• GJM Blog

    Important Industry News & Helpful Tips

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.   

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.

Tax Partner Steve Schult to Retire

After 21 years with Gilmore Jasion Mahler (GJM), Tax Partner Steve Schult has decided it is time to retire at the end of 2019. Steve works with many different clients, from individuals to family businesses to multi-national companies. Aside from his client service, he is a career advisor to young professionals within the firm and has taken an active role in GJM’s community service efforts. As he prepares to retire, he took some time to reflect on his years of client service and his time at GJM.

What do you like most about the work you do?

Steve: Getting to know and working with clients - and helping them not only save taxes, but also make decisions that are best for their businesses and their families. I have always said that taxes are a piece of your decision, not the whole decision. Being in public accounting my whole career, I also always appreciated the fact that I was working with the best and the brightest.  I learned something every day from not only my other partners, but everyone in the firm.

What made you decide to retire now?

Steve: My wife Diane and I both had some prior health issues.  We are fine now, but it makes you realize that life is short.  It’s time to slow down and smell the roses.  (For you Michigan fans, just FYI, you smell a lot of roses when you go out to the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl!)

What will you miss the most?

Steve: That’s easy – the daily interactions with clients and the people at GJM.  I am extremely lucky to have worked with so many smart, quality and fun people in my career.  I already know I will struggle with that.

What will you miss the least?

Steve: That’s easy too - Keeping track of time daily and the constant tax deadlines.

Favorite story about helping a client with a tax problem?

Steve: There are actually two stories.

Early in my career I had a 70-year-old client who owed a lot of money on his tax return because he had a large capital gain that was missed in his year-end planning.  I felt it would be best to meet with him to personally review the return.  I called and said I would like to meet him to review his return with him – and he said to meet him at his office on my way in to work the next morning.

After losing sleep that night thinking about the meeting, I met him at his office the next morning.  Upon entering his office, he said “Stevie, you are never going to believe what I got it the mail yesterday when I got home from work.  I applied for tickets to the Masters golf tournament 40 years ago and was informed that I am finally off the waiting list. I now have four tickets to the Masters for the rest of my life!”  Upon asking what I wanted to discuss with him I said, “You owe $25,000 on your tax return”.  He said “Stevie, no problem – I don’t care.  You must not have heard me.  I now have four tickets to the Masters for the rest of my life!”  Timing is everything!  

I also had a large business client who was going through a tough IRS audit.  While most IRS auditors I worked with were pretty reasonable, the agent on this case was very difficult.  Wanting to hopefully resolve a few issues with him, the client and I met with him one day right after he had gotten back from the eye doctor – and he was wearing sunglasses because his pupils were dilated.  Having recently watched some poker tournaments on TV, I semi-jokingly told him it wasn’t fair that he was wearing sunglasses during a negotiation.

After failing to come to an agreement, we requested a meeting with him and his case manager to hopefully resolve our issues.  Upon entering the meeting a few days later, the client team and I were all wearing sunglasses.  The IRS case manager was very amused by this, setting the tone to finally get the issues on the audit resolved.

Favorite memory or story from your time at GJM?

Steve: While there are many, my favorite memory is from our involvement with Flag City Honor Flight.  The night we raised over $125,000 we were all in shock.  Going to Washington DC as a guardian on one of the flights was also a memory I will never forget – and is something I would encourage everyone to do.

What are your plans in retirement?

Steve: Getting in shape; learning to play the guitar; hiking a few times a week in Oak Openings with my two dogs (they keep me walking at a brisk pace); XC-skiing; fly-fishing; learning woodworking from my dad and helping him on the family farm; more time with Diane, (which she may regret) kids and grandkids; getting more active on a few boards; travel; and many more fun adventures that I don’t even know about yet.

Do you have any travel scheduled?

Steve: Yes.  XC-skiing trip in January, visit cousins in Lake Tahoe in February, finally getting to go to Detroit Tigers spring training in Lakeland Florida in March, a trip to hike in the Scottish Highlands this summer, and other trips with kids/grandkids that we haven’t quite finished scheduling yet.

Are you totally disconnecting from GJM or will you be around for client issues, etc.?

Steve: While I don’t want to interfere with other people at GJM developing their own relationships with clients I worked with in the past, I will still be in the Toledo area and will be available as needed.  I want to make sure there is a smooth transition and want to also make sure our clients are being properly served.  I’m sure I could add historical perspective that may be helpful in some situations.   

Will you still stay involved in some GJM events, like the Big Brothers Big Sisters Holiday Party and Flag City Honor Flight?

Steve: If I am not traveling, I would certainly be available to help with the many great causes GJM has supported over the years.

There’s been a lot of change in the accounting industry during your time in the field.  Do you have any advice you’d give to young people pursuing the field now?

Steve: Every industry is constantly changing.  I think the best advice for any young person is pretty easy:  Work hard, communicate, get involved in your community, and show your clients, your family and the people that work with you that you appreciate and care about them.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Steve: As I mentioned before, I know I will miss the constant interactions with clients and the people at GJM.  Those people become part of your family.  I am not leaving the Toledo area.  Now that I will have the time, hopefully people will still occasionally call me for breakfast, lunch, dinner, fishing, etc.  I know Diane will appreciate them getting me out of the house and out of her hair for a while!

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.  

Welcome to GJM, Maggie

The GJM family has grown in 2019, with a number of new staff members joining the firm. That includes Tax Associate Maggie Kelly, who spent time at GJM during her internship. Here’s a Q&A that offers you the chance to get to know Maggie a bit better as she settles in at the firm.

Describe your role at GJM – Performing individual, business, and nonprofit returns.

When did you start employment at GJM – September 2019.

Why did you choose the accounting industry – In my freshman year of college, I learned that accounting is the language of business. Since then, I knew accounting would be an important part of my life regardless of what business route I pursued. The more accounting classes I took, the more interested I became in the methodology, problem solving, and interpersonal communication that take place in the field.

Why did you specifically decide that GJM was a good fit for you? The culture was so welcoming, and the people here are excited and positive, even during busy season! This was so different than previous accounting firms I had interacted with, and immediately grabbed my attention.

Are you from the Toledo area originally? If not, where are you from? I am a born and raised Toledoan!

What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? My family lives here, and most of the people from the Toledo area are really proud of the improvements Toledo has made.

Where did you go to school? The University of Toledo

Would you like to share any info on family, pets, etc.? I have a mini-goldendoodle, Bowie, named after one of my favorite musicians, David Bowie.

How do you like to spend your free time? I like to look for lucky stones and sea glass at Lake Erie whenever I have the time.

Are you involved in any community organizations, do any volunteer work? Is there a particular cause you feel strongly about? If so, why? I volunteer at St. Paul’s Community Center in Toledo which focuses on helping those in need and providing skills and nourishment to those in the Toledo community.

Favorite song or music? I love anything 80s, but my favorite song is Under Pressure by David Bowie.

Favorite book or movie? My favorite movie is 50 First Dates.

What is something people may be surprised to find out about you? I have an identical twin sister, and we are also mirrored twins. That means if we stood in front of eachother it would be like looking in a mirror. For example, one of us is left-handed, the other is right-handed.

Anything else you’d like to add? I’m ecstatic to be back!