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Q&A With GJM’s Mike Flory

GJM is pleased to welcome Mike Flory to the team. Mike is a senior associate in risk consulting with GJM who joined the firm in late June. Here’s a chance to get to know him a little better. Welcome to the team, Mike!   

Describe your role at GJM: I will be performing Internal Audit work over IT general control, application control, and key report testing. I will also be getting involved in researching and developing new programs at GJM like analytics and automation, cybersecurity, and disaster recovery.  

Why did you choose the accounting industry? I choose the accounting industry partially because of my parents, but also because I found my accounting classes easy in college and enjoyed my first internship in accounting with ZF.

What do you like best about accounting? I really enjoy the money side of accounting and that accounting is really the language of how a business runs. I also like that you do not have to be super creative to be an accountant.

Are you from the Toledo area originally? If not, where are you from? I am from Canton, Michigan (where the Ikea store is).

What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? I actually still live in Southeastern Michigan. I like all of the restaurants, entertainment (sports teams, bowling, axe throwing, golf, etc. in the area, and closeness to family and friends.

Anything you’d like to share about your past professional experience? I started my career as a risk advisory associate with a “big four” firm. I worked there for just under two years before I made the move to GJM.

Do you have any pets, hobbies, family you’d like to tell us about? I have three younger sisters and a black lab named Simon. My hobby is to get out and explore some new places either in Michigan or in new states.

How do you like to spend your free time? I have many activities that I enjoy in my free time including attending and watching sporting events, playing Xbox (MLB, NHL, Call of Duty), golfing, playing pickup basketball/baseball/football, cooking, listening to podcasts and spending time with my friends.

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 currently involved in volunteer work. But I would love to be a coach on my former high school football team and get involved in the Michigan Humane Society, because I love dogs and kittens!

Favorite song or music? I listen to a solid mix of music including multiple genres: hip-hop, pop, classic rock, alternative and a little metal. I really enjoy most music except country.

Favorite book or movie? Favorite books are the Harry Potter series. Favorite movies are anything Marvel.

What is something people may be surprised to find out about you? I was born in California and lived there 4.5 years.

Anything else you’d like to add? I am excited to join the GJM family, and to further develop my professional career!

Welcome, Mike!

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.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler Announces Several Promotions

Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is pleased to announce a number of staff promotions in both the Maumee and Findlay offices, effective July 1, 2021.

Caitlin Bainter, CPA and Amanda Lewis, CPA have been promoted to Senior Manager. Ryan Avery, CPA, Ryan Emerson, CPA and Mackenzie Gross, CPA have been promoted to Manager. Adam Larkins, CPA, Alyssa Lecurgo, Dana Lumbrezer, CPA and Chris Scherley are promoted to Supervisor and Cassi Cronin, CPA, Emily Eckroth, CPA, Thomas Keyser, Hayden Neese and Grace Reddick, CPA are promoted to Senior Associate. 

“These promotions reflect hard work, dedication and commitment. The past year has been anything but normal. Our staff, including all those promoted this month, have done a remarkable job of staying focused, getting the work done and staying connected as a team,” says Managing Partner Kevin Gilmore. “It is gratifying to see our staff advance in their careers and professional development.”  

There are currently several opportunities at GJM for those just beginning their careers, and for more experienced professionals in tax, assurance, and risk advisory. Learn more at GJMLTD.com/careers.

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.

Growing Skills and Future Leaders: The Story of GJM University

Caitlin Bainter GJM University Gilmore Jasion MahlerGilmore Jasion Mahler’s (GJM) Caitlin Bainter says she was ready for a new challenge in her life about a year and a half ago. With the firm for 12 years, she started contemplating what that challenge might be. The next thing she knew, she found herself pursuing a master’s degree in organization development at Bowling Green State University. That’s on top of her full-time role as a consulting & assurance manager at GJM.

She says she found the course of study fascinating and interesting. The BGSU Executive Master of Organization Development program focuses on theories and best practices aimed at increasing the effectiveness of organizations and individuals. Caitlin says it felt unique, and she didn’t really see anyone around her who had that kind of knowledge. She thought the skills would serve her well in her professional life. It turns out she was right.

As Caitlin worked toward her degree (during the COVID-19 pandemic), a conversation came up with GJM Assurance Department head Greg Taylor. He said firm leadership was interested in expanding internal skill development and putting more of a solid framework around growing essential skills in team members, particularly in their first five years at GJM.

“We had been looking at expanding internal programming and needed to figure out how to do it,” says Caitlin. I happened to be studying this stuff in school and it seemed like a good fit.”

“She took the ball and ran with it,” says Taylor. “It was exciting to see her enthusiasm for the project, and to see her personal and professional growth along the way.”

So, Caitlin started exploring how she might be able to take what she was learning in the classroom and apply it to GJM. When a school project came up, she wondered if the firm needed anything and spoke with Managing Partner Kevin Gilmore.

“We’re always looking at how we can grow at GJM,” says Gilmore. “When Caitlin and I spoke, I mentioned that I would be interested in learning why we don’t see more female leadership in our Assurance Department. I suggested that she take a look at diversity at the firm to see what she could learn.”

“I saw that the public accounting industry has a long way to go nationally when it comes to diversity, and we have the potential to be a leader,” says Caitlin. “In aggregate as a firm, I found that we are actually ahead of the curve when it comes to female leadership and working toward balancing male and female leadership pipelines between our departments. I also learned that there are currently more women than men graduating with accounting degrees. It will be interesting to see if there is a dynamic shift in public accounting in general over the next decade, and I’d expect the new methods of flexibility in work arrangements over the last year may have an impact on what the face of public accounting looks like in the future.”

Caitlin presented her findings at the firm leadership retreat in September of 2020. An outcome of that retreat: interest in really embracing a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiative at GJM and further expanding internal staff development programs. GJM University (or GJM U) was born to expand staff development. GJM Partner Matt Cavanagh shared a connection he had with life coach and consultant Dr. Michael Brown, Founder & CEO of DMB Coaching, plans started to take hold, and a partnership was formed to create a life coaching component of GJM U.

GJM U is still growing and taking shape. Not fully developed, Caitlin says it is exciting to be leading the initiative. Plans include sessions to grow other essential skills including leadership, time management, public speaking, and executive presence.

Michael is currently leading GJM U staff development sessions on critical skills and issues including self-assessment, communication, and culture. Brown is also part of a newly formed D&I focus group at GJM.

“It has been an absolute privilege to work alongside of Caitlin and other GJM team members in creating the curriculum for the first module of GJM U, which is a deep dive into the characteristics of an Extraordinary Team and what is required to position every GJM firm member to achieve their fullest potential,” he says. “Furthermore, the first two firm-wide sessions on Cultivating Cultural Literacy in an Increasingly Diverse Society and Navigating Contentious Conversations in a Contentious World have set the stage to accelerate GJM’s commitment to enhancing the culture of diversity and inclusion within the firm. This is just the beginning of an exciting journey in assisting GJM in evolving as one of the premier businesses in Northwest Ohio and beyond.”

Caitlin often helps to lead the virtual GJM U sessions, introducing Michael, and getting the conversation going. She says she loves being able to take what she learned in school and share it with GJM coworkers.

“What I love is that it is knowledge that makes people’s lives easier, rounds people out, makes us better people, happier people, and helps us serve clients better. This is a challenging profession, and that’s a unique component that not everyone offers,” she says.

Caitlin is also a mentor to two team members in the GJM Assurance Department. As part of the firm’s Career Advisor Program she’s there to help them in a more one-on-one format. The program, in place for many years, offers feedback, support, suggestions, and sometimes just a friendly ear.

“It’s so incredible to see advisees gain skills and confidence, and really blossom in their roles. I love that what I’ve learned in school may help them too.”

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.

Matt Schroeder Joins GJM

GJM is pleased to welcome on board Matt Schroeder as an audit and assurance associate. We hope you enjoy getting to know him a bit in this Q&A. Welcome to the GJM family, Matt!

Describe your role at GJM: I will help with various tasks that are required throughout the span of an audit and the course of the year.

Why did you choose the accounting industry? I really enjoyed my high school accounting class and then going to Toledo I continued thinking about it as a profession and it led me to where I am today.

What do you like best about accounting? I have always enjoyed numbers and math, and auditing intrigued me, and I enjoy looking into financial statements and looking beyond just the numbers, to understand where the numbers came from and what they represent.

Are you from the Toledo area originally? If not, where are you from? I am from a small town called Leipsic, 20-25 minutes west of Findlay. I graduated high school with 50 people and that was considered one of the larger classes for my school.

What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? I enjoy the fact that living in Ohio gives you the luxury to experience four distinct seasons in one calendar year. I enjoy the warm weather but at the same time I enjoy having a few months of cold weather.

Anything you’d like to share about your past professional experience? I do not have any past accounting experience other than my internship that took place in the winter/spring of 2019. Other than that, my two jobs since high school have been working at a hog farm and pouring concrete.

Do you have any pets, hobbies, family? My fiancé and I have a Golden Doodle named Chester and he is 3 years old. My main hobby is playing basketball and being on the Maumee River either wakeboarding or surfing. I have four older brothers, 2 of whom who are married and have blessed me with two amazing nieces and nephews.

How do you like to spend your free time? In my free time I enjoy playing basketball as well as being on the water with friends. I also enjoy doing home renovations.

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 directly. However, I do help my alma matter high school basketball team practice and prepare for games.

Favorite song or music? I enjoy country and classic rock.

Favorite book or movie? I do not do much reading, but if I had to choose a favorite movie it would be the series “Transformers.”

What is something people may be surprised to find out about you? To answer this the opposite way, after reading this you will have picked up that I am a huge basketball fan.

Anything else you would like to add? I am excited to be here and grow as a young professional as I start this chapter in my life.

OHFA Tax Credit Application Not Funded? Here’s What to Do. - VIDEO

Early summer is when the Ohio Housing Finance Agency announces its awards of low-income housing tax credits. If your application wasn’t funded, you’re not alone – the awards are very competitive and only about one third of applications get funding. If you find yourself with an unfunded application and you’re wondering what to do with your project, GJM’s Ken Saggese, CPA has some ideas on what to do next.

Some other suggestions from Ken: discuss with your project team various ways you might be able to improve your application’s score or its tie-breaks. Compare your project’s score to the scores of others that were awarded – OHFA’s Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) will give details about how each part of your score is calculated. And maybe the secret ingredient is the simple step of engaging with the community stakeholders where your project is located, to get more positive grassroots support. Talk with GJM’s affordable housing team or your trusted advisor before giving up on a promising project.

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.