I am a native Iowan, born and raised on a farm just north of Harlan, in western Iowa. I come from a long line of entrepreneurs, with everyone on both sides of my family either being a farmer or a business owner (or in the case of one of my grandparents … he was both a farmer and owned a trucking company at the same time in the 1940s, 50s and 60s!). While I myself am not a farmer, I think being a small business owner is very similar, and the spirit of entrepreneurship is in my blood.
I graduated from Simpson College – many years ago now! – with a degree in corporate communications and a minor in management. I wanted to become a sportscaster. My dream was to be the next Jim Zabel (Iowa Hawkeye fans know who that is). After a few years, I found myself in a journalist position as a news director at a radio station (very different from being a sportscaster) and quite frankly … I hated it and found my sportscasting opportunities dwindling. So I went back to Simpson and got an accounting certificate and started blazing a new trail.
I worked for 4 years at a third-party administrator of retirement plans, which was interesting but not really what I wanted to do. I opened my own tax preparation company in 2009 with 3 clients. I became a public accounting firm in 2013, and I prepared over 200 tax returns in 2019. I maintain licensure as a licensed public accountant in Iowa and as an enrolled agent with the U.S. Treasury Department.
With my broadcasting background, I know how to put on a good presentation and so am in demand as a speaker. I present to various groups, including accountants for their continuing education. My presentations are generally webinars, and the crowd size ranges from 2 people so several-thousand. Topics I present on include: COVID-19 issues; Form 1099 and all its variations; ethics for tax professionals; Form W-4 and other payroll issues; employee vs. independent contractor and how a business can tell the difference; filing status issues; and various Iowa tax topics. Other accountants contact me almost daily to ask me questions because they respect my knowledge.
My wife is a professor at Simpson College (and since people always ask: no she was not at Simpson while I was a student there!!!) and we have two boys in 6th grade and 3rd grade. We also maintain a zoo that currently has 1 and 3 cats, plus we find stray kittens born under our house by the neighborhood strays once or twice a year, which we take in for awhile and then give away or take to the local animal shelter. If you’re looking for a kitten, let me know and we can probably hook you up.
I am an Iowa Hawkeye fan (mostly football and I have ideas on how their offense could do better but for some reason Kirk Ferentz never seems to call me for my input), a St. Louis Cardinals fan who was there at Game 5 of the World Series in 2006 when they they won the championship, and a student of the Battle of the Little Big Horn (Custer’s Last Stand) and have been to the battlefield in Montana 6 or 7 times since I was in 5th grade and own dozens of books and research materials on the battle and on Native American history and military history in the 1860s and 1870s.
As you can probably tell, I try to have a personality and have at least a little fun while dealing with taxes, which can be very dreary and depressing.
I am not currently on any nonprofit boards, but have served on several in the past, including: Harlan Chamber of Commerce where I was vice president, many years ago now; Iowa Society of Enrolled Agents, where I was president from 2011-2017; and the board of both One Iowa and One Iowa Action, where I was treasurer from 2012-2018.
Memberships include the National Association of Tax Preparers and National Association of Enrolled Agents.
These photos below are not of me, they are photos that came with the website template. “Real” photos coming soon!