Welcome to the third installment of our “Perkins Milestones” anniversary series. In case you’ve ever wondered why someone would choose the life of accounting, this series explores our employees’ career paths and their time at Perkins. (Missed our first two? Read up on Lindsay Park and Trina Headley who celebrated their 10th and 15th anniversaries.)
“It’s been a ride, hasn’t it?” reflected Keith Meyers and Drinda Roth, Shareholder and Office Manager respectively, as we sat down to chat about their time at Perkins & Co. They walked through our firm’s doors over 15 years ago after one fateful meeting with former Perkins & Co president, Jim Jeddeloh, and they haven’t looked back.
Keith and Drinda first met almost 35 years ago while she was working for an attorney’s office located on the same floor as Keith’s accounting firm. But it wasn’t until after her brief stint as a flight attendant followed by a year at an insurance company, that she started working for Keith, who hired her as an administrative assistant to support his clients’ 1040 work (accounting speak for individual income tax return forms) while he focused on the corporate and financial statements.
Then, in the mid-90’s, Keith took an interest in business valuation (BV) work and began migrating his focus away from traditional accounting; it turns out Keith’s business partner wasn’t as interested in BV and was perfectly content focusing on financial planning. So, Keith decided to embark on starting his own firm with Drinda as his right-hand woman. They were 99% sure it was going to happen when larger-than-life president of Perkins & Co, Jim Jeddeloh, swooped in. Jim was keen to start a valuation department at Perkins, and after meeting with him Keith agreed to join Perkins as a principal with the stipulation that Drinda was brought aboard as well. He assured Jim that within six months they wouldn’t know what to do without her.
When Drinda first arrived at Perkins, she worked as a tax staff and did whatever was required to support the transition of Keith’s practice to their new firm. Working a regular 55-hour week (a requirement during busy season) her days were filled with 1040 prep and completing individual income tax returns. A few months after Drinda’s arrival, Jim’s administrative assistant departed, and she moved into the role, which set the foundation for her career progression at Perkins. As if she wasn’t busy enough, shortly after her arrival Drinda recognized another area where she could be an asset—with her keen attention to detail and master of organization, she added the role of event planner to her cap and has since managed all of the firm’s internal events, including our annual holiday party. Ensuring that all employees feel welcome and that there’s an activity for everyone, Drinda’s events have become quite infamous at Perkins (did we mention they’re wickedly fun?).
So, what are they up to today? Well, almost eight years after joining Perkins as a principal, Keith became a shareholder, and his primary focus continues to be business valuation and litigation support (he co-leads the firm’s respective practice groups), and he has an increased presence in providing winery valuations. In addition, he’s also a leader of the firm’s Beer, Wine & Spirits practice. As for Drinda, with the retirement of our former Chief Operations Office, her role has morphed and her responsibilities—in addition to event planning—include overseeing the firm’s facilities and office maintenance. That entails managing work orders and construction projects (including two buildouts in the past five years) for 40,000 sq. feet of space in the PacWest Center and our satellite office in Vancouver, WA, and she supervises a staff of a half dozen. On top of that, even after all these years, she still interfaces with clients that made the move to Perkins with her and Keith. You could say Drinda is the glue that holds our firm together. Keith was right; we don’t know what we’d do without her!
From a firm of roughly 60 employees when they first arrived to a firm of over 175 employees, Drinda and Keith have experienced a lot of change and growth throughout their careers; you could say they’ve grown alongside the firm. But throughout it all, the root of the culture remains the same and that’s family among coworkers (how else would you describe working with someone for almost 30 years?). Keith and Drinda have certainly contributed to our “work together, play together” mentality, and we’re proud of the culture they’ve helped us build. It’s been a wild ride, indeed! We’re glad they were up for the journey.