The Green Apple Podcast: there's life beyond the cubicle

“Recovering CPA” John Garrett talks with professionals who are shattering the stereotype by being known at work for a hobby or passion. Accountants, consultants, lawyers and other professionals are doing some really cool things after they leave the office -- things that impact their careers in surprising ways.
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The Green Apple Podcast: there's life beyond the cubicle




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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 16, 2015

Donna races her way to better client relationships


Donna Bruce started running almost 5 years ago and hasn’t stopped, having completed 19 marathons and countless other races — including the 2013 Boston Marathon.

In this episode, we talk about how running has given her an identity that clients are interested in. Donna spent many years at a Big 4 firm before starting her own firm with two other Partners, that was later merged with BKD.


Donna graduated from Mississippi State University and is currently a Tax Partner and also serves as Tax Director for the Mississippi practice of BKD.  She works primarily with high net worth family groups, closely held businesses, nonprofits spending a large amount  of time with income tax, retirement and estate planning..



Other pictures of Donna

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Donna poses after finishing the 2014
Boston Marathon.


Donna poses with some friends just before the Tupelo Marathon.


Donna runs the 2014 Mississippi Blues Marathon.


Donna’s links

Dec 2, 2015

Mike Kelley bunts his way to better coworker relationships (and a job)


Mike Kelley has always loved baseball. And it allowed him to have a special connection with his son, born four months early and now a thriving 15 year-old.

Mike is the Managing Partner at Wheeler Fairman & Kelley in Austin, TX -- his name is on the door! -- where he's a tax accountant who also does litigation support and business valuations. He graduated from the University of Michigan and went to work at Deloitte & Touche for a few years before moving to Texas. Mike connected with me on LinkedIn after I presented at an AICPA conference last year so it's great to catch up with him now.

After having their son, Mike's wife Kelli created Hand to Hold, a charity to help other families going through similar experience as they did.



Other pictures of Mike

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Mike gets ready to field a ground ball.
Mike just before playing in Tempe Diablo Stadium, home of the Anaheim Angels Spring Training.
Mike at bat during a recent baseball tournament.
Mike's son Jackson volunteers at a special baseball camp.
Mike's son Jackson takes a swing.
Mike's wife Kelli and their son Jackson at a Hand to Hold event.


Mike's links


Nov 25, 2015

Cathleen Anderson runs her way to better client relationships


Cathleen Anderson is an avid runner of 5k’s and half-marathons. So much so that one time she actually them in consecutive days.

Cathleen received her BS in Business Accounting from Indiana University and then went to work for a payroll processing company in her hometown of Elkhart, Indiana. She later moved to Pennsylvania where she worked in public accounting and earned her CPA. And for the last 14 years, she’s been at Burnham, working her way up to Tax Manager and Retirement Plan Administrator.




Other pictures of Cathleen

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Cathleen and her family before the Bob Bard 5k in Quarryville, PA.


Cathleen running the Amos Herr Honey Run in Landisville, PA.

Nov 18, 2015

Jason cooks up great coworker relationships


Jason Kalies grew up on a small family dairy farm in Wisconsin so he appreciates cultivating the land for fresh food. Then one day he decided to share his homemade salsa and marinades with a team visiting from out of town and deep coworker relationships were made.

In this episode, we talk about whiskey, the Circus Parade in Milwaukee, growing up on a dairy farm and why baking is better than cooking -- not necessarily in that order. Jason is currently a senior manager at big 4 accounting firm - having spent over 15 years in the accounting world in both public accounting and industry.

After graduating from St. Norbert College outside of Green Bay Wisconsin, Jason started working at PwC. He later worked for a bank for several years before returning to public accounting a few years ago.



Other pictures of Jason

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Boiling Ball Jars as part of the peach canning process.
Jason gets ready to can some peaches.
Jason sets up his "12 Whiskies of Christmas".


Jason's links

Nov 11, 2015

Jack-of-All-Trades uses stories to connect with coworkers


I've been friends with Dave Gilbertson for almost 15 years, since we both started at PwC. He is known among his friends and coworkers for several things -- being Louie Anderson's tour manager one year, writing a published book, playing an inning of minor league baseball, interviewing the Dali Lama -- you name it , Dave has probably done it or talked his way into it.

Currently, Dave is the Vice President of Corporate Strategy for Kronos Software so I appreciate him making some time to talk about that one time he was in an elevator with Louie Anderson and Larry King and the hilarity that ensued.

After starting his career as an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Dave Gilbertson has served in a variety of senior executive roles within the private equity, strategy consulting and software spaces.   He graduated from Georgetown University and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.



Other pictures of Dave

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Dave with comedian Louie Anderson.
Dave working out his comedy set.


Dave's links

Nov 4, 2015

Jason creates stronger client relationships with CrossFit


Over the last few years, Jason Blumer has really gotten into CrossFit. And not only has it helped him get in better shape, he's also realizing there are many parallels to running your own business. So he's able to tell clients that there's no sitting down for breaks if they really want to meet their goals.

Jason is now the Chief Innovation Officer of his own firm, Blumer & Associates, CPAs. In this episode, we talk about overcoming fear and what made him want to start his own firm over 12 years ago.

Jason graduated from Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC with an accounting degree and went to work in industry, eventually becoming a Controller for a few years before switching over to public accounting. He left all that in 2003 to run his own firm. That wasn't enough so he created the Thriveal Network, a supportive community for accountants who have their own firms.


Other pictures of Jason

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Jason training at the Crossfit gym.
Jason doing squats at the Crossfit gym.


Jason's links

Oct 28, 2015

Jerry's client and coworker relationships are tailor made


Jerry Folly-Kossi is a sharp-dressed man. And that isn't by accident. When he isn't busy as a financial analyst in the Business Valuation and Litigation Group at Hemming Morse, he's running his own custom menswear company, Swell Attitude.

We talk about how his fashion was influenced by growing up in Paris with his family originally from the Ivory Coast. And when he isn't designing custom men's clothes, he's practicing martial arts or playing soccer in a very competitive league with former professional players.

Jerry graduated from UCLA with BA's in both Economics and Political Science. He later went on to receive his MBA from the Graziadio School of Business & Management at Pepperdine University. Before joining Hemming Morse, Jerry worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies in the field of Investment Banking, Consulting and Accounting, namely Ernst & Young, Merrill Lynch and Burr Pilger & Mayer.



Other pictures of Jerry

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Jerry displays his Swell Attitude custom clothing at a trunk show.
Jerry on the field before a soccer match.
Jerry is busy designing a custom suit.


Jerry's links


Oct 21, 2015

Bob uses fantasy football to score a lot of points with clients


Bob Lung talks about how being a fantasy football expert has lead to some fantastic business relationships. But he stresses it doesn't necessarily have to be fantasy football, his secret is tries to show a genuine interest in others.

Bob is now a Controller at a company near Akron, OH but he started his career at Ernst & Young, so he's got great perspective of both public accounting and industry. In this episode, we talk about how in 1985, he was keeping fantasy football scores using Lotus 1-2-3! And you'll never believe the story about his time hanging out with Al Davis, the former owner of the Oakland Raiders.

Bob graduated from the University of Akron but definitely doesn't fit the stereotypical mold of a CPA -- which makes him the perfect green apple.

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Other pictures of Bob

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Bob poses with a fantasy football championship belt.
At the NFL Hall of Fame, Bob gets to hang out with legends like John Madden.


Bob's links

Oct 14, 2015

Andrew McArthur talks about how his homebrewing and air guitar competitions create stronger bonds with coworkers. Through he stresses it isn’t important to have a “cool” hobby — you should share no matter what your hobby or passion is.

I’ve known Andrew since my first day at PwC. He now works in Investment Risk Management at an Asset Management Firm in Denver, CO. In this episode, we talk about our first training at PwC, moving into the Internal Audit side shortly thereafter and how an accounting degree can lead to a diverse career path — many times not even doing traditional accounting at all.

Andrew graduated from UCLA with a major in Business Economics and a minor in Accounting. After 5 years with PwC in their advisory services division, focusing on Risk and Controls projects, Andrew made the move to an asset management firm where he has been working in various roles over the past 12 years.

He still has his active CPA license, although his career has gone many directions other than accounting.


John talks with

Andrew McArthur



Other pictures of Andrew

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Andrew pours ingredients for his latest home brew beer.


Andrew wins this regional Air Guitar Competition.

Oct 7, 2015

Greg jokes his way to better client relationships


Greg Kyte is a very busy man. When he isn't being a Comptroller (he was able to give himself whatever title he wanted), he is performing at comedy clubs and delivering CPE no one in the audience will soon forget.

He definitely took the unconventional route into accounting. After graduating from the University of Washington, Greg moved to Utah and became a middle school teacher. Listen to the hilarious reason he left teaching and what it was about accounting that pulled him in. Greg provides some great insight on why "soft skills" are so important for accountants and how they've specifically impacted his relationships with clients. You'll also get some bonuses like one of his first jokes on stage and what it probably means if you hear "strawberry" in a doctor's office.

Greg really, really likes degrees: he has a secondary education teaching credential from Brigham Young University, a degree in accounting from Utah Valley University, an MBA from Utah State University, and took one philosophy class from Harvard Extension School. He likes to brag that his Harvard GPA is 3.7.

Oh, yeah, and he's also a CPA.

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Other pictures of Greg

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Greg tells jokes at Wise Guys Comedy Club.
Greg delivers great content during his Comedy CPE events.
Greg performing at a local comedy show.


Greg's links

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