Q. How would you compare your work style with that of your peers?
Historically, there is a persona that accountants lack pizzazz and aren’t very dynamic. I can tell you nothing could be further from that idea at Armanino. I really like my partners. They are creative. They think outside the box and they constantly look for ways to make sure that people are valued. I have the same philosophies. Occasionally, I will break a rule, but mostly I simply enjoy having the flexibility to bend them. This is where I probably differ from my peers. They work in a much more regulated capacity.
Q. What’s your proudest achievement?
My children, undoubtedly, are my proudest achievement. Although, I would say they are wonderful despite me. My second proudest achievement would be the creation of the East Bay Leadership Foundation. EBLF provides educational opportunities and scholarships to students from under-served communities in the Bay Area. We have over 100 students in our program.
Q. Who is (or was) the most influential person in your business?
There are two people. Rolfe Neill, the publisher for the Charlotte Observer and my father. Both told me the same fundamental thing - Be true to yourself and never apologize for doing so. My father taught me how to walk in that advice in life. Rolfe taught me how to apply it in business.
Q. If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom about business, what would that be?
It’s simply not worth it to compromise. Office politics and dishonesty might help you get ahead in the beginning but you will lose in the end. Be true to yourself and to your work. Value people and you will find fulfillment and success.
Beyond the Boardroom
How do you relax when you’re not working?
I enjoy watching movies, playing golf and sitting at the edge of an ocean smoking a cigar.
Deserted island wish list:
I would take a satellite dish, television and several wonderful books. And while there, I’d build a golf course.
Hawaii – I try to go once a year. I stay on the ocean and play several rounds of golf. At night I walk to the break with a bottle of wine and a couple of cigars and sit for hours.
Most prized possession:
My children are what I treasure the most.
All-time top 5 CD’s:
- Tony, Toni, Tone – House of Music
- Luther Vandross – The Night I fell in Love
- Anita Baker – Rhythm of Love
- Michael Jackson – Thriller
- Michael Jackson – Off the Wall
What are you currently reading?
Cinnamon Kiss by Walter Mosley
Word that best describes you?