend your free time? With pets/family/friends.  I also enjoy running, painting, reading, playing piano.

Favorite song or music? That’s too hard to pick!

Favorite book or movie? Book- A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving | Movie- Donnie Darko

Are you involved in any community organizations, do any volunteer work? I am the treasurer for Paws & Whiskers Cat Shelter and for Toledo Streets Newspaper.

What is something people may be surprised to find out about you? I hope to have farm animals one day.   

Sweeping Changes to Retirement Planning

Required Minimum Distributions Change 2020Sweeping change is coming to the way you plan for your retirement. Congress passed the SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act as part of a huge government spending deal at the end of 2019. Gilmore Jasion Mahler is already getting questions from clients wondering how they’re affected by the changes.  

While the SECURE Act includes a number of changes that will impact retirement planning, the change with perhaps the most immediate impact involves the age at which individuals need to start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their retirement accounts. As of the year 2020, that age has been changed to 72 years old from the former age of 70-and-a-half years old. Here’s an important note: If you were 70-and-a-half at the end of 2019, you are not impacted by the law change, and will still need to start taking your RMDs at 70-and-a-half years old.

The SECURE Act brings other retirement planning changes as well, including:

  • Increasing restrictions on how non-spouse beneficiaries stretch out RMDs from a loved one’s retirement account
  • Allowing people who work past the age of 70-and-a-half to contribute to an IRA (with some restrictions)

What should you do?

The SECURE Act could change how you plan for your retirement in a number of ways. It is important that you consult with your GJM tax advisor to understand the impact as it relates to your personal situation. You can learn more about GJM's tax experts and our team capabilities here.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.  

GJM’s Bob Bobek Receives National Award

Bob Bobek CFMA AwardGilmore Jasion Mahler Partner Bob Bobek has been honored for his contributions to the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Northwest Ohio Chapter.

The Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) is a national group supporting individuals in financial positions at construction companies. CFMA provides unique training tailored to financial/construction professionals, networking opportunities with their peers and other resources.  Most major cities in the US have a chapter.   

On December 19, 2019 Bob was awarded the Chairman’s Challenge Coin, a national award recently established by CFMA to recognize members for “service and excellence.” The Chairman’s Challenge Coin is awarded every year to about 25 individuals around the country. Bob is the first person from the local chapter to be honored with the award. A CFMA member for over 15 years, and board member for the local chapter, Bob received the award to recognize his work chairing what’s being hailed as one of the most successful state conferences in Ohio history (the 2017 Buckeye Conference) and helping to host one of the most successful golf outings ever for Northwest Ohio CFMA.

Matthew Harper, a fellow Northwest Ohio CFMA member and an attorney with Eastman & Smith, was also on the 2017 Buckeye Conference Committee.

“Bob has what I would call ‘infectious enthusiasm’ for anything he does,” says Harper. “He wants to make any event bigger and better than anyone thought possible and energizes a team to get that done. And he has a boatload of fun along the way!”

Another fellow CFMA Northwest Ohio member Teri Goins, the controller for The Spieker Company, also helped plan the 2017 Buckeye Conference, and worked with Bob on the golf outing.

“Bob just has taken every challenge and says ‘we are going to make this the best ever!’ He set our goals very high and somehow he brings everyone up to that level. And, like Matt said, we have fun doing it! Bob really is just a champion for our CFMA chapter. He deserves any and all awards we could give him.”

Pamela Hepburn of OCP Contractors , who is on the national board for CFMA, nominated Bob for the award and made the award presentation.  

Bob says he has been on both the CFMA golf event and Buckeye conference committees for quite some time, ultimately chairing both. He says the local chapter golf outing was chaired for many years by longtime CFMA members Bob and Kathy Gummow, who grew the event into a very popular outing and a successful fundraiser. The event raises money to support accounting/finance scholarships at The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University. Each year the Northwest Ohio chapter provides $10,000 to each school. 2019 was the local chapter’s 25th golf outing. It was sold out two months prior to the event and raised about $24,000 for scholarships.

“Of course, none of this would be attainable except for the great support from many sponsors and the hard work of the golf committee co-chaired by me and Laura Brandt of Campbell Mechanical Services,” says Bobek.

Appointed chairman of the 2017 Buckeye Conference in 2015, Bob says he jumped in with both feet and started organizing the event two years in advance. The Buckeye Conference is co-presented by the Cincinnati and Toledo Chapters of CFMA and the chapters switch off hosting. Bob says the committee had a vision to take the 2017 event to a new level and have the feel of the national CFMA conference, with keynote speakers, great networking opportunities and fun events. The conference was to be hosted in Toledo. Bob wasted no time and secured keynote speaker and former Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland (a Toledo native).

“Then we started raising awareness through sponsorship opportunities, securing a significant amount of sponsorships, which allowed us bring in two additional national speakers. We also planned a dinner showcasing Toledo’s nationally recognized Toledo Museum of Art, which included a glassblowing demonstration.”

He says conference sessions were held in a state-of-the-art auditorium located on the first level of One Seagate. The location provided plenty of great seating and showcased all of the exciting development happening in downtown Toledo at the time. The conference agenda also included a welcome networking event at the Heights, the top floor bar/restaurant at the new Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel overlooking the Maumee River. 

“We also had rooms available for out of town guests at the hotel, which sold out,” he says. “The conference had an approximately 30% increase in attendees and was able to generate a significant excess of revenue over expenses to be used by the Toledo & Cincinnati chapters for future programs and events. None of this would have been possible without great support from sponsors and all the hard work by the planning committee.”

Plans will soon be underway for the next Buckeye Conference hosted by the Toledo chapter, scheduled for 2021. Bob will be chairman for that event as well.

Bob Bobek receives national awardThe CFMA Chairman’s Challenge Coin was established in 2018 by CFMA Chairman Joe McLaughlin as a way to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of members on an ongoing basis. The organization’s website says the idea was born out of the military tradition of a challenge coin. Bob is featured on the national CFMA website with other CFMA Chairman’s Challenge Coin recipients. He says he was taken totally by surprise when given the award at the holiday gathering for CFMA Northwest Ohio.

“I am honored. None of this would have been possible without the hard-working members of each committee. Upon learning of the award, I was totally speechless, which, as you know, doesn’t happen that often for me.”

Bob Bobek is an audit partner with Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD. Practicing in excess of 35 years and with GJM for 15 years, he works across many industries with an expertise in the construction industry, leading GJM’s Construction Specialist Team.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

GJM’s Mary Jo Pitzen Promoted to Partner

Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s (GJM’s) Mary Jo Pitzen, CPA has been promoted to partner with the firm. Mary Jo has been with GJM for over 12 years. She is a member of the firm’s Construction Specialist Team. Mary Jo provides tax planning, compliance and business advisory services for individuals and all types of businesses in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and professional services.

“This is a very well-earned promotion. Mary Jo provides great client service and has done an excellent job in helping to continue growth in our construction practice,” says GJM Managing Partner Kevin Gilmore.

Mary Jo is a member of the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Northwest Ohio chapter. She is also a member of the local chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), holding a board position with the organization for the last four years.

A graduate of The University of Toledo, Mary Jo joined GJM upon graduation and has been with the firm ever since.

“I love who I work with, both within the firm and the clients we serve. We have a great group of people at all levels who work well together, share and encourage each other to grow. I love our team-oriented atmosphere.”

Mary Jo is also a graduate of Leadership Toledo and will soon be a graduate of the Partner Development Program (PDP) through the RSM US Alliance. The program offers training to improve leadership skills.

“My biggest take away from PDP is a better understanding of who I am. It will make me a better coach for young people coming up in the firm and allow me to better serve my clients as well.”

Mary Jo lives in Waterville with her husband and 6-year-old son.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. GJM’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Cassi Cronin Joins GJM Team

Cassi Cronin Gilmore Jasion MahlerA number of new staff members have come on board with Gilmore Jasion Mahler in recent months. Among them, Cassi Cronin, who joined us as an Audit Associate. Here’s a chance to get to know Cassi better… everything from why she chose accounting to her favorite kind of music. Enjoy this Q&A. Welcome, Cassi!

Describe your role at GJM: I’m not really sure what it is quite yet since we are still in the training phases and are getting familiar with the systems, but we will be performing audits, reviews, and compilations.

When did you start employment/will you start at GJM? Sept 16, 2019

Why did you choose the accounting industry? I liked numbers and it was a class I enjoyed in school.

Why did you specifically decide that GJM was a good fit for you? The people I met were very supportive and kind and the location was perfect for me.

Are you from the Toledo area originally? If not, where are you from? Yes Fremont

What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? Being around family and friends.

Where did you go to school? BGSU for both undergrad and grad school.

Would you like to share any info on family, pets, etc.? I have 2 older sisters and a younger brother who just started his freshman year of college at ONU. One of my sisters is married and has 2 kids, Connor (Age 7) and Cora (Age 5).

How do you like to spend your free time? Playing volleyball, playing cards/board games, and cornhole with family/friends. Traveling to places I’ve never been. I went to Vegas, Bradenton Beach Florida, Myrtle Beach, Cancun and Nashville over the past couple of years.

Are you involved in any community organizations, do any volunteer work? Is there a particular cause you feel strongly about? If so, why? I am not involved in anything right now but would like to get involved in something soon. I’m not sure what yet.

Favorite song or music?  I listen to a little bit of everything, but my go to is usually country or pop like the Backstreet Boys or Jonas Brothers.

Favorite book or movie? Book: Harry Potter, I don’t really have a favorite movie.