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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.  

New Northwest Ohio Manufacturing Alliance Seeks Members

Manufacturing Alliance Northwest Ohio NOMASomething very exciting is happening in the manufacturing industry in Northwest Ohio. Something that’s never happened before. Manufacturing businesses are coming together as partners to work to solve what is arguably the biggest challenge to face the industry over the last several decades: the skilled labor shortage. Talk to just about any of the thousands of manufacturing & distribution businesses across the region and they’ll say the same thing: we can’t find qualified people to hire. Businesses have tried to deal with the issue on their own for years. Now they’re working together with other businesses to find solutions.

Area manufacturers form alliance

What's hoped to be a critical turning point in the skilled labor shortage in Northwest Ohio came in recent months when a group of manufacturers came together and formed the Northwest Ohio Manufacturing Alliance (NOMA). The alliance works with many stakeholders including educators, other workforce initiatives and economic development organizations with the goal of promoting manufacturing as a career choice.

“We know there are fulfilling manufacturing careers just waiting for young people to step into these roles,” says Lisa Wojtkowiak with Betco Corporation, one of the founding members of NOMA. “They can make a very good living, often get trained by their employers, and start out their earning careers with absolutely no student loan debt.”

NOMA works in collaboration with the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA). It is one of many sector partnerships formed in recent years through the OMA, which has an online hub for workforce services, including sector partnerships. The core counties served by NOMA in Northwest Ohio include Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Williams and Wood.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler got involved in the manufacturing workforce discussion after holding a panel discussion to address the challenge in the Spring of 2017.

“Our panel discussion really opened our eyes to just how critical this issue is to our manufacturing & distribution clients,” says GJM partner Wes Beham, who leads the firm’s Manufacturing Specialist Team. “We believe its important to stay involved and informed on this issue. If there’s any way we can help our clients and other manufacturers to solve this problem, we are all for it.”

GJM has a robust online resource for manufacturers on the workforce challenge as well. The GJM web page looks at the larger picture of how we got here and potential some ways to move the needle. The resource also offers insight from some of the people in Northwest Ohio and statewide who are working hard on behalf of manufacturers on the issue. You can also watch some video clips from the GJM panel discussion on the skilled labor shortage.

NOMA goals

NOMA ‘s founders hope the alliance is key to solving the skilled labor shortage in our region. The organization has a vision and goals identified, including to:

  • Influence educators and economic development groups
  • Be the regional voice for manufacturers
  • Enhance the image of manufacturing and career opportunities with regional manufacturers
  • Create a seamless pathway from K-12 through post-secondary education to prepare communities for the everchanging skills needed in manufacturing

Founding members include: Altenloh, Brinck & Co. US, Inc., Betco, GKN Driveline, Principle Business Enterprises, Rosenboom, Sauder Woodworking Company, Spangler Candy Company and Vehtek.

“We are off to a great start, but NOMA is so new that many business owners aren’t even aware we exist,” says Kip Winzeler with Altenloh, Brinck & Co. “We need to grow our numbers. The more businesses we have on board, the stronger we’ll be.”

There are a number of different membership levels for manufacturers. To learn more about NOMA membership, manufacturers can contact:

Lisa Wojtkowiak, Betco Coproration at lwojtkowiak@betco.com

Kip Winzeler, Altenloh, Brinck & Co. at kip.winzeler@altenloh.us

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 Staff Announcements

Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) has announced some key promotions and new staff members that strengthen the Firm and its leadership team. The promotions are effective January 1, 2019.

Judy Anderson Gilmore Jasion MahlerJudy Anderson and Matt Cavanagh are promoted to partner. Anderson, a Toledo native and graduate of The University of Toledo has been with the firm for 11 years. She has over twenty years of experience in public accounting and in the healthcare industry. A member of Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s healthcare and outsourced accounting group, she works with many of the Firm’s healthcare clients providing practice management and consulting services.  

Matt Cavanagh Gilmore Jasion MahlerCavanagh, a Bowling Green native and BGSU graduate, joined Gilmore Jasion Mahler in November of 2005. Also a member of the Firm’s healthcare team, Matt’s focus is healthcare services. His expertise is in ambulatory surgery centers, outsourced accounting, practice management and modeling.

“Judy and Matt are already valued members of our leadership team,” says Gilmore Jasion Mahler Managing Partner Kevin Gilmore. ”Their hard work and dedication have strengthened our healthcare specialty and the Firm as a whole. I’m thrilled to see them both reach partner level.”

Nikki Clement Gilmore Jasion MahlerThe Firm also announced some other key promotions. Partner Nikki Clement has been named managing partner of Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Findlay office. Partner Mike Brough will lead growth efforts for the Findlay office. Nikki Clement's focus is the utilities industry. She specializes in accounting for regulated utilities.

Mike Brough Gilmore Jasion MahlerMike Brough works across a number of industries including manufacturing & distribution, government, and nonprofit operations.

Steve Miller is being promoted to senior manager. Both Ryan Avery and Ryan Emerson are promoted to supervisor and Nick Jackson is promoted to senior associate.

Earlier in the year, Diane Stretten and Mary Jo Pitzen were promoted to senior manager. Andrea Jennex moved up to supervisor in the GJM Findlay office. Ben Lochbihler was promoted to manager and Corey Selhorst, Lauren Grana and Clay Barron were all promoted to senior associate.

The Firm also brought on well over a dozen new employees in 2018 to further strengthen GJM’s administrative team and client service. They include Elijah Blackburn, Alyssa Essert, Alexandria Frances, Courtney Haas, Nicole Hartranft, Jennifer Henning, Dana Herr, Thomas Keyser, Jessica Knepper, Dylon Lause, Wendy Long, Tim Merkel, Madeline Mielcarek, Caleb Neeper, Joe Osentoski, Tina Rochowiak and Logan Sager.

“I couldn’t be happier with the staff we have in place headed into 2019,” says Gilmore. “When you have great people, great things happen. I’m excited to see what we can accomplish at a 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 services 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.

State and Local Sales Tax Turned Upside Down

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its highly anticipated decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, overruling Quill’s physical presence sales tax nexus standard. This decision will have significant implications for almost all industries, but especially consumer products (retailers) and industrial products.

With a new sales tax nexus standard established, more states will require all businesses that sell within their borders to collect that state’s sales tax. About a dozen states have already addressed this issue.

However, Wayfair has created many more questions than answers. Adapting your business to the new sales and use tax landscape will take time, even though you may need to react quickly.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler is here to help you sort through the changes and impact on your business. We encourage you to reach out to any of our tax partners to discuss how you’re impacted.

A member firm of the RSM US Alliance, we would also like to share with you an RSM alert U.S. Supreme Court kills Quill physical presence on the ruling that we hope you find helpful.

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 services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm's professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities

Changes to 529 College Savings Plans

Charlie Heid interviewed on WTOL with Amanda FayA popular tool for parents trying to save for their child’s college education is now even more helpful for families. Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Charlie Heid tackled the topic during his monthly appearance on WTOL’s “Your Day.” It’s called a “529” plan and is basically like a 401K, but it saves for your child’s education instead of your retirement. It’s an investment account that allows families to let money grow tax free to help pay for a child’s college education. It’s become a popular savings tool to ease the financial burden for parents who want to pay for their child’s college education.

The new tax law now allows families to use up to $10,000 a year in 529 funds for elementary and high school costs as well as college costs.

Some more good news is that the tax deduction you can take has also doubled in Ohio from $2,000 per child to $4,000 per child. That change was part of the budget bill passed last year in Ohio. The Michigan deduction is $5,000.

There is no annual limit for contributions to a 529 plan, but keep in mind you or a family member (like your kids grandparents) can give up to $15,000 a year (or $30,000 per married couple) to your child’s 529 account without having to pay any federal gift tax.

While these are state-run plans, you don’t have to use the 529 plan for your state. You may find you like the rate of return better on an out of state plan.

529 plans pay for college related costs (and now high school and elementary school costs) including:

  • Tuition
  • Mandatory fees
  • Room and board

Be aware, there are fees associated with 529 plans, so you need to ask questions and inquire about potential administrative fees or an application fee. Sometimes these fees can be waived, for example, if you maintain a certain balance, or agree to electronic only document delivery. Also be aware that a 529 plan could impact your child’s eligibility for financial aid based upon need.

529 plans are sponsored by states, state agencies, or sometimes educational institutions. There’s a nice website collegesavings.org established by the National Association of State Treasurers called the College Savings Plan Network with some good information. You can search info on any state’s 529 plans.

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 services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.