GJM Hits Bullseye With Pistol Team

“GJM Pistol Team?  What’s that, exactly?”

Exactly what it sounds like!

Let me introduce to you this year’s co-captains of the Gilmore Jasion Mahler Pistol Team: Stacie Heitmeyer, defending champion Hannah Nowak, and yours truly.

GJM Pistol Team 2018 Co-captainsWe always strive to make GJM a fun place to work – people do their best work when they’re happy at the office. One way we do that is with a pretty unique offering: we are the only accounting firm in Northwest Ohio (or anywhere?) that sponsors an official firm Pistol Team.

A little history

In 2012, a handful of us who enjoy some target shooting in our spare time looked around at the various softball, bowling, kickball, and other team building fun outings, and thought “what a great idea if we did a pistol team.”  Cleland’s Outdoor World runs winter and fall pistol leagues every year, and the format of the league makes for a lot of fun. In addition to traditional bullseye targets, the league uses some variants like Bingo cards, word scrambles, etc., and some truly silly stuff like saltines, candy Valentine hearts, and once even an apple on top of a mannequin’s head. Results on the little candy hearts are usually pretty mixed but most of us do a good job on the saltines.

The league format also allows for substitutes – so we would bring five different shooters every week to get as many people involved as possible. This doesn’t always produce great team scores but it does give us a chance to involve folks from all the departments, so auditors and tax associates and consultants and administrative folks all get to play together outside the office. This builds some comradery among the departments and allows some friendships to form among people who otherwise might not have occasion to work together often.

We started challenging ourselves as to how many different shooters we could involve each year. The 2017 team fielded 26 different associates and interns at least one time, many of them first-timer shooters.  We all find teaching newcomers how to shoot fun and rewarding – its outreach for a sport we all love and who doesn’t love learning new stuff?!

GJM Pistol Team shirt logoWe also get the sweet uniform shirts you see above, which is a fun souvenir of the experience, and draws lots of attention out on the streets or on campus. We’re a different kind of accounting firm, both for our clients and for our associates and interns. I love answering the question at the top – “Pistol Team?” – because it’s one more way to show we are outside the box.

But we’re accountants, so we have to compete

If you’re not keeping score, there’s almost no point in playing, right? So we do track and award both team and individual awards. The team award is the coveted Grand Interdepartmental Pistol Championship™.  Turns out that historically, the audit department is fairly awesome at this and has won three trophies in the six years we’ve fielded a team. Our healthcare group has won two and our tax team has won once.

Maybe 2018 will be the year tax gets back in the winner’s circle, where they haven’t been since 2014. Tax’s own Hannah “Shooter” Nowak has won two of the last three Individual Pistol Champion trophies, including last year when she won the championship on the final shot of the night, by plinking a peppermint lifesaver one-handed from 50 feet away, which will be a story re-told and probably embellished for a thousand years.  Also the annual Most Valuable Intern award will be up for grabs – our overwhelming two-time winner Jess Knepper has joined the firm full-time and is no longer eligible for intern awards!

Look for updates throughout the 2018 season, pull for your favorite to win one of the coveted awards, and maybe you’ll see us on some bubblegum cards come springtime. Happy winter meantime!

J Kenneth Saggese contributed this blog. Ken is a partner in the Audit Department of Gilmore Jasion Mahler. With the Firm since 2006, Ken is a member of GJM’s Construction and Real Estate Specialist Group. His area of expertise is affordable housing.

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