Each month the Arrowhead Park Association randomly chooses a member to feature. November’s Member of the Month is Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD, (GJM) an accounting firm on Indian Wood Circle.
Gilmore Jasion Mahler
You may have noticed the building under reconstruction on Indian Wood Circle near Arrowhead Drive. Gilmore Jasion Mahler is building a new headquarters. “We spent the better part of three years looking for the right spot and chose to purchase the former Eaton Training Center to remodel. Our employees overwhelmingly wanted to stay in Arrowhead Park. We plan to open the new location in mid-November,” shared company founder and managing partner Kevin Gilmore. The new facility will upgrade GJM from 17,000 to 24,000 square feet.
GJM is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio. Mr. Gilmore explained, “It is what we do that has gotten us this big. We take great pride in our relationships with clients and are very active in getting out there, meeting with clients, talking with clients, and looking for ideas to help them wherever we can. Our communication exceeds expectations, and we have top-notch talent.” Mr. Gilmore continued, “GJM enjoys working personally with each client and being part of their team.”
“Our new office will meet our growth needs and the needs of our current team. The building design has been staff-driven from the very beginning. We’ve done our research, as well. We toured La-Z-Boy’s new headquarters, The Anderson’s and other new buildings and found out what they like and dislike about their offices. Many CPA firms have actually downsized their office space due to remote working options. While many of our staff work remotely at times, we think of our office as home and wanted a welcoming space for our employees, so they want to be here. There will be a lot of light with windows and skylights and lots of color, emphasizing our GJM brand colors. Collaborative nooks will encourage our people to have a place to chat about an issue in a more casual setting, without needing a conference room,” Mr. Gilmore stated. He described many other accounting firms that have gone to a “hoteling” concept. When you leave a hotel, there is no sign you were there. GJM wants everyone to have their personal space, like at home.
GJM got its start in 1996. Kevin Gilmore was a partner with Adele Jasion at another local accounting firm. “We decided to start our own firm downtown in One Seagate with eleven other staff. Later in the year, Andy Mahler joined us adding his team of five and his Sylvania office location. We have had steady growth over the years.” PM Group merged with GJM in 1999 adding about 10 employees. Pry Professional Group in Findlay merged with GJM in 2013 adding 15 people. Currently, GJM has offices in Maumee and Findlay with approximately 120 total employees.
GJM’s client focus is business, with some very targeted specialty groups. They assist many manufacturing and construction companies, real estate companies, utilities, nonprofit groups and also have a large healthcare practice that includes physician practices, skilled nursing, home health, and hospice, among other healthcare entities. GJM’s staff also includes a number of sub-specialists with experience in certain areas including cyber governance, private equity, business valuation, and forensic accounting. Another area of growth is the firm’s Outsourced Accounting practice which meets the accounting needs of many entities, including nonprofits and personal service corporations. GJM essentially takes on the accounting role, removing that burden, but the business still has full access to real-time numbers 24/7.
GJM is proud to be independent: not tied to any one investment or brokerage firm. “We believe it is in the best interest of our clients that we’re not financially aligned with one particular firm. We think it creates a conflict of interest.” related Mr. Gilmore.
GJM is, however, affiliated with one of the largest accounting firms in the world as a member of the RSM US Alliance. The fifth-largest accounting firm, RSM has worldwide reach and knowledge. The full use of these resources gives GJM instant access to global business information to assist current and new clients across the globe. “We have all the benefits of being a locally-owned firm with the international resources of RSM. It opens doors for us,” notes Mr. Gilmore.
GJM is deeply woven into the business community. Employees are strongly engaged with many industry associations. For example, GJM’s Construction Specialist Team is very active with the Ohio Contractors Association (OCA), Construction Financial Management Association Northwest Ohio Chapter (CFMA Northwest Ohio), Associated General Contractors (AGC), and National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Toledo Chapter. The firm is also active with the Toledo and Findlay Chambers of Commerce. Related to its large manufacturing client base, GJM supports a great number of initiatives. For example, the firm hosts manufacturing roundtable events three times a year for manufacturing financial executives to help them deal with current issues and concerns. The November session will feature guest speaker Dr. Jeremy Cripps from the University of Findlay and look at the potential of a recession or downturn in the economy, and how to protect your business.
Two years ago, GJM used its Manufacturing Financial Executive Roundtable to address the manufacturing workforce shortage. They brought together some movers and shakers including Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Romulus Durant, Penta Career Center’s Superintendent Ron Matter, manufacturing executives and others to discuss what is the biggest challenge facing the industry today. Some of the conversations and connections that came out of that roundtable event helped to lead to early discussions about a possible manufacturing coalition in Northwest Ohio affiliated with the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA). A couple of years later, we now have an established organization in the region. The Northwest Ohio Manufacturing Alliance (NOMA) is a manufacturing-led initiative working to solve the skilled labor shortage in Northwest Ohio. GJM is proud to have been a part of the move toward a solution.
GJM believes that it is essential to take action to better the community and be connected. Community service is a core belief as demonstrated by personal and corporate involvement in many charities. GJM received an award last year for stewardship from the RSM US Alliance in recognition of its work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Ohio. GJM has hosted the organization’s annual Christmas party for 10 years. GJM is proud to have been selected from over 100 firms in the US that are aligned RSM. The firm is active with many nonprofit organizations and many GJM staff are personally active, perhaps serving on a nonprofit board or deeply involved with a group.
GJM Marketing Manager Susan Ross Wells was excited to share news that the firm’s fundraiser for Flag City Honor Flight has raised close to a quarter of a million dollars for the nonprofit since 2016. The money helps pay the way for veterans to travel to Washington, DC to see the memorials built in their honor. Flag City Honor Flight flies out of Toledo twice a year. “Our interns pitch in as well. They do a community service project and make posters for the veterans’ welcome home celebration after the trip, which we attend to help honor our veterans. “We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish to help this completely volunteer-run and donation-funded organization.” recounted Ms. Ross Wells. With the firm for over four years, she’s become quite active in the Findlay business community and currently sits on the Advisory Board for the Findlay-Hancock County Chamber of Commerce.
“We are community-minded people.” relates Mr. Gilmore, who is also Mayor of Ottawa Hills. “We have employees on boards all across the area. We have a tremendous leadership team, including strong female leadership. We have supportive mentors for the young people coming up in our firm. I am personally available to the team, along with our other experienced staff. Leadership is a real strength here and so are our young people. They are our future”