We Need More Super CPAs Like Greg Padgett

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Read more from Allan Boress, CPA, in the "Truth be told about business development" archive.
Ours is an unusual business, in that very few CPAs are actively involved in their communities and giving back compared to other professions. Many of my nonprofit clients over the years would ask, “Where are the CPAs?” I have a pat answer; they are “busy.”
Having my competitors being busy made it much easier for me to build my practice from scratch when I went back to being a full-time CPA in 2005. Following my own marketing advice, I spoke at eight different county chambers, got published several times locally, and started working the chambers of commerce hard and took active leadership roles in two of them. I live in Lake County, an hour north of Orlando and this is the Old South; people do business face-to-face.
During that initial two-year marketing push, I ran into only one CPA of the 1,000 or so people I spoke in front of and interacted with.  
It was 2007 and my client and her attorney were going to try to work things out with the husband in a nasty divorce case. The defendant’s CPA was also there. Litigation is quite combative; I have seen lawyers go to fisticuffs in hallways. So I was not prepared to meet this tall, friendly fellow, Greg Padgett, CPA.
Greg said he was delighted to have someone in Lake County besides himself to work the litigation field. He offered his help learning the ropes. It seemed every time I went anywhere important, there he was, smiling, making people feel good about themselves and being a great representative for our profession. Being a Super CPA.
According to the Daily Commercial, Padgett, a native of Leesburg, Florida, began working in public accounting in 1985. He was a partner in the public accounting firm, Padgett, Wetz & Young, PA. He also served as past president of the Leadership Lake County Alumni Association, vice chairman of the board of directors of United Southern Bank, chairman of the Audit Committee of the bank, and board member of Kids Central.
Leslie Campione, county commissioner, said Padgett “was the kind of person you would call about a particular need or a project in Lake County.”   
I deeply admired Greg Padgett, and it saddened me terribly when I read of his sudden passing last month. He was just fifty-one and killed in a tractor accident on his property.
What does this have to do with writing a marketing blog? Why have I taken your time to read this? It is to remind our profession, one reader at a time, of what a CPA in public practice should be –- someone who has a specific set of skills, and a unique career of experience that nobody else has -– and how those gifts should be used for the benefit of the communities in which we live and serve. We need to do more to take care of the people and institutions around us, besides doing their accounting and tax work.  
Public accounting can be a very rewarding field; you won’t see CPAs fighting in hallways. We should talk about how to have a more fulfilling life beyond the office as a CPA to attract the kinds of young people we need who want to do more than tick and tie. We need more people like Greg Padgett, CPA.


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What an excellent article. Greg Padgett's time on this earth was cut way too short. We truly DO need more people like Greg Padgett. He will be missed.

Greg was not only someone if I had a question that needed answer to, he was my cousin. It didn't matter how small the question was I could get him on the phone in minutes or he called me right back, I never worried that it would be days it was minutes and he called back. I am 500 miles away, if he did that for me I know he helped people in Leesburg just as fast. I miss him everyday, it is so sad that the very thing he collected and loved doing so much was what took him away. I loved you Greg and it will never be the same without you.

Thank you Allan for your compassionately written article. The way Greg cared about community was his legacy to us all. Life can be sweeter and more fulfilling when we reach out and try to make a difference in the lives around us. Greg's life serves as a reminder of the impact that caring for others around us can have on community and our own families. Thank you for your tribute.