Celebrating 70 Years:
And Our BRC Family
By Wade Pack, CPA
Firm Managing Partner
I have been lucky to be a part of Bernard Robinson & Company (BRC) for over 14 years. (It’s always easy for me to remember how long it’s been – you see, my oldest son is 14 years old, born just a few short weeks after I joined BRC.) When I think back upon that earlier time, I remember how personally exciting, and yes, scary, it was. Leaving an established position at a national public accounting firm to start anew with a “small, local firm,” and doing it when your wife is in her eighth month of pregnancy can cause some stress. Specifically, I recall numerous times my wife asking me, “Are you sure?” And time after time, my answer was “Yes!”
In fact, it was very clear to me that this was the right fit for our soon-to-be-growing family, because BRC was all about family. I had heard often (four total interviews, but hey, there were over 30 people at the firm to meet) about how BRC had initially operated for decades with its family-based group, led by Bernard “Bernie” Robinson, Joe Robinson (Bernie’s brother) and Joe Kent (Bernie’s brother-in-law). And now (then), the firm was led by a second generation of partners, which included Freddy Robinson (Bernie’s son). Freddy, along with partners Pat Price, Dan Hayes, Wes Stallings, Tim Smith and Alisa Moody, had continued to operate BRC the same as the founders had: like a family.
Freddy knew the names of everyone’s children, everyone ate lunch together on Saturdays during busy season (Wes’s mom and others even brought killer homemade lunches/desserts on some of those Saturdays), and throughout the year everyone got the best – and I do mean the best – brownies on their birthday thanks to bakester extraordinaire Ginny Colvin. This was a closely-knit group. And as I wrote in this article’s opening line, I was lucky; lucky to become a part of this group, this family.
Some things have of course changed since I came to BRC. For one thing, there has been tremendous growth. Instead of around 30 people, we now have around 130 people. And those people are not just in our Greensboro office; we now have offices in Raleigh and Winston-Salem, too. With that many people in various locales, it’s very difficult to sync up schedules for a weekly lunch. And alas, with so many birthdays to celebrate, we had to give up on the brownies for each individual. But one thing that hasn’t changed is how everyone here treats each other: in the family spirit.
At our monthly staff meetings, we still celebrate everyone’s birthday for that month, with cake of course. We have baby and wedding showers throughout the year, with cake of course. We hold special celebrations for those passing the CPA exam, with (yep, you guessed it) cake of course. We have an annual BRC Family Picnic (sometimes it’s cobbler, for those wondering), and we invite everyone’s kids for trick-or-treating each year at Halloween. Plus, I’m pretty sure Freddy still knows the names of everyone’s children, and grandchildren too these days!
So, I offer my thanks and gratitude to everyone here and those that came before, for cultivating such a strong and rich family culture. And congratulations to our BRC family on reaching the 70-year milestone; here’s to another happy and successful 70 (or more) to come.